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* <eat name="Ferns N Petals Dubai" alt="" address="P.O BOX 393728, U D M A N Floral Trading LLC Warehouse No-4, Street 6a, Al Quoz Industrial Area-3" directions="" phone="+971 567427222" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="" email="[email protected]" fax="">Cakes</eat>
* <eat name="Ferns N Petals Dubai" alt="" address="P.O BOX 393728, U D M A N Floral Trading LLC Warehouse No-4, Street 6a, Al Quoz Industrial Area-3" directions="" phone="+971 567427222" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="" email="[email protected]" fax="">Cakes</eat>
* <eat name="French Bakery Dubai" alt="" address="Behind Shangrila Hotel - شارع المركز المالي - Al SatwaAl Safa - Dubai
" directions="" phone="971 55 123 3171" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="" email="[email protected]" fax="">Cakes</eat>
* <eat name="London Fish &amp; Chips" alt="" address="Tunisia Food Court, Ibn Batutta Mall, Jebel Ali Village, Dubai" directions="" phone="+971 4 366 9939" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Fish and chips.</eat>
* <eat name="London Fish &amp; Chips" alt="" address="Tunisia Food Court, Ibn Batutta Mall, Jebel Ali Village, Dubai" directions="" phone="+971 4 366 9939" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Fish and chips.</eat>

Revision as of 08:00, 27 July 2021

Dubai in United Arab Emirates.png
Flag of Dubai.svg
Quick Facts
Government U.A.E. Emirate
Currency UAE dirham (AED)
Area 4,114 km2
Population 2,106,177(2013 est.)
Language Official:Arabic
Regionally Spoken:English
Religion Islam 76%, Christianity 12.6%, Hinduism 6.6%, Buddhism 2%, Other 2.8%
Electricity 220/50Hz (UK plug)
Time Zone UTC +4
Dubai Skyline
Dubai is a huge city with several district articles containing sightseeing, restaurant, nightlife and accommodation listings — have a look at each of them.

Dubai (دبي) is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates. With shape like a slant rectangle, it's bounded in the north by Sharjah and in the south by Abu Dhabi. The city is rather like an independent city-state and is the most modern and progressive emirate in the UAE, developing at a rapid pace, especially in the tourist and trade sectors. Recently, Dubai won the bid to host EXPO 2020, a Universal scale Registered Exposition approved by the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE), Paris.


Dubai was gaining popularity in recent years until the global economic crash of 2008. It is essentially a desert city with superb infrastructure and comparatively liberal policies (by regional standards). Boasting state-of-the-art tourist amenities, it quickly became popular and one of the most visited cities in the world. Just 5 h from Europe and 3 h from most parts of the Middle East, the Near East, and the subcontinent of India, Dubai makes a great short break for shopping, partying, sunbathing, fine dining, sporting events, and other tourists' activities. It is a city of superlatives. For the fastest, biggest, tallest, largest and highest, Dubai is the destination. It has the largest immigrant population in the world. Specifically, according to Dubai Statistics Center, out of its 2019 3,355,900 population, only 263,450 were Emiratis and that has been the fashion for years. The city's weekly day off is Friday. Note that since September 2006, a harmonised weekend of Friday and Saturday has been adopted for the public sector and schools. Government departments, multinational companies and most schools and universities now go off on Friday and Saturday (after years of a mixed bag of Friday/Saturday and Thursday/Friday weekends). Some local companies still work half a day on Thursday with a full day on Saturday, but larger companies tend to permit relaxation and time off work for their employees on Friday and Saturday.

One Emirates, many Peoples
Once you land in Dubai, you might not think it is an Arab city, given its cosmopolitan feel and its modern Western-styled architectures. When Dubai was in poor state before the exploration of oil, some Indians supplied technology for the development of it. Dubai has, since the founding of its oil industry, attracted thousands of migrants from all over the world notably from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and the Philippines. In this modern day, Indians and Filipinos have left their influence in the emirate: Indian restaurants and Pakistani bakeshops are everywhere while Filipino supermarkets are on the rise. Next to them the Europeans (mostly British and French) and Sri Lankans, form the next largest communities. Chinese and Indonesian migrants are on the rise. Many Arab countries have passed policies like the UAE's Emiratisation, which is a policy that prevents migrants from taking all the job opportunities and provides more jobs to local Emiratis.

Dubai is divided into multiple districts or municipalities:

  • Jumeirah — A diverse district whose residents are the Europeans to the Filipinos to the Pakistanis; a mixed Little Europe, Karachi and Manila. Jumeirah is much favoured by Europeans due to the ease of access of the beach, Beautiful villas are seen here. Jumeirah Beach, Jumeirah Beach Residence's the Walk and Jumeirah Mosque are the top attractions.
  • Downtown Dubai — While Bur Dubai and Deira are traditionally considered "Downtown", the Downtown Dubai development is smack in the center of the "New Dubai," between Dubai Marina on the south end and the border with the city of Sharjah to the north. It includes the Burj Khalifa (tallest building in the world), the Dubai Mall (world's biggest), Dubai Fountain, and lots of other skyscrapers and hotels.
  • Dubai Harbour — Set to open in October 2020, Dubai Harbour will be an iconic, innovative and luxurious waterfront development, creating a world-class maritime facility with the biggest and most advanced cruise terminal and marina in the region. Inspired by the Gulf’s long tradition with the sea, Dubai Harbour is set to further enhance the position of Dubai as a leading global hub for maritime tourism, attracting visitors from all over the world. Located right in the heart of Dubai, in the vibrant area between the iconic Bluewaters and Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Harbour is a stone’s throw away from the city’s most recognised landmarks, beautiful beaches and world-famous attractions.
  • Dubai Marina — is a mega-development that borders Jebel Ali (the world's largest man-made port). It is full of skyscrapers and hosts the "Jumeirah Beach Walk" with a number of restaurants, hotels an open-air market when the weather permits, and frequent shows. Dubai Marina houses one of the highest concentrations of Westerns in Dubai. There are many hotels surrounding Dubai Marina.
  • Satwa — One of Dubai's Little India and Little Manila, due to the presence of Filipinos and Indians, a rise in Filipino and Indian restaurants, shops, supermarkets are seen here. Gold and textiles is what people come here for, Gold Souk might be your top destination but Satwa too has gold shops and is hassle free, not so crowded.
  • Karama — More of like a mixed commercial residential district, one of Dubai's Little Indias and Little Manilas, cheap eats and cheap buys are the top things here.
  • Bur Dubai — A historical district and Bur Dubai is usual term for the area from Jumeirah to the creek, the creek separates Bur Dubai from Deira. Tourist attractions from abras to souks to floating restaurants to the famous creek are found here.
  • Bluewaters — is a vibrant lifestyle destination featuring distinctive residential, retail, hospitality, and entertainment options. All who arrive are spoilt for choice. Home to Ain Dubai, the world’s largest observation wheel, it is also a shopper’s paradise, housing unique retail and dining concepts.
  • Dubai World Trade Centre- a district that was only sand and emptiness only a decade ago but is now a free zone of commercial economic activity, from office spaces, coworking spaces, and entertainment attractions, to warehouses, expensive hotels, and lavish restaurants.
  • Deira — Dubai's old Financial centre, today Deira is a bustling commercial-residential district of Indian, Pakistani, Persian, and Arab cultures with some old souks, including one specializing in spices. Many Iranian, Iraqi, Yemeni, Pakistani, Indian, Afghani and other immigrants from poorer Middle Eastern, South Asian, and Central Asian countries call this area home.
  • Arabian Ranches and Emirates Hills — These are two separate places, residential rents here are expensive due to the land value, just like the whole of Dubai, these two are Man-made.
  • Mirdiff/Mirdif — A commercial-residential district which is somewhat newly built and lies directly under the flight path to Dubai International Airport. Mirdif City Center is one of the attractions. This is another residence for the well-to-do.
  • International City — Just a simple residential area in the middle of the desert, what's special about it is its architectural design, the residential rents here are cheap and is somewhat the next Chinatown as many Chinese businessmen and women reside here.

Also see Jebel Ali, a city near Dubai which was once isolated from the main bulk of Dubai back in the 70's and is now a separate major residential and industrial hub encompassing the edges of the southern portions of Dubai. The main attraction popular with locals and tourists alike is the easily recognizable Ibn Battuta Mall, styled on the countries visited by the famous explorer. The mall is built adjacent to the Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel that's large archway can be seen from afar. Surrounding the mall is the Gardens apartments, an ethnically diverse district with a strong Indian community. Jebel Ali village, a 35 year old community built on the side of Jebel Ali (Ali Mountain) for the European builders of Jebel Ali Port is still popular with western expats. The coastal side of the Sheihk Zayed Road in Jebel Ali consists of many unattractive power and desalination plants that somewhat ruin the view. The port was the 9th busiest in the world in 2011.


Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High (°C) 24.0 25.4 28.2 32.9 37.6 39.5 40.8 41.3 38.9 35.4 30.5 26.2
Low (°C) 14.3 15.4 17.6 20.8 24.6 27.2 29.9 30.2 27.5 23.9 19.9 16.3
Precipitation (cm) 1.88 2.50 2.21 0.72 0.04 0.00 0.08 0.00 0.00 0.11 0.27 1.62

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - Weather forecast

Dubai has an arid sub-tropical climate with very hot, humid summer weather averaging 42 degrees (108F) in the daytime and 28 (84F) at night. Fall and Spring is still rather hot, with daytime temperatures between 25 and 40 degrees (75-100F) and nights around 20 degrees (65-75F), with less humidity. Winter weather is pleasant and dry, with daytime highs of 25 (75F) and nighttime lows of 10 degrees (55F). Dubai is known for its beaches, with water temperature in summer getting as hot as 37 degrees (99F). The water temperature tends to be around 20-25 degrees (75F) in winter, and 30 (85F) in spring and fall as outside temperatures rise.

December to April generally produces the highest precipitation, which at 10 cm (5 in), still is little. Some years yield no more than a few minutes of shower in Dubai. November 2006 brought record rains up to 50 cm (25 in) of rain, with temperatures at record lows.

Get in

See Get in section of the UAE page for visa and customs regulations. As a result of the lately Peace Treaty between the two states, Israeli passport holders are now welcome in Dubai and having Israeli stamps in your passport is not a problem.

If you are traveling from India and are of a nationality for which an advance visa is required, it might be necessary to get an 'Ok to Board' stamp on your tickets and Visa. This is generally arranged by a travel agent. If this has not been done, consult your airline office once you have a visa and airline ticket in your possession.

By plane

Dubai's main airport is the Dubai International Airport. You can also enter Dubai by using Sharjah International Airport (SHJ) in the nearby emirate of Sharjah.

There are intercontinental flights from US$30 to the Abu Dhabi airport. The airline is called WizzAir Abu Dhabi and flies to Europe, Asia and Africa. If you are somewhat flexible in your travel, you can get a 3–6 hour flight for a very low fare. The flights depart (as of May 2021) from Athens, Tel-Aviv, Alexandria, Budapest, Santorini, Larnaca, Catania, Luxor, Muscat, Bari, Thessaloniki, Kyiv, Bucharest, Belgrade, Salalah, Kutaisi, Almaty, Nur-Sultan, Katowice, Odesa, Yerevan, Cluj, Sohag and Sofia. The airline has high growth ambitions so further destinations will be added soon.

Frequent visitors from countries granted automatic visa on entry may wish to purchase an e-gate card to speed up immigration formalities and save passport pages. The e-gate card office is situated in the upstairs foodcourt area of the terminal 1 departures concourse. The card will cost AED 200. Note: If you intend to buy an e-gate card in Dubai, you must have entered UAE via Dubai airport.

Airlines are often having price wars to glamorous destinations like Dubai and this can work to your advantage by careful planning and comparison of the various airlines serving Dubai. Emirates[] is Dubai's official airline carrier which connects Dubai to over 100 destinations while FlyDubai[] is Dubai's low-cost carrier. Etihad[] has free 75 minute shuttle services from their exclusive check in facility in Sheikh Zayed Rd or Central Business District of Dubai to and from Abu Dhabi Int'l Airport, you can also fly with Sharjah's low-cost carrier; Air Arabia[] which flies to over 46 destinations within the Middle East.Now it is possible for indians holding green card or valid us visa and passport validity no less then six months can get visa on arrival fo DM.100/-effective may 1st 2017.

Dubai International Airport

Dubai Airport Terminal 1 Interiors
Shops at Dubai Airport

Dubai International Airport (IATA: DXB) [] is the largest hub in the Middle East and the home base of Dubai's flag carrier Emirates [] and its low-cost wing FlyDubai []. In fact, it has grown at such a furious pace that the present terminals are bursting at the seams, especially during the peak hours around midnight.

The Dubai International Airport has three terminals and another one in the making as of end 2010.

  • Terminal 1 is the main terminal, used by most major airlines and long-haul flights.
  • Terminal 2 serves regional and low-cost flights, including all FlyDubai flights.
  • Terminal 3 is used exclusively by Emirates.

Terminals 1 and 3 are directly connected to each other via the airside (no immigration needed for transfer), while Terminal 2 is located at the other end of the airport. Terminals 1 and 3 are models of modern airport design, but Terminal 2, despite the recent renovations, is still reminiscent of developing world airports, with long check-in lines, queue-jumping and every other passenger checking in 50 kg of luggage. Shuttle buses run between Terminals 1 and 3 every 20-30 min. Terminal 2 is not connected by shuttle so a 30 min taxi ride may be your only option. A low-cost option for traveling to Terminal 2 is to catch the metro to a nearby station, such as the Stadium or Airport Free Zone metro stations, and from there catch a taxi to Terminal 2 (should cost around 15 AED). If you're not sure of how to get to the any of the terminals, look out for the guiding signs or seek help from a member of the "May I Help You" team.

