What to know before visiting Dubai
Dubai, located in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is a world-renowned destination for tourists seeking an extravagant and futuristic experience. With its iconic skyline, luxurious resorts, and modern architecture, Dubai has become a global hotspot for travellers.
A Dubai tour offers an array of experiences, from visiting the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, to exploring the man-made island of Palm Jumeirah, which is home to opulent resorts and upscale shopping malls. Dubai is also known for its world-class shopping, with traditional markets (souks) offering a variety of spices, textiles, and precious metals.
Thrill-seekers can indulge in adventurous activities such as dune bashing in the Arabian Desert, indoor skiing at Ski Dubai, or skydiving over the Palm Jumeirah. For those interested in culture and history, Dubai's old town (Al Fahidi Historic District) offers a glimpse into its past with its narrow lanes, traditional wind-tower houses, and museums....
Dubai is a melting pot of different cultures, and its diverse culinary scene is a highlight of any visit. From lavish fine dining restaurants to bustling street food markets, Dubai offers a variety of cuisines from around the world. Dubai is also known for its world-class entertainment, including extravagant shows, theme parks, and nightlife options. Visitors can enjoy stunning performances like the Dubai Fountain show or catch a show at the Dubai Opera.
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India is 1 hour and 30 minutes ahead of Dubai - United Arab Emirates.
The bus network in Dubai connects all the major landmarks and tourist spots of the city and is very comfortable. You can also take the economical Big Bus sightseeing tour which takes you to all the major attractions and offers live commentary and free admission to the Dubai Museum and a dhow cruise. The metro comprehensively covers all the major landmarks and is another economical mode of transport. Taxis are a convenient way of getting around and are easily available throughout the city. The water bus is another economical and preferred way to travel from Bur Dubai to Deira and vice versa. You can hire a car and drive, but it is not advisable as there is bad traffic congestion in the city. You will need to have a credit card and an international driving license for that.
You need a pre-applied visa to come to Dubai. You get a single entry 30-day renewable tourist visa. Ensure that you have a passport with a minimum validity of six months and required travel insurance before you apply.
Being an Islamic nation, you cannot wear short skirts, shorts, micro-minis, see-through clothes, while you are in public. Also, women need to cover their head if they are entering a mosque.
The currency used in Dubai is Arab Emirate Dirham. There are plenty of ATMs throughout the city to withdraw money from. Also, all major international debit and credit cards are accepted at most shopping malls, hotels and restaurants.
Travellers can easily purchase pre-paid SIM cards to call both locally and internationally. SIM cards can be availed in various denominations at the airport itself. Dubai enjoys seamless internet connectivity. Most hotels, restaurants and malls offer free Wi-Fi services. Internet is also available on mobile devices by the service providers.
Dubai has world-class restaurants offering everything from traditional Arabic cuisine to British, Chinese, Filipino, French, German, Greek, Indian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mediterranean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swiss and Thai. You can get vegetarian food easily at most of the restaurants.
The minimum age for the consumption of alcohol in Dubai is 21 years. You will need to carry an ID proof while visiting a bar. Drinking alcohol in public places prohibited in Dubai and is punishable under law. You are not allowed to carry alcohol to beaches unless it is owned by hotels with a liquor license.
Though tipping is not mandatory in Dubai, it is always expected. INR 170-350 approximately is the ideal tipping amount for porters, waiters or bellboys. 10% of the total bill amount should be given as tip in restaurants and cafes.
Sure, you can haggle with local vendors at the various souks. However, avoid any type of haggling at the malls.
There are certain restrictions on the amount of alcohol and tobacco products that can be brought in under duty-free: 400 cigarettes, 50 cigars and 500 grams of loose tobacco are allowed. 4 litres of alcohol/ 2 cartons of beer with 24 cans each are permitted.
Drugs, narcotics, chemicals and organic fertilizers, KhusKhus (poppy seeds) or paan (betel leaves), pornographic material, non-Islamic religious pamphlets for missionary activities, fireworks, ivory, weapons and ammunition, laser pens, radar jammers/other unauthorized communication devices, plants or endangered animals, and any other objects which do not adhere to the religious and moral values of the UAE are prohibited. If caught, serious punishment is awarded to the offender.