Entering Dubai as a Tourist: Comprehensive Guide

entering dubai as tourist

Dubai is a land of many variations; from majestic skyscrapers adorning the skyline to charming houses lining the old neighbourhoods, from the vast stretches of golden sands to the azure waters of the Persian Gulf, this city offers anything a visitor asks for. You will find luxurious shopping malls on one side and busy traditional markets on the other. Along with world-class restaurants, there are several humble street vendors selling lip-smacking food. As a globally recognized tourist hub, this gem of a city offers plenty of diverse choices. So, if you are embarking as a tourist in the city of gold, here is the perfect guide to hand-hold you through your entire stay.

Getting a Dubai Visa

First and foremost, most visitors entering Dubai need a valid tourist visa. However, residents and citizens of certain countries are eligible for visas on arrival and can even stay visa-free for a specific time. So, you need to check if you need a Dubai tourist visa from the country you are travelling from.

About Dubai Currency

The local currency in the United Arab Emirates is dirhams, denoted as AED. While most international debit and credit cards like Visa, Mastercard, Amex, etc. are widely accepted in the city, we always recommend carrying some cash for small purchases.

Important documents to carry

Carry all crucial documents such as passports, visas, travel insurance, flight ticket copies, itinerary copies,etc., without fail. While sightseeing, you can leave the originals in your hotel room locker and just carry photocopies, as Dubai is a safe city. But always have a few copies of all the original documents with you.

How’s the weather in Dubai?

Dubai weather

Dubai has a warm climate almost year-round. However, winters are quite pleasant, and the months between November and February are the best times to visit. It is also the peak tourist season, so all the prices for hotels, airfares, entry tickets to attractions, etc. are pretty expensive. Summer is from June to September, and this is the hottest time in the city, with average temperature soaring to about 50 degrees Celsius. October and March are the transition months and also a good time to visit, as before and after the peak season, everything is comparatively economical.

 

Where to stay?

Though Dubai is famous as an expensive and glamorous city, you will find accommodations suited to every budget. If you plan your holiday in advance, you will get multiple hotel options at varied tariffs and great deals as well. Other options that you can consider are Air BnBs or serviced apartments that are well-suited to the taste of individual customers and are very light on the pocket.

Getting around the city

Public transport like buses and metro is the most economical mode of transport, and they are well-connected with all famous attractions. You can hire a cab if you are willing to splurge a little more; though they are metered, they work out to be slightly more expensive than public transport. You can also book cabs through ride-sharing apps such as Careem and Uber, which are extremely convenient and reasonably priced.

What to eat?

Dubai food

Of all the interesting things to do in Dubai, relishing its many mouth-watering culinary delights has to be on top of your bucket list. The city is known for its noteworthy Michelin-starred restaurants, impeccable fine-dining eateries, as well as delicious street food. It takes you on an enchanting gastronomic journey, offering myriad delicacies from all over the world. From wraps and shawarmas, pizzas to pastas, curries to soups, and burgers to sandwiches, you can find whatever your heart fancies.

Is the city safe, especially for women?

Dubai is an extremely safe city, as the laws are stringent they follow strict regulations. The crime rate is relatively low due to harsh punishments. In fact, women are respected a lot, so there is no need to worry about safety. However, you can make a list of emergency contact numbers and keep them with you.

How to dress in Dubai?

Dubai is a modern city, but it places a lot of importance on its values. It is always advisable to dress modestly, especially in public and religious places like mosques. It is extremely important to respect the local culture and tradition and avoid hurting anyone’s feelings. Refrain from wearing revealing, tight-fitting, short, and transparent clothes in public places.

Can I carry my medicines?

Several substances are banned or illegal in Dubai, so it is always better to get a prescription from your doctor before you travel and carry it with you at all times. If your medicines contain any prohibited substance, such as opiate or codeine, you will have to get your prescription changed. You can check online for the list of banned substances in Dubai.

