Dubai is one of the seven United Arab Emirates.
د ب يّ
Embrace and Flag
|Status||United Arab Emirates|
|Inhabitants||3 304 046 (2019)|
|Phone Prefix||+971 4|
Dubai is the second largest emirate in the United Arab Emirates, with a surface area of 3,900 km², it faces the Persian Gulf and has more than 4 million inhabitants.
Dubai is a cosmopolitan metropolis and a global city on the Arabian Peninsula. The city is one of the world's ten most popular tourist destinations. It is also considered one of the most modern and progressive cities in the Middle East - certainly in the Arab world - and is sometimes called the "Gold City" because it has historically been a gold trading center and has undergone a rapid transformation from a desert into a luxurious city.
The city offers insights into both the old merchant history and the pearls of the Arabs of Deira and Bur Dubai, as well as the new modern skyscraper and the lively life of Jumeirah and Jebel Ali. Dubai is sometimes mistakenly considered a country, but it is a UAE and part of the UAE and is the financial center of the UAE.
Dubai is also considered a Middle East trading and cultural hub, a global hub of transport that has attracted the world's attention through many major innovative construction projects and sporting events. The city is symbolized by its skyscrapers, including the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, as well as ambitious development projects including artificial islands, world-class luxury hotels, and some of the world's largest and most extraordinarily modern shopping malls.
With only five hours of flight from Europe and three hours from most of the Middle East, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent, Dubai is a short shopping break, parties, sunbatches, restaurants, sporting events and some sinful pleasures. It is in the middle of the Middle East and is considered a good place to stop for people traveling from east to west or west to east.
Dubai is characterized by a vast desert landscape that turns into a futuristic style of skyscrapers along the coast.
When to go
|Minimum (°C)||14.3||15.4||17.6||20.8||24.6||27.2||9:9 p.m.||30.2||27.5||23.9||19.9||16.3|
The city of Dubai is located on a desert-delimited coastal strip and becomes very hot in the summer. It's dry on the hottest, hottest days on the coldest days in summer. The coolest and most enjoyable climate lasts from late September to early May (though not always pleasant), with daily temperatures from October to January and March to May at 20-25 °C, but prepare for the cold night temperatures. In winter, the temperature at night is usually 10 to 16 °C. From May to September, the sun is intense and in August, temperatures can reach 54 °C in the city and even higher in the desert. The heat, combined with a humidity of 60% to 70% near the coast, effectively precludes most outdoor activities for hours of sunlight during the summer. Summer and winter are indeed the only two obvious seasons that the city is experiencing.
From December to April, the highest rainfall is usually produced, albeit slightly, with a total of 100 millimeters per year. Some years don't produce more than a few minutes of rain. Rain is celebrated in the United Arab Emirates, and most people take days off, and some schools offer days off to enjoy the small amount of rainfall that the city experiences.
December-January are the best months for a visit to Dubai. This is also the time when the hotel prices, which have already risen by themselves, are even higher. October, November and March are also eligible for a visit, but it is good to avoid their trip coinciding with Ramadan dates.
Dubai was initially a small fishing village on the coast of the eastern Arabian Peninsula. Initially, the city made its own income from diving between pearls. But as the Gulf expanded, it became a shopping mall between Iran and India and earned a lot of notoriety for its imported goods from the east. Indeed, Dubai's currency was historically the Indian rupee. It was also used as a smuggling town to smuggle gold from Africa and elsewhere and import it into India, making Dubai a well-known place on the map for various traders.
When oil companies sought oil nearby, Dubai showed that it had no significant oil reserves compared to Abu Dhabi. Sheik Rashid Al Maktoum, then leader and sheik of Dubai, continued the expansion of the trade boom in Dubai instead of relying on possible oil revenues. It has welcomed Indian, Iranian and even Western officials and travelers. Open trade policy and tolerance towards foreigners have made Dubai a destination available to any non - Arab or non - Muslim, in stark contrast to other cities on the Arabian Peninsula who looked with suspicion at non - Muslims. The son of Sheik Rashid, Sheik Mohammed, had the idea of establishing Dubai as a tourist destination in the Middle East. In his memoir, he says that when he met other heads of state after the British withdrawal from the Gulf and proposed to turn Dubai into a tourist destination, and the rest of the sheiks laughed at him. They told him that no one would want to come and visit a arid desert. However, Sheik Mohammed made the effort to hire tourism experts and changed the entire city's infrastructure to accommodate tourists, set up tax-free zones, invested in important tourist projects and opened the city to everyone, regardless of race or religion.
Many Western companies and institutions, eager to expand their influence in the Middle East, have welcomed the tax exemption of Dubai. Dubai was thus seen as the only city on the Arabian Peninsula that would allow non - Muslims to live, drink and enjoy their lives according to their own Western and non - Islamic laws and standards.
Despite the fact that Arabic is the official language, because foreigners exceed the Emirates by almost 4 to 1 in Dubai, English serves as the lingua franca. All signs are bilingual in Arabic and English and speaking Urdu, Hindi or Tagalog will help you in addition to Arabic considering that the majority of the population is expatriated from Pakistan, India and the Philippines.
How to orient
Creek, a salt - water course, divides the city into two parts: The following neighborhoods of its right (eastern) bank are located: 1 Deira, 2 Jumeirah, 3 Al Bastakiya and 4 Mirdiff (or Mirdif) a new commercial and residential district, Uptown Mirdif is considered an attraction.
On the left bank (western) are the following neighborhoods: 5 Bur Dubai, 6 Satwa — Part of Dubai Little India and Little Manila, due to the presence of Filipinos and Indians, there are: Filipino and Indian restaurants, shops, supermarkets. Gold Souk is one of the main destinations of the Dubai visitors. 7 Al Karama: shopping and residential district, you can find shops and cheap food. 8 Arabian Ranches and 9 Emirates Hills: Two very rich neighborhoods where prices are high because of the value of the land. 10 Dubai International City: The residential area in the middle of the desert, the architectural design in particular, the businessmen of the nearby "Chinatown" reside here.
