Despite being a popular holiday destination for many years now, it’s only over the last decade or so, that Dubai has emerged as one of the more trendy and fashionable places to visit. Now, we’re not under any illusions here, social media has certainly played an important role in Dubai’s growth in popularity, but it’s certainly not the only reason.
Yes, okay, social media has helped people to pretend they’re living a life of luxury and are sunning themselves in Dubai like it’s an everyday occurrence, but it has also done a lot of good as it has helped to make people aware about just how beautiful and welcoming this part of the world is.
As fantastic as Dubai is, it’s certainly not your typical holiday destination, so if you’re booking your trip expecting karaoke, bingo, full English breakfasts, and frozen chips with every meal, you may be disappointed.
If that sounds like a blessing tho and you decide to go ahead with your trip, here’s a look at a few things you should know before you visit stunning Dubai.
It’s incredibly hot
To some of you, this may sound like a dream come true, but hard to believe as it may be, not everybody tolerates the heat and the sun all that well.
If you find that you struggle in extreme heat, Dubai might not be right for you. You see, over there, there are only two temperatures: Hot, and even hotter! In the summer, highs of 60 degrees Celsius are very possible!
Okay, technically they have a “winter” season which takes place between the months of October and April but even then, the weather at this time of year can still get hot and will easily be in the low/mid-twenties.
Even though Dubai is considered to be dry and arid, the winter season is their wet season, but rain rarely persists and could help to cool you down.
One January, I was driving on one of UAE’s superb five-lane motorways when it started literally pouring. As it’s probably not a common occurrence there, nobody had the headlights turned on. The sight of sand dunes drowning in torrential rain certainly was worth facing the dangerous driving conditions.
The food is amazing
If the thought of eating microwave curry and frozen oven chips fills you with feelings of disgust and fear, Dubai is the perfect holiday destination to visit. Why? Because the food in Dubai is truly amazing.
Seriously, if you consider yourself a foodie, Dubai should be at the top of your list of must-visit places. Not only will you get to sample authentic Emirati cuisine, you can also sample food from all over the globe as Dubai has a large Expat community.
Manakish for example, is an Arabian flatbread made with herbs and spices, that is almost treated like an Arabian version of pizza. There’s Hummus, Fattoush, Falafel, and plenty more besides, so be sure to sample as many traditional dishes as you can before heading home.
Pro tip: If you’re a British citizen, you will get a 30-day visa when you land, hassle free.
Alcohol is available
Okay, Dubai is a Muslim country, but contrary to what people may say, Dubai does still have alcohol in certain locations.
Because it is one of the most popular holiday destinations, many areas popular amongst tourists do stock alcohol. In particular, bars, clubs, and restaurants in some places do serve alcohol.
Whilst we’re on the subject of alcohol consumption, just remember that Dubai is not Ibiza, and as a result, public intoxication is severely frowned upon, and could land you in trouble with the law.
By all means enjoy a drink or two, but, know your limits and be sensible.
When you visit somebody’s home as a guest, if they ask you to take off your shoes before you enter their home, you almost certainly will do so, even if you keep your shoes on at home. Why? Because you’re a decent and civilised individual, that’s why.
In Dubai, you are a guest, and as a result, you should adhere to their wishes and beliefs and respect their culture.
Public displays of attention in Dubai are a definite no-no. That means even avoiding to hold your partner’s hand! We’ve all heard the stories of overly amorous couples being arrested in Dubai and the last thing we want is for the same to happen to you.
When in public, whether at a bar, a club, a restaurant, the beach, or even by the pool, if you are with a partner, resist to urge for a smooch. Just one kiss in public could get you in very serious trouble, so have a little restraint and behave yourselves.
When you visit Dubai, you don’t need to wear a burka, or burkini if you’re at the beach or by the pool.
With that said, though, try to pack conservatively when packing for your holiday, as clothing deemed revealing is frowned upon and could again land you in legal trouble.
Men for example, shouldn’t walk around shirtless in public, whereas women’s attire is considered inappropriate if it is too short, too low cut, too tight, or transparent.
In order to avoid unwanted attention and in order to respect the culture in Dubai, always remember to dress modestly.
The weekend over there is different
Okay, if you’re on holiday, every day is a weekend, but even so, that doesn’t mean that it’s the same for the locals.
Over here, we eagerly await the end of the working day on a Friday, so that we can head home, relax Saturday and Sunday, and return to work on a Monday full of dread and despair.
In Dubai, the weekend is typically Friday and Saturday. Most people in Dubai don’t work on a Friday, as they often gather for congregational prayers.
Just bear this in mind as some businesses may in fact be closed on a Friday. For socialising, though, Thurs night and Fri nights are the busiest.
Dubai is a theme park lover’s dream come true
When it comes to theme parks, everybody knows that Florida is the place to be, right? Well, not for much longer if Dubai has its way. You see, Dubai intends on becoming the global theme park capital of the world, and so far, things are looking good.
In 2016, four of the world’s major theme parks opened up here, including ‘Motiongate’, which is a theme park inspired by Hollywood. With rides and zones inspired by popular Hollywood movies such as: Zombieland, Shrek, Ghostbusters, and many more besides, this is one of the most innovative theme parks in the world.
Honourable mention also goes to Aquaventure, which is set to become the world’s largest water park. What better way to cool off from the sun than to take the plunge on one of the park’s many waterslides and attractions?
With water parks and theme parks a plenty, there’s heaps to keep you entertained on your holiday.
Until you get to feast on everthing the City of Gold has to offer, stay curious and don’t stop wandering!