Dubai is unquestionably one of the most beautiful cities in the world. However, travelers from all over the world pass by Dubai airport just as their stopover city. Therefore, many take a break to experience the beautiful attractions such as modern skyscrapers, world-class shopping, beautiful beaches, desert safaris, nightlife, historic souks, and more. Even a day trip to panoramic Abu Dhabi is only hours away and definitely adds to your exciting Arabian journey.
Indeed, there is so much to see and do; you may need weeks to do it all. However, here are a few favorite ones that we enjoyed most that you may consider adding to your trip plan.
Getting There and Around
Dubai is only 86 miles (140 km) north of Abu Dubai, the capital of UAE. If you are visiting Abu Dubai, then it could be a perfect side trip for a day or two.
Dhabi International Airport (DXB) is a major hub in the middle east, so not so difficult to get a good deal on domestic and international flights. The Airport is only 3 to 4 miles (5-7 km) from the City Center; therefore, a luxury Airport taxi won’t cost you much. Traffic is usually smooth takes about 15 – 20 minutes maximum.
By Self-Driven Car
Self-driven rent a car is convenient as long as you are comfortable driving on the right side of the road like in the USA and Europe. Roads and Highways are excellent and at night well lit. It’s also economical to use Rent-a-car with the freedom to drive from A to B. For example, from Dubai to Abu Dhabi is about 2+ hours, so that makes it easy for day-trippers.
Metered Taxi service is widely available, affordable, and reliable. I used them a few times, and undoubtedly it is the best option to move around the city.
Best Time to Visit
Winter – November to March is the best time to visit Dubai. The daytime temperature is comfortable in the mid-70s and lowers 80s. Don’t forget this is a high season so expect to pay a little extra for the accommodation.
Spring – April to May is also pleasant in Dubai. Daily highs remain between the low 80s to the high 90s. As the high seasonal crowds start to disappear, the hotels begin to offer better deals.
Summer – June to August is extremely hot in Dubai, not a comfortable place you want to be if vacation is in your thought. The temperature remains way above 100s. In order to attract guests, hotels routinely slash rates in half.
Autumn – September – October weather begins to cool down with a daily high from the 100s but still hot and humid.
Buying Travel Insurance
A bad thing can happen any time, especially when you are doing activities that you are not used to. Believe me; I have practical experience in this. So is an option that you can consider. That will protect you from unexpected surprises for travelers like you and your families. Don’t think about all the things that might go wrong on your trip, but these things can and do happen.
Visa – No Visa Required
American citizens do not need to obtain a Malaysian visa in advance for pleasure or business trips if they stay less than 90 days in Malaysia. On arrival, immigration officials will stamp your passport on entry. Your passport must be valid for at least six months. In addition, there are around 70 nationalities that have visa-free entry but the period of stay in Malaysia depends on the nationality. Check here if your country of citizenship falls under visa exemption.
Buying a SIM Card for Phone
Buying a SIM card at Dubai Airport on arrival is simple and cheap. There are many options available for prepaid sim card deals for tourists. In addition, there are multiple places from where you can buy them. Note that you need an unlocked phone to use a local SIM card.
You will find ATMs all over the city, including Dubai International Airport.
The Emirati Dirham’s local currency is officially abbreviated “AED”. The current exchange rate is 1 US$ = 3.67 Dirham.
Visitors and residents are advised to dress sensibly in public places. You can wear swimsuits and bikinis when by the beach or pool. It is recommended that women dress a bit more conservative than at home, but not necessary to cover their body from head to toe.
Bad things can happen at any time, especially when you are doing activities that you are not used to. I have practical experience in this. So travel insurance is an option that you can consider. That will protect you from unexpected surprises for travelers like you and your families. Don’t think about all the things that might go wrong on your trip, but these things can and do happen.
It is forbidden to photograph people without consent. Be careful about posting your photos of people on social media without their permission, as it’s viewed as an invasion of privacy.
Search Flights, Hotels, & Cars
Pictures from our Dubai Trip
Visit Visit Burj Khalifa
We visited the observation deck of the iconic Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest skyscraper, to witness the beautiful 360-degree picturesque view over Dubai from 125th floors. It was a great experience taking the world’s fastest elevator to the top, and I highly recommend this trip for an unforgettable memory. To avoid delay or disappointment of missing out at the ticket counter, purchase it online in advance.
