Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai makes up one of the seven Emirates of the United Arab Emirates. The country has become a symbol for its man made islands, largest shopping malls in the world and sky rise buildings such as the Burj Khalifa and Mall of Emirates.  Dubai is the most expensive city in the Middle East.  Travelling to Dubai will definitely set you back a few pennies.​

Nonetheless, there are many things to do in Dubai, from dune bashing and camel riding to shopping and discovering the delicious Middle Eastern cuisine.

Burj Al Arab Hotel  by My Passport to Shangrila


BEST TIME TO GO

Dubai is best visited between February and April, which is the mild season with temperatures in the 20c’s. This, however, is also the most expensive period, so visiting outside this time will give you some bonuses.  Just be prepared for sizzling hot Summer days were the thermometer can soar into the 40c’s.

​Also, consider the timing of Ramadan in your planning.  It usually lasts 30 days and during this time everything closes.  All non-Muslims are prohibited to eat, drink or smoke in public during daylight hours and many cafes or restaurants close during the day. Ramadan is usually around June.

Burj Al-Arab
Burj Al Arab



SOME CONSIDERATIONS

Remember Dubai is a Muslim city therefore there are some rules to abide by. 

  • Drinking: Avoid drinking alcohol or being drunk in public. It is not tolerated and can lead to jail time.
  • Drinking: If you’re a smoker, avoid smoking in public as it can lead to fines.
  • Affection: Kissing, holding hands or being cosy with your significant other can lead to arrest and imprisonment.
  • Sex outside marriage. Having sex with someone you’re not married to can lead to severe criminal sanctions. 
  • Homosexuality is illegal.
  • Swearing and the such can lead to punishment.
  • Swimwear: Don’t wear swimwear outside the beach, and in general you should keep it modest.

SOME USEFUL INFORMATION

ℹ️   Travel:  You can get from Dubai Airport to the city centre by underground, bus, or taxi.  The duration of the trip from the airport by bus will be approximately 1h 20min depending on the distance to your hotel, the ticket price is from GB£2.50.  The trip by underground will be faster – its duration of around 50 minutes will cost around GB£1.40 upwards.  Prices for taxi’s start roughly from GB£27.  The distance between Dubai Airport and Dubai city centre is just over 3 miles (5kms). ​

ℹ️   Currency:  Arab Emirate Dirham.

Google.com

ℹ️   Credit Cards and Banks:  ATMs are common place in almost every shopping street, with several ‘bureau de change’  around the city centre, with almost every retailer accepting Mastercard and Visa.  There is no fear of an establishment declining card payments.  ​

ℹ️   Weather:   Dubai only experiences two seasons:  Hot and Hotter!  During the Winter months temperatures float around 26C (80F) then climb to around 40+C (105+F) 


WHAT CAN DUBAI OFFER?

DUNE BUGGYING



Tread through the rusty coloured desert landscape of UAE with a camel safari or go for a more exhilarating approach of fast paced 4×4 off-road safari; Dubai’s desert are meant for adventure. Go dune bashing, savour the Dubai hospitality and get an authentic feel of the Middle East here.


SAND BOARDING

is one of the most popular desert adventure options in Dubai.  Just like snowboarding, sand boarding involves the same principle of gliding and balancing on a wooden board while moving down in speed against gravity from the top of a sand dune.

Sand Boarding



CAGE SNORKELLING

Dive in one of the largest indoor aquariums in the world and enjoy a thrilling encounter with sharks, octopi, sting rays and plenty of marine species.  Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo is the perfect place to get your first experience of scuba diving in a controlled environment.  Walk through the largest underwater tunnel and explore the variety of colourful marine life at Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo.  Located in the middle of world’s largest shopping mall – Dubai Mall gives you an opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the world’s most fascinating underwater life. 


ATLANTIS THE PALM

One of the most famous and luxurious entertainment resort in Dubai, Atlantis the Palm is situated in the heart of Dubai.  Atlantis the Palm is one of the most luxurious hotels in Dubai as well as it is the unique ocean themed resort, that features a variety of entertainment facilities and marine adventure attractions for the people of all ages. The hotel is also home to one of the largest open air aquarium in the world, that features a plethora of marine animals in lagoons.


