Dubai travel guide: what you need to know about the city of light.
Dubai, a city of the future is undeniably one of the prominent vacation destinations globally. Unlike other cities, Dubai prides itself as a home to magnificent architectural structures including, some of the tallest buildings in the world, yet it preserves its origin, culture, and heritage. All your imaginations come to life in a city like Dubai. It sure proves that a lot can be accomplished in less than 50 years.
This Dubai community guide will highlight things to do, communities to visit, and the experience of living in this glamorous city.
1. Lifestyle in Dubai
Being a multicultural city that accepts everyone regardless of status, Dubai is suitable for all lifestyles. However, there are fundamental things that determine how one would cope in this environment; for instance, the weather- extreme summers, religion- the Ramadan period, public holidays, and the general- laws in Dubai.
2. Hotels in Dubai
Planning a vacation in Dubai gets easier by the day with a lot of hotels within close proximity to places of interest such as shopping malls, business areas, and beaches. Hotels in Dubai are typically ranked from 1 star to 7 stars with the highest-rated hotels located in deluxe and vibrant communities. Checking out the facilities of hotels and discounted rates on different websites is of utmost importance in getting the comfort you need. The best way to ensure you have a smooth vacation is to book online and filter for what is most efficient for you.
3. Beaches in Dubai
Gone are the days when the beaches had timings. These days, not all beaches have restricted timings which means you can go to the beach at any time. You can find private beaches which are in the vicinity of a residential neighborhood and public beaches that have been made available by the government for tourist and expats. It is not unusual to find more people at the beach in the evenings during the summer due to the intense heat and around the clock during the winter in Dubai. Most beaches are equipped with security, lifeguards, public showers, mini-marts, restrooms, and changing rooms. Some beaches have tracks for biking and running which makes it easy for residents to work out before or after swimming.
4. Places of attractions and adventure in Dubai
This is one of the most frequently searched topics for tourists coming to the UAE. Dubai is divided into old and new Dubai with both areas giving different vibes of Dubai. Get a feel of how Dubai was 50 years ago in the old Dubai area by visiting places like Bur Dubai, Al Ras, Al Fahidi, Al Gubaiba, Deira, and so on and then head on to the new communities in Dubai which depict a city of the future by visiting the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, Museum of the Future, Emirate Towers, Palm Jumeirah, and other prestigious locations. Kids are not left out in the fun, there are a lot of places of adventure to stimulate their minds. This city never gets old, the advanced technology and ultramodern infrastructure is a continuous amazement to both visitors and locals.
5. Language in Dubai
As the popular saying goes, ‘language is the key to the mind’ you’re unlikely to be in this vibrant and populated city without connecting with someone on a cultural level. The most spoken languages in this emirate are Arabic and English. However, other languages are spoken as a means of communication and connection such as Hindi, Tagalog, Mandarin, Swahili etc. Both residents and tourists can learn various languages if they are interested in doing so making this amazing city an avenue of learning.
6. Transportation in Dubai
There are various means of transportation in Dubai. The growing number of visitors and residents have made it easier to commute along the emirate as population growth has triggered more infrastructural development in transport. Below are the various means of transportation.
- Taxis: Being a diverse emirate, Dubai taxis are driven by both male and female drivers with the female-driven taxis being colored pink at the top. Taxis are available round-the-clock and you can access them by either booking online or stopping them along the road. The minimum charge for each trip is 12 dirhams.
- Buses: This is the cheapest means of transportation in Dubai. The cost of each round trip is 5 dirhams and the minimum charge for a short distance is 3 dirhams. There are various buses that connect to either other communities or to metro stations, and this can be seen by their numbers at the top of the buses. The bus timings are from 4 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily.
- Trains: The Dubai metro is the fastest means of commuting in the emirate. Divided into red and green lines it reaches most communities in both the old and new neighborhoods in Dubai. It starts functioning from 5 a.m. to 12 a.m. on weekdays, Thursdays from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m., and 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Fridays. It is important to note that there are restricted cabins for females, and in order to not incur a fine of 200 dirhams, men should be vigilant of the cabin they enter. Additionally, eating and drinking on trains is not allowed.
- Boats: water ferries and taxis are available in some neighborhoods in Dubai and they run from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. A traditional boat is known as ‘Abra boat’ is also a means of transportation which costs 1 dirham per trip. It is available in Dubai Creek or Souk Madinat Jumeirah.
