Everyone who has never been to Dubai has always wanted to go there. Or go there again. After all, its reputation speaks for itself. It is an international marvel where the best of east and west come together to make it a land of man-made wonders, old history, a rich blend of cultures and a truly cosmopolitan aura. Think of it – the world’s tallest building, the world’s largest indoor theme park, a choice of beaches, tall palm trees on coasts of sleek skyscrapers, a souk that sells gold wash-basins, it is a heady experience. All those who have tasted it, crave more.
Dubai is situated on the Persian Gulf. Its neighbours are Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and the Sultanate of Oman. It is the capital city of the UAE. Dubai’s advantageous position makes it a short flight from India. It also serves as a great stopover when you’re travelling longer distances.
The weather in Dubai can be hot and humid in the summer. But seeing as you will hop from air-conditioned hotels to air-conditioned cabs and tourist attractions, you’re not likely to feel the heat. It is a good idea to pack cottons and muslins in the summer. If you’re travelling between December to March, be prepared for a little rainfall. And if you’re coming in the winter, carry a jacket or a sweater, the nights may be a little chilly. But then again, it’s a great idea to eat or travel outdoors while there’s just a little nip in the air.
Of all the Arab cultures, Dubai is the most cosmopolitan city. Its economic growth and great ease of living invite many people from across races and backgrounds to work or travel here. And it welcomes and embraces them all.
A word of caution, going to Dubai during Ramadan means no eating, drinking, smoking or chewing gum in public. Meals are available discreetly behind curtains in some malls. But the nightlife is mellow so decide for yourself. And there’s no live music in bars too. Read up on the dos and don’ts before you go.
Dubai tourism makes it a great place for family vacations. Whether its world-class shopping, experiential malls, bargains at souks, restaurants and hotels for all kinds of budgets and cuisines. And let’s not forget, the world’s largest indoor theme park. Shark diving is available as is a camel ride and dune buggy racing. Then there are aqua parks. It’s where kids go to have wondrous experiences and where adults become children.
For shopaholics or people who just think their idea of a vacation is great bargains, food and fun, Dubai Tourism hosts two shopping festivals. So, if you miss one, there’s always another to indulge in. Dubai has a total of 96 malls which includes the world’s largest mall and a Bloomingdale’s and the Galleries Lafayette.
Dubai Tourism makes shopping easy. While you’re shopping, your kids can spend their time ice skating and skiing, or visiting indoor aquariums, an underwater zoo and much, much more. The souks are a contrasting experience – go to the gold souk and be awed with the opulence on display or go bargain for a great deal on middle-eastern rug or kilim.
For the cultured, there are visits to ancient structures, beautiful mosques, community theatre, live music and opera.
For nightclub lovers, Dubai offers clubs as swank as Club 360, Nasimi Beach and Trilogy and clubs for older people with a more casual dress code, there are bars like Barasti. Another tip: For those who like pubs, try the Irish Village. There are many more like it.
For couples, Dubai Tourism can easily pull off a vacation filled with quality time and even a honeymoon. You can go sailing to see the city’s highlights, take spa treatments together, do al fresco shopping or enjoy slow romantic music with candle-lit dinners. You can spend a day or two at the beach as well.
Dubai is also an easy city for senior citizens. The weather is never too harsh, the food options many and the ease of travel also makes for a great holiday.
For solo travellers and budget travellers, there are hotels and restaurants available. But Dubai on a budget needs a bit of planning. So we recommend a package trip where your essentials are covered and you can take some time off to do your own exploring. Another great idea to see Dubai is via the Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus tour.
So, whether it’s beaches, shopping, nightlife, pubs, bars, al fresco experiences, theme parks and zoos, museums and culture, Dubai Tour can give you everything you want in a holiday and more.
A Dubai tour will show you that when it comes to a city that displays a triumph of what the human spirit can achieve, there is no match for Dubai.
If travelling from India, you will need a Dubai tourist visa. Also, the official Dubai currency or UAE currency is UAE Dirham (AED).
The following are some travel tips, do's and dont's to keep in mind during your Dubai trip.
• Follow laws strictly. Dubai is a cosmopolitan city, but its governance is very strict. So, don’t take unnecessary risks like driving a friend’s car or a hired car after a drink.
• Be very careful around mosques and carry a scarf to cover your head.
• Pack according to the weather. Carry lighter clothing in summer and warm clothes in winter.
• Plan your trip carefully. Start making reservations a month in advance.
• Do not wear revealing clothes unless you’re going clubbing. Even then, maintain a shawl or a long coat over the clothes to avoid causing offence.
• Do not disrespect the local customs and culture.
• Don’t pack too much in, in very little time. Or you’ll come away exhausted.
• Do not eat, drink, smoke or chew gum in public during Ramadan. You will be fined.