Is first time visiting Dubai? Welcome! I'm excited for you! Soon you'll be experiencing the exhilarating and diverse destinations throughout Dubai. Just before you start packing your bags, there is a lot of information to review in preparation for your trip. Have no fear, this travel guide was designed to give you an overview of what a great first-time experience should entail — in hopes that your trip to Dubai will exceed all expectations.
When is the best time to visit Dubai?
The weather in Dubai is generally hot and humid throughout the year. December through February are the cooler months with average temperatures around 21°C (70°F). These months also tend to be the busiest in terms of tourism. From March to May, the weather is still pleasant averaging 26°C (79°F). June through August are the hottest months, with temperatures averaging 32°C (90°F).
What to Pack for Dubai?
No matter what time of year you visit Dubai, pack clothes that are loose fitting and made of natural fabrics. Cotton is always a good choice. You'll also want to pack a scarf or shawl to cover your head and shoulders when entering a mosque. If you're visiting during the winter months, pack a light jacket for the evenings. And don't forget your sunscreen!
What is the best way to get around Dubai?
The best way to get around Dubai is by using the metro system. It's quick, efficient, and relatively cheap. If you're staying in one of the major hotels near the airport, you can also use the complimentary shuttle service that's provided. Taxis are also widely available and reasonably priced.
What are some things to do in Dubai?
There is no shortage of things to do in Dubai. From exploring the city's rich history and culture to enjoying its many modern amenities, there is something for everyone in Dubai. Here are just a few suggestions:
The Museum of the Future
The Museum of the Future is a must-see for anyone visiting Dubai. Located in the city's downtown district, it's home to exhibits on all things futuristic, from new modes of transportation to innovative medical treatments. The museum is also home to the Innovation Gallery, which showcases prototypes and products from around the world that are changing the way we live. If you're looking for something unique to do during your trip to Dubai, the Museum of the Future is definitely worth a visit.
Dubai Crocodile Park
The Dubai Crocodile Park is a great place for animal lovers to visit. It's home to over 1,000 crocodiles and other reptiles from all over the world. The park also has a zoo, which is home to a variety of animals including lions, tigers, and elephants. Visitors can also feed the crocodiles, which is a unique and exciting experience.
Visit the Burj Khalifa
At over 828 meters (2,717 feet), the Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world. Take a ride to the top for incredible views of the city.
Explore the Dubai Museum
Located in the Al Fahidi Fort, this museum is dedicated to preserving the heritage of Dubai. It's a great place to learn about the city's past before venturing out to see its presence.
Shop at the Gold Souk
This market is located in the heart of the city and is home to over 300 gold shops. It's a great place to find unique jewelry and souvenirs.
The View at The Palm Jumeirah
The View at The Palm Jumeirah is an iconic spot in Dubai that offers incredible views of the cityscape and the Arabian Gulf. It's the perfect place to watch the sunset or take in the glittering lights of Dubai at night. Admission is free and the deck is open to the public from 9 am to 11 pm daily.
Take a Desert Safari
Explore the desert outside of Dubai on a 4x4 safari. You'll get to experience sand boarding, camel riding, and more.
Madame Tussauds Museum
The Madame Tussauds Museum is a popular tourist attraction in Dubai. It features wax figures of celebrities, athletes, and political leaders from around the world. Admission is 135 AED for adults and 110 AED for children (3yrs - 11yrs).
The Deira Islands are a group of four artificial islands located in Dubai Creek. They were built in the early 2000s and are now a popular tourist destination. The islands are home to a number of luxury hotels, restaurants, and shops. They're also home to the world's largest Ferris wheel, the Dubai Eye. Admission to the islands is free, but there are a few activities that come with a fee.
What are some things to eat in Dubai?
Dubai is home to a diverse range of cuisine. With influences from all over the world, there is something for everyone's taste buds in Dubai. Some local favorites include:
A rice dish that is typically served with lamb or chicken.
A spiced fish dish that is served with rice.
These fried balls of chickpeas or fava beans are popular street food in Dubai. They're often served in a pita with tahini sauce or hummus.
Another popular street food, shawarma is a dish of slowly roasted meat that's shaved off and served in a pita or wrap.
This rice and meat dish is a staple of Arabian cuisine. It's often made with chicken or lamb and flavored with spices like cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon.
Pizza of Dubai is home to some of the best and healthiest pizza in the city. They use fresh, organic ingredients and offer a variety of vegan and gluten-free options. If you're looking for a delicious and healthy meal, Pizza of Dubai is the place to go.
Shirin Polo is an old and traditional Iranian dish that is popular in Dubai. It's made with lamb, rice, and spices, and is usually served with a side of yoghurt or naan bread. If you're looking for an authentic dining experience in Dubai, be sure to try out Shirin Polo.
Kellaj is a cheese restaurant in Dubai that is sure to please cheese lovers of all kinds. The menu is full of cheesy dishes like mac and
Fattoush – Fattoush is a salad that is popular in the Middle East. It is made with vegetables, pita bread, and a dressing made of olive oil, lemon juice, and salt.
Now that you know a little more about what to expect on your trip to Dubai, here are a few tips to help you save money while you're there:
Use Groupon – Groupon is huge in Dubai and you can find tons of discounts, 2-for-1 specials, and deals on the website. If there is something you want to do, check there first as there is a high chance you’ll find a discount.
Get The Entertainer – The Entertainer is a magazine and app that offers discounts on restaurants, activities, and attractions. It's a great way to save money on your trip.
Eat Local – Eating at the local restaurants is a great way to save money. Not only is the food usually cheaper, but it's also more authentic.
Find happy hours – Dubai is full of happy hours. Plan your drinking accordingly to avoid the city’s high-priced booze.
How to Get Around Dubai
As mentioned earlier, the best way to get around Dubai is by using the metro system. The metro consists of two lines – the red line and the green line. The red line runs from Rashidiya to UAE Exchange and the green line runs from Etisalat to Creek.
To use the metro, you must purchase a Nol card. These can be purchased at any of the ticket offices at the metro stations. A single zone ticket costs 4 AED, two zone tickets 6 AED, and three or more zone tickets 8 AED.
Car rental – Cars can be rented for around 65 AED per day.
Ferry – The Dubai ferry service operates from three different marinas 7 days a week. The ferry is generally busier at night, so arrive at the terminal 30 minutes ahead of time. The average fare is 25 AED for silver class (seats in the main section of the boat) and 50 AED for gold class (more comfortable seats at the front of the boat).
Taxi – Taxis in Dubai start at AED 12 and go up by around AED 2.50 per kilometer. If you can, avoid taking them. They really add up!
Ridesharing – The most popular ridesharing apps in Dubai are Uber and Careem. They aren't always less expensive than a regular taxi, but they are typically a lot more convenient.
Bicycle – For around 20 AED per hour or 80 AED per day, Nextbike can be rented.