A city that managed to change so much in the last 50 years, and tripled its population, is now one of the most popular tourist spots in the world. Continue reading as we’ll give you all the information needed for your first trip to Dubai, what rules you must follow, and what to visit. Hop on and enjoy. As a little preview, here are some of the things we'll go through together
- Dubai travel tips
- Dubai sightseeing - Best tourist spots in Dubai if you're visiting for the first time
- Helicopter ride Dubai - Dubai from the sky
- Dubai theme parks - Experience your kids will love
Know before you go - Traveling to Dubai
UAE has its rules regarding visas and how you should act when you go there. This will also give you an insight into what to expect when you arrive and what the prices are. Before you start your tour of Dubai, we recommend you carefully read the section below.
Dubai entry requirements
There are different requirements depending on what passport you own. Citizens of around 50 countries do not need a visa to enter UAE, but others will have to arrange a visa before their trip to Dubai. Some countries requiring a visa are Serbia, Albania, Turkey, and North Macedonia. You can apply for a visa via approved hotels, airlines, tour operators, and travel agencies. Those that do not require a visa, this includes countries of the EU, Russia, China, and others can get one upon their arrival in Dubai. Depending on what country you come from, you can stay from 30 to 90 days in UAE.
How much does a trip to Dubai cost - Is Dubai expensive?
It’s considered that Dubai is an expensive city, no lies there, but planning is crucial if you want to save money. The trip price can vary depending on how long you want to stay, when you want to visit and what you want to see. Dubai is not as expensive compared to London or New York. A night out or a hotel can cost you the same, if not even more. Plane tickets can vary depending on where you’re arriving from and at what time you’re visiting. The price range is somewhere around $300 to $1000, and even more.
When is the best time to visit Dubai?
Just like we’ve said, planning is a crucial part of saving money for the trip of your dreams. The best time to go on a tour to Dubai depends on your preferences.
- April: If you want to swim in the sea but don’t want to burn your skin from high temperatures, it’s best for you to visit around April. That’s when the temperature is hot enough for enjoying the sun but not too damaging for your skin. Note that this is a peak season because the temperature of 30 degrees allows visitors to enjoy the city the most.
- July to August: On the other hand, if you prefer the burning hell that Dubai is during the summer, and you want to save money, you should visit around July and August. Establishments in Dubai are well-equipped with air conditioning, so you needn’t worry about it being too hot. There are plenty of trees, so you won’t lack shade to run to if you need shelter from the sun. Since it’s off-season, the queues are not as long, so you’ll have time to visit everything you’ve planned.
- November: If you’re more of a tourist who likes sightseeing, you should opt for a visit during November. This is a period when the temperature is warm enough for a walk around the city.
- January: But, if shopping is your primary goal in Dubai, we recommend you visit during the winter months, in January. This is literally a Dubai shopping month as Dubai Shopping Festival is held at this time. Enjoy discounts on various items in malls and designer shops and take home everything you’ve ever wanted. We hope you got a return ticket, though, as you might run out of money because it can be pretty tempting.
Dubai travel tips
- How should I dress: Even though there are many cultures and religions in UAE, this is predominantly a Muslim country. Therefore you should be careful about what you wear. In respect of the modest Muslim culture, women should not wear revealing clothes, transparent materials that show the body, or very tight and short items. Men should not walk around shirtless.
- Like taking photos? Ask for permission first: Unless you’re taking photos of some major tourist attraction, you should always ask for permission when photographing strangers. Don’t take photos of Muslim women without their consent or any stranger that may be near you when you take a selfie. Taking pictures of objects like government buildings, military installations, or airports is highly forbidden.
- What about tipping: Tipping is a common practice in Dubai, but it’s not always expected. For example, taxi drivers don’t expect you to leave a tip, but luggage carriers do. Note that most restaurants already include a tip on the bill.
- Respect Ramadan: Ramadan is a Muslim holiday that lasts 29 to 30 days. During this Holy Month, Muslims practice fasting during the day, so if you’re visiting during this period of time, be respectful of the people fasting and don’t drink or eat in public.
- PDA is a no-no: This might come as a surprise to you, but showing affection in public, such as holding hands or kissing, is highly offensive in Dubai. While you’re there, try not to snuggle in public with your significant other, as you may risk getting arrested.
