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Welcome to Dubai

Welcome to the most famous city of the United Arab Emirates and one of the most luxurious destinations in the world. We have made an effort to present you with all the necessary tourist information about this unusual city and thus enable you to organize your dream trip. On our page, you will find helpful tips on how to get to know the city in the right way and use all its advantages. You will learn how to enter the city, how to book the perfect accommodation, enjoy the gastronomy and rich nightlife, and how to get to know the Burj Khalifa and other famous city attractions. Let's go on a joint adventure through Dubai. Let's find out what attracts millions of tourists.

The most important information about Dubai

Dubai is a city that has gotten extremely rich from oil. Here is the most important information about this extravagant city.
  • History of Dubai - It is thought that Dubai was established as a fishing village in the early 18th century, and the records show that it was a walled city in the early 1800s. The Al Maktoum dynasty has been ruling Dubai from the year 1833 until today. At first, the village relied on fishing, trading and pearl diving, until it struck oil in 1966. With the discovery of oil, the development of Dubai began and it became a modern port, city and commercial hub. Today it is a major tourist city that continues to grow. 
  • Geography and time zone - Dubai is located on the coast of the Persian Gulf in the emirate of Dubai of the United Arab Emirates, directly within the Arabian Desert. A creek runs northeast-southwest through the city, and there are sculpted artificial island complexes like the Palm Islands and The World archipelago. The Time zone in Dubai is Gulf Standard Time, GMT +4.
  •  Climate - The climate in Dubai is a hot desert climate with extremely hot, prolonged, windy, and humid summers and mild to warm winters. The hottest month is August, while the coolest one is January. The average high temperature during summers is 40 °C, and the highest recorded temperature is 48.8 °C.
  • Demography - The population in Dubai is 3,331,420 and it has more than eight times the population density of the entire country. However, only a tiny percentage of the people, around 15%, are UAE nationals. Most people are expatriates, but many of them have been in the country for generations or were born in the UAE. The most prominent groups of expatriates are Indian and Pakistani. The official state religion of the UAE is Islam. There are also Christian, Hindu, Sikh, Bahá’i, Buddhist and other religious communities in Dubai.
  • Tradition and culture - What is this city unique for? - Dubai has an incredibly high number of ex-pats and immigrants. There you can taste the local Arabic food and see how the locals live, but also the extravagance. Dubai is unique for its architecture - it is home to Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, and Burj Al Arab, one of the tallest hotels globally. It also has the biggest mall in the world and artificial palm-shaped islands.

City Travel Tips for Dubai

Here is some practical information about Dubai:
  • Official Language and other languages spoken - Official language in Dubai is Arabic, with the Gulf dialect being spoken natively by the Emirati people. The second language is English, while other major languages are Malayalam, Hindi-Urdu, Gujarati, Persian, Sindhi, and many others.
  • Entering the city: Procedures and requirements - Before traveling to Dubai, you need to check if you need a visa. Depending on your nationality, you can get a visa on arrival or apply for a prearranged visit visa from Dubai Immigration. To check if you need a visa, visit the official portal of the UAE Government.
  • Money Tips - Currency - The currency in Dubai is United Arab Emirates Dirham or AED. Dubai is really expensive, so you should stay at a budget hotel. The Old Quarter of Dubai is way cheaper than the rest of the city, and it has several attractions that you can visit. Alcohol in Dubai is expensive, so you should avoid it. The Metro is a good way of getting around Dubai, and it is cheaper than taxis and Ubers. The average price of a 7-day trip to Dubai for a solo traveler is 1310 euros.
Important Numbers
  • Country Dialing Code Prefix - The dialing code prefix for Dubai is +971.
  • Police: 999.
  • Ambulance: 998.
  • Fire Department: 997.
  • Coastguard: 996.
Useful apps, free travel map - Some of the apps that you should download before traveling to Dubai are:
  • Careem - a ride-sharing app that allows you to request a ride or book a ride in advance. They accept both cash and cards.
  • Wojhati - an official app service from Dubai’s Road & Transports Authority that lets you navigate through the public transportation network, including buses, water buses, monorail, trams, and metro. You can see timetables and suggestions for the shortest route to your destination.
  • Talabat - a food delivery app through which you can order local and international cuisines. You can pay with debit and credit cards online, or with cash on delivery.
  • Visit Dubai - an official app from the Department of Tourism of Dubai where you can find all the information on sights, attractions, and recommendations.
  • Dubai Maps and Walks - an app with several self-guided walking tours around the city displayed on a map and shows estimated walking times. The maps also work offline.