How to get
Airlines often have price wars to glamorous destinations like Dubai and this can be an advantage by carefully planning and comparing the various airlines serving the city. Emirates is the official airline of Dubai that links Dubai with more than 100 destinations while FlyDubai is the low - cost airline of Dubai. Etihad has a shuttle service from his exclusive check-in service to Sheik Zayed Rd or the central business district of Dubai from and to Abu Dhabi International Airport, you can also fly with the low-cost airline Sharjah. Air Arabia that flies over 46 destinations in the Middle East. Lower fares from North America are more common on Qatar Airways, but Qatar Airways has been banned from flying to Dubai since June 2017 due to diplomatic conflict.
- 1 Dubai International Airport (IATA: DBX) (in Deira district). This is the largest hub in the Middle East and the base of the Dubai Emirates flag carrier and its flydubai low cost airline. It's grown at such a rhythm that its terminals are exploding, especially at rush hour around midnight. Frequent visitors from countries that have obtained an automatic visa at the entrance may want to purchase an e-gate card to speed up immigration formalities and save the pages of the passport. The e-gate card office is located in the catering area on the upper deck of the departure lobby of Terminal 1. Paper will cost 200 dirham. To buy an e-gate card in Dubai, you must have entered the UAE through Dubai Airport.
- The connections between Dubai airport and the various parts of the city and Sharja are relatively simple and fast. There are also options to travel to the capital Abu Dhabi, just an hour away.
- Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 each have a station for the red line of the Dubai subway; are located in zone 5 of the line. Trains start every 10 minutes between approximately 6:00 and 24:00, except Friday (13:00 to 12:00).
- The buses serve all three terminals. There are buses right in front of the exit doors after the luggage withdrawal, the most useful visitors are lines 401 and 402 (3 dirham), which go to the bus terminals Al Sabkha and Al Ghubaiba respectively. Tickets cannot be purchased from the driver, so you will have to buy the NOL card before boarding the bus. Emirates provides complementary bus services for its economic class passengers from T3 to Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.
- Most of the visitors opt for taxis from the airport, which use the meter and start at 25 dirham. They are readily available just outside arrivals. I'm on the left when you leave Terminal 1. A trip to the Dubai Navy can cost about 100 dirham and a trip to the center of Abu Dhabi costs 300 dirham. If you look rich or Western, the taxi salesman could point you towards a line of black limousines across the main taxi line. In that case, politely decline and take one of the regular taxis.
- 2 Dubai-Al Maktum International Airport (IATA: DWC) (it is in Jebel Ali at the western end of Dubai, about 60 km from the center of Dubai and about 110 km from Abu Dhabi). The airport was opened to passenger flights in October 2013 and has great ambitions to be the world's largest airport, serving 160 million passengers a year. (London Heathrow is about 70 million compared.) For the time being, it has only been served by several low-cost carriers such as Wizz Air and flydubai (other carriers usually operate seasonal charter flights from Europe). It is an important hub for cargo flights. Emirates is not planning to move until around 2025.
- A railway line is planned, but the current transportation options are taxi, which will cost over 100 dirham for most of the city and the F55/F55A bus lines. The F55 connects Al Maktoum airport with the Ibn Batuta subway station during the day, while the F55A connects Al Maktoum airport and Al Satwa bus station during the night. The buses leave every hour.
- 3 Sharjah International Airport (IATA: SHJ) in Sharja's emirate. It takes 30 minutes on the road from Dubai and takes on an increasing number of international flights while Dubai airport struggles to keep pace with demand. Air Arabia, a low - cost carrier serving the Middle East and South Asia, is the main carrier here. The airport is quite simple but is expanding.
- A taxi to Dubai usually costs 50 dirham. A bus service from Air Arabia also links the airport to the Rashidiya subway station in Dubai. The Rashidiya subway station is near Dubai International Airport.
- 4 Abu Dhabi International Airport (IATA: AUH).
Dubai hosts a thriving private aviation community, with luxury charter flights and commercial jets that travel daily between London, Moscow and the United States. There are a number of FBOs to accommodate luxury and business travelers, and companies like PrivateFly and Dubai Private Jet Charter that offer private charter upon demand with a variety of aircraft, from luxury Gulfstreams and VIP line planes to twin-engine and helicopters for small groups and individuals.
The only international road border in Dubai is with Oman in Al Wajajah. Expatriate residents in Oman need an official permit to leave Oman on the street. Visitors do not require permission. An OMR3 charge per vehicle is provided to exit Oman and, if returned, retain the debit receipt as it will be required to return. Make sure that the insurance is valid for the United Arab Emirates (preferably before you begin the trip). UAE temporary insurance can be bought at the border at a premium price.
There are also road borders between the neighboring emirate of Abu Dhabi and Oman in the Oasi of Al Burami that divides sister cities of Al Ain and Al Burami in Oman.
Dubai is a car - oriented city and most visitors will choose to take a taxi instead of the public transport system. You can easily find them in a taxi queue or just stop one on the street, but that could be difficult during rush hours. In addition, some of them even refuse short journeys to areas with traffic.
The signs are terrible in Dubai and taxis are often lost. The best thing to do is to navigate famous landmarks, like hotels. GPS devices are often obsolete. The street names can be very confused, as the different transliterations from Arabic show a slight variation in spelling.
You can find many car hire agencies that will give a vehicle with very cheap rates and just an international driving permit, if you don't have one in the United Arab Emirates. Some agencies also offer a rental car with a driver, which is a much more convenient option for visitors, especially if the driver speaks English and knows the best way to get around the city than most taxi drivers.
Some of the best car rental companies are: Careem Car Services, which offers a simple booking system with a real-time monitoring app and, if necessary, can rent a car with a child seat. DotTransfers also offers additional services such as executive transportation and a limousine service with fair pricing and good reservation assistance. Ahdab International Luxury Transport is a team of experienced professionals, but their rates tend to be rather expensive.
- 5 Port Rashid (م ي ن ا ء ا ر). Dubai is a mall for the Dau from the Indian Ocean. Travelers who want to get to the city in this way will probably have to make arrangements with the ship's captain. Most of the Daus are on their way to Iran; Some are also heading to Yemen and Somalia.
