Modern. Luxurious. High-tech. Dubai is a popular destination for leisure and business trips alike. And if you are one of the millions of people visiting the UAE’s largest city, this article is for you. It’ll help you enjoy your stay and avoid troubles.Information about anything you need before you visit Dubai.In this article, you will find Tips for Your First Visit to Dubai.
Safety – Do’s and Don’ts
Dubai might seem like a flagship of progress in the Middle East but the city has some hidden threats for ignorant tourists. It’s pretty much like a roller coaster: lot’s of fun as long as you keep your seat belt fastened.
Learn to avoid troubles, and you’ll have one of the greatest experiences of your life.
Tip 1. Law
The purpose of the law is to protect people. In Dubai, however, there are several strict rules that few Western people understand.
- You can’t demonstrate affection to another person in public (kissing, holding hands).
- We strongly advise you against wearing any revealing clothes, especially while visiting religious sites or older parts of the city.
- Don’t come out as gay or having sex or baby out of wedlock.
- Don’t use four-letter words or show any obscene gestures, don’t offend others.
- No drugs (some prescribed drugs are also forbidden!) or alcohol.
- No public-eating while Ramadan.
- No cross-dressing.
- Don’t be drunk in public and don’t consume alcohol in public either
- Ask locals for permission before taking any photos
- It’s also forbidden to take pictures of government buildings
- Be aware that there are the women and children’s cabin in metro trains
Tip 2. Crime
Despite so many restrictions and control, Dubai isn’t safe when it comes to crime either. Tourists are very unlikely to become the targets for violent crimes but they should at all times be aware of the theft and fraud.
- Take a cab or drive from your hotel to the nightclub
- Don’t leave your belongings unguarded
- Use only official certified taxis
- Stay away from troubled neighborhoods (e.g., Sonapur, Deira and Bur Dubai)
- Use ATMs only in bank buildings or reputable hotels
Tip 3. Traffic
Dubai has great infrastructure and you can easily access any spot in the city by car or public transport. There are several precautions that you need to take though:
- Don’t drink and drive
- Tourists can use public transport easily
- Look twice before crossing the road!
- Some people don’t stop when they see red light.
Tip 4. Women’s NOT-to-do list:
- Walk outside alone (especially at night)
- Accept drinks from strangers or leave your drinks
- Put on revealing clothes
- Make eye contact with men
Tip 5. Weather
The city has a hot desert climate with scarce precipitation. The daily mean temperature is 82.3°F throughout the year with average peaks of 106.3° in August and lows of 57.7° in January. Finally, the city gets up to 11.5 hours of sunshine daily with UV index jumping to extreme (over 11 from mid-spring to mid-autumn).
- Drink a lot of water (you can drink the tap water)
- Use a sunscreen (we suggest applying SPF 30+ every 2 hours) even on cloudy days
- Beware of sand storms
- Put on hats
- Long sleeves, trousers or long skirts make total sense
Bonus tip 6: Communication and getting around
“When in Rome, do what the Romans do.”
- Don’t shake hands with local people of the opposite sex unless they do it first.
- Take off your shoes when you enter somebody’s home or to majlis.
- Put on a scarf in the mosque and sit in the lady’s section of public transport (if you’re a woman).
- Friday and Saturday are the weekends here, so most businesses will be closed these days
- Bargaining for goods is expected and welcomed at souks (local markets)
- Stand up when your guest, an elder person or higher-ranking person enters the room.
- The same goes for women if you are a man.
- Never point your leg at somebody or show the soles of feet
- Avoid crossing feet in front of an important guest
- Use your right hand when accepting food or beverages
Experience – What to see in Dubai?
Tip 7. Visit the Desert.
In his breathtaking novel The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje describes the awe and longing that some Western people have for the desert. You might not be as fond of it as one of the book’s main characters but it is worth visiting.
The deserts around Dubai are sandy unlike other parts of the country where you would mostly find rocks and plain ground.
There are three main activities you can do in local deserts:
- Safari – an organized tour to a desert. Apart from driving among the terracotta barchans, it will often include other types of entertainment like riding a camel, sand-boarding, eating local food and watching ethnic performances.
- Camping – the best destination is Al Qudra desert because it has beautiful lakes and many safe camping spots.
- Off-road – some people love driving all day long. They enjoy the thrill of climbing a hill of sand and then going down. If you’re one of them, Sweihan Desert is your destination. Rent a 4×4, join a local group and hit the road. Just make sure that you have an experienced driver with you.
Tip 8. Unique Experience
The world’s tallest skyscraper, the artificial archipelago, the white-sand beaches, the amazing souks, and posh shopping–all ticket. What else can you get from Dubai?
- Zip-line through the Dubai Fountain – after seeing the largest choreographed fountain at night ride through it in the light of the day, it’s breathtaking!
- Skiing – yep, you read it right! There’s a huge indoor ski park. It’s a great change from the desert heat.
- Aquarium – ten million liters of water that reveal the beauty of marine life. Did we mention you can scuba-dive there?
- Experience Arabia – order a tour around the old quarter and enjoy the shared boat ride across the Creek of Dubai in “abra”
- Local experience. There are amazing places that most tourists don’t visit because they simply don’t know: Coffee Museum, Dubai Museum and XVA Gallery of Art.
Tip 9. Car Rental
Cars are considered the best way to move around Dubai. The city was designed for driving. Some tourists choose public transport like buses but they have some major cons. These include: waiting, driving in overcrowded vehicles, pick-pocketing, changing bus lines.
Car hire in Dubai is also a better option than a taxi in the long run, especially when you move to multiple various locations throughout the day and are planning to visit some distant spots, including outside the city.
There are tons of car rental services and the prices are relatively moderate. You can easily pick a car to your liking:
- Economy for saving money
- Vans for group trips
- SUVs for comfort
- Sports cars for the speed
- Luxury cars for the royal experience
- Supercars for the thrill of the power
Bonus tip 10. Rent a luxury car.
Let’s admit this. When you hear “Dubai,” one of the first things that comes to mind is a long ‘caravan’ of luxurious cars riding between lavish hotels. Many people crave to get that amazing experience!
Renting a luxury car is cheaper than in most Western countries and Renty is a reliable option. And a drive in a city like Dubai will be unforgettable.
Dubai is an amazing city that offers amazing entertainment to its visitors. If you plan your trip accordingly and abide by the local laws, you can get a thrilling experience that will long be remembered and cherished.