When to visit Dubai?

The best time to visit Dubai is in September and April because it’s not too hot and you can enjoy the city without passing out from the heat. During the summer months, the temperature is too high, so you can only enjoy indoor activities. 

How to get to Dubai?

You can get to Dubai by:
  • Plane - there are two major international airports in Dubai: the Dubai International Airport and the Dubai World Central or the Al Maktoum International.
  • Bus - there are two main bus stations in Dubai: Al Ghubaiba and Gold souq. Emirates Express connects Dubai to all other emirates.
  • Car - the only way to enter Dubai is through Oman. There are several highways that pass through Dubai: E11. E44, E311 and E102.

Activities for tourists in Dubai

Best tours - Dubai has a lot to offer in regards to experiences, and you can see that on the city tours. We have selected the best sightseeing activities in Dubai:
  • Burj Khalifa: Level 124 & 125 - on this tour you can see panoramic views over Dubai from the observation deck. On level 125 you will be able to have 360-degree views over the Arabian Gulf. The tickets go from 36.62 euros per person. You can book your tour here.
  • Dubai Red Dunes Safari: BBQ, Camel, Sandboarding & Falcon - this tour includes a drive to the desert, an optional quad bike ride, a ride across red dunes of the Lehbab Desert, sandboarding, a camel ride from the Al Khayma Camp where you’ll also get to see the falcon and enjoy the buffet barbecue that begins at sunset. The tickets start from 99.58 euros per person and you can book it here.
  • Old Dubai Culture, History and Souks Walking Tour - you can either have a shared or a private tour where you’ll explore Old Dubai and learn about Arabia, history and culture. You’ll get to see the old-world charms of Dubai before the oil rush in the Grand Souk and to enjoy a cruise on the Dubai creek on a traditional abra. The tickets start from 39.31 euros and you can book your tour here.
Events and festivals - There are a lot of events and festivals being held in Dubai throughout the whole year - from holiday celebrations to sport events. Some of them are:
  • Dubai Shopping Festival - one of the biggest annual events in Dubai with sales and discounts across major brands. It is held from 17th December to 30th January and apart from sales it includes concerts, children’s entertainment, firework shows and more.
  • Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship - an annual sporting event that brings some of the biggest tennis superstars. It has been taking place in Dubai for the past 25 years. It is held in February/March at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium.
  • Dubai World Cup - an annual horse racing event that is considered one of the most prestigious horse races on the planet. It is also well-known as the statement hat competition where ladies compete by wearing the most extravagant hats. The Cup is held on the 27th of March.
  • National Day Celebration - one of the most anticipated annual celebrations in Dubai that is held on the 2nd of December that commemorates the UAE’s independence. During this celebration you can see decorations featuring the UAE flag’s colours all over the city with special events with parades, fireworks and more.
Best Shopping - Dubai is known for its shopping options - from malls to markets. Dubai mall is one of the biggest in the world, and it is located in Downtown Dubai. There you can find the highest concentration of designer boutiques in the UAE. It has more than 1300 shops and it is open from 10 am to 12 am. 
  • In Al Barsha there is the Mall of the Emirates that also has a lot of designer shops like Bvlgari, Dior and Gucci. 
  • In Jebel Ali you can shop in the Outlet Village, where you can find several discounted high-end collections. 
  • Suppose you want to get a taste of the old Dubai tradition and culture. In that case, you should visit Old Dubai Souks around the mouth of Dubai Creek where you can get saffron, incense, pashminas, fridge magnets, jewellery, lanterns and the odd genuine fake.

Tourist attractions in Dubai?