- Dubai has an international cruise terminal. During the winter Costa Crociere bases at least two of its cruise ships (Costa Luminosa, Costa Fortuna) in Dubai.
- Valfajr Shipping Company operates a ship service that allegedly starts from Bandar Lengeh and Bandar Abbas in Iran every two days and docks in Port Rashid in Dubai, returning the next day. The Persian Gulf crossing lasts about six hours. A first-class return ticket costs USD 145 (1,450,000 Iranian Rials) in February 2010 and return business cards cost USD 122 (1,220,000 Rials). The ticket includes an Iranian - style lunch.
The Dubai government operates a network of buses that link the city with the capitals of the other six emirates of the United Arab Emirates. The buses pass under the name of Emirates Express and operate from various bus terminals in Dubai. See the website for times.
- 6 Terminal Al Ghubaibah (م ح ط ة ح ف ا ل ا ت ا ل غ ب), +971 800 9090. The buses leave every 40 minutes from 6:20 AM from the main bus station in Abu Dhabi. The two-hour trip costs 25 dirham.
- For Al Ain, buses leave every hour. The two-hour trip costs 15 dirham.
- 7 Terminal bus Abu Hail (850 meters from Abu Hail metro stop.). The Mawsalat company's Mascate buses leave and arrive from this terminal. The journey lasts about 6 hours and 30 minutes and also passes through Muscat airport.
- From Sharja: frequent buses link Dubai and Sharja. There are several routes and buses departing from various stations in Dubai, including Al Karama, Gold Souq, Baniyas Square, Jebel Ali and Al Ittihad Square. The tariffs are at 7 dirham as of December 2010.
- From Fujairah: The bus to Fujairah departs from the Rashidiya subway station and takes about 3-4 hours.
For bus trips from Saudi Arabia, SAPTCO provides daily bus services from cities like Dammam and Riyadh.
|Roads passing through Dubai|
|Ajman:||N S||→ Jebel Ali → Abu Dhabi|
|End||O E||→ Hatta|
|End||N S||→ Al Ain|
|Ajman:||N S||→ Jebel Ali → Abu Dhabi|
How to move
Dubai's public transport system is probably the best in the Middle East, especially after the subway launch, but it is still a car-oriented city and most visitors end up taking taxis quite often. The Wojhati travel planner can suggest the best way to travel.
A daily pass for unlimited races per meter, tram and bus costs 22 dirham, while Nol Silver at stored value costs 20 dirham (including 14 dirham balance) and offers a 10% discount on subway and bus fares. Both are available at subway stations and major bus stations. The Silver card is useful for public transport users who stay in Dubai for more than a day. At the end of the journey, check (including buses).
It is recalled that there are a number of sectors in public transport that have been properly reported by lines and placards dedicated to women only, silver users and gold users. Women are allowed to go to the last two sectors, while the first is prohibited for men.
|Red Ticket||2 dirham||Rechargeable ticket suitable for tourists, valid for 90 days; however, it must only be used in a type of transport ticket (e.g. a zone ticket cannot be recharged with a two-zone ticket or a daily pass even after exhaustion), it may store up to 10 journeys.|
|Silver card||20 dirham (14 dirham)||Rechargeable ticket, valid for 5 years. Recommended if you stay for more than a day.|
|Gold card||20 dirham (14 dirham)||Rechargeable ticket, can be used in Gold Class.|
|Blue card||70 dirham||Custom paper, with online services such as transaction history and online reload.|
|Dubai Metro & Bus Tariffs (May 2017)|
Deira is 5. Between Creek and the water canal is Zone 5. Between the water canal to the Navy is Zone 2. Jebel Ali is the last coastal zone. Three other areas are internal and served by the Dubai subway.
The red line of 52 kilometers of Dubai, inaugurated in September 2009, is the second metro line in the Arab world after Cairo. The city of Burj Khalifa and the Mall of the Emirates is one of the largest cities in the world. The green line, which crosses the city center, was inaugurated in September 2011. You can move between the lines in Union Square and Al Waleed Khalid Bin (BurJuman). There are also blue and purple lines under construction. Expo 2020 will be completed in 2020 at a cost of $4.46 billion.
Single tickets range from 2 to 8.50 dirham or double the number for "Gold" first class transportation when using a rechargeable smart card. The cost of a single unrechargeable ticket starts at 6 dirham for a trip within an area, 8 dirham for two zones, etc. Tickets may be purchased in automated machines, ticketing machines or at the information desks. Cash and payment cards (Visa and MasterCard) are accepted. Trains leave every 3-5 minutes from 05:50 to midnight every day except Thursday and Friday, when services are extended at 05:00: 50-01:00 limited to 13:00-23:59. All the stations are climatized and there's a vast network of buses. If you plan to travel late at night, check the official time.
A 5 km single-track system transports passengers through the Palm Jumeirah to the Atlantis Hotel. It connects to the Dubai tram. This is not part of the rest of the transportation, so you have to buy a separate ticket (15 dirham, one trip and 25 dirham a/r).
The latest in Dubai's modern transportation system is the Dubai Tram, which opened on November 12, 2014. It offers a convenient transit service around Dubai's main business and leisure neighborhoods. The Dubai trams run 19-hour daily races for 14.5 km along Al Sufouh Road. It passes through the vibrant Dubai navy, where passengers are assisted by breathtaking views of massive skyscrapers and luxury yachts, and then travels through Jumeirah through the iconic Burj to the Arab.
The Dubai tram connects with the Dubai subway in the Jumeirah Lakes Towers and DAMAC stations and connects with the Palm Jumeirah monorail. Outside Europe, Dubai's tram is the first trams system to use the cutting-edge tram cable system that eliminates unpleasant and dangerous air cables.
In Dubai, public transport is the cheapest way in many districts. A map of the bus system can be found online, along with detailed road maps and timetables. Public buses are clean and cheap, but unfortunately not very complete and (on some roads) quite rare. The bus system is very useful for traveling between different areas of the center of Dubai or between different suburbs, rather than general transport. Taxis or a good dose of walks are necessary if you visit Dubai without your own car.
A card or ticket is required for payment. The cards can be bought by most bus stations, metro stations and sometimes by the bus driver.
