Dubai, the United Arab Emirates’ most beautiful city, is home to the world’s tallest skyscraper, the Burj Khalifa, and the world’s only seven-star hotel, the Burj Al Arab. Furthermore, Dubai continues to expand to become one of the most elegantly structured cities in the world, known for its rich cultural diversity and famous festivals. However, Dubai is much more than superstructures and elaborate shopping malls. Planning your first trip to this Middle Eastern emirate and feeling a little nervous? Do not worry! Here are a few tips to ensure your visit to the Gulf city is unforgettable:
What is the best time to visit?
If you’re planning to travel to UAE, November to March is perfect. In this, the temperature remains from 30° C to 12° C, and the weather is fairly comfortable for people. Also, the Dubai Shopping Festival held in December is superb, and you get all the products from worldwide brands.
However, it is best to avoid visiting in February due to the heavy downpours this month.
What should you pack?
Regarding luggage, no matter what you forget, don’t forget to bring large bottles of sunscreen. The weather in Dubai is unforgiving, and it’s a good idea to bring the highest SPF formula you can find. Bring deodorant, body/face wipes, sunglasses, hats, water bottles, mosquito repellents, etc.
Essential Documents that you must carry
Well, that’s the most important part. Double and triple-check your documents, make photocopies and carry them with you while keeping the original documents locked in your hotel. Check with your local embassy for visa requirements that may change.
What are the Dress codes for travellers in the UAE?
The United Arab Emirates is a Muslim country, so there are expectations about how visitors dress. The dress code for travellers staying at resorts and hotels is what you want to wear, but in areas with more locals, dress modestly. In June 2012, two Emirati women started a Twitter campaign urging foreign visitors to respect their culture and abide by the current dress code.
Some laws set a dress code, and signs at the entrance to shopping malls and hotels remind visitors of the rules, especially coverings for shoulders and knees. Women must cover their hair when visiting mosques, and people must cover their hands and feet before entering. Beach costumes are only appropriate for the beach or pool.
In the UAE, money is fairly safe to carry around. United Arab Emirates Dirham is the official currency. Credit and debit cards are widely used, so it’s easy to change money if needed. Theft is not a major concern in the country because of its strict laws. But it is best to take precautions just in case.
Keep universal charger and Emergency contacts
Make sure you have an emergency contact list and a list of emergency numbers in Dubai. UAE welcomes 220V electricity. So make sure to carry a universal charger and travel charger.
Be respectful of the royal family; don’t insult
You may come from another religion or have your own beliefs. You may have different views on Dubai’s culture and belief system, but remember to keep that to yourself. If you openly criticize, mock, or insult the royal family, laws, culture, and religion of Dubai, they can put you behind bars or severely fine you. So when you’re in Dubai, just enjoy what the city has to offer instead of mocking it.
Do Accommodation Research
Do not just jump into booking a costly hotel. Read and research your stay options keeping your financial budget in mind, for Duba has something to offer to each visitor. However, book in advance to avoid chaos. Flight tickets and hotels are exclusively cheap throughout the summer. However, you would practically boil if you picked that season to visit UAE.
Observe and Note Local Manners
Dubai, one of the largest emirates and a tourist destination, looks relatively modern compared to its neighbour Sharjah or any other city in the Middle East. However, there are some basic rules you need to keep in mind if you don’t want to visit the prison in handcuffs. First and foremost, kissing in public is unforgivable, even if it’s a kiss on the cheek, let alone the act of cuddling. As Sharia law is observed in the United Arab Emirates, unmarried couples should book different accommodations. Last but not least, swearing in public will get you punished behind bars. The word “F” is not appreciated and is better not used to refer to religious entities.
Equality in UAE
In terms of women, Dubai is a city where they are valued. Get rid of the myth that Dubai treats its women poorly. But while you are in an unusual setting where there are particular etiquettes, there are some unspoken standards you should bear in mind. If you meet a man for the first time or any male, don’t extend your hand to shake because it is frowned upon unless he accepts it. It is preferable to nod or smile to demonstrate your appreciation or acknowledgement. Allow a friend to go out with you if you are under 25. Women should be independent, but life and safety should come first.
Capture the memories
It’s a sin to visit one of the most buzzed-about cities on earth without taking a photo! For all you photographers out there, it’s hard to contain your excitement, but it’s also important to keep in mind a few pointers. Please keep in mind to always ask someone’s permission before taking their picture. Avoid taking photos of Muslim women. Avoid taking photos of government structures, docks, airports, and other commercial, industrial, or military facilities.
The Middle East and Alcohol
Speaking about liquor, restaurants, hotels, and pubs will provide you with the broadest selection of beverages, from the least expensive beer or spirits to the most expensive champagne. Although 21 is the legal drinking age, several establishments don’t let patrons under 25 drink. A liquor license is required to purchase alcohol in the city, which is pricy. There is a limit to your purchase, which will be examined in the customs office. But you can also purchase alcohol from the airport shop duty-free. Even if you are a visitor or a non-Muslim, very few restaurants or bars would serve you alcohol during the holy month of Ramadan.
Don’t Wear Footwear at Houses and Mosques
Dress casually if you visit a mosque. You can choose loose and long clothes. You should also cover your head as traditional Muslim women or men usually do. If you bought it at the local market, this is also your chance to show off your abaya or kandora/dish. Remember to take off your shoes while visiting a mosque, and even if you are visiting a local house, use your right hand to give or receive something.
While it is comfortable roaming through the air-conditioning malls and hotels, Dubai is much happier if you know the right spots. With these travel things listed above, you’re sure to enjoy a great time in Dubai if you make all the right plans during the right times!