Top Places to Visit

Dubai has an array of famous places that are unmissable, especially for first-time visitors. Usually, a Dubai 7 days itinerary is ideal to cover most of the amazing attractions, if not all. Let’s look at which of these make it to the list.

Dubai Mall and Dubai Fountain

Dubai Fountain

The Dubai Mall is massive; with over 1200 shops, even a week may be not enough to finish seeing it from one end to another. But it is something you must visit just to get a feel of the luxury and opulence, even if shopping is not on your agenda. It is also a hub of several entertainment options, so there is never a dull moment. Don’t miss the captivating fountain right outside the entrance of the mall.

Burj Khalifa

Who does not want to experience the feeling of being on the top of the phenomenal Burj Khalifa? Paying your Dubai visa fees is totally worth it just for the spectacular views from the viewing deck of this iconic masterpiece.

Beaches

Dubai is known for its pristine beaches. If you have time, visit Dubai’s beaches like Kite Beach and Jumeirah Beach to enjoy glorious views of the Persian Gulf and the city’s marvellous skyline. There are also many exciting water sports, like jet skiing, banana boat ride, parasailing, kayaking, etc., if you are interested.

Desert Safari

dubai desert safari (1)

Of all the Dubai attractions, setting off on a delightful desert safari expedition and getting a taste of the Emirati culture, replete with unique cultural programs and a buffet dinner, is such a fulfilling experience.

Theme parks

IMG World of Adventures

The city is known for its thrilling theme parks and water parks like Atlantis, Wild Wadi, IMG Worlds of Adventure, Motiongate, Legoland, and so on. If you want to get your adrenaline pumped, make sure that at least some of these are part of your itinerary. You can even plan an Abu Dhabi trip and visit Ferrari World and Warner Bros. World for extra fun.

Souks

While shopping malls have their own fascination, for a truly local experience, head to the souks or the local markets, and you will not regret it. They sell everything from perfumes, gold jewelry, spices, herbs, footwear, clothes, dry fruits, tea, coffee, incense, and souvenirs, to name a few, and make for excellent memorabilia to carry back home.

Conclusion

Dubai blends contemporary attractions seamlessly with cultural hotspots, making it a treasure trove of impressive places. A trip here will be a memorable experience you will cherish for a long time.

Meta description: Dubai features at the top of the wish list for many travellers. If a holiday to this splendid destination is on the cards, check out this guide on useful tips for an unforgettable time.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Is it compulsory to tip in Dubai?

Tipping isn’t mandatory in Dubai, so it is totally up to you. Most restaurants and other eateries do include a tip on your bill and you can tip the bellboy at your hotel for carrying luggage, etc. Taxi drivers are generally not tipped.

2. Is drinking allowed in Dubai?

Possession or use of illegal drugs is strictly prohibited, as is drunk driving or misconduct. In Dubai, only licensed establishments such as hotels, nightclubs, bars, etc. are allowed to serve alcohol to people over the age of 21.

3. When is a good time to visit Dubai?

The period between October and March is one of the best seasons to visit the city, as the temperature throughout the day is quite pleasant and you can enjoy many outdoor activities. But it is also the peak season, so the prices are quite steep.

4. What is the official language, and can I communicate in English in Dubai?

Arabic is the official language in the UAE, but English is spoken widely. You can communicate easily with everyone without any hassles.

5. Do I need to know any basic social etiquette or rules?

Yes, as with any other country, there are a few things to keep in mind so that you don’t offend the locals. PDA is prohibited, so refrain from kissing or hugging in public, although holding hands is fine. Avoid clicking photos of locals, especially women, without their consent. Also, don’t take or give anything with your left hand, as it is considered offensive. You can research local customs and traditions to avoid unintentionally upsetting anyone during your visit.

6. Can I travel to Dubai during Ramadan?

Yes, you can travel during Ramadan, but the temperature during this month is usually very high. Also, since it is the holy month, restaurants, shops, and many entertainment attractions remain closed during the day.

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