The main bus stations are:
- 8 Terminal bus Gold Souq Market (connecting to Palm Deira metro station). A Deira
- 9 Al Qusais bus station (in the Suburbs of Dubai and Hatta). Line 111 connects with Sharja airport.
The flat rate is 2 dirham, but it could be higher for an hour's travel on a distant outskirts. Road maps and clear timetables are found inside a few bus stops. The hours during Ramadan differ. The front seats are reserved for women.
Probably the single most useful service for occasional tourists is Line 8, which starts at Gold Souq, goes into the Creek tunnel for Heritage Village, and then leaves for Jumeirah Rd (right behind the beach) and all of its hotels and shopping malls, to Burj Al Arab and Wild Wadi. It ends next to Internet City, and its variant 8A goes a little further and it also serves the Mall of the Emirates.
Taxis travel through the streets of Dubai and are relatively easy to spot with their cream-colored bodies and roofs. The easiest place to find them is by the taxi queue in one of the malls or outside of a hotel. Stopping a taxi along the road is possible, but it can be difficult during rush hours. In rush hours (07:00-09:00 and 16:00-19:00 on weekdays and Friday evenings) demand exceeds supply, and not only taxis are hard to find, but those who are willing to take you can overdemand or reject short races in congested areas altogether. If you accept, make sure that the driver says "Dirham" clearly because every now and then the word turns into "Dollars" when you reach the destination. In addition, the Dubai Taxi Corporation drivers change shifts between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. every day, and it may be more difficult to find a taxi during this period. The standard of driving in Dubai varies from poor to wild: taxis are among the worst on the streets. Taxi drivers are pretty good at knowing where the main malls and hotels are, but for the less well-known places, the driver calls his brother-in-law or a friend to get directions, while driving round, so it's a good idea to have a rough idea where you're going or where you're going.
Taxis are 1.82 dirham/km by day and 1.82 dirham/km by night, so you don't have to bargain. The tariffs of all the taxi companies — Dubai transport, National, Cars, Metro and Arabian — are identical, so take the first one that comes. Stopping down the street results in a supplement of 5 dirham during the day and 5.50 dirham at night (22:00-06:00). A supplement of 25 dirham is planned from the airport; there's also a 20 dirham supplement to go to Sharja. A minimum fee of 12 dirham is also applied. Taxis are exempt from road tolls by Salik.
Look out for taxis and limousines from unmarked hotels: although some of them are taximeter, they are not related to official tariffs and can be much more expensive. One way to understand if a taxi is official or not is to look for a meter: if there's no meter, don't go up.
If you can't find one, you can try calling the Dubai Taxi at 04-2080808 (each franchise has its booking number but a central system), there's a 3 dirham reservation supplement. The reservation system was known for its unreliability, but with a greatly increased taxi fleet, many taxis are now deliberately waiting in unofficial areas while waiting for reservations. As a result, it may be possible to book a taxi on a good day and bring it in less than five minutes. If you absolutely have to go somewhere at any given time (e.g. airport or meeting), it is still better to book a taxi to the hotel and get an estimate of how intense the traffic will be.
Women should travel in the back of the taxi because some drivers see it as a sexual invitation if they sit in front of them.
Taxi drivers are generally friendly, but they can have different ideas about hygiene.
You can also use Careem or Uber services in Dubai.
There are an infinite number of car rental cars that will provide a mode of transport at very cheap rates and very few paperwork. An international driving permit is not necessarily required, but rental companies cannot rent a car without it.
Some agencies will rent complete cars of drivers. Visitors who take advantage of this option will have to make sure that their driver knows the streets because many do not know them.
When you drive down major roads, like the Sheik Zayed road, the numbers on the crossings are not logical. Release 13 is just after release 18 and rarely shown on maps. The street names can also be very confused, with slight differences in spelling (due to different transliterations from Arabic) that are very important. Construction works under way in all of Dubai and its surroundings may make it difficult to find the destination. The temporary provisions of roads change alarmingly and the indications may be misleading or non-existent. Since GPS maps are out of date (and are not usually available for rental car hire anyway), a printed map will be very good (you can find one excellent in Virgin stores, for example. There's a Virgin Megastore on the top floor of the city center.)
It is not recommended to drive during morning and afternoon rush hours, as traffic slows down until it stops and even a simple journey through a bridge can take up to 45 minutes. There is also a shortage of parking spaces in many parts of the city.
With a mixture of nationalities from the city, driving styles are mixed. Both the dangerous guide and the expert will often be tested. Dubai has one of the highest death rates per capita on the road in the world. There is no tolerance for alcohol with severe penalties, including imprisonment or expulsion.
See Salik for information on tolls on certain routes in Dubai. If you rent a car, usually a tag on Salik will be provided by the car rental company and charged separately (usually 5 dirham) when you return the car.
Hop-on Hop-off Bus
Two Hop-on Hop-off companies are competing, with almost the same routes and prices:
- Big Bus Tours. 220 dirham cover 24 hours. For a good Hop-on Hop-off tour try Big Bus Tours. Through two roads: The blue road passing through Jumeirah and the new areas, and the red road centered on the oldest parts of Dubai. The hub on both roads is the Wafi City shopping center.
- The Dubai city tour of the middle day, Al Nasr Palace no. 02, Oud Metha Road (Oud Metha Station), ☎ +971 55 403 0943, ☎ +971 55 403 0943, @[email protected].
This is a good alternative to exploring the modern and old parts of Dubai.
A simple way to cross Creek is with Abra, a small ferry. The Abra stations are located along the Creek on both sides of Bur Dubai and Deira and the vessel filling system is extraordinarily efficient. The river crossing costs 1 dirham, payable to the driver after the boat left the station and offers a very picturesque view of the city. Abras starts regularly and the service is available 24/7.
Air-conditioned ports are a way to avoid the abra mob and heat. They're part of the public transportation system, so you need a Red Nol card or a Nol card. Tickets can be purchased at the ferry station. The rate per route is 2 dirham. The boat also offers a round - trip "tourist tour" - though convenient, it can become quite expensive (50 dirham per adult, 25 dirham per child).
