Dubai

The Complete Dubai Travel Guide

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Dubai Travel Guide


Once a small fishing village, Dubai has since grown into one of the world’s most luxurious destinations. Often referred to as the ‘Las Vegas of the Middle East’ and the ‘playground for the rich’, the city’s glitz and glamor lure with the promise to mesmerize and impress its visitors. In this Dubai travel guide, we will take a look at all the major attractions, landmarks and experiences that make Dubai one of the most coveted holiday destinations in the world.

Why Dubai


Magnificent skyscrapers, sweeping sand dunes, stunning beaches, top notch resorts, the world’s largest shopping mall and much more, Dubai has it all! Where else can you spend your day on the beach, your afternoon hitting the slopes, and your evening watching the sun set over the vast desert? While the city certainly offers plenty of fun and entertainment, a little preparation can go a long way when taking a trip to Dubai. From travel tips and important logistics to top attractions and hacks on how to save money, here’s everything you need to know about making the most of your Dubai vacation.

Top 7 Things To Do in Dubai


5% Cashback
At The Top Tickets
Burj Khalifa: At the Top (Level 124 & 125)
upto 32% off
from
AED 162 AED 149
5% Cashback
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Dubai Aquarium
Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo + Burj Khalifa...
upto 2% off
from
AED 214 AED 209
5% Cashback
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Burj Khalifa Combos
Burj Khalifa + Pastry & Coffee At The Café
upto 29% off
from
AED 174 AED 169
5% Cashback
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Skip the Line - Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa: At the Top Sky with Coffee & Int...
upto 11% off
from
AED 383
5% Cashback
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Desert Safari Combo
Burj Khalifa At The Top + Dubai Aquarium + De...
from
AED 340
5% Cashback
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Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa: At the Top Sunrise + Breakfast (...
upto 3% off
from
AED 159 AED 154
5% Cashback
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At The Top Tickets
Burj Khalifa: Sunset - At the Top (Level 124 &...
upto 2% off
from
AED 230 AED 225
5% Cashback
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Desert Safari Combo
Burj Khalifa At The Top & Desert Safari Combo
from
AED 325
Burj Khalifa
2 Day Combo: Burj Khalifa + Desert Safari + Du...
upto 16% off
from
AED 650 AED 540
5% Cashback
Burj Khalifa
2 Day Combo: Burj Khalifa + Dubai Aquarium + D...
upto 17% off
from
AED 540 AED 446
5% Cashback
Ferrari World Tickets
Ferrari World Tickets
upto 46% off
from
AED 295
10% Cashback
Warner Bros. World
Warner Bros. World™ Abu Dhabi
upto 46% off
from
AED 295
10% Cashback
Bollywood Park Dubai
Bollywood Parks Dubai
upto 31% off
from
AED 175 AED 120
10% Cashback
IMG Worlds of Adventure
IMG Worlds of Adventure
upto 31% off
from
AED 299 AED 225
5% Cashback
Dubai City Tours
Dubai City Tour
upto 46% off
from
AED 140 AED 75
10% Cashback
Legoland
LEGOLAND Dubai
upto 20% off
from
AED 275 AED 250
10% Cashback
Dubai Parks and Resorts
Dubai Parks and Resorts: Park Hopper
upto 20% off
from
AED 295 AED 265
10% Cashback
Motiongate
Motiongate Dubai
upto 29% off
from
AED 275 AED 195
5% Cashback
Ferrari World Tickets
Ferrari World Tickets With Transfers
upto 30% off
from
AED 450 AED 315
5% Cashback
IMG Worlds of Adventure
IMG Worlds of Adventure Fast Track Access
upto 31% off
from
AED 417 AED 285
5% Cashback
Louvre Abu Dhabi
Louvre Abu Dhabi - Skip The Line Tickets
from
AED 63
Louvre Abu Dhabi
Official Guided Tour of Louvre Abu Dhabi
from
AED 110
Louvre Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi Mosque & Louvre Museum with Lunch fr...
upto 6% off
from
AED 383 AED 360
Louvre Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi City Tour + Louvre Museum from Dubai
upto 23% off
from
AED 326 AED 250
Louvre Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi City Tour + Louvre Museum from Abu D...