- How to survive the heat: If you’re visiting Dubai during the hottest months, you need to learn how to stay cool so you don’t pass out from the extreme temperatures. Wearing light-colored and natural fabrics can help your body breathe. Drinking plenty of water, and eating smaller but frequent meals can also help. Visit malls as they have the air conditioning on at all times, or go sightseeing early in the mornings.
- Dubai tour packages: Make the most of your trip by using tour packages with plenty of discounts. Bring along someone with you and get them a ticket for free. If all this sounds tempting, we recommend you visit this Dubai tour packages website and choose your preferred activity.
Dubai sightseeing - Best tourist spots in Dubai if you're visiting for the first time
We represent you with a list of the most visited tourist spots and must-see places on your Dubai city tour. The size of these giant establishments managed to break every world record so far. Continue reading to find out more.
What is Dubai famous for?
Dubai is known for its skyscrapers that kiss the sky, and man-made structures that are true wonders when seen in person. Islands in the shape of the World or a palm. When we talk about the names of these wonders, Burj Khalifa, the Palm, and Dubai mall are those that first come to mind.Apart from the architecture, Dubai, and middle-east, in general, is known for delicious food and very hot temperatures.
Burj Khalifa - A giant among buildings
With a height of 830 meters, including the tip, Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world. The construction of this skyscraper started in 2004, and 6 years later, the world was ready to see a new wonder created by mankind. When it was first built, the name of this structure was Burj Dubai. Outside the tower, there is a Dubai Fountain, an 84-meter long structure that shoots the water along with the tunes of world hits and classical and modern Arabic music. Climb the tower and see Dubai from a whole different perspective, dine in one of the restaurants in the tower or relax in The Burj Club.
Learn more about its many world records in our blog - Most famous landmarks.
The Dubai mall - Record-breaking shopping experience
Not only that this place holds a record for the highest tower in the world, but also for the biggest shopping mall in the world. The Dubai mall is full of attractions waiting to be explored.For those who like shopping, there are many high-end stores, including Gucci, Versace, Burberry, and shoe stores for the most famous brands out there. For foodies, there are luxurious restaurants with mouth-watering food and drinks. The kids can enjoy their time in KidZania, while you’re shopping. You can take your friends and family to see the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, one of the most visited attractions in the mall. In this 48-meters long tunnel, you will see more than 140 species of submarine animals. Read more about the mall on our page dedicated to it - The Dubai Mall.
Dubai Frame - Where old and modern collide
Located in the park Zabeel, this golden frame is the biggest frame in the world. Where else would you see an enormous frame like this one if not in Dubai? The Dubai frame represents a connection between the old and the modern Dubai. On one side, you can see an old side of the city, and on the other, the modern side, with its futuristic aesthetic and huge tall buildings. The top part of the frame is made into a bridge, a glass bridge not for the faintest of heart. In the side frames, there are two galleries: The Old Gallery and The Future Gallery. Find all you need to know before visiting it on our page - Dubai Frame.
Dubai Marina - City within a city
Dubai Marina is a district that lies on the Persian Gulf shoreline. This residential and commercial area accommodates around 55.000 people and is a popular tourist spot. There are many activities you can enjoy in this area, like going on a cruise ship, walking around the Jumeriah Beach Residence, or shopping in Dubai Marina mall; there is something for everyone. For only $50 dollars you’ll be able to explore the Dubai Marina from a cruise ship, cool isn’t it? Don't forget to visit our Dubai Marina page to get even more information.
Dubai Miracle garden - Colorful dreamland
This colorful area of green grass and objects made out of flowers is a true wonderland to get lost in. Animals, houses, and different objects made out of flowers will take your breath away. If you are a fan of Walt Disney, you can find famous Disney characters among the flowers. You may wonder how much water is needed to keep these plants alive, but we have good news for you. This garden is entirely sustainable, as the wastewater is filtered and recycled to water the plants in it. We've dedicated a whole page to the Dubai Miracle Garden, which you should definitely visit to get the freshest info.
Dubai city tour - Things to do in Dubai we recommend to everyone
Sightseeing popular objects is pretty impressive, right? But, if you want to experience Dubai to the fullest, we recommend you ride a dhow cruise or go on a Safari tour, so don't skip this part. If your taste is even more deluxe, we got you! In our top destinations for a luxury vacation blog, Dubai has a special place.