Creek is also the place for many boats that offer more comfortable (and hence more expensive) tours, often in boats designed to resemble dhow. Prices tend to be higher, especially for cruises with dinner and entertainment on board.
What to see
Lists of facilities can be found in articles in individual urban districts.
Dubai is a mix of old and new, traditional and modern. From old traditional suks to historic buildings (now preserved for cultural reasons or already part of the national heritage) to overwhelming shopping centers in Dubai, incredible artificial islands, and giant modern skyscrapers that include the highest building in the world, Dubai is a world of its own and offers many wonderful attractions.
The city has many museums and historic buildings, but the Dubai Museum is absolutely to be seen for travelers at the first weapons in the Emirates. He gives a glimpse of Dubai's old life, of his people, of his culture and heritage. Several other museums are located in nearby Sharja.
Dubai has a reputation as a concrete jungle, but there are beautiful pockets of green inside it, like Safa Park. The parks are modern and very well maintained, with the most popular in Jumeirah.
- Bury Khalifa. The tallest skyscraper in the world you can climb up, otherwise the fountains at its base are very appreciated.
- Jumeirah Mosque. One of the largest and most beautiful mosques in Dubai is an example of modern Islamic architecture.
- Creek. With Gold Suk and Spice Suk the two typical local markets
- Archeological sites. The three main excavations are in Al Ghusais, Al Sufooh and Jumeirah.
- Dubai Museum. The main emirate museum is located in Al Fahidi Fort. The fort dates back to 1787.
Events & Holidays
- Dubai Shopping Festival.
- Dubai Deserts Classic. European golf tournament between January and February.
- Dubai Tennis Championship. It takes place between February and March.
- Dubai Desert Rhythm Festival. October.
What to do
Lists of facilities can be found in articles in individual urban districts.
- I'm going with Abra. It's better to do it at night when it's cold and enjoy the city lights. Abra can be taken on a private tour (for a price that can be negotiated with the commander, but usually very cheap). This is a pretty popular activity at sunset on a clear day, especially if the commander is able to animate the tour with stories about structures on both sides of Creek. Just make sure the purpose of the rental is clear from the start, otherwise you'll find yourself on a very expensive crossing trip or a crowded private tour. See also the section above How to move.
- Beach and sea. There are countless opportunities to do water sports because Dubai has some of the brightest and whiter beaches in the world. Ocean temperatures range from 22 °C in the winter to 35 °C in the summer, there are few interruptions in the waves, and strong winds can make swimming difficult. The water is also very salty, so many prefer to use the hotel pool. The diving activities have been seriously affected by the construction works for Palms and the world; as a result, long boat trips are needed to reach the wreckage sites. Alternatively, a 90-minute road trip to the Emirate of the East Coast of Fujairah or the enclave of Sharja, Khor Fakkan, can be made for first-class diving on coral reefs that sustain a vast marine life.
- Camel races. One of the most unusual attractions, with competitions taking place on Thursday and Friday in the winter. You can watch the competitions and have the opportunity to visit the pens. Sellers sell everything from beads to carpets and blankets so they can buy souvenirs.
- Safari in the desert or a trip through the sand dunes. About 150 dirham. 5-hour tour duration. Going to the desert with an SUV with desert-specialized drivers, the drivers will take you on an exciting rollercoaster ride on sand dunes, show the sunset strategically, and then take you to a traditional Bedouin Arab camp where a lavish buffet dinner with barbecue music and belly dance will be offered to complete the atmosphere. A safari in the desert is one of the best things to do in Dubai. Another option would be to rent a 4x4 and join the many growing 4x4 clubs in the United Arab Emirates, but only if you're an extremely experienced driver and have an international driving license. Many of them have websites including Emarat 4x4, Tour Dubai and UAEoffroaders. Neighboring cities, including Abu Dhabi, also have theirs, like AD4x4. For all clubs based in Dubai, membership is free and they regularly travel to beginners in the desert.
- Nature. Even though outdoor life may seem boring and uninteresting at first sight, and even dangerous because of desert conditions, there are actually surprising natural destinations in the Emirate of Dubai, which extends to Hatta. There are pristine waterfalls, fossil-tipped cliffs and even freshwater lakes.
- I rent yacht. A simple way to explore artificial palms and coastal skyscrapers. The fleets are available for chartering from Dubai Marina by many boat hire agencies.
- Creek cruise. Creek is the element from which Dubai grew up. It was built as a port for trade in ships to and from India, Africa and the Middle East. Today, there is still some of the old maritime culture. Inside and around Creek you can see some of the original buildings that served as customs and defense facilities. You can book a tour (usually four hours) on a cruise from Dubai Marina or rent a private boat for an hour-long trip to Creek.
- Burj Khalifa. Visit the world's tallest building with the magnificent center of Dubai, the Burj Khalifa is surrounded by hotels, unbearable shopping destinations and a world of entertainment options. Further information is available in the Jumeirah district article.
- Golf. It could be a desert, but a lot of money and water is spent irrigating opulent golf courses. Alternatively, for a more local flavor, try golf on the sand.
- Balloon Adventures Dubai, ☎ +971 4 388 4044, +971 54 425 4995 (WhatsApp), @ [email protected] 1,100 dirham per adult, 950 dirham per child. Sep - 31 May. It's very fun to see all sand dunes and mountains early in the morning or during sunset.
- Big Bus Company tour. You can take a bus tour, both day and night, of many of Dubai's attractions.
- The Mall of Emirates shopping center has a ski slope.
- Many tourist agencies offer a Safari in the Dubai desert.
While Dubai seeks to move as the capital of business and entertainment, the government has a complex and sometimes frustrating work permit procedure that cannot be attempted alone if it has no previous experience. Therefore, it is better to go through official channels when looking for work in Dubai, because spot inspections are frequent and if they find you working illegally, both the employee and employer will be subject to fines and even deportation.
All the necessary forms and documents are written and processed in Arabic and it is best to leave them to a professional or "P.R.O." to handle the documents.
