Some call it the fastest growing city, some the fake city, others the vacationer’s number one hub. While, for us, the foregoing are not verified, what we do know is that Dubai’s a glitzy city, a leading tourist destination and the world’s fourth most visited city. Are you visiting Dubai for the first time? Here are important facts you need to know, whether you’re on a business or a holiday’s trip, before actually visiting.
Your journey should start from getting an overview on Dubai. Dubai is the capital of the Emirate of Dubai, one of the seven Emirates that constitute the UAE. It is ruled by a monarch from the Maktoum family. Covering an area of 3,885 square meters on the southeast coast of the Arabian Gulf, to the southwest of Dubai is Abu Dhabi the capital of the UAE and to the northeast of the city is Sharjah.
This article would be good in the form of an essay but better in that of “question and answer”. In this way, I will adopt the latter. We surge in.
For heaven’s sake why is everyone going to Dubai? It is no coincidence that this question comes first. With Dubai, a very young city, becoming the fourth most visited city in the world, this question is urgent and of elevated importance.
Dubai boasts a buoyant economy, first up. This started with the discovery and trade in crude oil. Let’s leave out “the long talk”. Dubai is wealthy and has money to invest and it is investing it on tourism. In this way, it has built some attractions to be reckoned with. Most cities grow organically. Dubai’s not one of them. It is being built deliberately and stridently, in the bid to achieve a specific objective. It is in this light some refer to it as the fake city. But we don’t approve of this perception.
As though in a resentful and virulent revenge, it embarks on projects that are best in their categories. In this connection, it has welcomed the tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa. And a taller one, Dubai Creek Tower, is underway in the city. It boasts the world’s most luxurious hotel, some of the tallest hotels in the world, the world’s tallest and biggest choreographed fountain, the world’s largest picture frame, the world’s longest urban zip line, the world’s one time largest acrylic panel at Dubai Aquarium, one of the world’s largest crocodile at the Dubai Mall, one of the world’s largest shopping mall, one of the largest shopping festival, Dubai Shopping Festival etc.
Where the city doesn’t boast outstanding attractions, it boasts those second to none or those that can’t be eclipsed by any.
The foregoing, among other things, set the pace in Dubai by which the city attracts not only holiday’s visitors, but also investors (as well as job seekers) from various walks of life, causing a boom in Dubai. In other words, Dubai is a beautiful holiday’s destination and a booming hub for business. As a result, it attracts both holiday’s and business visitors heavily. This is also why the city is one of the most expensive cities in the world. It was once the world’s second most expensive city after Geneva.
This is a very important part of the article as Dubai takes law and order very seriously. First up, the city is Islamic and this informs its laws, although not in the light of sharia law.
You can’t kiss, hold hands or generally show affection in public; you can’t be in the nude or consume alcohol in public, nor can you drive after consuming it. Also, you can’t convey it without the alcohol licence. You don’t eat in public in the month of Ramadan even if you’re a non-Muslim. Dressing should be modest. Drugs are terrible offenses that could give a life. Premarital sex is disallowed and rape is considered premarital sex. There must be no distracters while driving etc. Please see inevitable Dubai laws for more.
The weather in Dubai is comparatively hot. And the city doesn’t experience the snow. Rainfall is little. The hottest months in the city are June through September while the coolest, December through March. For detail, please see the best time to visit Dubai in terms of season.
The locals in Dubai called Emiratis are friendly people. And they’re affable towards foreign travelers. They only get opposed to people who defy their way of life. Read about Dubai’s laws not to offend the law and/or the locals.
The Arabian city boasts a great deal of immersing attractions — a great deal of immersing attractions. Below are some.
The official language in Dubai is Arabic, although English is the most spoken language in the city given that it’s cosmopolitan. Other languages spoken across the city are Hindu, Urdu, Bengali, Tamil, Tagalog, Persian, Chinese and Malayalam, especially by virtue of expatriates.
Getting around Dubai is relatively easy by virtue of a variety of transportation means, apps and this blog (see Dubai travel guides). The transport means include the Dubai Metro, the Dubai Tram, the Dubai Bus, the Dubai Taxi, the Dubai Monorail, the Dubai Trolley, Uber etc. Apart from the taxi, these means serve specific routes. The bus serves well over 85% of Dubai but it doesn’t go round the city as the taxi does.
The metro covers from Al Rashidiya to UAE Exchange (Jebel Ali) and from Etisalat to Dubai Creek. The tram loops around the Dubai Marina area and heads down to Al Sufouh and the bus has several routes across Dubai. The taxi covers all of Dubai and even beyond. As for the monorail, it covers the length of the Palm Jumeirah, boasting three stations — two extreme ones and one intermediate one. The trolley loops Downtown Dubai.
Of all the foregoing, the trolley is free, while the metro, tram and bus are the most inexpensive. Their fares are billed exactly the same way and at the same rate as they’re all run by RTA.ae.
You pay the metro, tram and bus fares with the Nol card. You pay the taxi in cash, although you can conditionally pay with the Nol card. As for the monorail, you buy a ticket.
I strongly recommend you read about getting around Dubai.
The dominant religion in Dubai is Islam and this informs the laws of the city as well as the lifestyle of its locals, to a great extent. Christianity is also a significant religion in Dubai.
If I were asked, I would say yes. But we know life’s dynamic. Dynamism aside, what is applicable in Dubai today are: you can forget your wallet or smartphone in a cab or a restaurant and get it back; there’re no obvious security threats; crime is at the minimum; Dubai’s facilities and architectures are safe as the city ensures universal standards etc. Please see Is It Safe to Visit Dubai?
There’s no terrorism in Dubai, notwithstanding the fact that it’s largely Islamic. The UAE has no link with sponsored terrorism and has in fact issued the Anti-Terrorism Law, which includes tough punishments for acts related to extremism, whether directly or indirectly.
The answer here would be yes as expats and tourists say Dubai is one of the places in the world where women can walk at night. Although, to ensure safety, night movement must be in well secure areas such as Downtown Dubai. Please see Is Dubai Safe for A Solo Female Traveler?
Dubai’s official currency is the dirham. In short, it is written as AED and AED stands for United Arab Emirates Dirham.
The article is geared towards helping first-timers in Dubai — people traveling to Dubai for the first time — and I hope this was achieved. If you believe there’s a way it can be improved, please inform us. Visit the links provided in the article you deem fit as some hold requisite information. You should read about Dubai’s pros and cons. Stay guided.