Boss, these Arabs have built one masterpiece called Dubai. Located between endless sea & desert on either sides, this dot on Google Map is known for its luxury living & shopping with state-of-the-art architecture. Beautifully sitting on the Persian Gulf, the city has a lot of shades to offer. A Financial Hub, A Tourism Hub, Gateway to Middle East, a must visit on every travellers radar. It is one of the strongest emirate of UAE, having a veto power in critical matters concerning UAE, along with Abu Dhabi.
(In Pic Above: The astounding Burj Khalifa – built-in 1325 days!)
Best Time to visit:
The world-renowned Dubai Shopping Festival starts from December. Travellers who love shopping can’t just keep a tap on their wallets. Almost all of the world’s greatest brands & their products are available at sale prices.
Tip: Being part of a conservative country, Dubai is just the opposite. You can wear as per your wish, barring places of prayers, especially if you are visiting Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi, where you need to cover yourself completely.
Seasons: November to March can be termed as winter (though it is no way near to what we know as winters) which is perfect for beach outings, April onwards it starts getting warmer till October. Being a desert, dry & arid place, the city experiences less or no rainfall.
Temperatures: Range from 18oC in winters to 45oC in summers
Driving: Right side of the road, Left hand drive
Currency: Arab Emirates Dirham (1 AED = 17.75 INR approx. at the time of writing)
Visa: Click here to see the visa regulations for your country.
Fact: One of the few places in the world, where you don’t have to pay any tax on your income. So earn more, spend more and enjoy more!
Which area to stay:
Sheikh Zayed Road is the main arterial line that dots Dubai. The Dubai Metro also covers the city extensively & it is well supported by a network of buses. So public transportation is not a problem. The area to stay primarily depends on your vacation type, budget & time of travelling. You get budget & cheap accommodations in Deira (also known as Creek area or Old Dubai) which is just next to airport. When you move closer to the city but other side of the creek, the area is called Bur Dubai which is still closer to airport & offers a bouquet of places to stay which are economical as well as astronomical. If you want to stay close to Modern City & places like Burj Khalifa & Dubai Mall, choose Downtown. If you want to stay close to a beach, choose Dubai Marina.
What to Eat:
Dubai offers a plethora of cuisines ranging from fine-dine to street smart stuff. When in Dubai, never miss a chance to grab a Shawarma (looks like rolls), Falafels (deep-fried patty), Al Machboos (chicken & rice combo) Tabbouleh (salad), Shish Tawook (Kebab), and Knafeh (dessert) from the streets of Old Dubai as you have lots of local café owners serving authentic Arabian delights.
Visit Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding to better understand emirate culture by booking a meal (breakfast, lunch or dinner) and have original Arabic cuisine. This centre also promotes Heritage Tours.
Taxi/Cab: They have Uber (app), Careem (app) & Local Taxi’s. You can download the local taxi app (RTA Smart Taxi) when visiting.
Places to visit: This list can go endless, but I will bullet out key places which should not be skipped.
Innumerable places to visit in this megacity, as they take pride in tourism by providing world-class entertainment & value for money. Few have been listed below.
- Burj Khalifa – The Tallest Tower of UAE
- Burj-al-Arab – The iconic hotel built on man-made island
- Palm Jumeirah – Man-made Island, looks like a palm shaped tree
- Dubai Mall – Largest Mall in world by area, a premier shopping destination
- Mall of Emirates – Ski Dubai is located here
- Dhow Cruise – Cruising in Dubai Creek
- Desert Safari – Get a thrilling ride in the sand dunes
- Aquaventure Park – A Theme Waterpark
- Ski Dubai – Indoor Icerink