The Dancing Fountains at the Burj Khalifa
The Dubai Fountain is located right next to Burj Khalifa tower, built on a lake, where the fountains are choreographed to music to make it look like they are dancing; therefore, it is often called the Dancing Fountains of Dubai. The best time to visit here is in the evening.
See Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
The beautiful Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo is a great place in Dubai to experience more than 30000 amazing marine animals. There are hundreds of aquarium tanks and a walk-through tunnel surrounded by sharks, stingrays, and many colorful worlds of marine life that give the visitors once in a lifetime aquatic experience and provide a great photo opportunity for photographers.
Explore Dubai Marina
Centrally located, Dubai Marina is surrounded by many hotels, modern high-rise buildings, great restaurants, beaches, and home to a few of the best malls in Dubai that make this area the best place to stay for a UAE holiday. In addition, from here getting to destinations around the city is accessible by conveniently located Metro lines.
Visit Jumeirah Beach
Jumeirah Beach at the shore of the Persian Gulf is one of the famous white sand beaches among locals and tourists alike that offers outdoor sports, kayaking, snorkeling, surfing, and much more. The walk along the seashore is a perfect place for shopping, dining, or just hiking to nearby attractions like Palm Islands. A few exciting places are Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Burj Al Arab Tower Hotel, and Wild Wadi Water Park.
Visit Bur Dubai and Dubai Creek
For a memorable cruise in a historic district, head to Abra Dock in Bur Dubai. There are plenty of private boats available for hire to take you around the textile souk, art galleries, and the gold souk.
The Dubai creek is the base from where Dubai started growing in the old days, which served as a port for trading vessels from India, Africa, and around. At present, a little touch of historic look and feel remains. However, a few of the old buildings and structures continue to attract visitors to that area. And in addition to that, one can hike along the creek, enjoy the surrounding historic charms from a private boat ride, or enjoy the dinner cruise.
Aquaventure Water Park at Atlantis the Palm
Aquaventure Waterpark is one of the famous water activities ideal for a desert environment that attracts locals and international visitors. The park has many rides and attractions, something for everyone, from exciting joyrides, surfing to thrilling rollercoasters. I would definitely enjoy the thrills and spills at Dubai’s Aquaventure Waterpark, the largest waterpark in the Middle East.
The Gold and Spice Souks of Deira
Historic Deira is the heart of Dubai and a must-visit area well known for its landmark Souks, featuring stall-filled streets and winding roads that remind us of the good old days. Dubai Spice Souk is a traditional market located in Deira, near Dubai Gold Souk. Apart from the Gold and Spice Souks, different markets dotted this area surrounding Dubai Creek, the lifeline for the earlier settlements. Don’t miss the opportunity and excitement to ride one of those small boats (‘abra’), for an experience.
Spend a night in the desert
If you have an extra day to spend in Dubai, then an overnight desert safari is an excellent way to add a desert experience to your trip. This trip is perfect for photographers as they will have the opportunity to enjoy and capture the stunning views of the desert at sunset and sunrise from the top of a dune. Also, spending a night in a tent or a comfortable desert cabin and nothing can beat the experience of having delicious BBQ and authentic Arabic coffee in the desert.
Where to stay in Dubai, UAE
The Crowne Plaza Hotel is located 1.2 mi from Dubai International Airport on Dubai Creek, with direct access to the Festival City Mall. It offers spacious rooms, a well-equipped gym, pool, all-day dining restaurant, cafe, beer bar, and more.
Royal Continental Hotel is located in the Deira district in Dubai, 0.3 mi from Deira City Center Shopping Mall. Royal Continental Hotel features modern rooms, amenities, an on-site restaurant, and free private parking. For family, it’s a great place to stay in Dubai.
My Opinion and Last Word
Have you been to Dubai, UAE? Any cool tips to share?
I loved being in Dubai, UAE, and want to go back again. I hope my story has motivated you to visit Dubai.
Please leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you to improve my knowledge.
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