7. Communities in Dubai
Dubai consists of a low standard, average standard, and high standard apartments to suit your budget. If you don’t want to live in a serene community, there are parts of the city that supports a fast-paced and bustling lifestyle. These communities which may be more expensive than others are most sought after for the extra comfort and beauty found here. Additionally, it gets better when you are renting an apartment near metro stations, places of adventure, - and attractions like malls, beaches, and workplaces in this city allowing residents to make the most of their time as they are less likely to be stuck in traffic while commuting. The benefit of having an around-the-clock lifestyle in this city that never goes to sleep is having all your needs met 24/7. Groceries and some means of transportation are usually available at all hours.
8. Nightlife in Dubai
Dubai is known as “the city of light” for a variety of reasons but mostly because it’s beautiful at night No matter the reason for your stay in Dubai, you will want to have a Dubai nocturnal experience; partying, casual hangouts, and family outings. Other reasons ‘the city doesn’t sleep’ are:
- Unlike some airports, the Dubai Airport works round-the-clock.
- The temperature during the summer doesn’t really encourage outings during the day.
- Students and working professionals are usually free in the evenings and weekends to relax and not miss out on what’s new in Dubai.
- Some malls are open 24 hours for round-the clock-shoppers.
Therefore, security in this city is top-notch. The government does all it can to ensure the safety of its residents. The streets are well-lit; the police are on patrol 24/7. This city can be said to be even more glorious and admirable at night and a lot of fun events occur during the weekend.
9. Malls in Dubai
As far as luxurious shopping is concerned, Dubai houses several gigantic shopping malls as well as smaller ones. An interesting fact is that you can find the largest shopping mall in the world in this city- The Dubai Mall! Most of the malls here have some of the most expensive and haute couture brands you can think of. The beauty of malls in this emirate begins from their magnificent structures to the fact that you can find almost any item you can think of. Some malls are themed which means you get a particular style and feel in that mall, for instance, Dragon Mart; the largest China mall in Dubai. The timings of the malls are usually from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., which is a perfect time for both diurnal and nocturnal shoppers. Although malls are often associated with shopping, there are other things to do in the malls in Dubai, the experience promises to be beyond your imagination; build a snowman during summer in the Mall of the Emirates, fly in an imaginary plane in Mirdif City Center, swim with sharks, go down the slide, - and fulfill your car racing dream by driving an F1 car, - all in the famous Dubai mall. For the convenience of those who may want a taste of their traditional meals, some malls have cultural dishes that make you feel at home.
10. Bars & Night clubs in Dubai
With most clubs located within hotels due to the restriction on liquor, hotel guests and visitors can have a fabulous night within these clubs. However, there are various other clubs in the city which people visit for either business or casual reasons. As such, these clubs have various rules to regulate their business. These clubs have become a celebration destination where birthdays, engagements, and success parties are thrown with full attendance. Some clubs have specials days for ladies called ladies night with free drinks of their choice on a specific day of the week. If that’s not enough then I wonder what can match up with that! It is important to note that the official age for drinking is 21.
11. Weather in Dubai
As popular as Dubai is, the heat during the summer is what most tourists and residents dread. This magnificent desert gets as hot as 50oC during the summer with the peak months in July and August, can you imagine that? Thankfully everywhere has air conditioning systems, hotels, cars, residential properties, and malls which makes things more comfortable. However, the weather starts getting colder from October and winter begins from December to April. It can get as cold as 12oC during the winter. Most tourists plan their visit at this time to escape the harsh summer in Dubai and the extremely cold winter in their countries when applicable.
12. What to wear in Dubai
If you are not familiar with this region of the world, you may have a different idea of what to expect as regards dressing. Dubai, in as much as it is one of the conservative Emirates very flexible to tourists and residents so you can basically wear what you want to but it’s advisable to check with the places may you want to visit to be sure certain clothing are allowed. Also, you may want to dress according to the weather.
13. Ramadan in Dubai
This is a holy month for the Muslims, during this month, - locals are expected to fast and observe holiness according to the Quran. The fast is then broken during sunset with a meal known as Iftar. Due to this, non-Muslims expats and tourists are to dress modestly, to not eat, drink or smoke in public places, and to refrain from expressing affection. Note that some categories of people are exempted from fast; the sick, nursing mothers, pregnant women, and Muslim children. The timings of malls and restaurants also change during this holy month.
14. Currency in Dubai
What better way to have fun than to spend extra cash? Dirhams is the official currency in the United Arab Emirates, people coming into the country have access to a bureau de change right from the airport. When in the city, there are other bureaus de change for your convenience that will require you to present your emirate ID or passport & visa when you want to change currency.
With creativity, innovation, and development evolving every day, Dubai has become a sought after holiday and residential destination. The experience of this exciting and mesmerizing city of lights begins the moment the plane begins to land, and from the airport onward, you live in a different world.