During the month of June I had the great pleasure to travel to Abu Dhabi and Dubai, these two destinations have been in the bucket list of travels for quite some time now and I was thrilled when I finally pulled the trigger on booking my airfare and planning a one of a kind adventure to the Middle East. I was fortunate enough to work with the Abu Dhabi Tourism Board and The Dubai Tourism board as they sponsored my attractions during my visit and extended a hand to help me maximize my trip and being able to see and do so much of what Dubai is known for. When I was not doing anything related to tourist attractions, you could have found me on the streets looking, walking and exploring or as I like to say it, soaking in the vibe and culture of the destination. The weather was blooming hot so my time outside was limited and was mostly spent inside but even wherever I was, I was able to get a feel for things.
On Today’s installment I will be sharing some tips to keep in mind during your visit to Dubai as the amount of questions I have been getting are a handful of them and for me it’s an absolute pleasure to answer your questions and help you all travel safer and better along with the intention of motivating and inspiring you to step out of your comfort zone and start traveling the World.
Before I begin sharing some tips, I want you all to visit the following links which covers the attractions I did during my visit. I have also covered the hotel where I stayed, this will give you an idea of what you can do on your next trip and a hotel recommendation to keep in mind. I should mention that these attractions are the “must do in Dubai”, so don’t think about skipping them ;).
- Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding
- Four Points Downtown Dubai
- Platinum Heritage Safari Tour
- Burj Khalifa
Keep in mind, the tips and advice I will be sharing below comes from my personal experience. From what I saw and learned from my recent trip.
- The number one question I’ve been getting even while I was there has been “Is Dubai Safe?”. To be honest with you all, I felt safer in Dubai than here in Los Angeles. Dubai is a powerful destination and the security everywhere I was was pretty high enforced. The local law enforcement takes great pride in protecting their country and most of all the residents. Within the malls, shopping plaza and tourist attractions. So I would say, Dubai it is indeed a safe destination.
- The second most popular question besides the safety of Dubai is the following “Dubai must be super expensive is it?”. Dubai is what you make it to be and how you want it to be as far expenses. Like everywhere in the World they are expensive places and luxurious spots to eat and visit. Dubai is one of them that offers much more luxury than any other place I have visited, so they are places that are expensive but worth going because they are not everywhere. You can make it expensive if you want it to be, but for the most part the prices are reasonable. If you want the best of the best, of course it will be expensive so this comes down to a personal choice and how much are you willing to spend.
- Be mindful of what you wear and be respectful to the culture in Dubai. Yes you can wear heels and you can wear normal clothes. But out of respect to the locals wear clothes that covers you quite a bit rather than being completely exposed. You are a visitor and not a resident but it also doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want. Just how they adjust when they visit the States, you should also adjust to the culture and practice what they preach. So be mindful of your outfits. This is more towards the females, because for us guys there isn’t much to be concerned about.
- Call to prayer happens quite frequent in Dubai. There is nothing to be concerned about that – Call to prayer means for the locals to pray and be thankful for what they have. It doesn’t last very long but it does happen frequent. Specially bright and early in the morning. For me it is a sooting time since it really makes you soak in the vibe and experience a local taste of the destination.
- Taxi’s in Dubai are extremely cheap so I would highly recommend using Taxi service everywhere you go. The taxi drivers are friendly and they aren’t there to take you the long way so they can make more money. They are there to do their jobs and drop you off where you need to be. All of my taxi experiences in Dubai were pleasant.
- If you don’t want to take a Taxi in Dubai, they offer Uber Service – I took several Uber drives while in Dubai and they were also pleasant. For me it was convenient at times when I was in a situation where taxis were limited.