The airport is famous for its duty-free shopping []. However, prices in the airport's duty-free stores are equal or higher than what you can find in the many malls of the city. One key exception is cigarettes and cigars where a carton of 200 is less than USD$30 for most brands. Alcohol here is very cheap, though. Alcohol is also available at an inbound duty free store situated in the baggage reclaim area and what is worthy of note is the fact that cans are on sale there - so you don't have to lug them from your destination. The amount of alcoholic beverages and beers should not exceed 4 liters of alcohol beverages, or 2 cartons of beer (each consisting of 24 cans, not exceeding 355 ml for each can or its equivalent).

Taxi: Most visitors will opt for public taxis from the airport, which are readily available just outside arrivals, which use the meter and start at Dhs 25. Taxis are on the left when you come out of terminal 1.

Public transport: Terminals 1 and 3 are served by the Dubai Metro. There are also buses just steps from the baggage claim, the most useful for visitors being lines 401 and 402 (Dhs 3), which go to the Al Sabkha and Al Ghubaiba bus terminals respectively.

Private Aviation: Dubai is one of the busiest private jet hubs in the world, with business jets flying to/from London, Moscow, and the United States on a daily basis. There are a total of 18 FBO/Handlers [77] to accommodate luxury and executive travelers, with companies such as PrivateFly [78] and Dubai Private Jet Charter [79] offering private charter aircraft from luxury Gulfstream's down to economical piston twins and helicopters for small groups and individuals.


XNB refers to the end point of the Etihad bus transfer from Abu Dhabi. The current location @September 2016 is on SHEIKH ZAYED ROAD near the NOOR BANK metro station, gps: 25.1544206, 55.2260164 at the Travel Mall The metro starts running at around 06:00 except on friday - between 10:30 and 11:00. You can take a bus from around 06:00 BUT you need to find a kiosk that sells the bus tickets, located at bus terminals and seemingly random places. but not at the Travel Mall.. hope this helps some one.

Al Maktoum International Airport (Dubai World Central, DWC)

Al Maktoum International Airport, better known internationally as Dubai World Central (IATA: DWC) [] opened for passenger transportation in October 2013. Dubai plans to develop the airport into the world's largest passenger and cargo hub. Right now though only a handful of flights land and depart there every day (for example low cost flights with Wizzair).

Public Transport is limited right now to bus F55 and bus F55a (night bus) that connect to Ibn Battuta metro station. F55 runs between 06:00 and 22:00 on every full hour. The journey takes 43 minutes. F55a runs all the way to the Satwa Bus Station via Ibn Battuta that is located near Bur Dubai. F55a runs between 23:00 and 06:00 hourly on the hour. The journey from DWC to Satwa takes around 90 minutes.

Sharjah International Airport

Sharjah International Airport (IATA: SHJ) [ located in the emirate of Sharjah. It is only 30 min by road from Dubai and takes an increasing number of international flights as Dubai airport struggles to keep up with demand. Be aware that during morning rush hour from Sharjah and afternoon rush hour into Sharjah, travel times to cross the border between the two emirates normally run more than one hour and can run over two hours. Traffic can be bad between Sharjah and Dubai 24 hours per day, so plan accordingly. The principal carrier here is Air Arabia [], a low-cost carrier serving the Middle East and South Asia. The airport is fairly basic but is being expanded. A taxi ride to Dubai will typically cost Dhs 50. A Bus service by Air Arabia also runs from the Airport to the Rashidiya Metro Station in Dubai. Rashidiya metro station is located close to the Dubai International Airport.

By car

Dubai's only international road border is with Oman at Al Wajajah. Expatriate residents of Oman will require an official permit to exit Oman by road. Visitors do not require the permit. There is an OMR 3.000 charge per vehicle to exit Oman and, if returning, retain the charge receipt as it will be required to renter. Ensure that insurance is valid for the UAE (preferably before commencing the journey). Temporary UAE insurance can be purchased at the border for a premium price. GCC Nationals (and others?) can cross at the UAE-Saudi border in the South West of the country, check in advance as this a long way to have to drive back to Riyadh or Abu Dhabi if you don't get in.

There are also road borders between the neighbouring Emirate of Abu Dhabi and Oman at the Al Buraimi Oasis which divides the sister cites of Al Ain and Al Buraimi, Oman.

By bus

The Government of Dubai operates a network of buses linking Dubai city with the capitals of the other six emirates of the UAE. The buses run under the name Emirates Express and operate from various bus terminals in Dubai.

  • To/From Abu Dhabi: Buses operate every 40 minutes from 6.20am from both Dubai's Al Ghubaibah bus station and Abu Dhabi's main bus station. The two-hour journey cost Dh25.
  • To/from Sharjah: Frequent buses run between Dubai and Sharjah. There are several different routes and buses depart from various bus stations in Dubai including Al Karama, Gold Souq, Baniyas Square, Jebel Ali and Al Ittihad Square. Fares are at Dh7 as of December 2010.
  • To/From Al Ain: Buses operate every hour from both Dubai's Al Ghubaibah bus station. The two-hour journey cost Dh15.
  • To/from Fujairah: The bus to Fujairah leaves from the Rashidiya Metro station and takes about 3 to 4 hours.
  • To/from Muscat, Oman: al-Khanjry Transport runs a bus from the Ruwi Terminal in Muscat to al-Rigga in Dubai, leaving every day at 6:00am and 3:00pm and also 10:00pm from Deira (ticket office next to Caravan Restaurant 700m from Deira City Centre Metro Station). The journey takes about 6 hours, depending on how much time is spent at customs. From Dubai the buses leave at 7:00am and 3:00pm. 60Dhs (one way)/100Dhs (return). Show up at least 30 minutes before departure. (Prices and schedule accurate as of December 2013.)

By boat

Dubai is a trading hub for dhows from around the Indian Ocean. Travelers wanting to arrive in the city this way will probably need to make their own arrangements with the captain of the vessel.

Dubai has an international cruise terminal at Port Rashid. During wintertime, Costa Cruises has based one of its cruise ships (Costa Luminosa) in Dubai.

A boat service by Valfajre Shipping Company leaves Bandar Lengeh on Sundays and Tuesdays at 6:00 pm, docking at Port Rashid in Dubai. Crossing the Persian Gulf takes roughly 6 hours, and a two-way first-class ticket costs as of February 2010 US$145 (IR 1,450,000) and also two-way economy class ticket costs US$122 (IR 1,220,000).

Get around

Dubai Metro, as of May 15, 2010
Dubai Metro - Above the Ground

Especially after the launch of the metro, Dubai's public transport system is probably the best in the Middle East, but it's still a very car-oriented city and most visitors end up taking taxis quite often. The Wojhati [80] journey planner can suggest the best way to travel.

A daily pass valid for unlimited rides on the metro and buses for all zones costs Dh22 (Red Ticket Dh2 + Day Pass Dh20, as of Feb 2018), while the Nol Silver stored-value card costs Dh25 (including Dh19 worth of balance) and gives a 10% discount on both metro and bus fares. Both are available at metro stations and major bus stations. The Silver card is useful for public transport users who are planning on taking more than 6 trips on any of the services during their stay. After 6 trips, one starts saving money compared to the Red ticket due to the 10% discount.

Card type Price Notes
Red ticket Dh 2 Rechargeable ticket; suitable for tourists, it lasts for 90 days however should only be used in one type of transport, can be used for 10 journeys. All 10 journeys must have the same fare.
Silver card Dh 20 (Dh 14 value) Rechargeable ticket, valid for 5 years. Recommended if staying for more than a day.
Gold card Dh 20 (Dh 14 value) Rechargeable ticket, can be used in Gold Class. Gold Class journeys cost twice as much as regular journeys.
Blue card Dh 70 Personalized card, with online services like transaction history and online recharge.

By metro

Dubai's 52-km long Red Line, opened in September 2009, is the third metro in the Arab world after Cairo and Algiers. As of May 15, 2010, 21 stations are open and the rest are scheduled to open by the end of the year. While the line does not serve the old city center, it's handy for zipping along Dubai's Sheikh Zayed Road and includes stops at the airport, Burj Khalifa and the Mall of the Emirates. The Green Line, which burrows through the city core, has been open as of September 9, 2011. A further two stops, Al Jadaf and Creek, are complete but will open at a later date pending development. Transfers are possible at Union Square and Khalid Bin Al Waleed. There are also Blue and Purple lines under construction with opening dates in the next few years.

Single tickets range from Dh2-8.50, or double that for use of the "Gold" first class carriage. Train run every 3-5 minutes from 5:50 AM to Midnight every day except Thursday and Friday, when services are extended to 5:50 AM to 1 AM and limited to 1 PM to Midnight, respectively. All stations are air-conditioned and there's a large network of feeder buses. Trains run every 2 minutes during morning and evening rush hour.

By monorail

In addition, a 5 km monorail system shuttles passengers across the Palm Jumeirah to the Atlantis hotel, but it's not yet connected to the metro network and is thus of very limited utility. The normal metro ticket does NOT work on this line. A monorail ticket costs 20 AED one way and 30 round trip. As of December 2019, station only accepts cash and there is no ATM at station. If you are more than one person, it is cheaper to take Uber or Taxi to Palm Jumeirah as opposed to taking monorail.

By tram

The Dubai Tram opened on the 12th of November 2014, and links Dubai Marina with the Burj Al Arab and JBR. The tram interchanges with Jumeirah Lakes Towers Station and Dubai Marina Station of the Dubai Metro's Red Line, and two more metro station are expected to connect with the tram in the future.

Services operate every six minutes from 06:30 to 01:38. On Fridays, the service starts at 09:00. The tram has a fixed fare of AED 3 per ride regardless of the distance travelled. A Nol Card can be used by passengers to check-in and check-out of the tram by scanning the card at the platform screen doors.

By bus

Dubai has an extensive public bus network [81], which is a cheaper means of travelling within the several districts in Dubai. A map of the bus system can be found online [82], as well as detailed route maps and timetables [83]. Public buses are clean and cheap, but unfortunately not very comprehensive and (on some routes) quite infrequent. The bus system is most useful for getting between different areas of central Dubai, or between the various suburbs, rather than general transport. Taxis or a fair amount of walking will also be required if you wish to visit Dubai without a car of your own.

You will require a Nol card or ticket for fare payment. Cards could be purchased from most bus stations, metro stations, and sometimes from the bus driver.

The main bus stations are Gold Souq Market (in Deira) and Al Ghubaiba bus station (in Bur Dubai). The flat fare is 2 AED, but might be higher for hour-long rides to distant suburbs. Clear route maps and time-tables are placed inside a few bus stands. Ramadan timings differ. The front seats are reserved for women.

Probably the single most useful service for the casual tourist is Line 8, which starts at the Gold Souq, takes the tunnel under the Creek to Heritage Village, and then sets off down Jumeirah Rd (just behind the beach) and all its hotels and malls, up to Burj al-Arab and Wild Wadi. Line 8 terminates near the Internet City, while its 8A variant goes down a little further and also serves the Mall of the Emirates.

For a good, hop on - hop off, type tour try the Big Bus Company. It runs two routes; the blue route through Jumeirah and the recently constructed areas, and the red route centering on the older parts of Dubai. The hub for both routes is Wafi City mall, and an 175 AED ticket covers 24 hours of riding.

By taxi

Taxis ply the streets of Dubai and are relatively easy to spot. The easiest place to find them is at the taxi queue at one of the malls or outside a hotel. Waving down a taxi on the road is possible, but can be difficult during rush hours. At peak times (7-9AM & 4-7PM workdays, and Friday evenings) demand far exceeds supply, and not only are taxis hard to find, but those who deign to pick you up may demand crazy off-meter fares or refuse short rides in congested areas entirely. The standard of driving in Dubai ranges from poor to wild - taxis are some of the worst on the roads. Taxi drivers are pretty good at knowing where the main shopping malls and hotels are, however less well known places will mean the driver calling his brother-in-law to get directions, whilst he drives around in circles on your time - hence it is a good idea to have a rough idea of where you are heading or what a nearby landmark is. It also helps to know exactly what place you are going to rather than to ask for the nearest whatever-it-is (hotel, Metro stop, etc.), as they might drive farther in order to charge you a higher fare.

Taxis[84] are metered at 1.75 dhs/km, so no haggling is necessary. The rates of all taxi companies — Dubai Transport, National, Cars, Metro, and Arabian — are identical, so just take the first one that comes along. From the airport, there is a standing charge of 25 dhs; all other street pickups attract a standing charge of 5.00 dhs during the day, 5.50 at night (10 PM-6AM), but a minimum fare of 10 dhs applies, and there is a surcharge of 20 dhs for going to Sharjah. Taxis are not exempt from the Salik road toll charges which costs an additional 4 Dh (since January 1st 2013). Beware of unmarked hotel taxis and limousines though: while some of these are metered, they are not tied to the official rates, and can be much more expensive. [85] One way to spot whether a taxi is official or not is to look for a meter: no meter, don't get in.

If you can't find one otherwise, you can attempt to call a taxi at 04-2080808, there's a surcharge of 3 dhs to book. The booking system was notorious for its unreliability but with a significantly increased taxi fleet, many taxis now deliberately wait in unofficial holding areas waiting for bookings. As a result, on a good day it can be possible to book a taxi and have it arrive within less than five minutes. If you absolutely have to get somewhere at a certain time (say, the airport or a meeting), it's still best to book a hotel taxi in advance, and get their estimate of how bad the traffic will be.

Solo women are advised to travel in the back of the taxi as some drivers see it as a sexual invitation if you get in the front.

By car

There are a countless number of Rent-A-Cars that will provide a mode of transportation for very cheap rates and very little paperwork. An International Driving Permit is not necessarily required, but hire companies may not rent a car without one (is not required only for major European and gulf countries, however strictly required for other countries like Russia etc., according to RTA).