from
AED 135
5% Cashback
At The Top Tickets
Burj Khalifa: At the Top (Level 124 & 125)
upto 32% off
from
AED 162 AED 149
5% Cashback
Dubai Frame
Dubai Frame Anytime Entry Tickets
from
AED 53
10% Cashback
Attractions
Dubai Garden Glow
upto 10% off
from
AED 65
5% Cashback
Ferrari World Tickets
Ferrari World Tickets
upto 46% off
from
AED 295
5% Cashback
Dubai Dolphinarium
Dubai Dolphinarium: Dolphin & Seal Show
from
AED 75
5% Cashback
Skip the Line - Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa: At the Top Sky with Coffee & Int...
upto 11% off
from
AED 383
10% Cashback
IMG Worlds of Adventure
IMG Worlds of Adventure
upto 31% off
from
AED 299 AED 225
5% Cashback
Dubai City Tours
Dubai City Tour
upto 46% off
from
AED 140 AED 75
5% Cashback
Ferrari World Tickets
Abu Dhabi City Tour & Ferrari World Combo
upto 33% off
from
AED 569 AED 379
5% Cashback
Dubai Aquarium
Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
from
AED 135
5% Cashback
Dubai City Passes
Go Dubai All Inclusive Pass - Choose 2,3,4,5 o...
from
AED 1099
5% Cashback
Dubai City Passes
Go Dubai Explorer Pass - Choose 3,4,5 or 7 Att...
from
AED 654
5% Cashback
Dubai City Passes
iVenture Unlimited Attractions Pass Dubai
from
AED 1249
5% Cashback
Dubai City Passes
iVenture Select 3 Attractions Pass Dubai
from
AED 485
10% Cashback
Attractions
Dubai Big Ticket
New Arrival
from
AED 330
5% Cashback
Dubai Aquarium
Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
from
AED 135
5% Cashback
Dubai Aquarium
Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo + Burj Khalifa...
upto 2% off
from
AED 214 AED 209
5% Cashback
Desert Safari Combo
Burj Khalifa At The Top + Dubai Aquarium + De...
from
AED 340
5% Cashback
Super Saver Combos
Aquaventure & The Lost Chambers Combo
from
AED 289
5% Cashback
Burj Khalifa Combos
Dubai City Tour, Aquarium & Burj Khalifa Ticke...
upto 20% off
from
AED 400 AED 320
5% Cashback
Lost Chambers Aquarium
The Lost Chambers Aquarium
from
AED 110
Aquaventure
Sea Lion Discovery
from
AED 495
5% Cashback
Dubai Dolphinarium
Dubai Dolphinarium: Swimming With Dolphins
from
AED 450
5% Cashback
Burj Khalifa
2 Day Combo: Burj Khalifa + Dubai Aquarium + D...
upto 17% off
from
AED 540 AED 446
5% Cashback
Dubai Dolphinarium
Dubai Dolphinarium: Dolphin & Seal Show
from
AED 75
5% Cashback
Dubai Dolphinarium
Dubai Dolphinarium: Creek Park Exotic Bird Show
from
AED 50
5% Cashback
Dubai Dolphinarium
Dubai Dolphinarium: Swimming With Dolphins
from
AED 450
Dubai Dolphinarium
Dubai Dolphinarium: Mirror Maze
upto 22% off
from
AED 22.22 AED 17.33
Dubai Dolphinarium
Dubai Dolphinarium: Trampoline
upto 24% off
from
AED 25 AED 19
Dubai Dolphinarium
Dubai Dolphinarium: Meet and Greet Dolphins
New Arrival
upto 5% off
from
AED 250 AED 236
Burj Khalifa Combos
Burj Khalifa: At the Top (Level 124 & 125) & D...
upto 8% off
from
AED 303.25 AED 277.98
5% Cashback
Dubai Frame
Dubai Frame Anytime Entry Tickets
from
AED 53
5% Cashback
Dubai Frame
Dubai Garden Glow + Dubai Frame
upto 16% off
from
AED 150 AED 125
5% Cashback
Dubai Frame
Dubai City Tour + Dubai Frame Entry
upto 52% off
from
AED 209 AED 99
5% Cashback
Dubai Frame
Dubai Frame with Hotel Transfers
New Arrival
from
AED 200
10% Cashback
Ski Dubai Tickets
Ski Dubai: Snow Classic Pass
upto 23% off
from
AED 273 AED 210
5% Cashback
Ski Dubai Tickets
Ski Dubai: Snow Plus Pass
upto 9% off
from
AED 330 AED 299.54
5% Cashback
Ski Dubai Tickets
Ski Dubai: 2 Hour Skiing Session
upto 9% off
from
AED 210 AED 199
5% Cashback
Ski Dubai Tickets
Ski Dubai: 2 Hour Snowboarding Session
upto 9% off
from
AED 210 AED 199
5% Cashback
Ski Dubai Tickets
Ski Dubai: Penguin Encounter
upto 6% off
from
AED 236 AED 221
Qasr Al Watan
Abu Dhabi City Tour with Sheikh Zayed Mosque a...
upto 37% off
from
AED 280 AED 175
5% Cashback
Attractions
Qasr Al Watan - Skip the Line Tickets
from
AED 60
10% Cashback
Qasr Al Watan
Qasr Al Watan + Photo Pass
upto 53% off
from
AED 150 AED 70
10% Cashback
Qasr Al Watan
Qasr Al Watan + Ferrari World, Yas Waterworld ...
upto 65% off
from
AED 945 AED 325
10% Cashback
Qasr Al Watan
Qasr Al Watan + Louvre Abu Dhabi
upto 24% off
from
AED 123 AED 93

