Sharing our Dubai tips for an ultimate travel experience. Dubai is impressive and you need to be aware of a few things before planning your next trip. It is not just impressive by the high and unique buildings or glam you see around. Generally, it is also a real eye-opener to finally experience how different parts of the world all come together in Dubai. Getting curious about a world different from what you are used to? Ready for a real cultural experience? Welcome to Dubai!
We will cover the following topics to make sure you do not miss out on anything:
- General information
- Stopover in Dubai
- Where to stay in Dubai
- Cultural Dubai travel tips
- Things to do in Dubai
- Delicious tips: food in Dubai
Stay tuned for more blogs coming up in the near future. We will spoil you with information more and more! Make sure to subscribe to our blog, in the right menu or below, to not miss any update.
UPCOMING DUBAI BLOGS: Stop over in Dubai, food tour & what to do in and outside the city?
Dubai, to begin with, is the city that can be seen as the most famous part of the United Arab Emirates, a city full of Arabian influences in the Middle East. The city developed heavily over a few years to the end that it became a real tourist destination. Where it was considered as a destination for luxury travel firstly, there are way more options now for any budget in many different proper areas. I mean, you do not have to stay in Palm Atlantis even though we all might love that experience?).
But it is not only a tourist destination. The start of our blog mentions “where different parts of the world come together”, and that we mean literally. You will see people from all over the world – all regions and cultures – living here. Generally, they all came as expats, entrepreneurs or work in one of the many industries offering jobs for people worldwide. Take for example “Emirates”, one of the world’s best airlines employing thousands of international people. When walking around you will notice a huge mix of cultures, traditions and way of dressing up. In the end, all trying to start their life and find happiness in this magical city.
Stopover in Dubai
Dubai is the perfect destination for a stopover trip! Now, what is a stopover? With a stopover, you have a connecting flight after 24 hours and you will stay in another destination which is often on the usual route to your final destination. That is the opportunity to explore new places while you are on the way already!
At the present time, Emirates has an incredible worldwide network, proving connections to and from many interesting places. Why not make a stop in Dubai on the way? Emirates motivates travellers to take advantage of this service. Please find more detials in our dedicated blogpost in our stopover blogpost series: Stopover tickets: 10 airlines with free stopovers
Do not waste any time, we are providing our very own 3-day itinerary for Dubai that will help you start planning your trip! Check out Your Dubai itinerary: the best 3 days in Dubai
Dubai tips: where to stay in Dubai
The city is big and the highlights are spread over a wide area with a lot of variety. To illustrate, some have modern vibes with more nightlife and others create the real Arabian atmosphere. Below 3 recommended areas to stay for a different type of travellers category.
Deira & Dubai Creek
Undoubtedly better prices in a residential area for the budget travellers. From here it is easy to visit some of the areas with a more cultural and Arabian influence or cross the Dubai Creek with an Abra (see below). From Deira, there is a good metro connection to the other parts of the city and only 15 minutes from the airport.
Jumeirah Beach (Residence)
Ideal location for families. Given that many great hotels and resorts that are children friendly and surrounded by all you need: beaches, markets, shops, watersports and restaurants. Also from here, it is very easy to reach the rest of the city and airport by metro.
Do you like to be in the middle of all the buzz? Downtown and directly connected neighbourhoods like Business Bay are the places to be. You are around the corner of some of the highlights like the Dubai Mall for days long shopping and the Burj Khalifa. Also from here, you can easily reach others parts of the city by metro.
Cultural Dubai travel tips
Firstly one thing that we must say is that we felt extremely safe in Dubai. Rules are pretty strict, which could be a reason why criminality is lower. But there are other things to keep in mind as Dubai is a Muslim country with laws based on Sharia law, a few listed below in do’s and don’t in our Dubai travel tips list:
- Get used to a different week rhythm. The weekdays are from Sunday to Thursday and the weekend is on Friday (Jumah – prayer, holy day) and Saturday.
- During Ramadan the life in the city is different and you need to keep an eye on this. Closing and opening times of shops, restaurants or attractions and the city is less lively. Keep in mind that, as a tourist, you do not have to do any fasting yourself but you should not eat and drink in public during fasting hours.
- Everyone, dress modestly in public (exceptions can be at specific parties or hotels etc.). Women are allowed to show their hair, arms, and legs in public. On the first day, I wore a sleeveless shirt and long trousers and observed the outfits of other ladies around me. I noticed that many are wearing shorts & skirts. I did this one day as well but I would not recommend this in the city itself, you notice that many people are staring at you – lesson learned & do not always just copy. Some other don’ts: see-through (of skin or bra), swimsuits (in hotel is okay), too much cleavage or clothing that are too tight. And for men? Also the above, except for the bra.
- Ensure to prepare your internet connection. Some applications on your phone are blocked in Dubai, you are not allowed to use any VPN to access for example Whatsapp call. There are only a few (paid) VPNs you can use.
- Display (love) affection in public. Especially for unmarried couples or homosexual partners, this can have consequences. Nadiim and I, as it is such a habit, touched and walked hand in hand sometimes. Immediately we noticed people staring or looking angry at us. A great signal to keep your distance immediately.
- In Dubai, the rules regarding alcohol are a bit more flexible compared to the other Emirates. Alcohol is served in specific locations like bars and restaurants, but drunken behaviour is not accepted.
- Do not swear or offensive gestures like a specific finger.
Things to do in Dubai
The must-see and do cannot miss in these Dubai tips! In this blog, we will cover the must-see and try’s in the city generally listed. We confirm, there is a lot to do!
For a full overview of things to do in Dubai, see Your Dubai itinerary: the best 3 days in Dubai
- Extreme heights at the Burj Khalifa: the Burj Khalifa, with a height of 828 meters, is a real must to visit. Surely you will enjoy the views from the 124th floor!
- Architecture: another key point where it is likely that you will keep staring at all the impressive buildings. A unique building in between the many already Is Burj Al Arab.
- Shopping in Dubai: Dubai is a shop walhalla! You certainly need to watch out if you are sensitive to shopping as the Dubai Mall and Madinat Jumeirah & Souk will make you open up your wallet.
- Dubai Souk: gold, spice and textile in overload! While walking through the souk you notice that this place gives you the Arabic vibes you were looking forward to in Dubai. Enjoy all you see and you might bring a nice souvenir home.
- Dubai on water: Above all, we very much enjoyed it experiencing Dubai on water. With the small “Abra” boats or when we chartered a yacht for the day. Now that is how you get a taste of the luxurious lifestyle in Dubai.
Delicious tips: food in Dubai
In this blog we will only focus on one recommendation of a ‘must taste’. Why? Surely you want to know them all right? Well, because we had such a great and unique experience here that you must visit this place. Another blog will follow with a food tour through Dubai. There are so many great locations!
So what is this special place? Let us introduce you to the Arabian Tea House! Located in a unique and historic neighbourhood Al Fahidi. Different from the big city life you will end up in a peaceful area with the cutest outdoor restaurant in Dubai. But isn’t that hot? No, due to air conditioning and a cover of greens and flowers all over the place.
You are welcome for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They have everything and it is traditional. For example sandwiches, traditional sharing platters, BBQ and sweets. The menu is surprisingly 40 pages big, so you will find yourself a mouthwatering dish. Want to check it out? Click HERE.
We hope we could inspire you for a trip with our Dubai tips. If you have any questions or would like to share your experience, please do not hesitate to contact us or to leave a comment below.