Some agencies will hire out cars complete with drivers. Visitors taking advantage of this option will need to make certain that their driver knows his way around as many do not.

When driving on the main roads, such as Sheikh Zayed road, the junction numbers are not in logical order. Junction 13 is just after Junction 18 and are rarely as shown on the maps. Road names can also be very confusing with slight differences in spelling (due to different transliterations from Arabic) being very important. The construction work that is taking place throughout and around Dubai can make finding your destination a challenge. Temporary road layouts change with alarming regularity and temporary signs can be misleading or non existent. As GPS maps are not up to date (and usually not anyway available to rent with hire cars), you will be very well off with a printed map (you can get an excellent one in Virgin stores, for example. There is a Virgin Megastore on the top floor of City Center).

Driving during morning and afternoon peak hours is not recommended, as traffic slows to a standstill and even a simple trip across a bridge can take up to 45 minutes. There is also a scarcity of parking spaces in many parts of the city.

With such a mixture of nationalities residing in the city, driving styles are mixed to say the least. Both dangerous and experienced driving will be witnessed or experienced frequently, and bear in mind that Dubai has one of the highest per capita road death rates in the world. There is zero tolerance for alcohol and driving with stiff penalties meted out including jail and deportation.

See [86] for information about toll to pay on certain routes in Dubai. If you rent a car, usually a Salik tag will be provided by the car hire company and you will be charged separately when returning the car.

Note on Navigation systems: In case you are renting a car, you definitely want a navigation system. Even people living there need GPS. For this, you have 2 options: You can rent a GPS or get a car with navigation system. Or you can get data service with your smart phone and use google map or other navigation systems on smart phones.

By boat

An abra making its way across Dubai Creek to Deira from Bur Dubai.

An easier way of crossing the Dubai Creek is by abra, essentially a small ferry. Abra stations are located along the Creek on both the Bur Dubai and Deira sides, and the system of filling the boats is remarkably efficient. The cross-river trip costs 1 Dirham (AED 1) per passenger, payable to the driver after the boat has left the station, and affords a very picturesque view of the city (not to be missed). Abras set off very regularly, and the service is available round-the-clock.

Abras can also be hired for a private tour. This is quite a popular activity at sunset on a clear day, particularly if the driver is able to enliven the tour with stories about the structures on either side of the Creek.

The RTA(Roads and Transport Authority of Dubai) Abra is another option for tourists who want to go by boat but avoid the abra crowd (or the heat). It is a part of Dubai's public transport system, Nol card and online payment methods are being introduced for the journey. Can be purchased at the RTA Marine stations along the Creek at Baniyas,Al Sabkha, Deira Old Souq, Al Seef, Al Fahidi, Dubai Old Souq, Bur Dubai and Al Ghubaiba Stations.

The Dubai Ferry also features a 'touristic routes' - a round trip or a point to point journey along the coastal attractions of Dubai- it is convenient, smooth and safe. The tickets for a 1 hour 40 minutes trip costs only AED 50 (Silver class) and AED 75 (Gold Class) for an adult. Also the Dubai canal has Water Bus and Abra services at only AED 2 per stop! An economical way to see the man made canal!!

The Creek is also the home of many boats offering more comfortable (and correspondingly more expensive) tours, often in boats designed to resemble dhows. Along with creek, Dubai marina also has their own Luxury Dinner boats and modern dhow cruises. Prices tend to be higher, particularly for dinner cruises with on-board entertainment.


Old Dubai

Wind tower in the Bastakiya district
Ship atop the Dubai Museum
  • Al Ahmadiya School, Deira. Built in 1912, this was Dubai's first school and has now been nicely restored. It would be a stretch to call the exhibits of old reed pens and diplomas fascinating, but they've tried pretty hard, and if nothing else, the air-con and clean toilets may come in handy. Free entry.
  • Bastakiya District. One of the last remaining pockets of Old Dubai, home to many reconstructed buildings in the traditional style. While information on the structures is slim here (see the museum in preference), the atmosphere is very evocative and there are plenty of delightful art galleries and cafes to explore.
  • Dubai Museum, Al Ibn Abi Talib Road, ph: +971 (4) 353-1862. A must-see for anyone interested in the social history of the Emirate (and indeed the country). A visit starts at the al-Fahidi fort, which has a few examples of the traditional reed houses and other artifacts but isn't much to look at. The more interesting part is the modern extension built underneath the fort, showcasing Dubai's history using the latest technology and culminating in a reconstructed souq from the pearling days, complete with authentic sights and sounds. It is quite fascinating to see the speed at which the transition from poor pearling village to modern metropolis occurred. Admission 3AED.
  • Jumeirah Mosque, Jumeirah Road, Jumeirah 1 (opposite Palm Strip Mall). Is the largest in the city, and a wonderful example of Islamic architecture. Built in the medieval Fatimid tradition with the interior decorated with elaborate Arabic calligraphy. It is one of few mosques in the city open for visits by non-Muslims, the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding[87] conducts special tours for non-Muslims to help promote understanding of Islam. Guided tours are available on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday beginning at 10AM, followed by a question-and-answer session. Located on Jumeirah Road, the mosque is an especially great place to visit in the evening when it's dramatically illuminated by floodlights.
  • Shindagha District — Home to the open museums of the Heritage Village, and has the home of former Sheikh Rashid Al-Maktoum.
  • Souks — There are a number of nice souks, or markets, on both sides of the creek that are worth exploring. The spice souk is a good place to discover local ingredients, while souk Madinat Jumeirah is known for its traditional architecture.[88] Souks tend to specialize on a certain niche. Depending on which one you visit they sell everything from spices to crafts to very inexpensive tourist t-shirts.

Modern Dubai

The Burj al-Arab hotel seen from a nearby hotel.
Dubai Marina

Don't miss Dubai's overwhelming shopping malls, listed under Buy.

  • Burj Khalifa, [89]. Until recently called Burj Dubai, at 828 meters and 160 floors this is the world's tallest structure by a long shot, over 300m taller than the previous contender in Taipei. The observation deck at the 124th floor is the 2nd highest in the world after the Shanghai World Financial centre. Already dominating the Dubai skyline, the newly opened tower houses nine hotels and a Las Vegas-inspired fountain system. The visitors' entrance is located at the lower ground floor of Dubai Mall[90]. Although the tour is called At the Top be aware that it isn't! Although the observation deck is the highest open deck in the world, at 452m it's just over halfway up the tower itself. Console yourself with the knowledge that most of the rest of the tower consists of service areas and the view below looks suitably ant-like. Tickets cost Dhs 125 for a timed entry ticket, usually later the same day, or Dhs 400 if you do not want to wait. Tickets can sell out several days in advance, and it is advisable to book them online ahead of your visit.
  • The Dubai Fountain, [91]. At 270m (900ft) in length and sporting a jet that shoots water up to 150m (500 ft), the Dubai Fountain is indeed the world's largest dancing fountain and one with a very enticing display - a definite must-see. The show starts every evening at the Burj Dubai Lake. Easy way to approach it is via the Dubai Mall. Shows are every 30 minutes from 6pm to 10pm on weekdays and from 6pm to 11pm on weekends. It's the world’s largest dancing fountain with classical, Arabic and world music. About 1.5 million lumens of projected light and the spray heights of up to 150m/500 ft (22,000 gallons of airborne water).
  • Burj al-Arab hotel [92]. For a real glimpse into "how the other half lives", (often refered to as 'seven star' but is actually five-star deluxe), afternoon tea or cocktails may be an interesting experience. Entry to the hotel requires a reservation which will be confirmed at the entry gate, although residents of adjacent Jumeirah hotels may be able to visit by arrangement. Other tourists may occasionally be able to book tours of the hotel itself, however, these will not run when the hotel is full. A "very smart casual" dress code applies. Reservations are usually required about a month in advance for a room, but a few days will generally suffice for a meal.
  • Dubai Marina. Established in 2003. The construction of the Marina was inspired by the development of False Creek in Vancouver (Canada). One of the newer and more popular areas of Modern Dubai, both with residents and tourists. It offers numerous features such as a phenomenal skyline, world-class hotels, a fabulous beach, a mall, and 2 different walkways (The Walk and Marina Walk) with coffee shops, restaurants, and shops. Marina Walk is right on the "Marina water", and there are many yachts there. You can rent a yacht for a cruise around the area or you can simply dine on a dhow cruise Dubai. Choose Tour Dubai, if you prefer alcohol served while cruising on a dhow, the only licensed tour operators to do so. The Walk has a nice open market run from October till May, every Friday and Saturdays at daylight.
  • Dubai Water Canal Dubai water canal is a new tourist attraction unveiled in Dubai on November 9th November 2016, which is another golden feather in cap of Dubai's history. The 3.2-kilometer-long canal serves as the final segment of the Dubai Creek extension, terminating in the Arabian Gulf via Al Safa, Al Wasl and Jumeirah 2. The opening of the canal opens up new possibilities in marine transport, connecting the historic areas of Deira and Bur Dubai through the extended waterway of Dubai Creek, Business Bay, and Dubai Water Canal. There are 3 pedestrian bridges created across different areas of the canal in order for the public to watch the beauty of the canal and its artificial waterfall with its full essence. The waterfalls automatically stop and give way to marine transport when it passes across it. You can experience cruising through this canal by booking a rental service or by using an RTA water taxi.
  • Palm Islands. The three largest artificial islands in the world are located just off the coast of Dubai; a major urban development to add a significant amount of upscale beachfront property to the area. Each of the islands is shaped like a palm leaf, with a trunk connected to the mainland, fronds extending from the trunk, and a crescent (a breakwater encircling the trunk and fronds). Of the three planned, the Palm Jumeirah, at 5km square and near Dubai Marina, is the only one yet open, connected to the mainland by a freeway bridge and a monorail and sporting marinas, luxury resorts, and upscale shopping areas.

Sightseeing Pass

The Dubai City Pass is an all-inclusive pass that grants free entry to Dubai’s most popular sights, museums and attractions such as the Burj Khalifa with fast track entry and a desert safari with BBQ. It even includes bus, boat and desert tours and a shuttle to Abu Dhabi. The practical sightseeing pass is available for periods of 1, 2, 3 or 7 days.


Ski Dubai
Dubai Creek Cruise
Fossils in a cliff face near Dubai.
China Pavilion in Global Village, Dubai
  • Beaches and sea. There are endless water-sport opportunities as Dubai has some of the whitest and sandiest beaches in the world. Ocean temperatures range from 22°C in winter up to 35°C in summer, there are few wave breaks and the strong winds can make swimming difficult. The water is also very salty so many prefer to use their hotel swimming pool. Diving activities have been severely affected by offshore construction work for the Palms and The World; consequently, long boat trips are necessary to reach wreck sites. Alternatively, one can make the 90 minute road journey to the East coast Emirate of Fujairah or the Sharjah enclave, Khor Fakkan, for top class diving on coral reefs supporting extensive marine life.
  • Natural Outdoors. Although at first glance the outdoors may seem dull and uninteresting, and even dangerous due to the desert conditions, there are actually amazing natural destinations in the emirate of Dubai, which extends into Hatta - the difficulty is in knowing where to find them! There are pristine waterfalls, cliffs lined with fossils, even freshwater lakes - Weekenduae is a blog that freely shares ideas, routes and plans for weekend adventures with all trip details including description, GPS track, interactive map, and photos.
  • Parks. Al Safa Park is one of the oldest in Dubai. It's a favorite for sports enthusiasts, and many visitors enjoy playing tennis, volleyball, and soccer. Children love playing games in the video arcade, or riding the ferris wheel and bumper cars. The park even has a maze to wander through. Barbeques and picnic areas are available for those who want to make a day of it.
  • Camel Races. The Camel Race Track is one of the more unusual attractions, with races being held on Thursday and Friday in the winter. Not only can you watch the races, but you'll have the opportunity to visit the paddocks. Vendors sell everything from beads to rugs and blankets, so you can purchase souvenirs. Madinat Jumeirah is also known as Jumeirah City, and is a complex of residential neighborhoods, two luxury hotels, and a shopping mall.
  • Water Sports. Thrill seeking water excitement. Banana boat ride and parasailing and many other water sports activities like scuba Diving, Scuba shade is a PADI 5 star resort, they do courses and diving trips, they can arrange such activities for you.

Aquapark in Atlantis hotel, Jumeirah The Palm, is one of a kind. You can visit it without being an hotel guest. It will cost you around 80 eur per day, and 50 eur more if you want full access. Thake notice they are closing at 6 PM.

  • Desert Safari or Dune Bashing. Dubai is well known of its desert safari Dubai and extreme adventure sports in the desert. The most popular extreme adventure tour is called the dune bashing. Dune Bashing uses different things like 4X4 Safari Jeeps, Sand Boards, Quad Bikes and Dune Buggies. Head out to the desert in an SUV with specialist Desert Drivers. The drivers will take you for a roller-coaster ride over sand dunes, show you the sunset from a strategic vantage point and then take you to a lavish dinner with music and dance to complete the atmosphere. You may want to stay clear of the dune-bashing if you know that you get carsick easily. They have recently added a Hummer H3 to the roster, which costs a bit more but is worth the money like featured by MTDubai and Happy Adventures. Another option would be renting/buying a 4x4 and joining the many growing 4x4 clubs in the UAE, which are varied and each carry their own different flavour: ad4x4, uaeoffroaders [93], arabianoffroader [94], me4x4 [95], emarat4x4 [96], etc. They offer a free learning experience for all newcomers with scheduled weekly trips to suit all levels of driving skills, some of them have over 2,000 members from many nationalities.
  • Fishing. Enjoy deep sea fishing in the middle of the Dubai Sea. Fishing in Dubai allows to find some of popular fishes including queen fish, snappers, tuna, cobia, emperor, Spanish mackerel and barracuda fishes.

