10 Things to Know before you visit Dubai
Dubai is globally the most visited destinations and home to several record breakers, from the busiest international airport to the world's tallest tower. The glitzy Gulf Emirate is privileged to have tourism throughout the year.
Here are ten things you should know before you arrive:
Visit between October and April:
Dubai only has two seasons; one is hot, and the other is hotter. The months between October and April, known as the winter season, bring bright blue skies and ideal beach weather.
Book your hotel months in advance:
Dubai is becoming a popular vacation spot, and because October through April is the prime time for people to visit the city, you want to be sure you have a nice place to stay before your arrival. To make sure, do your reservation a good two to three months in advance.
You do not have to be a billionaire:
Dubai is regularly named the world's most expensive cities, but one can enjoy Dubai on budget. The city gears up with millennial-friendly mid-market hotel chains such as Hilton Garden Inn and Rove are blooming. Metered taxis are pocket-friendly by international standards, and you can ride the metro. The city is brimming with low-priced eats too. You can avoid international call charges as well, with visitors receiving free sim cards on arrival at Dubai International Airport.
There is culture:
Contrary to popular beliefs, there is a lot more to Dubai than skyscrapers and shopping. Beyond this glamorous look of the city, you will discover the rich cultural history that blends Bedouin, Arab and Islamic traditions. For a quick background check in this lustrous city's history, visit the Dubai Museum, Etihad Museum and then head to Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding. Meanwhile, explore the flourishing contemporary art scene at Alserkal Avenue and catch a performance at the ship-structured Dubai Opera.
Dubai is not dry:
Think you cannot buy yourself a drink? Alcohol is available in licensed restaurants and bars, which are generally attached to hotels. Most bars have happy hours, and the legal drinking age is 21, so make sure to carry a photo ID. Ladies night is generally on Tuesdays, i.e., women can enjoy free drinks.
Dubai is a top spot for foodies:
Dubai's multicultural mix allows you to treat yourself with budget-friendly ethnic eats and traditional Emirati cuisine to fancy French dining and molecular gastronomy. Homegrown eateries like a sum of us and salt lead the shift away from international chains, while Frying Pan Adventures offers a fabulous tour to old Dubai. Dubai will also be getting a Time Out food market where explorers can sample the finest of what the city has to proffer under one roof, as well as the world's first MasterChef restaurant.
Dubai is exceptionally forward-looking:
Forget the idea of a city driven solely by black god; Dubai has effectively diversified its economy away from oil to become a prospering hub for tourism, finance, trade, and transport. The government is functioning with high-tech companies to develop flying drone taxis, 3D organ printing.
Skip the burkini:
Dubai is a cosmopolitan city, with emigrants making up almost 85% of the population. There is no need to cover your hair, shirts and shorts are fine at many sites, and one can wear a bikini at the beach or by the pool. It is a fashionable city too, so dress to amaze at brunch and out clubbing. In the souqs, malls and mosques, tourists should respect local Islamic culture by dressing discreetly and covering your shoulders and knees.
The weekend is Friday and Saturday:
People have Friday off from work when Muslims gather for congregational prayers. Metro services start at 10 am on Fridays, and the businesses are conventionally closed for a few hours in the afternoon, whereas a few remain open throughout the day. If you are looking for a place to party, you should know that Thursdays and Fridays are the busiest nights of the week and malls are also packed with shoppers until midnight.
Stay away from PDA:
Public display of affection is very distasteful in the UAE. Many tourists have been imprisoned for displaying PDA. Be on the safe side; avoid holding hands or kissing your significant other in public.