Dubai is renowned for its wealthy lifestyle, luxury services, and tall skyscrapers, however, you will have to strictly follow rules once traveling in this Muslim country to avoid yourself from troubles and inconvenience. Here are 10 tips for a safe and fun trip to Dubai.
1. The right time to travel
Dubai only has two seasons — hot and hotter. Therefore, most people prefer traveling to Dubai from November to April (winter months) when the weather is nicer and cooler. Therefore, it is also the high season when the Dubai airport witnesses a huge amount of global guests. At that time, Dubai city is always filled with tourists who come to join concerts, shopping festivals, and hot bargains…
Summer in Dubai starts in May and ends in August. It is the low season when the weather is extremely heat, so it is hard for events and festivals to be celebrated. However, for backpackers, it is the most reasonable time to visit Dubai on low budgets as transportation and accommodation fares are cheap, and everything else is discounted. On the other hand, you won’t be able to enjoy the sea or outdoor activities.
Travel in January, February
The clear sky and winter sun are ideal for outdoor activities like adventure sports and visit desert safari. Moreover, many companies are also busy being back to work after New Year and most schools open back in January after winter, therefore you will encounter fewer tourists in Dubai this month. The Dubai Shopping Festival is the most impressive highlight in January and lasts from 26th December 2019 to 1st February 2020. In addition, Dubai Food Festival, Dubai International Jazz Festival, Dubai Tennis Championships, and several other events make Dubai a must-visit place during February.
The sea can be a bit cold early in the morning as the sun rises late in the first two months of the year. Therefore, if you like to go swimming, then you should swim a bit later at sunset and get spectacular photographs of the sun setting on the sea.
Travel in March, April, May
Since summers are yet to begin, March and April still offer pleasant weather that is suitable for outdoor activities and sightseeing. Remember to pack enough sunblock and carry a water bottle for a walking day. However, when it comes to May, the city marks the beginning of summer with the temperature soaring to 37°C and sometimes exceeding to 42°C. It is also time for the Ramadan celebration, so you will have the chance to see how this cosmopolitan city still retains its traditional culture. But when joining the festival, you must strictly follow the dressing rules as cover your knees is strictly required. If you’re packing shorts and skirts, ensure that they cover your knees.
Travel in June, July, August
With the scorching heat breathing over the city during the 3 hottest summer months, travelers will need plenty of sunscreens. Carry a water bottle and an umbrella to avoid yourself from being dehydrated. Despite the heat outside, you won’t ever have to step out in the sun since you can find everything indoors like Rainforests, aquariums, theme parks, snow parks, art galleries, entertainment … Plan your vacation avoiding the weekends on Friday and Saturday, as all the locals will prefer heading out to amusement parks and indoor arenas. You will find that visiting shopping malls, amusement parks and tourist attractions from Monday to Thursday will be more blissful because of fewer tourists.
Travel in September and October
Although it is the final few days of summer, Dubai in October can be pretty harsh if you’re not from a tropical country. Though it is unlike the rest of the world when the sky is not characterized by colorful foliage, September and October can be still considered as the autumn in Dubai.
Travel in November and December
If you are from tropical countries where do not have a cold season or want to escape from extreme cold weather, Dubai is where you should head for a winter holiday.
2. Be careful where you can consume alcohol
As a general rule, only restaurants, disco or pubs can legally serve alcohol in Dubai. Though there is no drinking restriction for visitors, you should not be over-drunk to avoid yourself from police intervention. Tourists visiting Dubai are free to purchase alcohol from Dubai Duty-Free upon landing, and can also purchase alcohol while in licensed venues across Dubai.
3. Rules about photography in Dubai
- When traveling to a new country, it is important to respect the culture of the country you are about to visit. Dubai has some very specific rules to follow. Privacy is a huge matter in the UAE. Therefore, taking photographs of local women (Muslim women) without their permission is considered as an illegal action. So, there are some exceptions that tourists need to be taken care of:
- Ask for permission before taking photos in public places.
- You should not take photos of any government buildings, airports, or military installations, etc… such as the Dubai Chamber, Dubai Civil Defence, Dubai Courts, …
4. The right place to stay in Dubai
- Downtown Dubai is perhaps what comes to most people’s minds first when they think of this city. There are so many things to see and do in this center area, such as book tickets to discover the world tallest building - Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall Complex including the world’s largest shopping mall, etc. The central area is ideal for everyone who wants to feel at the center of the action with easy on-foot access to nearby attractions. If you want to be close to the city center where most exclusive clubs, the best restaurants, and luxurious shops, you should stay in Dubai Downtown, though every service is costly.
- Dubai Marina: Dubai Marina district, which is located in the south of Jumeirah Beach and was established in 2003, is a man-built canal, densely populated by high-rise buildings. Dubai Marina consists of hundreds of high-rise towers around a marina, in which it boasts the second tallest building in Dubai and one of the tallest buildings in the world, named Princess Tower. At Dubai Marina, we will find Dubai Media City (a state of the art regional media hub) and Dubai Internet City (a technological park operating under the rules of a free economic zone). Should you enjoy night strolls, we suggest a visit to Dubai Marina Walk, an outdoor venue where restaurants and bars are abundant. Though staying in Dubai Downtown is costly but Marina is still more popular with Western tourists because there are more restaurants, bars, and so on. However, if your main purpose is shopping, Marina doesn’t have great options, though the nearest mall is just 7km away.
- Staying in Jumeirah Beach: Jumeirah Beach is a white sand beach with warm turquoise water that stretches from north Deira (Old Town) to Dubai Marina district in the south. It would be great for those who are interested in beach activities and vibrant nightlife. Madinat Jumeirah Souk is where you can shop for local, traditional products, whereas Al Wadi Wadi, a popular waterpark, is a perfect destination for families with kids or guests staying in the Jumeirah group hotels. The place is also very well connected to the metro, so it is convenient for tourists to travel.
- Stay in the Palm Jumeirah area: For sea views, this is most probably the best place to stay in Dubai. Though you need to drive at least a 20-minute drive to Dubai's major attractions and the city center, it is good to relax since you can stay away from the hustle and bustle life.
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