There are large numbers of companies offering fishing boats like Dubai Dhow. The advanced and modern fishing boats are the most upgraded luxury vessels that have accommodation rooms along with the required things to make the stay comfortable and convenient in the ship. Modern and latest infrastructure with innovative fishing equipments doubles the adventure of fishing from the bottom of the sea.

  • Deep Sea Fishing [97] is also hosted by professional skippers whose services are offered by the boats and charters one hires. These professional skippers guide and help in capturing desired target in easy and safe manner. The boats are well equipped with life jackets, flares, first aid facilities and all precautionary measures for the utmost protection of the travelers. Professional fishermen and captains of the boat are assigned to the people to ensure complete safety. Staff is fully trained, ethically aware of the needs of the travelers and available to keep sharp eye on weather condition and atmosphere for safety measures.

Dubai is actually a place for water freaks and the people who like to explore the nature from the lap of the sea. Bottom fishing and trolling both options can be availed for preying the fish. Bottom fishing is about to attract a variety of fish by using bait like squids by stopping the boat in the middle of the sea. Trolling is done to catch big fish by using trolling lures or plastic fish as bait.

  • Ski [98]. Dubai now has its own snow skiing centre. Located in the new Mall of the Emirates (MOE), on the Sheikh Zayed Road, it offers both skiing and snowboarding. The slope is quite large for an indoor area. All equipment is available for hire. Although it is -4°C inside, you don't need to bring a jacket because they supply pretty much everything except gloves and a hat (which you can buy right there). A 2 hour pass costs Dhs180 plus Dhs20 for a locker.
  • Wild Wadi [99]. Wild Wadi Park is the perfect place for the entire family to spend a day as well as being a great way to beat the heat and enjoy the day away from the bustle of the city. Located close to the hotels and resorts of Jumeriah Beach, the park has water rides, slides, and a lagoon that's hidden away. You'll enjoy waterfalls, out of the way swimming holes, and a tidal pool.
  • Jungle Bay Waterpark [100]. Brand-new waterpark opened in January 2021. Situated in Dubai Marina, the new Jungle Bay waterpark is a perfect place to visit.
  • Desert Motorcycle Tours [101]. Big Red Motorsports specializes in Desert Motorcycle / Dirt Bike and Dune Buggy Tours. Located at the foot of Big Red (Dubai's greatest dune) there is no better location to experience the vast desert of the UAE. Expect thrills and adventure. Dune Buggy suitable for all. Motorcycle tour requires some skill. No licence needed.
  • Yacht Charter. Chartering on the Arabian Sea in Dubai has become lure for huge range of tourists from all over the world. Yacht chartering in Dubai provides tourists complete package of travelling along enchanting coastline of Dubai.

Many yacht charters companies allow you to get facilitated from chartering experience. One can choose from multiple options like luxury yachts, speed racing yachts and many more. Each yacht differs from others with different features. The yachts are available in various sizes and capacities according to needs of people. For water sport activities, yacht charters are equipped with all needed modern technology and safety measures. Professional skippers and crew members accompany you throughout all chartering experience for instructions and guidance.

  • Dubai Creek Cruise/Ride. The Dubai creek is the foundation from which Dubai grew. It originally served as a port for trading vessels plying to and from India, Africa and the Middle East. Today a bit of the old shipping culture still remains. In and around the creek one can see some of the original buildings that have served as customs houses and defense structures. You can book a ride on the creek with a dinner cruise or even rent a private boat to take you on a hour long ride up and down the creek.
  • Dubai International Boat Show. Luxury Yacht Charter in Dubai is trending hot in Dubai. If you love to cruise on the sea and sailing on the waves and enjoy time away from the land you will never want to miss out the Dubai International Boat Show happens in Dubai. For more details
  • Dubai Pre- Owned boat show : If you are passionate about Yachts and Boats, block your calendar for the Dubai pre-owned boat show. The event provides a unique platform for buyers and prospective sellers from all over the GCC to come together. The event is happening in the Dubai Creek Marina which has the capacity to display boats of up to 147ft on land and in water. You can see a wide range of boats for sale ranging from small tender boats to super yachts.
  • Ain Dubai [102]. Dubai is introducing the world`s tallest ferris wheel in Bluewaters island. The new attraction is opening in 2021.
  • Dubai Dolphinarium, (Near to Creek), [1].
  • Dubai Crocodile Park [103]. A haven for crocodiles is under construction in Mushrif, Dubai.
  • Golf. It may be a desert, but a lot of money and water is spent on irrigating opulent golf courses. Alternatively, for a more local flavor, try sand golf!
  • Culture and Arts. There are multiple cultural happenings that are still undiscovered in Dubai. Jameel Arts Centre is the first contemporary art space in Dubai. Public programmes include exhibitions, artist talks, tours, film screenings, workshops, and live performances for all ages. See the events at [
  • Hot Air Balloon. Great Fun seeing all the sand Dunes and mountains early in the morning or during sunset.
  • Palm Tower [104]. Palm shaped skyscraper in Palm Jumeirah. Observation deck on level 52 offering great views over Palm Island and Dubai. Also including a 5 start hotel St. Regis The Palm.
  • Global Village. Happens Annually and is operated by Dubai Land, this usually happens during winter; from Late November to late February. Countries around the world gather and set up a small village in the outskirts of Dubai, each country/region has its own pavilion with a unique replica of their famous landmark(s). This is usually like a flea market where you can get souvenirs from almost every corner of the earth for a bargained price and experience as if you're in that certain country for at least 10 minutes of your life even if you're 10,000km away. Raffles for cars and gold bars also happen. You'd see the hieroglyphics of Egypt, temples of Thailand, Forbidden city of Beijing, the Eiffel tower and many more. Admission is 15AED (Feb 2014).
  • Nalora Cruise dinner cruise while visiting the modern Dubai Skyscraper around Dubai Marina.
  • Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, located on the Ground Level of The Dubai Mall, [2]. 10:00-12:00 AM. One of the largest suspended aquarium in the world, It holds 10-million litre tank, hosting thousands of fish and other underwater wildlife for visitors and residents to watch. Tickets are available online. AED70.
  • Dubai Safari Park, Al Warqa 5, [3]. 9:00-5:00PM. . Dubai Safari Park is a wildlife park, animal sanctuary & education center that is home to more than 2,500 animals from all over the world including Lions, elephants, giraffes, moon bears, and camels. The park is divided into four zones - Explorer Village, African Village, Arabian Desert Safari, and Asian Village. Tickets are available online. AED70.
  • Dubai Parks and Resorts, (Exit 5 off E11 Highway (Sheikh Zayed Road)), [4]. 11:00AM-7:00PM. . Dubai Parks and Resorts is the Middle East's largest integrated leisure and theme park destination featuring more than 100 rides and attractions, and consists of three theme parks: Motiongate Dubai, Bollywood Parks Dubai, and Legoland Dubai, and one water park: Legoland Water Park. It also encompasses Riverland Dubai, which is a themed retail and dining destination, as well as the Polynesian-themed family resort, Lapita Hotel Dubai. AED270.
  • IMG Worlds of Adventure, (Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road next to Global Village), [5]. 12:00PM-9:00PM. . A very large indoor theme park, with 4 universes: Lost Valley, IMG boulverard, Cartoon Network, and Marvell. It has 22 attractions including 3 roller coasters: The Velociraptor (5 inversions), Predator (3 inversions) and Spiderman (turning seats). AED270.
  • Dubai Miracle Garden, Al Barsha South Third, Dubailand, Dubai, UAE, +971 4 422 8902, [6]. 9.00 am - 9.00 pm (on Sundays - Thursdays); 9.00 am - 10 pm (on Sundays); 9.00 am - 11.00 pm (on Fridays). Launched on Valentine's day and boasting over 50 million outstanding flowers in astounding colourful floral designs, patterns and shades, and fragrances, magical is only one of the words to describe this enchanting floral park with. For its magnificence, it gets over 1.5 million visitors yearly. And this has made it one of Dubai's most popular places to visit. The opening of the park quickly got it a Guinness World Record for being the largest vertical garden. This is only one of a couple of Guinness World Records it has struck. The Dubai wonderland has several immersing things to do which include the Dubai Butterly Garden, The Emirates A380 - Floral Airplane, The Lake Park, 3D Floral Sculptures, The Hearts Passage et cetera. Given Dubai's parching summer sun, the park opens seasonally to protect the flowers. Adult: AED55; Children (3 - 12 years): AED40; PWDs: Free.
  • Dubai Frame, Zabeel Park gate 4, Dubai, 800900, [7]. 9:00 am till 9:00 pm. Strategically sited, Dubai Frame overlooks Dubai's past and present. Further, by virtue of powerful virtual reality technology, visitors get to see a projection of Dubai decades from now. The Dubai Frame is the largest picture frame in the world. It boasts interactive screens which helps visitors to identify buildings seen from the attraction. Added to this, visitors can write their names on the screens and they'd be displayed on the Dubai Frame's projectors. On the bar at the top of the Frame is a see-through floor which can be seen through upon being stepped on. Enjoy your journey through Dubai's past, present and future and ensure you don't leave without a souvenir. Adults: AED50; Children (3-12 years): AED20; Children Below 3 and PWDs: Free.


Dubai has set up a free-zone Knowledge Village [105] to house institutes and universities, providing both on-line and in-class training. The city also has the American University in Dubai [106].


Dubai's Skyline

While Dubai tries to promote itself as the business and entertainment capital of the world, the government has a complex and at times frustrating work permit procedure that one should not attempt on their own unless they have prior experience. Therefore, it is best to go through official channels when looking for work in Dubai as spot inspections are frequent and if found working illegally, both the employee and the employer will be subject to fines and even deportation.

All the necessary forms and documents are written and processed in Arabic and is best left to a professional or a "P.R.O" to handle your paperwork.

There are rules about changing jobs and its frequency. This rules are equally applicable for all nationalities. They have to complete their contract period, which is 2 years. If the employee breaks his/her contract before the completion of 2 years, the new employer has to offer them salary above 5000 AED in-order to avoid ban. Otherwise the employee has to wait until the completion of the left over months of his cancelled contract.If the employer breaks the contracts, then the employee can join another employer immediately irrespective of nationality, religion, cast or creed.

With the price of rentals ever soaring in Dubai and neighbouring Emirates, it is a good idea to discuss a housing allowance when negotiating a pay package.

Despite all this, there are a few upsides, Dubai companies are generous with holidays averaging almost 39 days a year of paid vacation (including public holidays), a round trip ticket home once a year (depending on your contract) and most importantly all your earnings are 100% tax free. This includes Western teachers working for one of many English-language academies.

Recruitment fraud is quite pervasive in this part of the world. Read your employment contract carefully before signing and do not pay any fees to recruitment agencies, as they are usually paid by the companies. Your passport is your personal property and cannot be withheld by the employer unless you are in a position of trust or are handling large sums of money.

Dubai has been accused by numerous organizations of effectively enslaving workers from Southeast Asia by allowing companies to take their passports without returning them and allowing salaries to go unpaid. Foreign workers, Western and otherwise, have no rights that will be upheld by the courts, and so they have no recourse should they feel their rights violated. Potential workers should be aware of this when considering work in Dubai.


All that glitters is gold at the Gold Souk

Dubai is practically synonymous with shopping. The huge amounts of cargo passing through its port and the low tariffs ensure that practically anything is available at fairly competitive rates, although the appreciation of the Dirham, and the plentiful supply of shoppers means that Dubai is no longer a bargain basement shopping city. You'll also find products in western chain stores, still with the original tags quoting euro or sterling prices, being sold with a 20-30% mark-up once converted to Dirhams.

The best things to buy in Dubai are textiles, electronics and gold, electronics is believed to be much cheaper while textiles and gold offer a wide range of selection.

Even in the mega-malls, Dubai shops have no storeroom and no stocks in reserve - and for clothes shopping this may mean that you may struggle to find the style you want in the size you want. Shops open as early as 9AM and stay open to 10PM and on weekends to 12AM and some stay to 1AM.

Remember to haggle in the souks, as discounts are almost always available and even in situations where the item will not become much cheaper, the customer is always expected to "play the game" of haggling. A simple question of "what's your best price?" will often result in a shop-keeper going to extraordinary lengths to sell his stock.

Prices in the malls and other Western shops tend not to be negotiable. Far from being a bad thing, this allows the canny visitor to work out comparative prices for common souvenirs - an invaluable aid when a shop-keeper in a souk is asking for a higher price.

Dubai Shopping Festival [107] has been the biggest shopping event in the middle east since 1996. Almost every shop has a sale, starting in January and ending February. Dubai Shopping Festival is not just about shopping. The festival is itself a complete family entertainer and holds grand events having live concerts and performances performed by international celebrities. [108] There's also a very similar Dubai Summer Surprises [109] trying to pull in punters during the summer low season.


A display of Indian saris outside a textile shop in Satwa
  • Satwa — this is a small community much resembling a town, its streets are rowed by textile shops notably opposite the Satwa Mosque ending to the opposite of Satwa clinic. Most of the people flock to Satwa for their textiles, you might sometimes catch offers and discounts but if you don't do so try bargaining the price, this is what most locals do, even if you're a tourist convince the salesman to give you a discount, bargain till you get the lowest price available. Not only is Satwa a hub for textile shops; some tailoring shops on the corners are also found if you want a dress made as soon as possible after purchasing the raw materials. Raw silk might also be available in some shops. Because of the row of textile shops, it might be Dubai's version of Little India and Little Manila as many Indians reside in this district as well as Filipinos.


