Dubai travel guide – Essential tips

The city of dreams, Dubai is a wonderful oasis in the heart of Arabic desert. But what beyond the perfection of artificial islands, sumptuous hotels, huge shopping malls and fantastic buildings?

This guide is all what you need to know about the city’s weather, transport, safety and regulations.

when to go?

Dubai has a subtropical and dry climate. The weather is sunny, the sky is blue and the beaches are agreeable.

But from April to mid-October and especially during summer, the weather is intolerable. The temperatures exceed the 39°C, the humidity is high and it’s harmful to get around or swim all the day. That’s why there is a slight drop in hotels prices during those months to attract tourists.

The best time to visit Dubai is between Mid-October and March when the climate is pleasant.

Because of the celebrations and moderate weather, December to January are the busiest months. The city is crowded in February too because of Dubai Shopping Festival.

Dubai UAEIt is safe?

Dubai is one of the safest cities in the world. It’s a flourishing city where everyone lives in peace. The crime rate is very low and it’s related to non violent crimes between locals.

Tourist areas are well protected and punishments are really severe. Also you will never see drunks in the streets as it’s illegal.

But you should take care when using your credit card online though, as there has been several cases of credit card fraud.

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Source: Darla دارلا Hueske
https://www.flickr.com/photos/sierragoddess/

How to get around?

There are different ways to get around Dubai but taking taxis is the easiest way.

It’s always available and relatively cheap. The minimum fare is 12 AED and generally the longest ride from one side of the city to another will cost you  100 AED.

You should try the Abra too. It’s a traditional small ferry and a part of Dubai’s culture. The cost of the ride from one side to another is 2 AED and 4 AED with the newer and air conditioned Abras.

The public transport system in Dubai is constantly improving. The metro operates from 5:50am to 11:00 pm and it’s closed on Friday mornings. The ticket prices are between 1.80 and 5.60.

Taking the public bus is a great opportunity to admire the city sightseeing but there are no night buses. The ticket is for 4.10 AED  per ride.

You have to purchase a ticket from the Nol machines at the metro stations which is valid for both metros and buses.

Many prefer driving in Dubai to save money on taxis. If you want to drive, take care of local drivers high speed. Besides, you will need an international driver’s license.  

Source: Raihan S.R. Bakhsh https://www.flickr.com/photos/raihanshahzad/

Source: Raihan S.R. Bakhsh
https://www.flickr.com/photos/raihanshahzad/

Essential tips:

  • Be well prepared for a hot and arid climate: Pack summer clothes, hats, solar and hydrating creams. Don’t stay for a long on the beach or under the sun and drink a lot of water.
  • Dubai is very touristy city but still conservative. You should respect the customs. Don’t wear swimsuits on your way to the beach, don’t wear exposed cloths and men should always wear T-shirts. If you’re travelling around the UAE, keep in mind that some areas are more conservative than others. Dubai is very different than Abu Dhabi for instance.
  • If you see the red flag on the beach, don’t swim. it’s very dangerous.
  • The restaurants and lounges closes at 1 am.
  • Smoking in the shopping malls, shops and government buildings is illegal.
  • Don’t take pictures randomly. Taking photos of women or men without permission is illegal. Also you are not allowed to take pictures of airports or government buildings.  
  • It’s preferable to exchange your money at the hotel, bank, shopping malls, or ATMs. Other unknown offices or people on the street will deceive you.  
  • The front of the bus is reserved only for families and women.

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