When to visit


Best time to go

Regardless of when you visit Dubai, you can expect the weather to be warm. During winter (November through March), temperatures dip to their coolest, with daily highs ranging from the upper 70s to the low 80s. Naturally, this attractive weather lures the bulk of the city’s tourists, making winter Dubai’s peak season. You can count on crowded beaches during this time, but don’t let that deter you - Dubai has plenty of sand to accommodate its visitors. Beach goers should also note that rainy season runs from January to March. However, albeit random, showers are short-lived and are quickly replaced by the shining sun.

If you’re not a fan of the heat, it’s recommended you avoid visiting during Dubai’s hottest months. In July and August, temperatures hover in the 100s, often soaring as high as 110 degrees (44°C). Not only is it hot - it’s also extremely humid, which can make the weather even more uncomfortable. Rain is highly unlikely, but you can expect humidity levels to be around 90%. On the flip side, if heat doesn’t bother you, you can score some great discounts and also avoid the crowds with a visit during the summer.

How to Save Money in Dubai


Despite its reputation as one of the world’s most expensive destinations, there are actually numerous ways to cut costs while traveling through the UAE. From transport hacks to killer summer offers, here are our top 5 tips for saving money in Dubai.

Dubai Travel Guide - Travel during Summer

1. Travel during summer
If you can withstand the heat, visiting Dubai in the summer promises discounts and ridiculously great summer offers. Dubai Parks and Resorts, an exciting labyrinth of theme parks, restaurants and shops, regularly come out with fantastic summer deals that nearly cut prices in half. You can also count on saving money at hotels.

Dubai Travel Guide - Use the Metro

2. Use the metro
Forget taxis and, instead, opt for the city’s metro. Cheap yet reliable, the city’s train system is perfect for getting around. The VIP and Gold Class trains even offer free wifi! Metro rides cost anywhere between AED 1.80 dirhams (roughly $0.50) to 6.50 dirhams (around $1.80) depending on trip length. If you plan on using public transport more than just once or twice, you can buy a Nol card which is also valid on Dubai’s buses and water taxis.

Dubai Travel Guide - Free Beaches

3. Hit up the free beaches
With over 40 km of coast, Dubai has plenty of beaches. However, most of them have been snagged by resorts and hotels who have since placed fees on entering. Luckily, there are quite a few beaches that are still completely free. Save money and head to the beautiful Kite Beach in Umm Suqeim. Popular with families, it boasts a boardwalk, a collection of excellent cafes, and a plethora of watersport services.

Dubai Travel Guide - Shop like a local

4. Shop like a local
In Dubai, it’s imperative to use your haggling skills. At Dubai Creek, you’ll find dozens of traditional shops selling everything from spices to pashminas. There are shops on both sides of the creek. To cross, take an abra (a small Arabic boat) for just 1 dirham.

Dubai Travel Guide - Hop on Hop off bus

5. Hop-on hop-off bus
See more and spend less with a hop-on hop-off bus. Not only does a ticket take care of all your transport concerns, it also includes two boat rides, three guided walking tours, a handful of exclusive shopping discounts and offers. Bounce between the city’s most popular attractions with either a 1-day or a 2-day pass.