  • Gold Souk— Not a mall, but a historic market that has been a part of Dubai since the origin of Dubai itself. Located at the mouth of the creek, it dazzles people by selling gold in large quantities and with little visible security. A must visit for shoppers and sightseers. Most of the gold is 22ct quality and quite expensive - although even here the shopkeepers are prepared to bargain - and the craftsmanship can be remarkably detailed. The gold items are sold by weight with a "making charge" added on top to cover the workmanship. It pays therefore, to go shopping armed with the current gold price and a knowledge of the making charges in order to hone the bargaining process. Many outlets are part of chains that also have branches in malls, so are generally reliable.
  • Spice Souk— As above, not a mall, but a historic market that has been a part of Dubai since the origin of Dubai itself. Located at the mouth of the creek, it is not far from the Gold Souk, but has sadly declined a bit in recent years as supermarkets take over the spice trade. If you're actually shopping for spices, odds are you'll get better prices and quality with much less hassle at Carrefour. Both the Spice Souk and the Gold Souq are a rather hot and sweaty experience with limited air-conditioning, so wear appropriately cool, loose clothing if visiting in mid summer. Individual shops are air conditioned. Although regularly visited by tourists, none of the souks are considered a tourist area and as such modest dress should be worn to avoid causing offence or attracting unwanted attention.


Mall of the Emirates
Burj Khalifa
  • The Dubai Mall, [8]. Sun-Wed: 10:00-20:00, Thu-Sat: 10:00-00:00. is Dubai's Largest Mall, which was opened in November 2008. It has over 1200 shops of brand names from all over the world. It is currently the largest mall in the world. Contains an indoor ice rink and indoor aquarium. It is right next door to the Burj Khalifah, the world's tallest building, and the visitors' entrance to the Burj Khalifah is located at the lower ground floor of the Mall.
  • Mercato, Jumeirah Beach Rd, (), [9]. Mercato, which is Italian for Market, is the only Renaissance-themed shopping mall in the Middle East. It captures Italian, French and Spanish flavors and artistic characteristics playing host to regular fairs and festivals from each country. Mercato provides a unique shopping experience, the best in international entertainment and popular brand names like Virgin Megastore, Top Shop, Mango and Hugo Boss; Mercato is simply The Good Life. Also, Mercato houses a big Spinneys Supermarket, a 7 screen Grand Cinema, a Starbucks, and mouth watering restaurants such as Bella Donna who have a balcony overlooking the sea that cannot be missed.
  • Town Centre Jumeirah, Jumeirah Beach Rd, +971 04 3440111, [10]. With a bright, open, and spacious atmosphere, Town Centre Jumeirah is a place to shop, relax and casually dine at a wide selection of eateries like Sumo Sushi, Cafe Ceramique, La Cafette by Carpe Diem and Simply Healthy. The centre also houses an extensive range of ladies' beauty outlets like the Nail Station, Paris Gallery, Kaya Skin Care Clinic, Wax Lounge and SOS Salon.
  • Mall of the Emirates, near 4th interchange on Sheikh Zayed Road [110], Outside Ramadan: Sun-Wed 10AM-10:00PM; Thu-Sat 10AM-12PM (midnight); Ramadan: Sun-Sat: 10AM-1AM. It was largest shopping mall outside of North America, until the Dubai Mall opened in 2008. 200+ shops, cinemas, plus the Ski Centre. Has many international high street chains as well as luxury brand stores, including Harvey Nichols. Many restaurants and cafes, though cafes tend to be much more crowded than at other malls. It's attached to a Kempinski hotel, which has restaurants licensed to serve alcohol that are accessible from the mall. Very large Carrefour hypermarket attached, next to the Kempinski Hotel. Arabian/Middle Eastern souvenir shops upstairs.
  • Ibn Battuta Mall, Ibn Battuta Mall Jebel Ali Daily 10AM-12AM (midnight). Areas themed around six countries (China, India, Persia, Egypt, Tunisia and Andalusia). The wide range of shops, although fewer high-class brands. Has various restaurants and cafes (including three Starbucks), and a multiplex cinema including an Imax. No restaurants serve alcohol. Also has extensive, permanent exhibition of Islamic science, invention and astronomy. Attached (access via outside) is one of Dubai's few second-hand bookshops, House of Prose. Has a Geant supermarket attached.
  • Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Jumeirah Road [111]. Includes 75 shops, numerous bars, restaurants and cafes, a nightclub, theatre. More expensive and targeted directly at tourists than other, general malls where residents go. Most bars and restaurants are licensed for alcohol. Nice to wander through as it has been designed to resemble a "traditional" souq, but with the modern comforts of air conditioning. Lots of souvenir-type shops.
  • Burjuman Centre, Khalifa Bin Zayed Road [112], Sat-Thu 10AM-10:00PM; Fri 2PM-10PM. Recently opened after expansion, focus is on premium brand stores and luxury boutiques, but high street stores are also available. No restaurants serve alcohol. Walking distance to the Consulate District.
  • Deira City Centre [113]. This is by far the most popular mall in Dubai and a visit to Dubai is not complete without a visit. Debenhams, Virgin Megastore, Zara and other international high street brands. A multiplex cinema, and many restaurants and cafes. Also has a large "Arabian Treasures" souvenir and traditional textiles area. A new extension includes many more high-end boutiques and upmarket mall restaurants. A big Carrefour hypermarket sell just about everything and is nearly always very busy. There is a Sofitel hotel at one end of the centre, where there are bars and restaurants serving alcohol.
  • Wafi Mall [114]. Includes Marks & Spencer, Goodies. Focus is almost entirely on luxury brands, jewellery and expensive boutiques. Many upmarket restaurants and bars, many of which are licensed (have alcohol available). A luxury spa is attached to the complex. The Egypt-themed architecture, which includes quite beautiful stained-glass pyramids, is worth seeing.
  • Emirates Towers Boulevard, Sheikh Zayed Road [115], Daily 10.00AM-10.00PM, Fri 4.00PM-10.00PM. Part of the Emirates Tower Hotel complex. The shops here match the hotel, very high class, plus a Starbucks. Lipton cafe has free wifi. Restaurants and bars all serve alcohol. Quite a popular nightlife spot, with bars and nightclubs and it is considered the most expensive mall in Dubai.
  • Gold & Diamond Park, Interchange 4, Sheikh Zayed Road (South side) [116]. Sells gold and diamond products. Has none of the character of the more historic gold souq, but is air-conditioned throughout, and easier to reach and park at than the historic souq (which is in the depths of downtown Deira). Can be better value, as it is less "touristy".
  • Al Ain Plaza, (known locally as Computer Plaza), On Mankhool Road along from the Ramada Hotel, Bur Dubai heading towards the creek. A mall specializing in computers, laptops, computer parts and computer add ons like monitors, VoIP Phones, hard drives, etc. Prices aren't particularly low, even after haggling, and choices are limited (for example very few shops sell AMD hardware). There is an internet cafe here. AED 10 per hour (minimum 1 hour). Also other malls in this area are good for computers and computer equipment.
  • Festival City. Has Dubai's only Ikea, since it relocated from City Centre, and a huge Plug-Ins electronic store. Also an ACE Hardware and a amazing mall which has 550 shops.
  • Dubai Outlet Mall, on the road to Al Ain [117]. A very large mall, with many "factory outlets".
  • Dubai Marina Mall, located on Sheikh Zayed Rd, a mall with Books and Stationery (Borders), mobile telephony (du), photography (Nikon), cards (Hallmark), children toys, nutrition, pharmacy (Boots), supermarket (Waitrose), luxury watches, clothing, Starbucks, Dubai souvenirs, etc.
Dubai Marina Mall
  • Dragon Mart, [118] is the world’s largest trading hub for Chinese products outside Mainland China, opened in December 2007, playing a pivotal role in establishing the strong trade and cultural ties between the UAE and China. The complex currently consists of Dragon Mart 1 and Dragon Mart 2, which, combined, have more than 5,000 shops and 8,200 parking spaces and welcome some 40 million visitors a year.

TIP: Several malls have a large Carrefour, or similar, hypermarket where you'll find the lowest cost electronics, and groceries for self-catering. A Carrefour is also located near the Shindagha waterfront in Bur Dubai.


Shawarma is the most available food item on almost all streets (and cheap!) in Dubai. It is the Arabic equivalent of the Burger. It is meat that has been cooked on a skewer and then cut into thin strips and placed into a kuhbus (pita) bread with vegetables and dressing. It costs about AED 6 ($1.9) for either the plain-jane variety or the more exotic Lebanese and Iranian varieties but can be found in Iranian owned restaurants for as low as 2 AED. The Shawarma sold by Indian, Iraqi, and Iranian restaurants are arguably the cheapest.

Another local snacks is Fala-Fil (Felafel, Falafel) also available at about the same costs as the shawarma also starting at 2 AED.

Most of the American fast food chains have set up shop in Dubai, including KFC, Chilli's, TGI Fridays, Starbucks and McDonalds. The beauty of the food in Dubai is that you will probably find cuisine for every taste.

For Indians (and vegetarians) Dubai has a big selection of budget Indian vegetarian food. Dosa, vada, idlee, samosa, chapaati/roti, with generous servings of sabji (cooked vegetable stew) are available at throwaway prices, typically less than 10Dhs ($2.5) per course. The more expensive stuff costs up to USD 5.00. Bur Dubai (particularly Meena Bazaar area) and Karama are the places that abound in these restaurants. Most of them are open from 7AM till 10PM or 11PM throughout the week and some may run 24/7/365.


  • The Evergreen Pure Vegetarian chain of restaurants scattered throughout the city is worth visiting for its vegetarian dishes and famous Thali. The Evergreen Restaurants are located in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu dhabi. The restaurants in Dubai are in Deira, Bur Dubai and Satwa area of Dubai. Thalis (all round unlimited meal) just cost 10 Dhs. It also has a range of chaats like PaniPuri, BhelPuri.
  • Karachi Inn Restaurant, 1. At Satwa roundabout, 2. At Bur Dubai near Mussala Tower, 3315353. It is a Pakistani Restaurant that provides cheap Pakistani & Indian food. Good for anyone with a spicy tooth. AED 20-25 per person for a good meal.
  • The Karachi Darbar chain of restaurants scattered throughout the city.
  • The Jabal Al Noor chain of restaurants. A Middle Eastern take on fast food and its own unique variety of drinks with names such as "Lexus"," Burj al Arab", and "Sitara". AED 7-10 per item.

  • The Anjappar Restaurant and Ibrahimi Restaurant are famous for their wonderful delicacies.
  • Pak Liyari Restaurant is famous for excellent biryani.

As mentioned earlier, Dubai is a melting pot for various cultures who have bought their local cuisines over with them. For those who are open to trying new and different foods , Frying Pan Adventures [119] offers food tours that allows visitors to try various regional foods while at the same time exploring less known parts of Dubai.


  • Royal Kebab Restaurant, Royal Kebab Restaurant, Dubai Media City, Zee Tower, Next to BBC, Dubai and soon to open in Dubai Mens College, +971 4 4508105 (, fax: +971 4 4503679), [11]. 11:00 am to 12:00 am. A restaurant by RJS Group. With outdoor seating and a separate shisha area. About AED 50. (25.108606,55.167503)
  • Shabu Shabu UAE, 2nd December St, Al Hudaiba, +97143599224. It is an Asian restaurant that serves a wide range of food from all over Asia, so there is shabu shabu, sushi and teppanyaki of course. The prices are really reasonable, and they have promotional offers almost everyday. Around AED 60-80 per person for a hearty meal.
  • Jedoudna Restaurant, Rimal Sector, The Walk at Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai, +971 4 4230766 (, fax: +971 4 4230765), [12]. 7:00am to 1:00 am. A family-run Lebanese restaurant. With outdoor seating and separate shisha area. About AED 100. (25.077928,55.134069)
  • Bundoo Khan, inside Clover Creek Hotel Apartments, +971 4 3709881. Indian. About AED 100.
  • BBQ Tonight, H.H Hamdan Complex, Jumeirah Road (in front of Union Flag), (toll free: 800-22727, ), [13]. AED 20-90.
  • Wafi Gourmet, Wafi Mall, Oud Metha, Dubai, +971 4 324 4433. Excellent Lebanese cuisine and ambience. In the cooler months the outdoor verandah is a pleasure. No alcohol served. About AED 100.
  • The Noodle House, Emirates Towers Shopping Boulevard, Madinat Jumeirah, Jumeirah, +971 4 366 8888. Asian food. One meal about AED 80.
  • Student Biryani, Kuwait Street Al - Karama, +971 4 3369992 (fax: +971 4 3666649), [14]. Continental. About AED 100.
  • Toscana, Souk Madinat Jumeirah, +971 4 3666730 (, fax: +971 4 3666649). Italian. About AED 100.
  • Yakitori House, Century Hotel, Khalid Bin Walid Street, Bur Dubai, +971 4 205 7333. Japanese cuisine, very popular with the Japanese expat community.
  • Lal Qila Dubai, Jumairah-1, Daiyfah Intersection, 28821 Dubai, +971 4 325 4778 (), [15]. Continental.
  • Ferns N Petals Dubai, P.O BOX 393728, U D M A N Floral Trading LLC Warehouse No-4, Street 6a, Al Quoz Industrial Area-3, +971 567427222 (), [16]. Cakes
  • French Bakery Dubai, Behind Shangrila Hotel - شارع المركز المالي - Al SatwaAl Safa - Dubai, 971 55 123 3171 (), [17]. Cakes

  • London Fish & Chips, Tunisia Food Court, Ibn Batutta Mall, Jebel Ali Village, Dubai, +971 4 366 9939, [18]. Fish and chips.
  • Automatic, this is a chain of popular Lebanese restaurants found all over Dubai. Famous for its lamb chops & Friday lunch buffet. No alcohol served.
  • Al Dawaar Revolving Restaurant, Hyatt Regency, Deira, 04 209 1100, [19]. Lunch: 12.30 PM - 3.30 PM, dinner: 7 PM - midnight. Serving an assortment of cuisines, the highlight of this beautiful restaurant is that it revolves, giving a nice tour of the city. Lunch: AED 165 per person, Dinner: AED 205 per person.
  • Pars Iranian Kitchen, Shk Zayed Road (Located in the residential area of Diyafah Road next to the Rydges Plaza Hotel), +971 4 398 4000. This is an open air Iranian restaurant where one can sit in traditional machans (large bed-like seating) and enjoy a fine Iranian meal. The speciality is the mixed grill which is served with live coal. After the meal, you may smoke a traditional sheesha pipe. No alcohol served. Around Dhs. 150 per person.
  • Chimes, Al Barsha (Located beneath the Seven Sands Hotel Apartments near the Mall of the Emirates and close to Sharaf DG metro station of the overhead monorail. You can download a location map from the Contact Us section of their website.), 043234211, [20]. The dishes are from Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia and the popular house speciality must be the Pepper or Chili Crab. You can eat at the restaurant or order home delivery to most areas of new Dubai.