There are rules for changing jobs, which apply to nationalities. You must complete the contract period, which is 2 years. If the employee interrupts the contract before the end of 2 years, the new employer must offer a salary of more than 5,000 dirham to avoid the ban. Otherwise, the employee must wait until the contract is completed or canceled. If the employer breaks contracts, the employee may immediately switch to another employer regardless of nationality, religion, caste or creed.
With the price of rents steadily rising in Dubai and the neighboring Emirates, it is a good idea to discuss accommodation allowances when negotiating a compensation package.
Despite everything, there are some positive aspects, Dubai companies are generous by granting on average 39 days of paid holidays (including public holidays), one return ticket once a year (depending on the contract), and the United Arab Emirates government does not levy income tax on foreign workers. Instead, it imposes taxes and charges on almost everything, so the cost of living in the United Arab Emirates, and especially in Dubai, is quite high.
Recruitment fraud is quite widespread in this part of the world. Read the contract of employment carefully before signing and not paying any fees to recruitment agencies, as they are usually paid by companies. The passport is personal property and cannot be held by the employer if you are not in a position of trust or if you are not managing large sums of money.
Dubai has been accused by many organizations of effectively enslaving workers in Southeast Asia, allowing companies to take their passports without returning them and not paying their salaries. Foreign workers, Western and non-Western, have no rights that will be upheld by the courts, and therefore have no recourse if they feel that their rights have been violated. Potential workers should be aware of this when they consider a job in Dubai.
Lists of facilities can be found in articles in individual urban districts.
Dubai stores suffer from the phenomenon of developing world shopping without warehouses and supplies, even mega-mega-stores — and in the case of shopping for clothes, this may mean that you will struggle to find the style that you want the right measure.
Remember to trade in suq, because discounts are almost always available and even in situations where the item will not become much cheaper, the customer must always "play" in the bargaining. A simple question, "What's your best price?" It will often turn into a shopkeeper who will do anything to sell. Prices in shopping malls and other Western stores tend not to be tradable. Far from being a bad thing, this allows an able visitor to make comparative prices for common souvenirs - an invaluable help when a shopkeeper in a souq demands a higher price.
The Dubai Shopping Festival is the largest shopping event in the Middle East since 1996. Almost every store has something on sale, starting in January and ending in February. DSF is not only active in shopping but also produces spectacles performed by international celebrities.
The official currency is Dirham (AED) and is divided into 100 films. The banks work from Saturday to Thursday from 8 to 1 p.m., and remain closed on Friday.
Normally, the opening hours of the exercises are from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 21 p.m. Some boutiques in residential neighborhoods don't open until 10:00. The malls work from 10:00 to 22:00. Many supermarkets remain open overnight, seven days a week. The shops close Friday prayers from 11.30 to 13.30, while some are still open late.
In Deira, the ancient part of the city, you find the traditional markets for silk and spices gold.
Dubai is practically synonymous with shopping. Low tariffs and a huge amount of goods passing through its port ensure that virtually everything is available at fairly competitive tariffs, even though the appreciation of Dirham and the abundance of buyers mean that Dubai is no longer a basement trading town. You will also find products from Western chains, which quote prices in euros or pounds sterling, which are sold with a 20-30% add-on when converted to dirham. The best things to buy are textiles, electronics and gold. electronics are thought to be much cheaper, while there is a wide selection of tissues and gold.
Dubai is known for its huge shopping malls and is a magnet for buyers. Among the dozens of shopping malls, two stand out in size and quality. Many shopping malls have a large supermarket where you'll find the cheapest electronics and food for cooking on your own. There are many supermarkets and international brands such as Carrefour, Géant and Waitrose have several locations such as the home-grown brands Choithrams, Spinney's, Union Co-Operative, and Lulu, among others.
The city's main shopping malls are:
- Dubai Mall. The world's largest shopping center with cinemas, aquariums and skating racks.
- Mall of Emirates. Ski Dubai shopping center.
How to have fun
Lists of facilities can be found in articles in individual urban districts.
Dubai has overfed night life in the last decade and most internationally known brands have a twin headquarters in the city. Most 3-5-star hotels have bars and discos for those interested in night life. World - renowned DJs attend nightclubs in Dubai and many world - class musical celebrities are adding Dubai to their tour dates list. There is nothing missing and the impression of being in Ibiza is not misleading. Most of the night life is directed towards the beaches of Jumeirah or the Dubai Navy. Bur Dubai is more family-oriented (e.g. Dubai Fountain), while Deira is able to maintain its more Arab style in part. Dubai is very popular among Arab travelers, so an Arab mixture is added quite often
Dubai has several alcohol laws that travelers should be aware of:
- Alcohol is only available in authorized accommodation, usually connected to hotels (most nightclubs and bars are either inside or connected to hotels, although they may have separate entrances).
- Alcohol is not sold on public holidays. It is not sold during daytime during Ramadan, not even to non - Muslims. This law was loosened in 2016.
- It is illegal to drink alcohol in public places and there is a zero tolerance policy for drunk driving. Anyone who's involved in an accident and found with alcohol in his blood will usually get a month's prison sentence if it's okay.
- Alcohol can only be bought for domestic consumption in some stores in Dubai and a license for alcohol is required. Supermarkets only sell non-alcoholic beers. Alcohol-containing foods are also not sold in supermarkets.
- Remember to bring some kind of ID when you visit a bar if you're young, or they won't let you in. The law prohibits access to anyone under the age of 21.
- The authorities take alcohol-related behavior very seriously, which will inevitably lead to imprisonment or deportation.
- Prostitution is illegal but can be seen in bars. Both sides are acting illegally, but in fairly famous clubs it can be quite obvious. Keep in mind that most hotels have a strict guest policy.
Where to eat
Lists of facilities can be found in articles in individual urban districts.
The Shawarma is the most available food in almost every street (and economic) in Dubai. It's the Arabic equivalent of the hamburger. It's meat that was cooked on a skewer and then cut into thin stripes and put into a kuhbus bread (pita) with vegetables and seasoning. It costs about five dirham for the normal variety or the most exotic Lebanese and Iranian people. Shawarma sold by Indian restaurants is probably the cheapest.
Another local snack is the fala-fil (felafel, falafel), which is as cheap as shawarma.