Hotels in Dubai


There are accommodation options to suit any budget in Dubai. For those looking to save money, your best bet will be to find a place to stay in Deira, the most traditional area of Dubai. Prices for a double room start at around $35.

For a step up, look for a hotel somewhere in Al Barsha. You can get a very nice room for around $70 a night. There are also some very affordable apartments that are perfect for groups of four or more. These will cost you around $85. Al Barsha is a great place to stay given it’s ideal location and proximity to the metro.

Visa Requirements


Citizens of 45 countries are eligible for a free 30-day visa on arrival in the UAE. This includes the US, Canada, all EU countries and Australia. Keep in mind, your passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of your entry to the UAE..

Visa Extensions

Visitors may extend their visa twice, for 60 days. There’s a bit of paperwork involved and it will cost AED 220, but the process usually takes no more than a day or two. Many travelers prefer to leave the country for a day, or even just a few hours, and instead obtain a new entry stamp upon returning to Dubai.

For information on customs regulations (what you can and cannot bring into the country), you can refer to www.dubaicustoms.gov.ae.

Dubai Essentials


Language: Arabic
Country Code: 04
Time zone: GMT +4
Electric: Type L three-prong plug
Currency: United Arab Emirates Dirham AED

Money

ATMs are widely available throughout the city and most establishments (hotel, shops and restuarants) accept credit cards. You can refer here for the daily United Arab Emirates Dirham Exchange Rates.

Daily Budget
According to Lonely Planet
Dhs 600 (Budget)
Dhs 600-1200 (Midrange)
Dhs 1200 (Luxury)

Tipping

Similar to North American culture, it is proper etiquette to tip for certain services. Below is a chart of the recommended tipping amounts.

  • Hotels (Porters and room cleaners)
    5 dirhams to 10 dirhams per day
  • Restaurants
    15% of the bill for good service, 10% for decent service. It is nice to leave cash when possible to ensure the tip goes to the server.
  • Taxis and Valets
    5 dirhams to 10 dirhams
  • Spa Staff
    10% to 15%.

Culture Tips


Dress Code

Many of Dubai’s residents choose to dress conservatively. But with that being said, the UAE is much more liberal than other areas in the Middle East. For the most part, people can dress as they like. However, when traveling in Dubai, be respectful and ensure your clothing is tasteful. Especially during summer, shorts and dresses will likely be the prefered type of clothing. This is totally acceptable, but just be sure your clothes are not see-through or too revealing.

Ramadan

The city essentially shuts down for the holy month of Ramadan. The dates change each year, but it falls roughly around mid-May and lasts until mid-June. Restaurants close during the day in order to respect Muslims that are fasting, and it is illegal to eat, drink, or smoke in public during this period. In the evenings, the city comes to life and it’s a great thing to witness if you happen to be there during this time.

Flights to Dubai


Sites like SkyScanner and Momondo are excellent at crawling the web for cheap airfare. If you prefer to book directly through an airline, Dubai is very well connected with two low budget airlines: Wizzair and FlyDubai. Both operate affordable flights. Alitalia, KLM, and Air France are great options for finding flights from Europe. Emirates is a great airline for those traveling from the US.

Comments (7)
  1. Yes,
    In Ramadan month most of restaurant and shop is close. after fasting open all shops and enjoy dubai night life. I live in dubai last 10+ years. Really awesome city.

  2. blank Ankitha says:

    Nice Information.. Keep Going! Thanks for sharing

  3. blank Shabina says:

    Amazing Dubai! I would like to visit it once with my family. I would like to see world’s tallest building. Seaplane is an amazing thing.

  4. blank Tim Roberts says:

    Thanks for interesting article, I am planning my trip and it seems that it will be really great! I want to visit so many places, but I thik it will be really expensive, isn’t it?

  5. Hi Sachin,

    While the blog on Dubai travel guide is interesting, the absence of photographs is surprising. Since you are an avid explorer and photographer, as mentioned in the ‘author bio’ section, any reader will expect to see amazing images. Of course, there are several images of Dubai’s tourist places on the Internet already, but looking at them through your lenses could have been different.

  6. Wonderful Article, this is really helpful, the best way to get to know the city of Dubai is taking the Dubai City tour, it was really helpful for me the guide was really well informed and kept telling me about the history of every spot, Thank you for sharing this article again loved reading it

  7. We stumbled over here by a different page and thought I
    should check things out. I like what I see so now i am following you.
    Look forward to looking at your web page yet again.

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