5 Things to Remember When Travelling to Dubai

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 Dubai is a city in and the capital of the emirate of Dubai, one of the emirates or states that comprise the United Arab Emirates. Of course, you already probably know that. However, there might be some things you do not know that would be good to remember before visiting this modern Middle Eastern city.

 So, before you book one of those Dubai Festival City apartments for rent for your grand Dubai vacation, read on for some tips that would make spending your time in Dubai so much more worth your while.


1. Visit in the winter for the best and the most comfortable time.

Dubai has two seasons: summer and winter. The rest of the months are simply transition months between sweltering (summer) and warm (winter) then back to scorching again. 

If you want the best time to walk around Dubai, take in the scenery, and do some outdoor activities, best visit in the winter. Dubai follows the Northern Hemisphere season schedule, so winter in Dubai starts on the winter solstice (December 21st or 22nd) and ends in February. 

January is typically the “coldest” month in Dubai, and the word “cold” is a bit of a stretch. Although it can get chilly early in the mornings and in the evenings, it may still just be pleasantly cool for those who are used to much colder European climes. 

If you visit in the winter, you could take a walk outside and would not have to stay indoors (for the air conditioning) all the time. Therefore, the months of December, January, and February are the best months for a visit as the climate is the most pleasant then.


2. Visit in the summer for the greatest value.

Naturally, December, January and February comprise the tourism peak season in Dubai. They are also the most crowded and the most expensive months to travel to and stay in Dubai.

Get greater value for your money by visiting in the summer. Summer in Dubai begins on the summer solstice in June (usually the 20th or 21st of June) and ends on the autumn equinox in September (usually the 22nd or 23rd of September). August is also usually Dubai’s hottest month.

Since the summer is so hot and sightseeing and outdoor activities are out of the question, tourists are relatively sparse in the summer. Not only does this mean smaller crowds, but the lower demand for flights also means flying to Dubai in the summer is usually less expensive than in winter. Hotels also typically have summer or low season sales, which means even greater savings.

What activities can you do in Dubai’s summer heat? As it turns out, there is a lot you can do in Dubai in the summer. You just don’t want to be caught out in the sun in the daytime, especially midday when it’s hottest.

Just stay indoors during the day. Visit Dubai’s mega shopping malls, like Dubai Festival City Mall in Dubai Festival City, or indoor souks, and you won’t even feel the heat with their air conditioners on full blast. Malls and souks also often have summer sale specials, so you can score great discounts, too.

If you don’t want to shop, there are also many indoor attractions in Dubai, typically located inside malls or in dedicated buildings of their own. There are museums, theatres, cinemas, aquariums, ski parks, VFR parks, indoor skydiving chambers, and theme parks — all air-conditioned and operating in comfortable temperatures.

In the late afternoon or when the sun sets, you can start exploring outdoors. Take in shows, visit the traditional, open-air souks, dine alfresco, go on a desert safari, or simply take a walk around one of Dubai’s neighbourhoods.

3. Book your flight early, and fly in the middle of the week.

According to the flight tracking service, Kayak, the cheapest flights from London to Dubai are available around 55 days on average before the date of departure. The lesson here is that you need to book your flight early to get the best rate for your flight to Dubai.

Book your flight around two months before your planned departure date or three weeks prior at the latest. To save even more, depart mid-week. Weekends are a popular choice for quick vacations, so, naturally, flights to Dubai are more expensive on the weekend than on a weekday.

4. Be mindful of the Islamic calendar.

You should check the Islamic calendar to see which Islamic holidays coincide with your visit, if any.

For instance, the holy month of Ramadan typically takes place from April to May. There may be a limited range of activities available to visitors during this month. Stricter rules on food consumption in the daytime may also apply. While most restaurants would be operational, you would have to be more circumspect about eating in public.

The great thing about the month of Ramadan, however, is the Iftar buffet. The Iftar is the evening meal that Muslims eat at sundown to mark the end of their daily fast. During Ramadan, some restaurants in Dubai offer Iftar buffets you can try.

Additionally, if you are a Muslim, you can join the locals in performing the obligatory prayers such as the Dhuhr prayer during midday.

5. Respect Muslim rules and traditions.

When in Rome — well, you know how the rest of the saying goes, and the same rule applies when visiting Dubai. Dubai is part of the UAE, a Muslim country and, as a visitor of the place, you have to respect Muslim sensibilities. 

Therefore, dress modestly. Women are urged to keep their shoulders covered and wear something with sleeves. Skirts and dresses that fall to the ankles are preferred, but if you must wear a shorter skirt, at least wear something that falls below the knees. If you are wearing something quite revealing, you can cover up with a shawl or an abaya.

Unmarried couples should also avoid staying in the same hotel room. That is against Islamic law. While most hotels do not make a point of enforcing this law, it’s still better to comply than have potential problems later.

Finally, be careful where you drink alcohol. You cannot drink in public — like while seated on a park bench in public. You can only drink in restaurants and bars with an alcohol licence.

Moreover, to buy alcohol from a liquor store, you would need an alcohol licence. Upon your arrival in Dubai, you can get an alcohol licence for free from a participating liquor store, say, African + Eastern. You can also circumvent this requirement by buying alcohol from a duty-free shop at the airport then consuming it inside your hotel room.

Ready for Your Dubai Vacation?

Dubai is a beautiful vacation destination. Feel the tension between the east and the west and between tradition and progress in this melting pot of a city where around 85% of the population are expatriates. Just make sure to follow the local rules and comply with local expectations when you visit.









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