  • Yum!, Inter-Continental Hotel, Deira, +971 4 222 7171. A wonderful noodle bar located at the InterContinental Dubai. Well priced, with excellent food.
  • 800PIZZA, Sheykh Zayed Road, Barsha, Tamweel building, between Coral Boutique Hotel and Emirates Mall, 800-PIZZA(74992) (), [21]. 11AM to midnight. Traditional & authentic Italian pizza baked in wood fired Italian stone oven, thin & crispy crust. People living in Dubai usually order food online from sites which provide 24 hour service. One can search the best pizzas, sushi, kebabs, burgers and order any kind of food in Dubai from eateasily. One can place orders for delivery, pickup or table booking from list of top restaurants in Dubai.


The top hotels in the city all have at least one restaurant serving (most commonly) some form of international cuisine - Italian, Japanese, Indian and so on. Quality tends to be high, along with price, but non-guests are able to reserve tables as well, thus allowing the rest of us to experience a bit of these hotels.

  • AT.MOSPHERE, Burj Khalifa, +9714 8883444, [22]. 12PM until 2AM. At.mosphere is an exclusive fine dining restaurant, located on Level 122 of Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower. Great option for an Afternoon Tea and sunset views.
  • Al Fanar Restaurant & Cafe, Festival City Dubai, +97142329966. The first and the only authentic Emirati Cuisine in UAE. A complete mesmerizing experience of Emirati traditions, authentic Emirati cuisine and Middle Eastern hospitality, in the ambience of Dubai recreated from the 1960’s. AED30 - AED200.
  • Manhattan Grill, Grand Hyatt Dubai. Is a fine dining restaurant, its specialty are steaks. A suitable venue for romantic dinners and family gatherings. AED30 - AED300.
  • Kiku, Le Meridien Dubai, +971 4 282 4040. Japanese cuisine. Very high quality and very popular. AED 150.
  • Khazana, Al Nasr Leisureland, Karama, +971 4 336 0061. Run by famed Indian TV chef Sanjeev Kapoor. Drinks Served. Reservations recommended especially on Friday nights. Very costly, but fantastic service.
  • Options, Jumeirah, 971 4 329 3293. Also run by famed Indian TV chef Sanjeev Kapoor. Drinks served. Reservations recommended especially on Friday nights.
  • Asha's, Wafi Centre, Bur Dubai, +971 4 324 0000. Indian Cuisine run by Asha Bosle. Good food but little expensive
  • Shang Palace, Shangri-La Hotel, Shk Zayed Road, +971 4 343 8888. Exceptional Chinese food. AED 200.
  • Al Mahara, Burj Al Arab, +971 4 301 7600 (fax: +971 4 301 7000). 12.30 PM- 3 PM, 7 PM - midnight. Part of the Burj Al Arab hotel, and as you would expect is also very high quality! Seafood. AED 700.
  • Legends Steakhouse, Dubai Creek Golf Club, Deira, +971 4 295 6000, [23].
    View from Legends Steakhouse
    This restaurant is part of the Creek Golf Clubhouse. Highly popular with residents but, unfortunately, not known to tourists is this fabulous waterfront restaurant. Situated overlooking the Dubai Creek, it provides an excellent meal and views. Very reasonably priced for the ambience and food.
    Around AED 200 per head.
  • JW's Steakhouse, JW Marriott Hotel, Deira, +971 4 607 7977. This is the Marriott's signature restaurant. Highly popular with Dubai residents. AED 350 per head.
  • Cafe Chic, Le Meridien, Garhoud, +971 4 282 4040. Beautiful nouvelle French cuisine, served in a comfortable and sophisticated atmosphere, run by Michelin star chef Michel Rostang. By far one of the best restaurants in town, but extremely pretentious as well. Expect to pay AED 300, but it's definitely worth it.
  • The Royal Budha, Holiday Inn Dubai Al Barsha (Sheikh Zayed Road, 115443), +971 4 323 4333, [24]. 7:pm -11:30 pm. The premier fine dining restaurant at the Holiday Inn Dubai – Al Barsha serves authentic Thai food. This contemporary Thai restaurant is the perfect blend of tradition and innovation.
  • Gharana (Indian Restaurant), Holiday Inn Dubai Al Barsha (Sheikh Zayed Road, 115443), +971 4 323 4333, [25]. 7:pm -11:30 pm. For Indian fine dining experience in Dubai visit Gharana at Holiday Inn Dubai Al Barsha. Gharana offers finest Indian food with the live music
  • The Gem Garden (Continental Restaurant), Holiday Inn Dubai Al Barsha (Sheikh Zayed Road, 115443), +971 4 323 4333, [26]. 24 hrs. All day dining with a difference. The Gem Garden’s minimalist Zen styling is the ideal place any time of the day or night with a round the clock service. The food, on the other hand, is anything but minimalist, with a combination of generous buffets and classic a la carte dishes.

If you feel like having a meal fit for a king, but don't want to venture outside, Room Service [120] can deliver meals from upscale restaurants to your residence for a price.


As Dubai has grown from a small town into a bustling city, so has the nightlife scene. Most 3 to 5 star hotels have bars and nightclubs for those interested in the nightlife. World-class DJs frequent Dubai's nightclubs, and many A-list musical celebrities are adding Dubai to their list of tour dates.

However, Dubai has several laws regarding alcohol which tourists should be aware of before visiting:

  • Alcohol is available only at licensed premises, usually attached to hotels (most nightclubs and bars are in or attached to hotels, though they may have separate entrances).

Check if your hotel or hostel allows alcohol before entering with it. Some housing is Muslim-owned and it may be banned from their premises.

  • Alcohol is not sold on religious holidays, nor during daylight hours in Ramadan (even to non-Muslims).
  • It is illegal to drink alcohol in public places, and there is a zero-tolerance policy on drunk driving. Anyone involved in a collision found with alcohol in their blood will usually get a month's jail sentence and fine.
  • Alcohol can be bought only for home consumption at certain outlets in Dubai, and an alcohol license is required. Supermarkets only stock non-alcoholic beers. Even food items containing alcohol are not sold in supermarkets.
  • Remember to carry some sort of identification when visiting a bar if you are young, as you will not be let in otherwise. The law prohibits anyone below 21 to enter.
  • The Authorities take disruptive behavior while intoxicated very seriously, which as you can imagine will lead to jail time or deportation.

Ch ali mango and apple Hilal Drinks are also widely sold.


  • Longs Bar, Towers - Rotana (op Financial centre metro). The longest bar in the UAE, typical English style, similar to a Wetherspoons. Great music and DJs plus food and friendly atmosphere. . Open until 3AM.
  • Left Bank, in the Madinat Jumeirah is perfectly situated on the waterfront in one of the most tranquil areas of Dubai. A great food menu leads on to some excellent cocktails and music inside. Open 12PM - 2AM daily.
  • The Rooftop Swimming Pool, on top of Hilton Dubai Creek. Small bar but wonderful views especially at sunset.
  • The Cocktail Bar, on the 24th floor of the Jumeirah Beach Hotel. Has good views along Jumeirah beach and the Burj al-Arab Hotel, also an open-air terrace (open after the 1st of October).
  • The Terrace Bar, Park Hyatt, Deira, Dubai. A chilled out bar touching the Dubai Creek. Good for a one on one evening. Plays light music.
  • 360°, Jumeirah Beach Hotel Complex, [121]. The latest addition to the Jumeirah Beach hotel complex. A very cool location at the end of the hotel marina, reached by golf buggy! Open air bar with great views of the Burj hotel and the Jumeirah beach hotel all helped by a cool breeze from the ocean. Various DJ's but think Ibiza lounge bar and you won't be far off. Well worth a visit.
  • Boudoir Bar, at the Dubai Marine Beach. Done in an opulent French Renaissance style.
  • Sky View Bar, Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah Beach Road. Live bands (both local and international), reservations are a must.
  • Stagshead, Avari Dubai, Diera. Located at the lobby level, this traditional Scottish Pub offering bar snacks, a wide range of beverages, Pool tables and a darts board.
  • Vu's Bar, Sheikh Zayed Road. Try the 51st Floor house cocktail, it's so deliciously strong, also there's a staggering 200 cocktails to choose from!
  • Buddha Bar branch of the international Asian-themed bar/restaurant.
  • Bar 44, on the 44th floor of Grosvenor House Hotel in Dubai Marina. Excellent view above the city. Phone: +971 4 399 8888.
  • Barasti, on the beach next to Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Resort in Dubai Marina. Built in three levels (each playing its own music), with lounging areas on the beach, lots of young and foreign people come here during the weekend. Very popular with expats.
  • Rock Bottom, a restaurant/"dive" bar/dance club. Dress and theme is very casual. Live Bands and a DJ. Mostly western/expat crowd
  • Rattlesnake, Restaurant and Dance Club in the Metropolitan Hotel on Sheik Zhayed Road. Live Philippino Bands and DJ. Popular for single male expats. The music is OK, but the place is just an open market for man to buy. As a single male you might attract a lot of hungry looks. Not recommended unless this is what you want. Entrance fee 50 dirham, Draft Beer 37 dirham.
  • Rockafellas Located at Regal Plaza Hotel in Bur Dubai. The same human market as Rattlesnake, but worse in quality. The music played is mostly Arabic and Russian techno. Live bands are African and not as successful as Rattlesnake. Not recommended, as long as you don't want to buy something.
  • Nassimi Beach, The Atlantis. Great bar/club on the beach in the Palm Jumeirah.


  • Filli Cafeteria, Al Mamzar. & <drink name="Modern Coffee Shop" address="Hor Al Anz">- Probably the two most popular tea spots in town, especially Filli, who serves over 4000 cups a day!. Try either the zaffrani chai (milk tea with saffron) or the doodh kadak(strong milk tea).
  • Basta Art Cafe, Bastakiya, +971-4-3535071. Set in a lovely garden courtyard in a restored house, Basta is a great place to take a breather with a cold drink and write some postcards. The sandwiches-and-salads menu is aimed squarely at tourists, but if you are sick of kebabs, they will cater to your salmon-avocado wrap and mango smoothie cravings. The "Basta Special" drink of mint and lemon is also excellent. Dhs 50.


Burj al-Arab Hotel

Earlier the demand for hotel rooms badly outstripped supply, resulting in some of the most expensive rooms in the world: it was difficult to find anything decent for under Dhs 600 (US$200) especially during the September-May high season. However, now, as July 2009, there are several five star hotels offering rooms for less than $140 (€100) for off-season and plenty of other cost effective options. The longer the stay, the better the deal cost wise. As mentioned rent with utilities can be as low as 300 AED a month.


  • Multiple bedspace and long stay hotels that offer you a shared room and a shared bedroom with wi-fi, concierge, wake-up calls, airport shuttle, calling a taxi for you, and AC at no additional charge. Some also offer laundry, safety deposit boxes, a private room with a non-shared restroom, and room service or restaurant service for a small charge. Some are men only, some are for exclusively women, others altogether are mixed. Some even are dedicated to Indian or Filipino expats because of personal reasons or to protect those with less finances to be able to afford cheap housing. Varying quality of location, the cheapest are located in Deira or Satwa but they are spread out across all Dubai districts. Bed on shared bunker starting from 300 AED and goes up to 1000 AED a month for more expensive ones, private rooms start at 600 AED a month and go up from there to 1200 AED for higher end private rooms.
  • Al Uruba Hotel, Old Gold Souq, Deira.5 ☎ +971 4 226 6190. Rooms from 300 AED (about 82 USD). Basic, clean and decent hotel with a prime location in the Gold Souk, Deira. Not easy to find as it is unknown to most taxi drivers and eventually accessible only on foot through the Gold Souk. Rooms have fridges and internet.
  • Marina furnished apartment , Dubai Marina. Rooms from AED 400," phone="Reservation +971 56 982 4388" email="[email protected]".
  • Grandeur Hotel, PO Box 282429, Al Barsha First (Behind the Mall of Emirates), +971 4 3418777. A business hotel launched in October 2008, Grandeur Hotel embraces 125 accommodations consisting of 100 rooms and 25 suites.All rooms are equipped with air conditioning, cable television, safe, wi-fi, wake-up call service and minibar. Some of its facilities and services are sauna, pool bar, cafe, restaurant, business center, fitness room/gym, swimming pool, room service, safe deposit boxes, concierge, wireless internet access, laundry service, airport shuttle service and currency exchange. Rates start at 250.00 AED.
  • Dubai Youth Hostel (UAE YHA member), Al Nahda Rd (Next to the Lulu Hyper Market), Reservation +971 4 2988151, reception +971 4 2988161 (, fax: 971 4 2988141), [27]. checkin: 24/7; checkout: 24/7. Pool, football field, chill-out garden, A/C in the room, small bar fridge. It's located next to a mosque so morning prayers may wake you. Bus stop just 100 m from hostel, Lulu Hyper Market shopping center and supermarket nearby. Free safety deposit boxes (hang on to your key as they have stiff $200 replacement fee). Clean rooms but unhelpful staff. You can walk there from Terminal 2. When you get out walk straight along 16th St to the end. It takes around 10 min. From terminal 1 or 3 you can take the metro to Deira City Center (6 min, AED 2,50) and from there take bus C19 or 22 to Al Nahda Rd (35 min, AED 2, you'll see the Lulu Shopping Mall on your left). A taxi from terminal 1 or 3 costs around AED 40. Dorm-AED100 or $US$27, Breakfast is included.
  • My Dubai Stay Apartments, Al Sayyah Building (On Sheikh Zayed Road), Reservation +971 4 3713030, Toll Free 800 2 STAY (), [28]. checkin: 24/7; checkout: 24/7. Pool, gym, children's play area, spa, A/C in the room, small bar fridge. Located all across the city including Dubai Marina, Jumeirah Beach Residences, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Palm Jumeirah and Springs AED375 or US $103.
  • Dream Palace Hotel, Al Muraqabat Street. Rooms from AED 400.
  • easyHotel Dubai, Jebel Ali, Jafza Street. [122] Rooms from AED 110. New hotel in the budget easyHotel chain offering no frills accommodation, although all en-suite and the rooms look very smart for the price. Location is very far out, at least 45dhs to commute to main tourism areas each time and each way. However if you are going to hire a car it is a good option.
  • Gulf Pearl Hotel, Al Baraha Street, Omar al khattab Road, ☎ +971 4 2728333. Rooms from AED 158.
  • New Peninsula Hotel, Al Fahidi Road, Bur Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Rooms from $99.
  • Pacific Hotel, Sabakha Street 115, Deira. ☎ +971-4-2276700 [email protected], (fax: +971-4-2276761) [123]. Rooms from $80.
  • Panorama Hotel, Mankhool Road. ☎ +971 4-3518518. Rooms from US $41.
  • Dubai staywiderview., Churchill Executive Tower,

Business Bay. ☎ +971 4 434 1555 . Rooms from US $41.


