Dubai in the U.A.E is the largest and most populous of all the cities in the United Arab Emirates.
I had a milestone life event to celebrate and needed to make it a memorable one. I looked around several destinations, some of which I had been before and none could match up to Dubai in terms of the sophistication, glamour and the exquisite taste that has now become associated with Dubai.
A Few Things To Know About Dubai
Dubai, as mentioned earlier is the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates. Citizens of the U.A.E and consequently, Dubai are simply referred to as Emiratis.
Dubai in recent times has become a major economic powerhouse, its economy was previously reliant on oil and gas revenues but has since diversified into other sectors such as tourism, aviation, real estate and financial services.
Dubai is mostly famous for its unbelievable feats of architecture, some of which include the Burj Al Arab, the world’s only seven-star hotel and the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world.
Needless to say, the administrators of Dubai have taken it upon themselves that everything will be bigger and better in Dubai.
How To Get To Dubai
There are several ways to get into the city of Dubai, however, I arrived by air, I flew in on the Emirates airline which was founded by the Ruler of the U.A.E. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
The Dubai international airport is the main airport that receives international visitors and is the busiest airport in the world in terms of the volume of international passengers arriving into any country.
Accommodation In Dubai
Dubai is home to some of the most spectacular hotels known to man. I got a chance to spend a night at the Burj Al Arab which I will detail in another blog post but there is a bevy of hotels to choose from.
While I did not stay at any hostels during my stay in Dubai, there are a ton of hostels a traveler on a low budget can pick from.
Let’s forget that Airbnb is also an option, that is if you prefer a homelier atmosphere.
Transportation In Dubai
Dubai has several transportation options for any traveler to choose from. Dubai has a very efficient metro system that provides access to all the locations or destinations a traveler might want to access.
There are also taxis which I found quite affordable. If you prefer to drive everywhere, car rental services are available for everything from regular sedans to luxury supercars.
In 2017, Dubai being the forward-looking city that it is started testing a drone taxi service in its effort to stay abreast of other cities as a smart city.
Food In Dubai
Considering Dubai is a global, multinational city, you can expect to find culinary delicacies from literally every part of the globe.
There are restaurants that cater to the Arab, Persian, Asian and European pallets. You will definitely not be left wanting in terms of your choice of restaurants where you can eat o dine out.
Brunch is also a big tradition in Dubai, so make sure to look up the best restaurants where you can Brunch while in Dubai.
Fashion in Dubai
There are two main modes of dress in Dubai. You either dress in Muslim attire or dress in European style clothing.
In fact, the mode of dress is a very good way of distinguishing local Emiratis from foreign expatriates who have chosen Dubai as their destination to work.
Most Muslims males in Dubai wear the Thobe, which is a long white robe accompanied by a scarf worn around the head while the women wore a burka with a hijab.
Non-Muslims, however, can wear whatever they please as long it does not violate anti-decency laws. Also, there are several world class shopping malls in Dubai, in fact, the biggest shopping mall in the world is the Dubai mall and it hosts about 1,200 different stores.
Nightlife in Dubai
Dubai is a global business hub and when work ends the expatriates who have chosen Dubai as home need a place to let loose.
Several nightclubs and bars can be found in Dubai. There are also lots of day clubs like Nikki beach where patrons go to enjoy some Sun.
Alcohol possession for Muslims in Dubai is illegal but travelers are allowed to bring in a certain amount as long as it is for personal consumption.
If you are a resident and you want to buy some alcohol, then you must apply for a license that allows you to purchase alcohol from the licensed retailers.
Some Final Travel Tips To Help You Avoid Trouble In Dubai
1. Under absolutely no circumstance should you take narcotics into Dubai. The penalties are very stiff and will definitely see you serving serious jail time. Drug possession is such a serious offense that even if you had a narcotic in your bloodstream from previous consumption before entering Dubai could still land you in a world of trouble.
Also, prescription medication must be accompanied by a Doctor’s note or else that could also land you in a lot of hot water.
2. Excessive displays of affection are seriously frowned upon. Hand-holding, kissing, and hugging can be seen as offensive.
It is best to avoid such behavior just to be on the safe side. An extreme case was a British couple caught having sex in the back of a taxi and ended up serving some jail time.
3. Crude gestures like the f**k you sign will land you in trouble. A friend of mine relayed a story where a driver frustrated he had been cut off in traffic flipped off the offending driver, only for the driver to report the incident to the police, which got the guy doing the flipping off in trouble.
4. Pre-marital sex or cohabitation is illegal in Dubai. However, it is overlooked for non-Muslims. If the female member of the cohabitating pair were to get pregnant outside of marriage, she will likely get arrested and jailed for indecency crimes. From what I gathered, most women who got pregnant by their boyfriends simply flew out of the country once they found out to prevent getting arrested.
5. Never bounce a check in Dubai. This will most likely lead to you getting arrested and jailed so before writing a check, make sure you actually have money in your account.
6. Never get in a fight with an Emirati, i.e. a native-born citizen of the U.A.E, regardless of who is the offending party, you will most likely be the one who will face the brunt of the punishment that will be meted out by the justice system.
7. You will meet a lot of Russians, who have chosen to make Dubai a second home of sorts. Also expect to run into lots of Pakistanis, Indians, and Kazakhs. Peppered in amongst these nationalities are American, British, French and Dutch expatriates.
I had an amazing time in Dubai, it was the perfect place for me to celebrate my birthday. With the amazing architecture, opulence, and sophistication of the local Arabs and expatriates working in the city, I felt right at home. I intend to go back sometime soon as I feel as if, a part of me has been left behind in this magical city.