Visiting Dubai for the first time? You’re in for such a treat! When you visit this bustling, vibrant port city for the first time, you’ll definitely want to know where to go, what to see, and what to do and where to eat. Allow us the privilege of helping you with that information. Use our travel guide for first time visitors to Dubai as a guide while you check out Dubai. One thing we can guarantee you. You’ll never be satisfied with one trip to Dubai. You’ll want to come back, time and again, to this magnificent city with its stupendous, world-famous attractions.
A Few Basic Guidelines for Your Dubai Travel
• Transport: Dubai offers fairly economical transport facilities. Use the Metro, and the local bus service to get to wherever you want. Obtain the Nol card from www.nol.ae and fill it up with currency. You can use this card to pay for buses, the Metro and even taxi cabs. For 14 AED, you can purchase a day ticket which will take you wherever you want to. If you want, you can rent a bike from Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Boulevard or from Dubai Marina promenade. Check out rent prices on www.bykystations.com.
•Dos and Don’ts:
- When in Dubai, be careful to avoid public displays of affection with other adults. This is greatly frowned upon.
- Also be careful how much you drink at bars; the city frowns heavily upon drunk and disorderly behaviour.
- Make sure that you are modestly clothed; this rule is very specific to women, who must have their shoulders and legs covered at all times while in public.
- Beachwear is allowed only on specific beaches, so please check. Do not wear beachwear to beach-side hotels or eateries.
Why Is Now the Perfect Time To Visit Dubai?
The city of Dubai is bursting at the seams with popular attractions. Every few months, a newer attraction opens up, the likes of which the world hasn’t seen before. In recent times, Dubai has added the IMG Worlds of Adventure, the Dubai Frame, the Dubai Canal and Dubai Parks and Resorts to its collection. Upcoming attractions are the magnificent Museum of the Future, the Dubai Eye and others, expected to open sometime in 2019. Tourist trade is booming, with an unprecedented number of uber-luxury hotels, pubs and clubs opening up.
What’s The Perfect Time to Visit Dubai?
Dubai’s climate is hot and humid for most part of the year, except during the cooler months, from December to February. However, all attractions, public places and transport facilities are fully air conditioned. So visiting Dubai in summer is also feasible. Note that if you’re visiting between June and July (Ramadaan time), you’ll not find anything to eat during the day and the rules of not eating during the day applies to visitors as well.
How to Find Economical Accommodation in Dubai
Dubai has various kinds of accommodations available. There are uber-luxury stays, luxury stays, average stays and budget stays. If you’re looking for affordable hotels, check out the ones in the Al Barsha area. You can find a good room for 272 AED, for 2+1 persons. You can also find comfortable apartments at Al Barsha that can house 4 people, which cost around 325 AED per night. The Deira area also offers some good economical choices, costing about 170 AED a night for a 3-person apartment. If you’re looking for hostels, check out the Dubai Youth Hostel, located close to the Lulu Hypermarket.
Finding Cheap Food in Dubai
Dubai has innumerable restaurants, eateries, and street food stalls and food trucks. Food is hygienically prepared no matter where you eat. Every world cuisine finds representation in Dubai. Check out beach-side food stalls, eateries at mall food courts and eateries in downtown Dubai that are cheaper than expensive restaurants. Get hold of a Dubai Travel Guide; you’ll find most eateries listed there according to cuisine and pricing.
Finding Economical Drinks in Dubai
Dubai has many bars and nightclubs where alcohol is served. While drunk driving and disorderly behaviour is not tolerated, Dubai is fine with people drinking in moderation within the bars. Many pubs and bars have ladies nights, where some drinks are usually free. Check out the bars in the Dubai Marina area, and the downtown Dubai area. Ask your hostel or hotel management to recommend the best local bars to you and they’ll give you a list.
Shopping in Dubai
It’s hard to talk about shopping on a budget – shopping takes on a dimension of its own and ends up being expensive no matter how you cut it. If you want to save money, avoid the malls and shop at the traditional souqs of Deira and Bur Dubai. You can purchase gold, spices, perfumes, carpets, pashmina shawls and Arabian costumes from the souqs on the Deira side. Bur Dubai is famous for Arabian style slippers, pashminas, gold and spices. You can bargain for anything you want to buy. If you want to visit the malls, don’t miss out the chance to visit the Dubai Mall, the Emirates Mall and the Ibn Battuta Mall.
Enjoying Famous Attractions on a Budget
People from all over the world visit Dubai to check out its incredible attractions. Plan your visit in advance – especially visa requirements. While the city needs a Dubai visa for Indian visitors, it doesn’t require one for US or UK visitors. So check your visa eligibility first so that you can hurry and get to Dubai and have some fun.
- Look for free tours and discounted entry fees at different attractions. Some attractions such as the Dubai Parks and Resorts and the Burj Khalifa do charge hefty entry fees.
- Visit the Jumeirah Mosque which offers fully-guided free daily tours, except on Fridays.
- While many of Dubai’s golden beaches belong to luxury resorts, you’ll find several free beaches also. Other beaches such as the Jumeirah Beach are yours for an entry fee of Dhs5 per person. This beach gets plenty of food trucks and there’s a small café too, apart from water sport facilities and plenty of family areas.
- Enjoy Dubai’s beautifully landscaped parks such as the Al Safa Park. Most of Dubai’s parks contain free barbeque pits and community centres. They conduct weekly markets and games for kids too.
- Check out exhibitions and art galleries as these are usually entry-free. Be sure to visit the Dubai International Finance Centre’s (DIFC) monthly art nights and the Al Serkal Avenue in Al Quoz (www.alserkalavenue.ae).
- Be sure to book tickets online for the Burj Khalifa and other attractions. You’ll save a lot of money.
- Cross the Dubai Creek in an abra by spending 1 AED and enjoy some fabulous sights.
While most attractions are expensive, your Dubai trip will be incomplete without checking out the Burj Khalifa, the Burj al Arab, the Dubai Frame, the Dubai Canal, the Palm Jumeirah Islands and the Dubai Desert. So make a list of Dubai’s attractions and decide which ones you want to enjoy up close. You can save a lot of money in this way. You can then make a list of things you want to do and do them the second time you’re in Dubai! Won’t that be fun?