  • AVANI Deira, Corner Abu Baker Al Siddique and Sallahudin Road, PO Box 234344, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, (+97)1 4 6013999, [29]. checkin: 15.00 pm to 5.30 am; checkout: 12.00 pm. Avani Deira Dubai is ideal for travellers who are seeking for shopping in Dubai. Located in the heart of the deira city, tourists can now easily access the main shopping malls in the town. USD 75. (25.270972,55.329637)
  • Ascot Hotel, Khalid bin waleed Road, Bur Dabai. ☎+971 4 3520900 [email protected], (fax: +971 4 3529819') [124]. Has Russian, Irish and Thai themed restaurants. Rooms from AED $180.
  • Avari Hotel, Clock tower, Deira. ☎ +971 4 295 6666 [125], (fax: +971 2 295 9359) [126]. Rooms from $152.
  • Arabian Ranches, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Dubai junction, [30]. Villa located in the Arabian Ranches, private pool
  • Avari Al-Barsha Hotel Apartments, Behind Mall of the Emirates. ☎+971 4 295 6666, toll free: 800 40 55 9 ([127], fax: +971 2 295 9359) [128].
  • Express by Holiday Inn Dubai-Internet City, Tecom Zone, Knowledge City, +971 4 4275555, [31]. Opened in 2007, modern hotel, the location means it's primarily useful for business visitors to Internet City. Two restaurants, bar and a "mini-gym" on premises, but no pool, and internet costs AED 100/day.
  • Four Points by Sheraton Downtown, Mankhool Road, 4C Street (15 min by taxi from airport, 20 min to Dubai Creek on foot.), +971 4 3543333, [32]. Opened in November 2007, it's a stunningly modern hotel. Spacious, airy rooms, excellent gym, great little rooftop pool. US$200.
  • Moon Valley Hotel Apartment, Bank Street, Behind NBF - Bur Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, +971 4 3971115, [33]. 69 rooms, all of which have air-conditioning, cable television, and an internet connection. Rooftop gymnasium, swimming pool, and a business center are on premises. Best rates on official website start at AED 180.
  • Pearl Continental Hotel Apartments, Al Sufouh | Media City, Dubai, [129].
  • Highland Hotel, Bur Dubai. ☎+971 4 3939773, (fax: +971 4 3937399 [130]). Price range: US$108.
  • Coral Boutique Hotel Apartments, in Al Barsha, close to Mall of Emirates [131] Apartments from US$120 upwards, large rooms, friendly staff. "Rumours" Cafe downstairs, and a spa.
  • Dar Al Sondos Hotel Apartments by Le Méridien, [34]. Executive rooms have kitchen. Gym, rooftop swimming pool and shuttle bus to the beach. Friendly service.
  • Holiday Inn Dubai Al Barsha, Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Barsha 1, P.O.Box 115443, Dubai, UAE. [132], ☎ +971 4 323 4333, fax: +971 4 323 4334. 310 elegant rooms. A choice of 3 Bars, choice of 2 fine dining restaurants and 6 storey high atrium and piano lounge. Gymnasium, roof top pool, massage rooms, sauna and spa.
  • Ramada Plaza Jumeirah Beach, Bahar 7 Jumeirah Beach Res, Marsa, Dubai, UAE, 97144398889, [35]. A 4-star hotel with views of the neighboring Dubai Marina and Palm Jumeirah, minutes from the vibrant culture and shopping of "The Walk" at JBR..
  • City Stay PrimeCity Stay Prime, Behind Mall of the Emirates, Al Barsha 1, Dubai 450127, United Arab Emirates, 00971 4 3474400 (), [36]. City Stay Prime Hotel Apartment is the right choice. Ticking all the right boxes, this cosmopolitan collection of One-Bedroom and Two-Bedroom apartments is only 30 minutes away from Dubai International Airport. (25.1147866,55.2040347)


  • Anantara Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa, P.O. Box 71607, East Crescent, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, +971 4 567 8888, [37]. checkout: Late check-out until 4.00 pm (subject to availability). Enjoy 5 Star luxury in your stay at iconic Palm Jumeirah with Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort. The ultimate location with spectacular views. USD 291. (25.129496,55.153156)
  • PER AQUUM Desert Palm, PO Box 119171 Dubai UAE, (+971)0 4 323 8888, [38]. The Dessert palm Peraquum is located only 15 mins from the Dubai city. Designed in a modern way the resort has tately lawns and polo fields extend toward the city skyline. The resort also offers Hideaway villas with private pools. An intimate courtyard with two-century-old olive trees and outdoor rain showers USD 196. (25.167997,55.446678)
  • The Address Hotels + Resorts, (Downtown Dubai & Dubai Marina), +971 44238888 / Toll Free (KSA only) 800 8971470 (), [39]. checkin: 3pm; checkout: 3pm. Luxury 5 star chain hotel with 3 hotels located in the heart of Downtown Dubai and 15 minutes drive from the airport, accessible by bus and metro; other 2 hotels located in Uptown Dubai.
  • Emirates Stars Hotel Apartments, Baghdad St. Al Nahda 2, 97142589888, [40]. One- and two-bedroom suites, all equipped with air conditioning, LCD TV with satellite channels and IDD phone with voice mail, safe. Steam bath, sauna, gymnasium and Stars Cafe on premises, massage also available. From AED 325.00.
  • Clover Creek Hotel Apartments, PO Box 125918 Dubai (5 minutes from the airport), +971 4 233 6400, [41]. Rooms with fully-equipped kitchen, microwave, refrigerator, living room and flat screen satellite television. Some of its facilities and services are restaurants, sauna, swimming pool, meeting facilities, business center, currency exchange, dry cleaning, fax/photocopying, free Wi-Fi and 24-hour room service. Rates start at 359.00 AED.
  • Ascott Park Place Dubai, Park Place Tower, Sheikh Zayed Road, +971 4 310-8555 (), [42]. Each of its one, two, three and double-storey loft apartments, is designed with stylish furnishings and broadband internet access, a kitchen, LCD televisions and iPod docking stations. (25.2244524,55.2834088)
  • Atlantis the Palm Jumeirah, (The Palm Jumeirah), +971 4 426-1000 (), [43]. checkin: 15:00; checkout: 12:00. Only hotel currently open on the palm. Connects to mainland by monorail.
  • Burj al-Arab [133], Jumeirah. ☎ +971 4 3017777 (email: [email protected], fax: +971 4 3017000) [134]. Famed for being the first seven-star hotel in the world (technically a five star deluxe hotel), this striking sail-shaped building is a symbol of Dubai and one of most opulent hotels in the world. Rack rates over US $1,800 per night after taxes/fees.
  • Crowne Plaza Dubai, (Sheikh Zayed Road Service Lane), +971 4 331-1111 (), [44]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: 3PM. Full shopping mall and residence attached to hotel.
  • Crowne Plaza Dubai Festival City, Dubai (From Sheikh Zayed Road take the Garhoud Bridge and exit to Umm Ramool Road on to Al Rebat Street and exit right to Dubai Festival City), +971 4 7012222 (), [45]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: 12PM. 316 rooms and suites.
  • Dusit Thani Dubai, (Sheikh Zayed Road in front of the DIFC.), +971 4 343-3333 (), [46]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: 3PM.
  • Fairmont Dubai, (Sheikh Zayed Road), +971 4 332-5555 (), [47]. checkin: 12 noon; checkout: 3PM. Closest 5 Star hotel to the World Trade Centre.
  • Grand Hyatt Dubai, (by Dubai Creek), +971 4 317 1234 (), [48]. checkin: 12 noon; checkout: 3PM. A resort style hotel with extensive conference facilities.
  • Grand Millennium Dubai, " (Sheikh Zayed Road - TECOM - Media City), +971 4 429-9999 (), [49]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: 3PM.
  • Waldorf Astoria Dubai International Financial Centre (Waldorf Astoria Dubai International Financial Centre), Happiness Street, DIFC, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, +971-4-5159999 (), [50]. checkin: 3pm; checkout: 12am. Luxury 5 star chain hotel, located in the Dubai International Financial Centre - a major hub of commerce, this district is also an artists' haven and cultural hotspot.
  • Hilton Dubai Jumeirah, The Walk, Dubai Marina, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (Jumeirah beach. Exit 32 from Sheikh Zayed Road), +971 4 318 2999 (), [51]. The hotel features a private beach and is located at Dubai Marina, close to world-class shopping, dining and entertainment. There is snorkeling, swimming and a game room. The hotel has 12 award-winning restaurants, a health club and a spa.
  • Hyatt Regency Dubai, Deira Corniche, Deira, +971 4 209 1234 (), [52]. 414 Rooms and suites with views of the Persian Gulf. Host to Al Dawaar, Dubai's only revolving restaurant.
  • InterContinental Dubai Festival City, Dubai (From Sheikh Zayed Road take the Garhoud Bridge and exit to Umm Ramool Road on to Al Rebat Street and exit right to Dubai Festival City), +971 4 7011111 (), [53]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: 12PM. 498 rooms over 36 floors with views of the Dubai Creek and a 3800 sq.m. Event Centre. Attached to the Festival Centre shopping mall.
  • InterContinental Residence Suites Dubai Festival City, Dubai (From Sheikh Zayed Road take the Garhoud Bridge and exit to Umm Ramool Road on to Al Rebat Street and exit right to Dubai Festival City), +971 4 7013333 (), [54]. Offers one, two and three-bedroom serviced suites with a choice between creek and city views. Available for short or long stays.
  • JA Beach Hotel, 9255,, +971 4 814 5555 (), [55]. Offers 235 rooms and suites with private balconies or terraces overlooking the Arabian Gulf.
  • JA Palm Tree Court, 9255,, +971 4 814 5555 (), [56]. Family-friendly accommodation in a luxury environment, with 208 spacious suites are just steps away from the sea.
  • JA Ocean View Hotel, PO, +971 4 814 5599 (), [57]. Family-friendly accommodation in a luxury environment, with 208 spacious suites are just steps away from the sea.
  • JA Oasis Beach Tower, 26500,, +971 4 315 4444 (), [58]. Offers 180 serviced, self-catering apartments near Dubai marina. These elegant beachfront apartments are located right on The Walk at JBR.
  • JA Hatta Fort Hotel, PO, +971 4 8145 400 (), [59]. Resort in the majestic Hajar Mountains in the heart of Hatta offering rugged bike trails, zipline, kayaking, and more.
  • Jebel Ali Hotel & Golf Resort, Jebel Ali. (Take exit 13 on the Sheikh Zayed Road) tel: +971-4-8836000 (email: [email protected], (fax: +971 4 8835543) [135]. Rooms from US$400.
  • Jumeirah Beach Hotel, ☎ +971 4 3480000 (email: [email protected], fax: +971 4 3482273) [136]. Next to Burj al-Arab [137] and run by the same company. Rooms from US$700.
  • Park Hyatt Dubai ([email protected]), +971 4 602 1234 (), [60]. Five star hotel with a waterfront location next to the Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club. Very fancy with very modern rooms, a great breakfast buffet, a spa and all that you would expect from a five-star hotel.
  • Radisson Royal Hotel, 49 Sheikh Zayed Road, Trade Centre District, Dubai, + 971 4 308 0000 (fax: + 971 4 308 0011), [61]. The Royal Hotel is across from the Dubai World Trade Centre and opposite the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).
  • Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek, Bani Yas Road - 476 Dubai, +971 4 222 7171 (, fax: +971 4 228 4777), [62].
  • Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Downtown, +971 (4) 4502000 (, fax: +971 4 450 2099), [63]. This newly built hotel (2011) is located on the upper floors of a mixed-use building.
  • The Radisson Blu Residence, Dubai Marina, Plot NO. 392-260 Street K - Dubai Marina - 73029 Dubai, +971 (4) 4355000 (, fax: +971 4430 8559), [64]. Radisson Blu Residence, Dubai Marina is an apartment hotel situated near the Persian Gulf shoreline.
  • Raffles Dubai, Sheikh Rashid Road (Next to Wafi Shopping Centres.), +971 4 324-8888 (), [65]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: 15:00PM. Attached to Wafi Mall. Egyptian themed.
  • Taj Palace Hotel Dubai, P.O Box 42211 (Deira, between Al Rigga and Al Maktoum Streets.), +971 4 223-2222 (), [66]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: 3PM. Hotel located in Deira near Naif Square Bazaar.
  • Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, P.O Box 213084 (Al Sufouh Road, Jumeirah Beach), +971 (4) 399 3333 (), [67]. checkin: 15:00PM; checkout: 3PM. Hotel located alongside Dubai’s largest private white sand beach.
  • Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, P.O Box 24883 (Jumeirah Beach Road), +9714-399-4141 (), [68]. checkin: 15:00PM; checkout: 3PM. Hotel located on shoreline near to The Palm.
  • Dubai Holiday Villas, P.O Box 211169 (Palm Jumeirah), +9714-421-4988 (), [69]. checkin: 15:00PM; checkout: 12PM. Palm Jumeirah Dubai.
  • Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City, Al Habtoor City, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (Palm Jumeirah), +971-4-4373333 (), [70]. checkin: 15:00PM; checkout: 12PM. (25.184699,55.255018)

Stay safe

Dubai is governed by a strict interpretation of Islamic law which must be respected by all travelers. Do not publicly criticize or distribute material against Islam. Eating in public during the holy month of Ramadan is prohibited from sunrise until sunset and visitors should consume meals in the confines of their hotel or residence; some restaurants stay open with a curtain over their door at this time. Many shopping malls offer this service. If you ask at an information desk someone will direct you.