Helicopter ride Dubai - Dubai from the sky
For those who enjoy extreme heights and want to see the city from above, we recommend an exciting helicopter ride that will take you all over the city to see it from a whole different perspective. There are private and shared helicopter rides at your disposal, depending on your preference and budget. A shared ride will cost you around $200, while you’ll pay three times more for a private one.
Dhow cruise Dubai - Unforgettable cruise adventures
Dubai Marina is the main place where tourists can experience dhow cruises, as this district, or a city, as it’s now called, is located on an artificial canal. Depending on what you want to experience, there are open-air deck dhows or one with large windows. There are dhow cruise packages that come with a DJ for a real party experience. We should also mention that in Dubai Marina, one can also find a dinner cruise, a 3-hour dhow ride with plenty of food at your service.
Hop on, hop off Dubai - Take a stop at your favorite location
If you are traveling frequently you are used to these kinds of tours. Still, for those who don’t know, Hop on hop off bus tours are types of tours where you get on the bus and get off at the desired landmark, and when you are ready to go to your next location, you just wait for another tour bus to come. Prices depend on what time of the day you want to go and for how long, but on average, it would cost you around $70.
Safari tour Dubai - A ride you’ve always dreamed of
We’ve all seen camels slowly making their way through the big red dunes or huge vehicles cutting the sand at an enormous speed like in Mad Max on the TV, but in Dubai, you’d get to experience it yourself. For around $70, you can ride across the dunes in the quad bike, try some sand boarding or enjoy a camel ride, but be gentle to the animals, they are not toys. It’s quite remarkable how, because of the sand, the desert is actually cooler than the city, but have your sunscreen with you at all times.
Places to visit in Dubai with family - Explore attractions for kids in Dubai
We know traveling is best experienced with family, so here are some locations worth visiting if you’re bringing little ones along.
Ski Dubai - Snow and 40 degrees?
The hot temperatures of Dubai can sometimes be stressful for children, so to relax them a bit, we recommend you take them to Ski Dubai, an indoor skiing area. Yes, you read that correctly, a skiing area located inside the Mall of the Emirates. Here you can enjoy skiing, even with the temperatures outside being 40 degrees. There is no need for any equipment, as everything will be provided for you once you get there. Let your kids enjoy sleds and toboggan runs, ice caves, and giant snowballs. We believe they’ll never forget this experience. Depending on how long you want to spend your time in Ski Dubai and what activities you want to enjoy, the price for the ticket can vary from $50 up to $130.
Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo - Blue waters and dangerous sharks
Located in the Dubai Mall, this aquarium and underwater zoo holds a record of being the biggest indoor aquarium in the world. Dubai really is a record breaker, isn’t it? The zoo is home to more than 30 000 animals from all over the world, and it houses the largest collection of sand tiger sharks in the world. The aquarium also consists of a 48-meter-long tunnel that gives a view of the submarine creatures from all sides. For the brave ones and shark lovers, the aquarium offers the tourists to dive and swim with the sharks and sting rays or a boat ride where you can admire these gorgeous creatures from above the water.
Dubai kite beach - A sun-seeking heaven
It’s no wonder that Kite Beach is the most popular beach in Dubai when there are numerous activities you can enjoy there. Fun-seekers and watersports lovers can enjoy stand-up paddleboarding, kitesurfing, or wakeboarding. For those who are not so fond of water, there is beach volleyball to enjoy, and making some friends along the way. While some opt for chilling and sunbathing on the beach, some might go look for delicious food to enjoy, there’s plenty at your exposal at food trucks and shops.
Dubai theme parks - Experience your kids will love
Dubai is well-equipped with theme parks where children can spend their time and have plenty of fun. These are our top pics for you.
- IMG Worlds of Adventure is a theme park for superhero lovers, dinosaur enthusiasts, and Cartoon Network characters fans. The park has a popular rollercoaster called the Velociraptor for kids who are into a serious adrenaline rush.
- Legoland Dubai is for the small ones, aging from 2 to 12 years old. This park has plenty of games for children to get to know each other and play as a team. Did you know that the Burj Khalifa Lego model is the tallest Lego building in the world?
- The last on our list is Motiongate Dubai, a theme park inspired by action and animation films. Come visit if you like rollercoaster rides, films, and a bunch of great entertainment.
We’ve got your attention, right? You are now well-equipped with information and tips and ready to book your flight to this fantastic city. Remember, be respectful to the culture, and enjoy your time there. Bon voyage!