Dubai is a city that balances heritage and contemporary with ease. For travellers looking for a taste of luxury, adventure, and culture, this flourishing metropolis has emerged as a must-visit location. If this is your first time visiting this energetic city, our guide will give you the crucial advice and suggestions you need to make the most of your vacation. You will be in awe of what Dubai has to offer from the moment you walk off the plane to the moment you leave.
Before You Leave
Verify the necessary visas for your nationality before you leave on your vacation. Citizens from some countries are eligible for visa-free admission or visa on arrival, while others may need to apply for a visa in advance. To learn more about the requirements for obtaining a visa for your nation, visit the UAE official website.
Table 1: 30-day visit eligibility
This table lists the countries and territories whose passport holders are eligible for a free 30-day visit visa upon arrival in Dubai. No advance visa arrangements are needed; visitors can proceed to immigration and have their passports stamped with the 30-day visit visa.
|Countries and Territories|
|Hong Kong (China)|
|Republic of Ireland|
|United Kingdom and Northern Ireland|
|United States of America|
Table 2: 90-day visit eligibility
This table lists the countries and territories whose passport holders are eligible for a multiple entry 90-day visit visa upon arrival in Dubai. The visa is valid for six months from the date of issue and allows for a stay of 90 days in total. Citizens of European countries can also apply for a pre-arranged visit visa if they have fully utilized their 90-day visa on arrival.
|Countries and Territories|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines|
Table 3: 180-day visit eligibility
This table lists the country whose passport holders are eligible for a multiple entry 180-day visit visa upon arrival in Dubai. The visa is valid for six months from the date of issue and allows for a stay of 180 days in total.
|Countries and Territories|
United Arab Emirates dirham is the local currency in Dubai (AED). We advise exchanging some currency before to your trip or using an airport ATM to get cash. Although credit and debit cards are frequently used, having cash on hand is a good idea for small purchases like those made at street sellers and with taxis.
There are several reliable sources where you can check currency exchange rates for the United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED). Here are a few options:
- XE.com: XE is a popular online platform that provides live currency rates and charts for over 180 currencies, including AED. You can access their website or download their mobile app to check the latest AED exchange rates.
- OANDA.com: OANDA is a leading provider of currency data and foreign exchange rates. You can visit their website or download their mobile app to get up-to-date AED exchange rates.
- Reuters.com: Reuters is a reputable news agency that provides financial news and market data, including currency exchange rates. You can visit their website to check the latest AED rates.
- Central Bank of the UAE: The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates also provides official exchange rates for AED on their website. You can check their website for the latest rates.
- Banks and currency exchange offices: If you are traveling to the UAE or need to exchange AED for another currency, you can check with banks and currency exchange offices for their exchange rates. However, keep in mind that their rates may include commissions or fees.
Dubai experiences hot summers and warm winters due to its desert climate. The greatest months to travel are November through March because the weather is milder and more suitable for outdoor activities. To protect yourself from the sun, bring sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, and lightweight clothing.
Using Public Transit to Go Around
The Dubai Metro, buses, and taxis are all part of the city's up-to-date and effective public transit network. The Nol Card is a reloadable card that may be used to pay for your trips on public transportation. At the airport or any metro station, purchase a Nol Card.
Ridesharing apps and cabs
In Dubai, taxis are widely available and moderately priced. Watch for the controlled cars, which are cream-colored with coloured roofs. As an alternative, consider ride-sharing applications like Careem or Uber for practical transportation.
The Burj Khalifa
The world's highest structure, the Burj Khalifa, must be seen during any trip to Dubai. For a stunning 360-degree perspective of the city, visit the observation deck on the 148th level.
The Mall in Dubai, Palm Jumeirah and Jumeirah Mosque
One of the biggest retail malls in the world, the Dubai Mall is located next to the Burj Khalifa. The shopping experience at this mall, which has over 1,300 stores, an aquarium, and an ice skating rink, is unmatched.
The famous artificial island known as Palm Jumeirah is fashioned like a palm tree. Discover the opulent resorts, eateries, and attractions, or simply relax on the stunning beaches.
The Jumeirah Mosque, one of Dubai's most stunning mosques, welcomes non-Muslim guests and presents a special chance to understand Emirati culture and religion.
Eating and Food
Traditional Emirati meals can be found in a wide variety in Dubai's diversified culinary scene. Don't miss out on sampling shawarma, falafel, camel burgers, or machboos (spiced rice with meat).
Some top-notch restaurants run by famous chefs may be found in Dubai. Have an unforgettable meal at restaurants like Al Mahara, At.mosphere, or Pierchic.
Here are some of the best fine dining restaurants across Dubai
- At.mosphere Restaurant - 122nd Floor, Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai. Contact: +971 4 888 3828, atmosphereburjkhalifa.com
- Nathan Outlaw at Al Mahara - Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah Beach Road. Contact: +971 4 301 7600, jumeirah.com/en/dine/dubai/al-mahara
- STAY by Yannick Alléno - One&Only The Palm, Palm Jumeirah. Contact: +971 4 440 1010, oneandonlyresorts.com/stay-restaurant
- Ossiano - Atlantis, The Palm, Palm Jumeirah. Contact: +971 4 426 2626, atlantis.com/dubai/restaurants/ossiano
- Nobu Dubai - Atlantis, The Palm, Palm Jumeirah. Contact: +971 4 426 2626, atlantis.com/dubai/restaurants/nobu
- La Petite Maison - Gate Village 08, DIFC. Contact: +971 4 439 0505, lpmdubai.ae
- Zuma - Gate Village 06, DIFC. Contact: +971 4 425 5660, zumarestaurant.com/locations/zuma-dubai
- Eauzone - One&Only Royal Mirage, Al Sufouh Road. Contact: +971 4 399 9999, oneandonlyresorts.com/eauzone
- Bread Street Kitchen & Bar - Atlantis, The Palm, Palm Jumeirah. Contact: +971 4 426 2626, atlantis.com/dubai/restaurants/bread-street-kitchen
- Al Muntaha - Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah Beach Road. Contact: +971 4 301 7600, jumeirah.com/en/dine/dubai/al-muntaha
Visit one of the many food courts in the city for more economical options, or look for street vendors selling scrumptious food.
