Why choose Dubai for your next holiday?
Dubai is a unique holiday destination showcasing everything city, sand and sea! Soak up the sun on the white sand beaches, shop ‘til you drop in the world’s largest mall, climb the world’s tallest building; wander through traditional souks (markets), go dune bashing on a desert safari, visit thrilling theme parks and so much more! There’s not many places in the world where you can indulge in so many experiences in just one place, but in the Emirate of Dubai you can. The extensive list of experiences combined with the fascinating traditions and way of life in this Muslim society truly make Dubai an international oasis and a perfect holiday destination for adventurers, families and business travellers alike!
What is Dubai?
Dubai is one of the seven United Arab Emirates (UAE) located on the eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula in the south west corner of the Arabian Gulf. The UAE is not a democratic country, meaning the laws and culture are extremely different to those in Western countries. The Emirates follow Muslim and Sharia laws and tourists are expected to respect and abide by these laws and practices too. Click here to learn more about Dubai!
What is the national language?
Arabic and English are the official languages in Dubai but many expats also speak Hindu, Urdu, Bengali, Tamil, Tagalog, Persian, Chinese and Malayalam. English speaking visitors will find it easy to get by with around 75% of Dubai’s population speaking English as their first or second language. It can also be helpful to know some basic Arabic, including ‘min fadlak’ (please), ‘shukrun’ (thank you), ‘marhaba’ (hello) and ‘maasalaamah’ (goodbye or with peace).
What laws should I note?
Being a Muslim country, the laws in the UAE reflect Islamic practices and beliefs. There are certain personal conducts that aren’t considered criminal in Australia but can result in fines, imprisonment and deportation in Dubai. These include insulting the royal family, local government or local officials, swearing, extortion, posting photos of local incidents on social media, taking photos with people in the background and public displays of affection (holding hands, kissing and touching).
What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is celebrated across the UAE. It represents the lunar period when the Prophet Muhammad received his first revelations. The dates of Ramadan vary from year to year although it generally falls around May 26 and lasts for approximately 30 days. Muslims observe the holiday by fasting between sunrise and sunset, praying regularly and practising the act of giving. After sunset, the city is full of glorious events and feasts! See below*
Is there a special dress code?
While there are strict dress standards in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai has a more relaxed approach. Dubai ‘s population is made up of approximately 90% expats and 10% Emiratis. Generally, expats and tourists are allowed to dress as they would at home, though swimwear should be limited to the beach or pool. Modest dress is required in traditional and religious areas. Garments must cover the shoulders and reach at least just above the knee—it’s a good idea to carry a pashmina or scarf!
Can I drink alcohol there?
It’s a big misconception that you can’t drink in Dubai. While it’s not a booze-fuelled city, non-Muslims can drink within local laws. The legal drinking age is 21. Alcohol can be served anywhere that is attached to a hotel, but there are designated dry areas. It’s illegal for Muslims to drink and offering it to them can cause a lot of trouble. Drinking or being intoxicated in public is strictly prohibited and there’s zero tolerance for drink-driving. Both can result in hefty fines, imprisonment or deportation.
What is the weather like?
Dubai is known for its humid climate, with the summer months (June to September) reaching over 40°C. The winter months, from October through to April, are comfortably warm too, with highs averaging around 24°C before dropping to around 14°C of an evening. It’s important to note that, despite the heat, everywhere in Dubai is climate controlled. Even in summer people are seen rugging-up as the air-conditioning can get quite cool! Click here to learn more about Dubai’s tropical desert climate.
What can I do there?
We promise you will not run out of things to do in Dubai! There are so many incredible malls, boutiques and souks that shopping might as well be a way of life. Sightseeing is an experience like no other too. There’s Burj Khalifa, Emirates Towers, Jumeriah Mosque and much more to see around the city. Dubai even has beautiful white beaches for you to get your dose of the sea. Enjoy a different kind of sand too, cruising along on a desert safari. Check out My Dubai’s other experiences here!
How do I get to Dubai?
My Dubai holiday packages include flights from most Australian capital cities to Dubai International Airport. A direct flight from Australia’s east coast takes 14.5 hours and it’s 10 hours from the west. When flying to Dubai remember that your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your arrival date! You don’t need a visa. When you arrive in Dubai and proceed through immigration, your passport will be stamped with a 30-day visa, free of charge.
What is the currency?
The official currency in Dubai is the Arab Emirate Dirham (AED). The AED is known also as just the Dirham, or the Dh for short. The exchange rate from AUD is roughly 2.8 which means that $1 AUD is equal to approximately $2.8 AED. This rate is obviously subject to change—it will vary depending on currency exchange rates at your time of travel. You can exchange currency at the airport, at a bank or at one of the many currency exchange providers around the city.
How do I get around Dubai?
Dubai is easy to travel around as there are plenty of great public transport options available. The Dubai Metro is the world’s largest automated driverless train system. It extends the length of the city—from the airport to the Jebel Ali Golf Resort and Spa, plus there’s another line connects the old-world suburbs to the Downtown Dubai hub. Up to 643 passengers can be accommodated on a single track and service wait times range between 3.75 minutes to 7.5 minutes in rush hour and off peak times. The metro is inexpensive, with a day pass costing around $5AUD. Other transport options include driverless cars (in trial!), taxis, Uber and, most recently, Uber Helicopter!
What’s the Wi-Fi like?
Staying connected is easy in Dubai. The Wi-Fi network is absolutely incredible and you can connect at the airport, at the beach or in private cars for free! The aptly named WOW-Fi network is a key feature at the Dubai International Airport. With a speed of up to 100mbps, travellers can enjoy a connection at least ten times faster than many internet users would get in their homes while they wait for their flights. The Dubai Culture and Arts Authority have a similar initiative across the city’s culture and heritage sites. The Authority is committed to providing high quality facilities that support creativity, innovation and cultural exchange and believe that a fast Wi-Fi network can help this.
*Note: Non-Muslims aren’t expected to participate in the Ramadan fasting, however they must be considerate of those that are by refraining from eating, drinking, smoking or chewing gum in public areas during fasting times. This is not to say that you can’t do all those things during the day. Special partitions and tourist-only areas are erected during Ramadan. These are not counted as “public areas”, so your holiday can continue as normal! All are welcome to join the evening celebrations that follow the times of fasting. Click here to read more about visiting Dubai during Ramadan.
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