Dubai is the home of luxury. There are countless things to do and see in this futuristic city, and it’s unlikely you’ll ever have a dull moment. Whether you’ve booked your first trip to Dubai or you’re in the planning stages, here are the 5 essential things to know before visiting Dubai.
1. When to visit
Dubai is hot, and that is an understatement. The time of year you choose to visit the city should be considered carefully, depending on how well you think you can cope with the extreme climate. It really goes without saying that Dubai during the summer months is beautiful, there is nowhere else quite like it. However, with average highs of around 40 degrees Celsius, it’s certainly not for everyone. If extreme heat isn’t your thing, February to April is the ideal time of year, with cooler temperatures averaging around 27 degrees Celsius.
Also read: 10 quirky things to do in Dubai
2. Travelling within the city
With a considerably constant climate all year round, if you don’t cope well with the heat, walking from A to B could be a struggle in a city such as Dubai. The most popular methods of transport amongst tourists in Dubai is, actually, by taxi or private hire care. Whilst these methods of transport tend to be some of the most expensive in other parts of the world, they tend to be the most affordable and reliable in Dubai. However, there are several other transportation options at your fingertips, such as the metro, tram, bus and waterbus services. The Dubai metro service is a world-class, fully automated system and provides stunning views whilst you travel. You can, of course, also rent your own car. In order to do so, you will need an international driver’s license, passport, credit card and third-party insurance.
3. What to wear
Perhaps one of the most frequently asked questions by travellers to Muslim countries is all about what to wear. However, Dubai is actually one city that is relaxed and open-minded when it comes to clothing and personal appearance. It’s certainly not uncommon to see people wearing all kinds of clothing in Dubai, from shorts and sleeveless t-shirts, to burqas. With that in mind, the general consensus is that you dress modestly, and this is especially the case in public places, such as malls and restaurants. No matter where you travel, you should always be mindful to be respectful to the local habits of the country and its people.
4. Public displays of affection
One thing that may come as a culture shock to many travellers from all across the world is Dubai’s strict policy regarding public displays of affection. With the exception of married couples holding hands, no public displays of affection is the official rule. Kissing and petting, as well as sexual harassment or randomly addressing women in public places, is liable to be punished by imprisonment or deportation. When visiting Dubai, keep your hands to yourself.
5. Where to stay
If there is one thing that Dubai does not have a shortage of, it’s hotels, especially luxury hotels. There is accommodation aplenty to be found in this city, and there is something to suit every kind of budget. The location of where you stay is very much based on your personal preferences and interests, whether you’d prefer to stay close to the more touristy areas, or whether you’d prefer to stay close to beaches and vibrant bars and restaurants. Rental sites such as Airbnb can offer something different, too, and ideal for a strict budget.
Also read: The ultimate 5-day Dubai vacation
About the author:
Rebecca Martin is a blog writer at UniBaggage.com.