Most American fast food chains have opened up shops, including KFC, Chillis, TGI Fridays, Starbucks and McDonalds. The beauty of the food in Dubai is that you'll probably find a kitchen for all tastes. All the food is halal.
Dubai has a big selection of cheap Indian food. Dosa, go, idle, samosa, chapaati/roti, with generous portions of sabji (cooked vegetable stew) are available at launch prices, typically less than 10 dirham per door. The most expensive food costs up to USD 5. Bur Dubai (especially the Meena Bazaar area) and Karama are the places that abound in these restaurants. Most are open from 07:00 to 10:00 or 11:00 p.m. during the week.
The pig is eaten mostly by non - Muslim and European Filipinos. Pig meat sections exclusively for non-Muslims are from Spinney (several branches, including those of Jumeirah and Dubai Marina), Al Maya Lal (usually for Filipinos). There's a branch in Satwa) the New Westzone Supermarket (it has a branch in Satwa larger than its neighbor Al Maya Lal's), Choithrams and Waitrose.
Most shopping malls have restaurant spaces, which offer valuable menus and are a fast and reliable option for locals and visitors. There are also several food chains of many different types (pakistans, Indians, hamburgers) spread all over the city.
Automatic, is a chain of popular Lebanese restaurants all over Dubai. Famous for lamb chops and Friday buffet lunch. No alcohol served.
The best hotels all have at least one restaurant serving (more commonly) some form of international cooking - Italian, Japanese, Indian and so on. The quality tends to be high, along with the price, but even non-guests can book tables. Floating restaurants for dinner are also visited in Dubai Marina, among non - travelers and travelers. And new agencies like Trilogy-Yachts and Nalora Cruise have been licensed to floating restaurants, and therefore apply a high price for quality food and service.
Where to stay
Lists of facilities can be found in articles in individual urban districts.
At the beginning of the 2000s, demand for hotel rooms exceeded supply, resulting in some of the most expensive rooms in the world: it was hard to find anything decent for less than 600 dirham (US $150) especially during the high season of September-May. Because of the substantial increase in hotel rooms and financial crises, only during Islamic holidays do prices rise substantially. The cheapest jobs, mainly for small entrepreneurs, are located near the Deira souks. There is also a youth hostel and a hostel for backpackers in Dubai.
See the individual lists in the hotel advisory districts. In general, tourists tend to stay at hotels on Jumeirah or Jebel Ali beach, while city dwellers have a wide choice in Deira or Bur Dubai. Dubai is a stretch along the coast and taxis are cheap and the metro is reliable, so there are always alternative options. The only hassles are the new construction sites and rush hour. During the summer heat, a hotel with access to a shopping mall or shopping mall is advantageous to have a larger air-conditioned walking area.
Dubai is a fast - growing city with its share of problems, but nothing common sense cannot avoid.
Some drugs are prohibited. Before leaving, consult the list of controlled medicines on the website of the health ministry of the Emirates.
Driving and pedestrian safety has also been a problem, given the different nationalities that share the path. Don't cross where there's no clear pedestrian marks. Accelerating is common, and the chances of being invested are quite high unless the rules are followed. Avoid driving on the far left lane of the motorways to avoid being forced to move. Aggressiveness on the road is also starting to become a problem, given the increase in traffic jams and the lack of driving courtesy.
The rude hand gestures (the finger, etc.) and the vulgarity can lead to fines and even jail, so keep calm. In general, you will find gestures and actions that some may find only slightly offensive in your country, or perhaps not offensive at all, but sometimes can be extremely offensive to the Dubai locals. So use common sense about what's right and wrong to avoid trouble.
The UAE may have more relaxed laws than its Arab counterparts, but the laws are still very different from most Western countries and are strictly enforced. A simple kiss in a public place, drink an alcoholic drink in the wrong place, or even lose your temper, could end up in jail for a month or more. Pay attention and apply common sense during the visit and make sure you know all their laws or expect serious consequences that could seriously ruin the visit.
Dubai follows Islamic laws strictly, which all visitors should respect. Islam is the official religion, so do not publicly criticize or distribute material against it. It is forbidden to eat in public during the holy month of Ramadan from sunrise to sunset, and visitors should eat meals on the borders of their hotel or residence.
In conversations about politics and world affairs, avoid criticizing the family in power of one of the seven emirates or leading families in the business world. The United Arab Emirates does not have formal relations with Israel and the government publicly supports the causes that involve the Palestinian people or the Palestinian state.
Public expressions of affection are disapproved and public sexual acts can lead to prison sentences followed by expulsion. In 2008, a British couple was arrested and sentenced to prison for having sexual relations on a beach in Dubai. If all tourists remain respectable, respectable and ensure they do not disturb the local population, there should be no problem.
Homosexuality, together with all sexual relations outside of marriage, is a crime with possible expulsion or months in prison. Public displays of affection or disguise may result in imprisonment and/or expulsion. They should be completely avoided in public to ensure that no problems arise. In 2013, a Norwegian woman reported that she had been raped, but then, following bad advice, canceled her complaint. She was then sentenced to 16 months in prison for extramarital sex and for presenting a false police report. After public pressure she was pardoned and deported.
Women should dress reasonably and avoid wearing thin clothes. This is especially true when traveling to neighborhoods like Karama, Deira and Bur Dubai, where the streets are full of men, especially at night and weekends. While bathing and bikini costumes are a common sight on the beaches of Dubai, avoid topless sunbathing or wearing microbikinis, even on the private beach of a hotel.
Prostitution is illegal but still visible in discos, bars and other places. The police partly ignore the pressure, but the penalties are high if something becomes too obvious or others call the police. The biggest problem is that many prostitutes do not have a legitimate residence permit, so trafficking in human beings and forced prostitution are a problem to bear in mind.
While the little crime is just reported or mentioned in the news, keep an eye on your wallet or purse when you are in crowded areas like Naser Square or Deira in general. If you take large amounts of cash from ATMs or banks, hide the money or ask the institution's security to escort you to your vehicle. There were cases where people were robbed of large amounts of money when they were in crowded places just because they were not paying attention.
Thanks to Dubai's new real-estate boom, real estate scammers are also popping up, so be very careful if you're interested in buying or renting.