Uber in Dubai
- Are they any scams in Dubai? Like any other destination around the World you may run into some fishy situations that makes you think “This can’t be true.” I will share my experience with you all. As I was walking around the Dubai Mall, I was trying to find the exit to catch a cab to my hotel, keep in mind the Dubai Mall is massive. I was getting desperate because I couldn’t find the right exit for the line of taxis. As I was walking to the main entrance of the mall to exit the property I get approached by somebody saying “Taxi?” I said, “Sure.” he then says “It will cost you 80 AED” which is $21 dollars, that was a brutal price for how close I was from my hotel and he said “It is rush hour”, I played along until I told him, “No thanks, I am ok – I don’t need your ride.” I shortly after found the exit for the cabs and my ride cost me 20 AED which is $5 dollars. What is that tell you? Yes, they can be scams so always use a valid sort of transportation and don’t believe anyone you meet unless it is official.
The Dubai Mall
- The food in the Middle East not just Dubai is incredible. You will find a variety of local food and I highly encourage you all to try it because you won’t be disappointed and it is also very cheap. If you are wanting options in places to eat, I would recommend visiting The Dubai Mall as they offer an extensive food court with every type of food you can think of.
- The weather in Dubai is blooming hot during the summer so stay hydrated at all times, for your own safety. The heat tends to creep on you when you least expect it, so to avoid a heat stroke remember to drink water as much as you can.
- Is it ok for the Females to go and visit Dubai? It is absolutely ok and safe for the females to visit Dubai. The misconception that they are going to be in trouble and mistreated is a complete assumption and fake observation. Anyone can visit Dubai, there is no discrimination to anyone and restriction on who cannot visit Dubai.
- Everyone in the Middle East was completely attentive, friendly and caring. Customer service goes a long way there and everyone I encountered with at the hotel, attractions, malls, restaurants did an excellent job on everything. They work hard and take great pride on delivering outstanding service, I was super satisfied with everything and everyone I met. They show a refreshing positive vibe that it truly can be felt.
- The beaches in Dubai are incredible and the sea is warm, take a day to visit and enjoy the beach. It is a one of a kind experience and it is a “must do in Dubai”.
- Remember while in Dubai you cannot drink alcohol in public or in the streets, that is not permitted there so the only places you will be able to have alcohol are: In the hotel, bar and restaurants. It is part of their culture so be mindful of that.
- I didn’t get to experience much of the night life in Dubai but I did went to an incredible roof top bar that offered great drinks, views of Dubai and the atmosphere was enjoyable. They closed around 2:00am and the prices of drinks were great, cheaper than I thought it was going to be. I would recommend visiting a roof top bar in Dubai as they are one of a kind. The Roof top bar I went to is called “40 Kong”.
40 Kong Dubai – Roof Top Bar
- The Highways of Dubai are safe but if you decide to drive, keep your eyes on the road at all times as it tends to be hectic and manic, cars coming in and left and right and at a fast speed. It is rather easy to navigate around Downtown Dubai but if it is your first time I would recommend for you to use taxi and public transportation since it is easier and much faster to get around the City.
- If you are wanting to visit Abu Dhabi from Dubai, I would highly recommend it – It is only a one hour drive when there is zero traffic. You will notice Abu Dhabi is much more lay back than Dubai but it also offers an incredible experience for the visitor.
- Tipping in Dubai is mandatory but its not like here in America that you are required to give a %. For example: When riding on a taxi and your final bill comes out to be 23 AED and you only have 25 AED you can give the driver those extra 2 AED as a tip. Rounding things up usually is considered tipping in Dubai, just keep that in mind. In some restaurants and other locations a service fee has been included but when its not indicated you can leave a tip, I encourage you all to do, they are truly appreciative about it.
- Last but not least, follow the rules in the UAE and don’t break them, they really enforce their rules and it is important for you to follow them, even as a visitor.
I hope these 18 tips I have covered on Today’s post has been helpful to you, this is what I consider to be the top tips and advice to keep in mind for your trip to Dubai. It has become one of my favorite Destinations and it will soon to be my new home. It is the land of opportunities and the growth and innovation constantly being made its fascinating.
Have you been to Dubai before? If so, do you have any other tips or advice to share?