Dubai is often described as Las Vegas without the casinos. It certainly likes to do things on a grand scale. Supersized hotels, buffets, malls, amusement parks, aquariums, designer cars and luxury yachts are all commonplace.
We have enlisted some tips to help you to feel a little less like Alice travelling down a rabbit hole.
Language: While Arabic is the UAE’s official language, English is the language of business and is spoken by almost everyone in Dubai.
Currency: Dirham (Dhs). The exchange rate as of the time this article was written is Dhs 3.67 to USD 1.
Credit Cards and Banks: Cash is still king here. While most places accept credit cards, it’s best to always carry small change.
Climate: Summers are extremely hot in Dubai. Daytime temperatures are sometimes over 106 degrees while nights rarely fall below eighty-eight degrees. Winters are much more comfortable with temps between sixty and seventy-five degrees.
Good to Know: The minimum drinking age is twenty-one and there are areas where photography is prohibited, so watch out for signs.
Dress Code: It can get very hot in Dubai, but you should be aware of keeping your clothes more on the conservative side. Be sure to pack light layers with a few long-sleeves and full length bottoms.
From the Airport: Book a Marhaba Bronze “meet and greet” service to fast-track through the airport with zero hassle.
Public Transport: It’s forbidden to eat or drink in the metro (and that includes chewing gum). Cabins are reserved for different categories, like women only and gold class, so watch the signs. Sleeping is not allowed in stations.
Taxis: Book a cab by calling 04-2080808. Cabs have a minimum meter charge of Dhs 12. There’s also a Salik charge if you need to go through a toll road.
Boats: A lot of attractions in Dubai are on or near the water so there are water ferries and taxis that run at 10 A.M., 12 P.M. and 5:30 P.M. You can also take a ride on a traditional “Abra” boat down Dubai Creek or through Souk Madinat Jumeirah.
Bike: There are city paths throughout the city that make it easy to bike! You can rent a BYKY bike at a curbside station and return it when you’re done.