United Arab Emirates, Dubai
- More about your oliver guide: Neha Singh
- Trip type: Family, Beach, City, Desert
- Activity level: easy
- Ideal length of trip: Depends
to & from
Dubai is perhaps the most accessible destination in the world. The major credit for the same goes to the fact that Dubai has one of the busiest airports in the world. A major hub for connecting flights from all over the world, this futuristic city serves as a major arrival and departure point for air passengers.
Dubai has two international airports – Dubai International airport and Al Maktoum International. The Dubai International airport located at Al Garhoud district is the prominent airport for international travellers.
It has incoming and outgoing flights that connect to more than 240 destinations worldwide and welcomes more than 80 million passengers annually from around the globe. This airport is nearby Bur Dubai, Deira, and Dubai Creek and hardly takes 10 minutes drive from these regions and takes around 30 to 40 minutes to reach from Dubai Downtown and Dubai Marina.
Al Maktoum airport is not as vastly operational in comparison to Dubai International airport and is still a work in progress. Only a handful of airlines operate at this airport.
- Dubai International Airport
- Al Maktoum Airport
Where to Stay
Accommodation options in Dubai are plentiful. The emirate has a reputation of offering the ultimate in luxurious stay options and you can find some of the most opulent hotels and resort labels having their properties here. Obviously, Dubai is the only place in the world to boast about the only 7-star luxury hotel in the world – Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. Dubai is home to The Atlantis the Palm, Armani hotel, One & Only The Palm, The Bvlgari Resort… the list would seem endless. However, if you are watching your budget for your Dubai holiday, then the ideal choice would be to stick with boutique hotels and 3 or 4-star hotels. The accommodation rates also depend on which area in Dubai you want to stay.
- Al Seef Heritage Hotel near Dubai Creek offers
- XVA Hotel
- Aloft Palm Jumeirah
- ROVE Downtown
- Ibis Hotels in Dubai
- Air BnB is also a great option to find some budget-friendly stays for a long-stay leisure vacation. The advantage of getting a room through Air BnB in Dubai is that you can get some amazing upscale apartments that are spacious, furnished, and has fantastic views for reasonable rates.
Where to Eat and Drink
You will be spoilt with choices when it comes to the food scene in Dubai. Right from shawarma, kebabs to sushi and steaks, you get a wide variety of Middle Eastern and International cuisine to relish at some incredible restaurants. Dubai is host to some world-class Micheline star restaurants, beachside, and roof-top dining venues.
Some of the best luxury dining venues to check out in Dubai are At.mosphere at Burj Khalifa, Ossiano at Atlantis the Palm Dubai, Al Iwan restaurant at Burj Al Arab to name a few.
If you are in Dubai from October to April, then check out Global Village – a mega multi-ethnic carnival that showcases the culture and food scene of over 90 countries. A riot of flavours and aromas will engulf you at this attraction and also offer a rare opportunity to tuck into a wide assortment of international epicurean delights.
- Pierchic Dubai – Italian cuisine
- La Petite Maison - French and Mediterranean cuisine
- Zuma restaurant, Dubai – Japanese cusine
- Thiptara - Thai cuisine
What to Do
A single blog post will not be enough to elaborate on what Dubai has in store for you. Dubai might seem like a small city on the world map, but it is crammed with some of the most extraordinary sights you will witness anywhere else in the world. A Dubai Travel Guide would showcase everything in detail that this wonderful emirate has in store for you.
If you are a first-timer, then Dubai Downtown is a must-visit. The iconic trio – Burj Khalifa, Dubai Fountain, and the Dubai Shopping Mall dominate the scenario in this area.
Dubai Creek and its shores are perfect to get a glimpse into Dubai’s modest past years. A Dhow Cruise on the Dubai Creek is a wonderful way to explore this attraction. The Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood and Dubai Souks will take you back into the time where everything in Dubai exuded simplicity. The ambience stands in contrast to the modern, glistening world of concrete, glass, and steel.
Dubai is known as the land of wonders and it is absolutely essential that you get a gist of its impossible feats. Make sure to check out these incredible world records of Dubai on your trip.
For family holidaymakers, Dubai has created some larger-than-life amusement and recreational experiences. Some of the best theme parks to discover in Dubai are IMG Worlds of Adventure, Dubai Parks and Resorts, and the biggest water park in the Middle East – Aquaventure Water Park.
- Palm Fountain - The largest water fountain
- Dubai Frame - The biggest picture frame in the world
- Ain Dubai at Bluewaters Island - The largest Ferris Wheel in the world
- Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo - The world’s largest suspended aquarium
Dubai is also known for its seasonal attractions that stay open only for a limited period during a year. Dubai Miracle Garden is one such attraction. At this enigmatic garden, you would be shrouded with millions of blooms making you wonder in awe – ‘how is this garden possible in a desert city?’ After spending some time inside the vibrant floral garden, you may even forget for some time that you are in a desert city. Global Village is yet another seasonal attraction that will make your jaws drop. Dubai is also playing host to the Expo2020 this year and if you get the opportunity to witness it, grab it! It is anticipated to be one of the most creative mega-events ever hosted on the planet.
December and January are considered peak seasons in Dubai and it will be overwhelmingly crowded as this is the time when there is festive flair in the air and it is raining offers everywhere. December brings the holiday spirit of Christmas to Dubai followed by the Grand New Year’s Eve spectacles. However, the Dubai Shopping Festival also coincides with these festivities and makes Dubai the most happening spot on the planet! Even though Dubai is crowded this time of the year, the fervour is worth experiencing.
Dubai Desert Safari is quite a hyped attraction and many would feel pressured to visit the same just because it is so popular. However, if you are not comfortable with sand getting inside your boots, on your clothes and hair, or have motion sickness, it is best to skip this safari tour altogether.
What to Pack
Dubai may seem all glitzy and glamorous, but it is a Middle Eastern emirate and has a very sunny climate throughout the year. Most travellers who have already visited Dubai many times would tell you that there is only summer and harsh summer in Dubai. So it comes as no surprise that you have to wear light airy clothes, carry sunglasses,and loads of sunscreen. Being an Islamic city, you also need to watch what you are wearing in public and ensure that your shoulders and knees are covered. It is essential to know about dress codes about the places you are about to visit hence try to fashion your apparel in a layered manner. A cardigan or a shawl will come in handy whenever you feel confused as to what to wear at a particular place in Dubai. When packing your medicine kit, make sure to include prescriptions of the medicine you are carrying along with you as Dubai has strict laws on what you can carry along with you while entering the emirate and there have been cases where medical drugs too are reported as illegal unless you do not have a prescription of the same.