First Time in Dubai: Top Tips for Your First Visit to the City of Gold

Dubai, being the centre for gold trade, has earned the nickname ‘the city of gold’. In fact, several people visit the city just to buy this precious yellow metal. Another reason for this is that the rate of gold is lesser in most countries, as Dubai does not levy any tax on gold. But this is not the only reason to visit Dubai. The city is home to some of the most interesting attractions in the world. However, as a first time visitor, you would be a bit apprehensive about holidaying in the city of gold. Hence, we present to you the top tips that would make your Dubai trip stress-free.

Choose the Best Time to Visit

Major part of the success of your holiday depends on the time you visit a place. When it comes to Dubai, winter is the most ideal, as the weather is pleasant in the city. Although the days are warm even during winter, the evenings are pleasant and sometimes even chilly. Moreover, you would get to enjoy all the outdoor attractions as well as several events and activities during the winters. It is best to avoid visiting Dubai during summer (between June and August), as the temperature can go beyond 50oC. Likewise, it is best to avoid visiting during Ramadan, as you would not be able to eat or drink in public during the day. Also, several entertainment activities are closed during this month.

Dress Modestly

While it is perfectly acceptable to wear swimsuits (even skimpy ones) at the beaches or pool area, it is important to cover yourself properly while travelling from your hotel to the beach and vice versa. Moreover, you can wear whatever you want at the nightclubs and bars of the city. However, it is important to dress modestly while in public places like malls, metros, etc. It is extremely important for both men and women to dress conservatively while visiting mosques. In fact, most mosques require women to wear floor-length abayas before entering the place of worship.

Be Respectful Towards the Culture

Dubai is one of the most modern cities in the world. However, one must not forget that it is part of an Islamic country, and the life of the people is deeply rooted in religion. Avoid being disrespectful towards the religion and even the members of the ruling family, especially the king. One also needs to remember that public display of affection, drinking and driving, and drinking in public are not only frowned upon but also illegal. In short, indulging in these can lead to jail time, hefty fine and even deportation. Another thing that you should avoid while in Dubai is swearing in public. As you are a visitor in a new city, it is extremely important to be respectful of their culture, values and belief systems.

Best Places to Visit

Dubai has numerous attractions and seeing everything during your short holiday may not be always possible. However, there are some places you should not miss. They are as follows:

  • Burj Khalifa: The tour of the tallest building on earth is fascinating.
  • Desert Safari: Book a desert safari in Dubai and indulge in adventure, fun, entertainment and good food during the course of the evening.
  • Dubai Mall: Apart from shopping in its 1200 stores, you also get to check out some amazing attractions at the Dubai Mall, one of the largest malls in the world.
  • Ski Dubai: This indoor ski resort is located inside a mall (The Mall of Emirates).
  • Palm Island: The largest manmade island in the world is in the shape of a palm tree.
  • Dubai Museum: The Dubai Museum takes you back to the times when Dubai was a modest fishing village.
  • Bastakiya Quarter: The unique architecture and attractions of the Bastakiya Quarter serve a window to the past of the city.
  • Dhow Cruise: Cruise along the waters of the Dubai Creek and Dubai Marina while enjoying a delicious dinner on a traditional dhow.

Indulge in Adventures

While there are several interesting places to check out in Dubai, sightseeing is not the only thing you can do here. Rather, there are several amazing adventure activities awaiting you here. Desert safari in Dubai would give you the chance to try dune bashing, camel riding and quad biking. More adventurous people can indulge in skydiving (both indoor and outdoor), bungee jumping, ziplining, hiking and mountain biking in Dubai. Apart from all this, the city offers some amazing water sports as well, including jet skiing, parasailing, snorkelling, scuba diving, etc.

Extra Tips for Visiting Dubai for First Time Travellers

  • Weekend in Dubai is on Friday and Saturday. Most locals start the weekend with a lavish brunch.
  • Use metro to commute within the city. They are efficient and economical.
  • While Dubai is an expensive city, it is possible to enjoy a budget holiday in the city by planning well.
  • Although Dubai is home to some of the best fine dining restaurants, you can save money by dining at smaller restaurants that offer delicious and hygienic food at cheaper rates.
  • It is best to book the entry tickets for popular tourist attractions beforehand. This will save you time and money.
  • Check if you need a Dubai visa before booking your tickets. While some countries are eligible for visa on arrival, few other countries can apply for a visa online.

Dubai is a warm and welcoming city that thrives on tourism. However, knowing about the life, culture and other such things about the city is quite important too. This would ensure that you have a smooth sailing holiday without offending anyone.

By Kritika Panase

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