Dubai is home to the tallest building in the world, but it also has a lot more monuments and attractions that can be only seen there:
  • Burj Khalifa - a 160-story skyscraper and observation deck. Its total height is 829.8 m making it the tallest building in the world. The construction of the Burj Khalifa began in 2004, and it was opened in 2010 as part of a new development called Downtown Dubai. The tickets for the observation decks go from 149 AED (35,46 euros) and you can book them on the official website of Burj Khalifa.
  • Burj Al Arab - a luxury hotel. It is one of the tallest hotels in the world. The hotel is located on an artificial island and is connected to the mainland by a private curving bridge. It is designed to resemble the sail of a ship. 
  • The Dubai Mall - the second largest mall globally, it has a total retail floor area of 502,000 square meters. It is adjacent to the iconic Burj Khalifa and it has over 1200 shops. It was opened in 2008 with about 1000 retailers. Within it are Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, VR Park Dubai, Reel Cinemas, Rainforest Cafe, Hysteria (a haunted house), Dubai Dino, Dubai Creek Tower Replica and KidZania.
  • Ski Dubai - an indoor ski resort that has 22,500 square meters of the indoor ski area. It is a part of the Mall of the Emirates and it was opened in 2005. The resort has an 85-metre-high indoor mountain with 5 slopes of varying steepness and difficulty. Next to the slope is a 3,000-square-metre Snow Park play area with sled and toboggan runs, an icy body slide, climbing towers, giant snowballs and an ice cave. The resort also has several penguins who are let out of their enclosures several times a day. There is also a ski school where you can learn how to ski. There are different types of tickets and you can see the information about them and book them on the official website of Ski Dubai.
  • Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo - one of the largest aquariums in the world. It contains more than 33,000 aquatic animals and the largest collection of sand tiger sharks anywhere. The Aquarium offers various animals like king croc, penguin and otter, and diving experiences with or without a cage. There are different types of tickets and experiences and you can book them on the official website of the Dubai Aquarium.
  • The Dubai Fountain - a choreographed fountain system on the 12 hectare man made Burj Khalifa Lake. It is 275 m long and it has 6,600 lights and 50 colored projectors. The water goes up to 152.4 meters into the air. The fountain plays different music, from classical to contemporary Arabic and world music. It was opened in 2009.
  • Dubai Miracle Garden - the world’s largest natural flower garden, located in the district of Dubailand. It was opened on Valentine’s Day in 2013 and it has over 150 million flowers and 250 million plants. The ticket price for adults and seniors is AED 55 (13,09 euros), and for children aged from 3 to 12 it’s AED 40 (9,52 euros). You can book your tickets on the official Dubai Miracle Garden website.
  • Aquaventure Waterpark - world’s largest water park that has 79 record-breaking slides and attractions. Within it is a 1km of private beach where you can relax, the world’s first kid’s rally-racer, tornado slide and more, you can hire a kayak or paddle board at the Watersports Beach Hut at Aquaventure Beach, go on a Shark Safari at the Shark Lagoon Experiences, and children aged 3 to 6 can go to a Mini Marine Biologist Programme where they’ll see what it takes to be part of the specialist Aquarist team. The waterpark is located in the Avenues at Atlantis, The Palm. There are various types of tickets which you can buy on the Atlantis website.
  • Dubai Creek - a natural saltwater creek that extends about 9 miles inwards and forms a natural port traditionally used for trade and transport. On the banks of the creek there are a number of tourist locations and hotels, as well as banks, houses, notable government, business and residential areas.
  • Wild Wadi Waterpark - an outdoor water park in the area of Jumeirah, next to the Burj Al Arab. It has a heated/cooled wave pool, multiple water slides and two artificial surfing machines. There is also an 18 m waterfall that goes off every ten minutes, food & beverage and shops. You can buy the tickets on the official website of the waterpark.