The use and distribution of drugs are serious criminal offenses, although in the company of the person who consumes them, and can lead to a prison sentence of several years. Passenger baggage is examined fairly carefully when entering Dubai. Medicinal products subject to medical prescription (without the original prescription note) or medicines purchased over the counter in your country can also carry a custodial sentence.
You have to be careful as a tourist in Dubai, as in many places around the world, people have a close eye for tourists and can fool them. For example, taxi drivers can drive longer to their destination because you pay remotely or try to charge $20 when you're sure you've heard 20 dirham: (sounds pretty similar)
How to stay in touch
The Emirates Post service is quite efficient.
The International Code for the United Arab Emirates is +971, for Dubai, add a 4 below for fixed numbers.
Local cell numbers start +971 50 xxx yyyy or +971 56 xxx yyyy for GSM provider Etisalat and +971 55 xxx yyyy for GSM Du provider.
Because roaming charges are quite high (easily $3 per minute and often more for a call in Europe) and incoming calls are also charged, considering buying a local pre-paid SIM card designed specifically for tourists, from one of the UAE's two mobile providers:
- Etisalat - 90 dirham - available at the Duty Free Shop (Arrival Hall) of Dubai airport
- Du - 70 Dirhams - available at the Telefonika kiosk in the arrival hall of Dubai airport.
Using these products, calls to Europe will be charged up to a maximum of approximately USD 0.55 per minute. Incoming calls are free.
Telephone booths are found in most streets. Telephone cards can be purchased from hotels and tourist shops.
Internet cafes can be hard to find. The normal hourly rate is 3-4 dirham. There are a number of cafes in Al Musalla Rd/Al Mankhool Rd in Bur Dubai, including one at 38 Al Musalla Rd and one at Computer Plaza next to the Ramada Hotel. A number of internet cafes are also found in Satwa. In Satwa, there's the French Connection in Al Wafa Tower on Sheik Zayed Rd (opposite side of the road to the Dusit Hotel), which has access to wi-fi and delicious cake/pastry. In Al Qusais, there is an internet cafe at 5 minutes' walk northwest from the Dubai Youth Hostel. Turn right out of the gates and walk to the hypermarket LuLu. The coffee shop is inside the court and charges 4 dirham per hour. Skype Web site is blocked.
Teenage cafes are scattered, with remarkable examples including the Escape playground (front of the Lulu hypermarket in Al Barsha), the Que Club in Al Barsha and behind Lamcy Square.
Surprisingly, malls don't have Internet cafes. Dubai Mall offers free Wi-Fi connection throughout the facility. Mall of the Emirates offers free Wi-Fi connection, but you need a local phone number. Many cafeterias, restaurants and attractions also have free Wi-Fi and you'll usually have to ask for your password. Most hotel business centers have internet cafes, but they are expensive.
Etisalat, the UAE telecom operator, offers a post-roaming Wi-Fi Internet connection, known as iZones. Most of Dubai's cafeterias and shopping malls offer this service. Prices are available on the website. For those who still use the dial-up connection, Etisalat provides a service when you can connect to any phone line and the line will be charged 0.5 dirham per minute
Dubai International Airport (DXB) has free Wi-Fi connection at the terminal. There are also many free public Wi-Fi points in Dubai.
Thanks to the huge influx of expatriates, Dubai has a wide selection of English language newspapers and radio channels:
- The Gulf News.
- Time Out Dubai - Things to do.
- The Khalej Times.
- The Gulf Today.
- The National.
- 7 days.
- Emirates Business 24/7.
- Channel 4 - English and American music. 104.8FM
- Dubai Eye - Western-oriented with focus on business, sport, lifestyle and entertainment. Owned by the Arabian Radio Network. 103.8FM
- Dubai 92 - Mostly music from the 1990s. Popular among British expatriates. Owned by the Arabian Radio Network. 92.0FM
- Virgin Radio 104.4 - franchised by Virgin Radio International. Owned by the Arabian Radio Network.
- City 101.6 — Indian music
- Abu Dhabi Classic FM - Despite its name, the station broadcasts classical and jazz music in the United Arab Emirates. In Dubai it's 87.9FM
International newspapers are also available in most hotels and airport terminals. The Carrefour and Borders bookstores sell British and American newspapers. Todaily, a local printer, supplies newspapers and periodicals every day from all over the world.
Inside the United Arab Emirates:
- Sharja — Dry place (without alcohol) and mostly suburban, has some beaches and museums of interest.
- Abu Dhabi — the capital of the Emirates, is a completely different city and it's worth an hour and a half traveling to see the contrast.
- Al Ain — near the border with Oman. It's surprisingly a city of lush gardens and trees — a pretty unusual aspect in this region given its desert surroundings.
- Umm Al Quwain Emirate. — If you want a welcoming and relaxing environment, free from the city's turmoil.
- Dubai has a deal with Oman to allow visitors to obtain a visa from Oman when they arrive on the road through Hatta.
- The Iranian island of Kish. — A free trade area that does not require a visa.
- Fjords of Musandam Peninsula — Two hours north to this Oman exclave. Explore the beautiful caves and enjoy the fantastic landscape of desert and mountains. You hike in the mountains or dive into the fjords.
The official religion is Islam and even if other religions are respected, it is good to bear in mind some small rules to avoid offending the population:
- Bathing suits are only tolerated on the beaches or swimming pools of the hotel.
- In public places, people are asked not to show affection.
- During Ramadan, you avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public.
- Avoid photographing Muslim women (who would be offended) and military or government targets. Before photographing the local men, it is good to ask for their consent.
The weekly day off is Friday because it is considered the end of the week and a blessed day in Islam. Since September 2006, a harmonized weekend has been adopted for the public sector and schools on Fridays and Saturday. Government departments, multinational companies and most schools and universities take Friday and Saturday off.
Except in the airport and some shopping malls there are no baggage services.
- 10 Italian Consulate , 130 2nd Za'abeel Road, ☎ +971 4 331 4167.
- 11 Consulate-General of Switzerland , 2 Sheik Zayed Rd, ☎ +971 4 329 0999. Dom-Gio 8:00-16:00.