Visiting Dubai for the first time ? There are so many things you need to know before you book your ticket. I visited Dubai last May and it was one of the most beautiful cities i’ve been to so far. The laws and culture are very different from what I am used to, but that never stopped me from taking this trip of a lifetime. When you love traveling as much as I do, you have to be open minded and very receptive of other cultures. This list is based on what I’ve observed and learned from tour guides during my trip.
What to know before travelling to Dubai
- The Dubai international airport ( DXB) is one of the busiest in the world. Get ready for long lines, even at 2 AM. Keep in mind for your return flight you’ll need a minimum of three hours for check-in and passport control.
- Almost 90% of the Dubai population are expats. It’s really a melting pot of different nationalities and cultures. I’ve met people from all around the globe.
- Only use a taxi with a meter, we almost got ripped off by this man at the airport who wanted to charge us AED300 for AED100 trip. Thank God we did our homework before hands.
- Almost everyone speaks English.
- Do bring an universal adapter, the UAE has 3 pin sockets with 220V.
- If you go in the month of May like I did, the heat is almost unbearable. Plan to dress accordingly.
- The good news is almost all restaurants, indoor attractions, hotels and even train stations have air conditioning.
- Dubai is one of the safest cities in the world. The crime rate is very low.
- The city is like the Mecca of shopping. You’ll find a lot of US , Canadian, French, and Uk stores.
- Drugs are not allowed anywhere in the UAE. Even traces of drugs on your suitcase, shoes or clothing can get you into trouble.
- Even though it is recommended to dress conservatively, there isn’t any lawfully-enforced dress code in Dubai. I’ve seen people wearing all kinds of sexy clothes, but it does not hurt to respect the local culture and leave the booty shorts back home.
- If you’re visiting a mosque, women have to cover themselves head to toe.
- Although it’s hot, Summer is the best time to save on everything from hotels to plane tickets. I stayed at the Hilton Jumeraih Beach
- Because it’s a muslim country, alcohol is only allowed in designated areas like some restaurants and hotels (tourists areas).
- Weekend in Dubai is Friday and Saturday, which means Sunday is a workday, not sure if I’ll ever get used to that
- If you’re going to have fun, avoid going to Dubai during the month of Ramadan. All the restaurants are closed during the day. No eating, smoking, or drinking is allowed in public places including hotel lobbies. You can only eat in your room.
- Public fights, arguments or swearing are not allowed. If are you caught, you will be thrown out of the country whether you’re a resident or tourist.
- No PDA (public display of affection) is allowed. That includes kissing, holding hands, or touching private parts.
- Taking photographs of people without permission is illegal and can lead to fines or being deported.
- The city is not very walk friendly in my opinion.
- When using the Metro, pay attention to the signs. There is a special wagon for women and kids only (no men allowed).
- The Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa, the Marina, Old Dubai and many other places can be reached directly via the Metro.
- No chewing gums, drinking or eating inside public transport is not allowed. Fine AED200.
- There is an overwhelming choice of bars and clubs if you are the partying type.
- Last but not least, Dubai is very clean. I found that the public restrooms were clean everywhere I went to.
Don’t forget to check out my Dubai Desert Safari Experience post.If you ever make it to Dubai I hope your enjoy your time there. If you’ve been there before what was your experience like ? I would definitely go back again if I have the opportunity. Any questions or comments, do leave it below.