Accommodation in Dubai

Dubai is an expensive city, but it offers a wide range of accommodation that many would be able to afford:
  • Hotels - Dubai is home to the world’s tallest hotel, popularly known as the world’s only seven-star hotel. So the prices can go as high as 1900 euros per night. You can find one and two-star hotels for a price of around 35 euros per night. If you want a central location and convenient facilities, you should go for Rove Hotels, a homegrown hotel chain.
  • Rooms and Apartments - In Dubai you can find hotel apartments that are good if you’re staying longer and you want to feel like you’re in your own apartment. In them you can find kitchens with cookers, clothes washing facilities, office space and more. If you don’t want to stay in a hotel, you can find some amazing home rentals on licensed websites like Airbnb and Booking.
  • Hostels and budget accommodation - There are a lot of hostels in Dubai that you can choose from. There are female and male-only rooms, as well as mixed rooms. Prices go from 11 euros per night, and there are rooms with 10 beds, as well.

Best restaurants in Dubai

There are a lot of different nationalities in Dubai so there is a wide range of cuisines that you can choose from - Asian, Chinese, European, French, Greek, Indian, and more. There are also a lot of places where you can have brunch with unlimited beverages and places where you can have afternoon tea with scones, sandwiches, and delicate cakes.
  • Where to eat - Dubai has a lot of internationally recognized chefs and restaurant chains. Every restaurant has a fantastic atmosphere with views and unforgettable culinary experiences. Nathan Outlaw Al Mahara serves seafood within the vast aquarium, while Eauzone serves food and drinks around the pool. If you’re looking for something more affordable, you should go to Lounge Cafe Italiano that serves Italian, Mediterranean, and European food, including real Italian pizza. In the steakhouse Tribes Carnivore you can try African and International food with the views of the fountain.
  • Where to go out - Dubai has a vibrant and exotic nightlife. The weekend is on Friday and Saturday, so the parties start on Thursday nights. Dubai doesn’t have nightlife areas. So you have to decide in advance where you would like to go out. You can go out to one of the beach clubs since usually a DJ starts playing in the afternoon till late in the evening. Some of the most popular beach bars are Nasimi Beach, Barasti Beach and Cove Beach. Most clubs and bars are located in big hotels and there are regular performances by international artists and DJs. At most clubs and bars you have to pay for entrance and be well dressed to get in, and most of the time one or more drinks are included in the entrance price. Some of the best clubs and bars in Dubai are club White, the rooftop bar The Penthouse, club Vault and club Sensation.
  • Where to have afternoon tea - Going out for an afternoon tea is really popular in Dubai and therefore a lot of places offer it. Some of the best are Al Bayt at Palace Downtown, where you can choose from traditional English or Arabic tea and have a selection of sarnies and cakes, and Mosaico, where you can taste Dammann Freres tea and an assortment of finger sandwiches, scones served with homemade jam, clotted cream and lemon curd.

Public transport in Dubai

The temperatures in Dubai can be really high, so it’s hard to walk or drive a bike on the heated pavement. Thankfully, there is a perfect public transport system. The ticket that is used for buses, trams and the metro are nol cards. There are different types: nol Cards that last 5 years, nol Red Ticket that lasts for 90 days or 10 trips, and nol Pass that lasts 3 hours. You can get them at the stations of the public transport.
  • Buses - The bus service network in Dubai covers 87% of the urban area in the Emirate of Dubai. You can find the bus routes, timetables, fare zones and the map of Dubai transport network on the Roads and Transport Authority website.
  • Tram and local trains - The Dubai Tram links Dubai Metro and the Palm Monorail and runs along Al Sufouh Road and Jumeirah Beach Road. It has 11 stations.
  • Metro - Dubai metro is a fully automated rail system that operates on two different routes - red and green lines. You can find the network map on the Roads and Transport Authority website.
  • Marine - The marine transport includes Abre, the Water bus, the water taxi and Dubai Ferry. You can find the routes, timetables and prices on the Roads and Transport Authority website.
  • Taxi - The taxis in Dubai have a Government-standardized fare system that uses a taximeter based on distance, and the base fare depends on the time of day and pickup location. You can flag down a taxi from the street, call for a radio-taxi or walk to one of the 50 official taxi ranks.

Frequently asked questions about Dubai

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The most important information before going to Dubai?