In conversations about politics and world affairs, avoid criticizing the ruling family of any of the seven Emirates or prominent business families.
Travel Warning WARNING: Anti-royalty, or anti-UAE opinions are not welcome and may endanger you of being beaten, jailed, or worse so *KEEP IT TO YOURSELF* and that includes avoiding posting those political opinions on social media.

While petty crime is hardly reported or mentioned in the news, keep an eye on your wallet or purse when in crowded areas like Naser Square or Deira in general. If withdrawing large amounts of cash from ATMs or banking institutions, either conceal the notes or ask the institution's security to escort you to your vehicle. Cases have occurred where people have been robbed of large amounts of cash when in crowded places just because they were not careful.

Conmen are ever present in Dubai, especially scammers. Do not arrange meetings or entertain their requests or give any personal details. Should they not comply, individuals who will be happy to listen to their business propositions are the police.

Thanks to Dubai's new property boom, real estate fraudsters are also popping up, so exercise caution if you are there to shop around for a new home.

Public display of affection are frowned upon and public sexual acts can lead to jail time followed by deportation or even possibly death. That includes married couples. In 2008, a British couple was arrested and faced jail sentences because they had sexual contact on a beach in Dubai. If all tourists remain respectful and decent at all times and ensure that they do not upset the local people in any way whatsoever, there should hopefully be no problems.

The United Arab Emirates might seem to have more relaxed laws than their other Arab counterparts, but the laws are still very different from most Western countries, and their laws are strictly enforced. A simple kiss in a public place, having an alcoholic drink in the wrong place or even losing your temper could land you a month or more in jail. Please exercise caution and common sense when visiting and make sure you are aware of all their laws, or expect severe consequences that could seriously ruin your vacation and/or life.

The city of Dubai has spent millions of dollars in sophisticated technology along with other emirates in the UAE to crack down on criminal activities and to deter crime,including the use of fixed, mobile CCTV and facial recognition, license plate detection systems. Be aware that there are cameras and visible police presence in major areas.

LGBT Visitors

Travel Warning WARNING: LGBT activities are illegal in the UAE. Punishments include a prison sentence, floggings, death, chemical castrations, beatings, torture, fines and deportation. Anti-gay attacks and vigilante executions will happen with police turning a blind eye, joining in, or being complicit in the attacks. No businesses are LGBT friendly and police will not hesitate to arrest or kill if they witness displays of LGBT actions, either private or public. If you are LGBT, stay out of the UAE.

Other safety

Adultery is punished with up to death.

Women should dress sensibly and avoid wearing revealing outfits when in busy areas. This is especially true when traveling to districts like Karama, Deira and Bur-Dubai,where the streets are packed with men, especially on evenings and weekends. While swimsuits and bikinis are a common sight on Dubai beaches, avoid sunbathing topless or wearing microbikinis--even in the private beach of a hotel. Rape and sexual violence are taken seriously by authorities, If you ever fell a victim of sexual violence do not hesitate to contact the police as well as notify the embassy.

Drug use and distribution are serious criminal offences, even when in the company of the person consuming the material, and can lead to a prison sentence of several years or even get you in front of the firing squad. Passenger baggage is screened quite thoroughly when entering Dubai. Even prescription drugs (without original prescription note) or ones that you bought over the counter in your country can lead to a prison sentence.[138][139]

Driving and pedestrian safety has also been an issue given the different nationalities that share the road. Do not jaywalk or cross where there are no clear pedestrian markings. Speeding is common here, and the odds of you being knocked over are quite high unless you follow the rules. Avoid driving on the extreme left lane of highways to avoid being "flashed" and being forced to move a lane over. Road rage is also starting to become an issue given the increase in traffic jams and poor driving courtesy.

Rude hand gestures (the "finger", etc.) and profanity can lead to fines and jail times if reported, so keep your cool if you are cut off or are behind an erratic driver. In general, you will find those gestures and actions that some may find only slightly offensive in your home country--or perhaps not offensive at all--can at times be extremely offensive to the Dubai locals. Therefore, use a degree of common sense of what is right and wrong to help you stay out of trouble.


Please be aware of the travel scammers in Dubai. Normally their "representatives" are found in or around shopping malls, sitting in fancy stalls where they will tell if you answer their question, you will win a gift, and they will even help you answering the question by giving you clear hints.

Next they will congratulate you on answering the question and winning a "surprise" gift. They will have your contact details written on a piece of paper and will invite you to join their "party" the next day, where you would receive your "free" gift. There are also their reps in the shopping malls who will collect from you your contact details and will say they will contact you if you win in the "lucky draw" that night.

And then you will start receiving calls from their company the next day seeking your confirmation to attend.

If you go to their well-decorated office the next day, one of their reps will have a meeting with you for at least one and a half hours, doing nothing but wasting your time and forcing you to buy one of their travel packages (staying for 36 nights or so in five star hotels around the world during coming five years on "discounted" rates etc.). You will find it a bit difficult to get rid of them once you join them. Never ever give them any money or your financial details: simply avoid their reps in the shopping malls etc.


The international code for UAE is +971, for Dubai, add a 4 afterwards for land lines.

Local mobile phone numbers will start +971 50 xxx yyyy or +971 56 xxx yyyy (newly introduced as of second half of 2008) for the GSM provider etisalat [140] and +971 55 xxx yyyy and +971 52 xxx yyyy for the GSM provider du [141].

GSM— Those with GSM phones can expect auto roaming from their home countries. As roaming fees are quite high (easily 3 USD per minute and often more for a call to Europe) and incoming calls are also charged, consider to buy a local prepaid GSM SIM card, designed especially for tourists, from one of the two cellular providers of the U.A.E.:

  • Etisalat - product Ahlan [142] - 90 Dirhams - available at the Duty Free Shop (arrival hall) of Dubai Airport
  • Du - product Visitor Mobile Line [143] - 70 Dirhams - available at the Telefonika kiosk in the arrival hall of Dubai Airport.

Using these products, calls to Europe will be charged at maximum of about 0.55 USD per minute. Incoming calls are free of charge.

Phone Booths— Phone booths are located on most streets. Phone cards can be purchased from hotels and tourist shops.

Internet — Internet cafés are rather hard to find. The usual rate per hour is 3-4 AED. There are a number of cafés on Al Musalla Rd./Al Mankhool Rd. in Bur Dubai, including one at 38 Al Musalla Rd. and one at Computer Plaza next to the Ramada Hotel. A number of Internet cafes are found in Satwa too. In Satwa, there is the French Connection in the Al Wafa Tower on Sheikh Zayed road (opposite side of road from the Dusit Hotel), which has Wi-Fi access and nice cakes/pastries. In Al Qusais, there is an internet café a five-minute walk northwest from the Dubai Youth Hostel. Turn right out of the gates and walk to LuLu's Hypermarket. The café is located inside the food court and currently charges AED 4.00 per hour. Note that the Skype website has recently been unblocked by the two major service providers, Du and Etisalat — they are only service providers and are owned by the government. You may wish to consider using a proxy or VPN to bypass the blocked websites in the UAE, but this is considered illegal in the eyes of local officials, and can lead to penalties or jail time.

Surprisingly, the malls do not have internet cafés, but most have Wi-Fi, mostly free. Most hotel business centres are equipped with internet cafés, but these are expensive.

Etisalat [144], UAE's telecom operator, offers a roaming, post paid wi-fi internet connection known as iZone [145]. Most coffee shops and malls across Dubai provide this service. Prices are available on the website.

Dubai International Airport (DXB) has free Wi-Fi in the terminal. Bring your device with you as some hotels offer free Wi-Fi.

Newspapers & Radio: Thanks to the large influx of expatriates, Dubai has a wide selection of English Language Newspapers and Radio Channels.

International Newspapers are also available in most hotels and airport terminals. Carrefour and Borders bookstores sell British and American newspapers. Todaily, a local printing house, can furnish newspapers and periodicals from around the world daily.


Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, is a non-profit community service organization that has been set up to bring down barriers between people of different nationalities, and to help understand the traditions, customs and religion of the UAE. The SMCCU, under the banner, Open Doors Open Minds organizes educational and social events, that allows its clients to exchange ideas, pursue learning and share ways to reach understanding for their companies, their families, their countries and the world. Some of the activities that are offered at the center include:

  • Cultural Courses.
  • Arabic Language Courses.
  • Guided tours to Jumeirah Mosque.
  • Creating and managing cultural events.
  • Coffee Mornings.
  • Walking Tours (Bastakiya).

Be careful in some streets as you might meet people who may want to sell pirated movies or other items that can be replicated or faked to you at 10-15 dirhams. You shouldn't buy them as pirated items are illegal. Those involved in this would usually lead their victims off the streets into an alley or into a building, to elude the eye of the police officers. Whatever it is, as a general rule of thumb, you should never go into into a covert place with someone you don't know while you're touristing. This is very dangerous as anything could happen.

Religious services and Pork

Dubai gives freedom of religion to its residents and citizens, Pork is consumed here mostly by Filipinos and Europeans. Pork sections exclusive for Non-Muslims are found in Spinneys (have numerous branches, they have one in Jumeirah and another in Dubai Marina and many others), Al Maya Lal's (generally caters to Filipinos, they have a branch in Satwa) New Westzone Supermarket (have a branch in Satwa, it's bigger than nearby rival Al Maya Lal's). St. Mary's Catholic Church is a Roman Catholic church located in Oud Metha opposite the Indian High School, it has masses celebrated in Tagalog and other Indian languages as well as in Arabic aside from English. While Holy Trinity Church is a Protestant Church is located too in Oud Metha.


  • Ca-flag.png Canada, 9th Floor, Jumeirah Emirates Towers (Business Tower), Sheikh Zayed Road, +971-4-4048444, EMERGENCY for Canadians: Toll free 8000140145 (, fax: +971-4-4048556), [71]. Public hours 08h00-11h00: Sun, Mon, Wed, Thurs. Office hours (Canadians) Sun-Thurs: 08h00-12h00, 13h00-16h00.
  • As-flag.png Australia, Level 25, Bur Juman Business Tower, Khalifa Bin Zayed Road, +971 4-5087100 (, fax: +971 4-3551547), [72].
  • Ch-flag.png China, Villa No. 14, St 8, Community 357, Umm Al Sheif St, Safa 2 Area, +971 4-3944733 (, fax: +971 4-3952207), [73].
  • Eg-flag.png Egypt, Al Hamariya, Khaled Ibn Al-Walid Street, +971-4-3971122 (, fax: +971-4-3971033), [74]. Sunday-Thursday 9:00 AM - 15:00 PM.
  • In-flag.png India, Al Hamariya, Diplomatic Enclave, Bur Dubai, +971.4.3971222 ().
  • Ir-flag.png Iran, Iranian Consulate Bldg 256, Al Wasl St, Jumairah Area, +971 4 344 4717 (fax: "phone="+971).
  • Pk-flag.png Pakistan, Near Burjuman, opp. Iranian School, Khalid Bin Walid Rd, +971-4-3973600 (fax: "phone="+971-4-3973600"").
  • Ph-flag.png Phlippines, 35 Beirut St. Ext. No. 2,Al Qusais 3, + 971 4 2207100 (, fax: + 971 4 2207800), [75].
  • Us-flag.png United States of America, World Trade Center Corner of Al Seef Rd. and Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Rd., +971 4-309-4000, [76].

Get out

  • Neighbouring Sharjah, while dry (no alcohol) and mostly suburban, has a few beaches and museums of interest.
  • The capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, is worth the one and a half hour ride to see it.
  • The city of Al Ain located near to the borders with Oman is surprisingly a city of lush gardens and trees - an aspect quite unusual in this part of the land considering its desert surroundings.
  • Visit the peaceful Umm Al Quwain emirate if you want a cosy and relaxing environment, free from city hustle and bustle.
  • The outskirts of Fujairah (a hilly Emirate) have a lot of beach resorts to get relaxed at weekends.
  • Dubai has an arrangement with Oman to allow visitors who qualify for an Omani visa on arrival by road through. Cost of a 10-day tourist visa is OMR 5 (can be paid with card).

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