You may safely enjoy Dubai's famously tasty and diversified street food scene by taking a few safety measures.
Here are some pointers for enjoying street food in Dubai safely:
Choose trustworthy food sellers: Look for food vendors who have a lot of customers as this is a sign that they are probably selling fresh and safe food. Moreover, choose vendors who have been in business for some time because they are more likely to have a solid reputation for providing wholesome food.
Verify the vendor's hygiene standards: Take a brief glance at the vendor's hygiene requirements. Verify that the food is being handled by the seller wearing gloves and that the utensils are clean. Moreover, see if the vendor has a hand-washing station or a hand-sanitizer available.
Eat food that has just been freshly prepared in front of you, and make sure it is hot when it is delivered. Avoid food that has been repeatedly reheated or that has been left out for an extended period of time.
Be aware of the ingredients: Make cautious to inquire about the substances used in the food if you have any food allergies or sensitivities. Avoid food that you are not familiar with or that you are unclear of the components.
Consume bottled water: Although Dubai's tap water is mostly safe to use, it is nonetheless advised to do so in order to minimise any possible hazards.
Maintain good hand hygiene by washing your hands before and after using hand sanitizer. This will aid in halting the spread of any bacteria or germs.
By following these precautions, you can eat Dubai's street food safely and taste all the amazing flavours it has to offer!
Despite being a multicultural city, Dubai maintains a modest dress code. Although you can dress casually, it's important to dress modestly when you're in public. While visiting malls or religious sites, especially, wear modest apparel and cover your shoulders and knees.
Public Conduct Dubai disapproves of public displays of affection. To respect local conventions, refrain from hugging, kissing, or holding hands in public. Swearing or making offensive gestures can also result in fines or even deportation.
Alcohol is sold in establishments with a licence, such as hotels and nightclubs, although it is against the law to drink in public. Driving while intoxicated is strictly forbidden, and there is no legal blood alcohol limit.
Activities and Adventure
During a desert safari, enjoy the excitement of sandboarding, camel riding, and dunking. For a spectacular evening under the stars, these tours frequently include a traditional Arabic supper and live entertainment.
A variety of water activities, such as jet skiing, paddle boarding, and kitesurfing, are available on the beaches of Dubai. For a unique sensation, try flyboarding, which propels you above the water with powerful jets.
Within the Mall of the Emirates, Ski Dubai provides indoor skiing and snowboarding. Even in the heart of the desert, you may enjoy the snow and escape the heat.
In Dubai's souks, bargaining is a prevalent activity (traditional markets). Don't be scared to haggle pricing to get a better deal, but keep your manners and respect in mind.
Here are some tips to help you get started bargaining in the souks of Dubai: -
Start with a low price: When you see something you wish to buy, start by giving a price that is much lower than the asking price. It's customary to begin discussions at about 30% to 40% of the asking price and then gradually increase from there.
Be amiable and courteous: Negotiating is a part of Dubai culture, but it's crucial to maintain an amiable and respectful demeanour at all times. Make small conversation, smile, and demonstrate interest in the item you're negotiating over. The vendor will be more inclined to give you a decent bargain if you establish a solid rapport with them as a result.
Do not be afraid to walk away if the seller is unwilling to reduce the price to a level that you are comfortable with. Often, sellers will call you back and offer a lesser price if they realise that you're serious about not overpaying.
Know the worth of the item you're purchasing: Find out the normal price range for the item you're interested in before you start haggling. This will help you negotiate more skillfully and give you a solid understanding of what a reasonable price is.
Use cash: Many vendors in Dubai's souks prefer to be paid in cash, and they could be more amenable to haggling if you do so. Also, paying with cash might assist you in monitoring your spending and preventing overpaying.
The official language of Dubai is Arabic, but English is commonly spoken. Learning a few Arabic greetings, such as "salam" (hello) and "shukran" (thank you), might help you respect the local way of life.
Here are some tips on key phrases you can use on your trip to Dubai: -
|English Phrase||Arabic Transliteration||Arabic Script||Phonetic Pronunciation|
|Goodbye||Ma'a salama||مع السلامة||Ma-a sa-la-ma|
|Please||Min fadlik||من فضلك||Min fad-lik|
|I don't understand||Ana la afham||أنا لا أفهم||Ana la af-ham|
|Do you speak English?||Hal tatakallam al-ingliziya?||هل تتكلم الإنجليزية؟||Hal ta-ta-kal-lam al-in-glee-zi-ya?|
|How much is this?||Kam thamanu hadha?||كم ثمن هذا؟||Kam tham-a-nu had-ha?|
|Where is the bathroom?||'Ayna al-hammam?||أين الحمام؟||Ayna al-ham-mam?|
|Can you help me?||Hal tasta'ti'u musa'dati?||هل تستطيع مساعدتي؟||Hal tas-ta-ti-u mu-sa-da-ti?|
For cheap calling and data choices, buy a local SIM card when you arrive. Moreover, Wi-Fi is readily accessible at hotels, cafes, and retail spaces.
You'll be well-prepared to enjoy your first vacation in Dubai if you heed this advice. A lasting impression will definitely be created by the city's combination of cutting-edge architecture, vibrant culture, and remarkable experiences.