JAMEIRAH MOSQUE

If you are not a Muslim, you may not know much about Islam religion and culture. A visit to the most photographed icons of the country, the Jumeirah Mosque is the only mosque in Dubai where non-Muslims can also enter. Visiting this mosque will give you great insights into Islamic culture and a greater understanding of its beliefs. Its snowy-white and intricately designed pair of slender minarets and roofline crowned with domes decorated with ornate carvings lit up against an evening sky. This beautiful formation is among the must-visit places in Dubai for the tourists.





BURJ KHALIFA

Take the world’s high speed lift and enjoy the spectacular views of Dubai’ stunning skyline and its coastline from the observation deck on the 124th floor.  Hold on to your breath, it takes only a few seconds.  You feel the same sensation when ascending in an airplane were you feel your ears block. This experience, for me, was magical and one of the best entertainment options in Dubai especially in the backdrop of a magical sunset. For those who would like to linger for a meal in the clouds, the Sky Lounge on the 148th floor, is the place to head to.

Burj Khalifa



DUBAI CREEK

Dubai may be famous for the glitz and glamour of its skyscrapers, but the real gem of the city is, and always will be, the Creek.   The area is packed with the history of the Emirate, as it is home to the Dubai Museum, as well as the labyrinth alleyways of the gold, spice and textile souks.



If you would like a more relaxing tour, try a traditional Dhow Cruise, which offers cruises throughout the day and night.  Glide down the waterway and capture the magnificent skyline reflecting the sunlight during the day or magnificently illuminated at night. 


HOTELS OF DUBAI

Burj Al-Arab

Everybody who has ever heard of Dubai knows of the Burj al Arab –world’s first and only 7*  hotel and certainly one of the most photographed buildings in the world.  


Its sailboat shaped silhouette rising from its man-made island is a delight to the eyes.  This luxurious hotel has various viewpoints from where you can click pictures of yourself, but one of the best is from the beach next to it, from where you will get a great photo with the Burj Al Arab in the background.  Do not miss its signature afternoon tea.


Atlantis

Located in the Palm Jumeirah, this is an amazing hotel and resort designed on the theme of Atlantis, the lost and mythical city. The hotel has over 1500 rooms and a dedicated theme park, Adventure Water Park.  Regular concerts and all night parties are conducted at the Nasimi Beach. Enjoy world class dining which include a famous restaurant by the celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey.


Jumeirah Beach Hotel

is a luxury family beach resort that seeks to redefine the holiday experience, offering a host of family activities, leisure facilities and dining options to delight and inspire our guests.  The building has a striking wave like design, Jumeirah Beach Hotel is one of Dubai’s most stunning and instantly recognisable structures with blue plated glass that artfully reflects the waves of the ocean

Jumeirah Beach Hotel


Grovsenor House Hotel

The hotel’s two glittering twin towers are among the most recognisable landmarks in Dubai: This amazing hotel has two iconic 45 storey towers and features over 700 rooms, suites and apartments.  Its location is ideal for tourist and business travellers who also get to experience the beach, gold clubs, Dubai Internet City, Media City and several shopping malls in the proximity.

Related image



Le Meridien

This is the hotel I chose to stay at for 5 days.  The hotel is beautiful inside with huge chandeliers hanging from the foyer.  The rear of the hotel opens up to a stunning pool area, that inturn, rolls out onto its own beach.  This property is best suited for frequent travellers and businessmen who want to stay near the airport and enjoy the world class services and hospitality of Le Meridien brand.  Situated close to the airport, the Le Meridien  has over 750 hotel rooms and suites and 18 amazing restaurants and bars.





SHOPPING IN DUBAI

Endless shopping, varied entertainment and fine dining – all at one place – Madinat Jumeirah.  Souk Madinat is a terrific marketplace with the feel of the by gone era, coupled with sweet fragrances and an authentic atmosphere. Take a stroll around numerous winding alleys as the market offers endless options to stroll through. Treat yourself with the best shopping experience where the atmosphere is filled with the aromas of the waterfront cafes, bars and restaurants.




Mall of The Emirates

Boasting of high-end shopping options for all tastes, Dubai is a city that has created a fantasy land of shopping malls showcasing everything under one place. At the Mall of the Emirates, you will find an incredible array of stores supplying a diverse selection of goods and services under one roof – teen fashion brands, electronics, accessories, jewelry, bags and books… anything you could possibly wish for!