Planning Your Trip to Dazzling Dubai
Living the High Life
Dubai is a mega-modern desert metropolis with some of the world’s most dazzling glittering skyscrapers. However, it also has deeply rooted old world customs and a fascinating history. It is a vibrant, multicultural city and there is a lot to see and do here.
So, what are the basics that you should know about Dubai tourism before you go?
What to Expect
First of all, let’s address some of the common myths that many people believe when they come to Dubai for the first time. You don’t have to wear a burka, you won’t be constantly harassed and it is safe to walk around on your own in most areas. It’s not as strict as you might think.
However, as this is a more conservative culture it is a good idea for female travelers to dress modestly. It will attract less attention to you and it will keep you more comfortable in the heat. In private hotels and resorts you can wear a swimsuit, but in public you should ensure your shoulders are covered.
Another interesting aspect of Dubai that you might not expect is how diverse it is. Only one in 10 people in Dubai are actually from the Emirates, so you’ll find people from all over the world in this multicultural city. Plus, the median age here is only 27, so you will notice that the population is mostly young and there is a vibrant culture, dining and nightlife scene.
How Much to Budget
According to BudgetYourTrip.com, the average daily price for traveling in the UAE is $269 USD. There’s a reason why Dubai usually makes it onto lists of luxury vacation destinations! However, your trip doesn’t have to be this expensive if you stay in a hostel or a budget hotel and you seek out affordable meals. While Dubai is not a cheap destination, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune!
According to Nomadic Matt, budget backpackers can see the city on about $80 USD per day. This budget assumes you are eating out a little, cooking most of your own meals, staying in a hostel and finding cheap or free things to do.
Most Interesting Things to See and Do in Dubai
Visit the Burj Khalifa, which is the tallest building in the world. You can take the elevator to the 128th floor and admire the view — you’re so high up you can see the curve of the earth!
Take a desert safari day trip and have the quintessential desert experience, including riding a camel, holding a falcon, having a traditional feast and enjoying a campfire under the stars.
Marvel at the stunning architecture of the Jumeirah Mosque and take a tour to learn more about Islam.
Check out Global Village, a huge entertainment complex with live performances, shopping, entertainment and more.
Be sure to take a walk along The Marina where you will find beautiful boats and get some impressive photos of the skyline and harbor.
Wander through Old Dubai and you will find markets, tiny shops and a maze of alleyways packed with local vendors and traditional restaurants.
Deep Sea Fishing
There are many tour operators that offer deep sea fishing excursions in Dubai, so you can head out onto the water and attempt to catch a big one!
Although the Pacific Starlight Dinner Train is no longer in operation, we've rounded up five dinner train options that are equally elegant and enjoyable.
How safe is Dubai? Although Dubai is generally safe and the crime rate is lower than other comparable countries, it is still wise not to leave your belongings unattended. Be aware of your surroundings and use common sense, just as you would during a visit to any other big city.
Be aware that public displays of affection such as kissing, cuddling and holding hands in public are not allowed and can actually get you in trouble with the law. Visitors who were unaware of this law have been arrested for kissing in public. During the month of Ramadan it is not permitted to drink, eat, chew gum or smoke in public during daylight hours.
Also, homosexuality is illegal in Dubai and can get you put in jail, so be very discreet if you are visiting Dubai with your same-sex partner.
Another one of the safety concerns to be aware of is the heat. If you aren’t used to the desert climate, you can be at risk for sunburn and heat exhaustion. Keep yourself well hydrated and take breaks in the air conditioning when exploring the city.
Dubai is known for its amazing shopping malls, including the Mall of the Emirates, the Ibn Battuta mall, the Dubai Mall and many more. They are air conditioned and filled with a dazzling array of shops, so they are definitely worth visiting.
You can also find a number of unique luxury experiences, if you’re looking to indulge while in Dubai. The Atlantis Palm is an underwater hotel that will give you an experience you won’t soon forget. Who knew you’d want to spend so much time under the waves while in this incredible city?
Also, one of the most wonderful things about visiting Dubai is the openness to tourists that can be found here. You will be treated with friendliness and most people will be eager to chat with you and explain their culture.