The climate of the U.A.E generally is hot and dry. The hottest months are July and August, when average maximum temperatures reach above 48 °C (118.4 °F) on the coastal plain. In the Al Hajar Mountains, temperatures are considerably cooler, a result of increased altitude. Average minimum temperatures in January and February are between 10 and 14 °C (50 and 57.2 °F). During the late summer months, a humid southeastern wind known as Sharqi (i.e. “Easterner”) makes the coastal region especially unpleasant. The average annual rainfall in the coastal area is fewer than 120 mm (4.7 in), but in some mountainous areas annual rainfall often reaches 350 mm (13.8 in). Rain in the coastal region falls in short, torrential bursts during the summer months, sometimes resulting in floods in ordinarily dry wadi beds. The region is prone to occasional, violent dust storms, which can severely reduce visibility.
Credit cards are normally accepted by banks and most hotels, restaurants and tourist shops.
The UAE Dirhman’ is the currency used in the UAE. The currency was introduced in 1973 to replace the Qatar and Dubai riyal.
>Passengers are permitted to bring the following items into Dubai International Airport without paying customs duty:
>The baggage and gifts must be of a personal nature and not in commercial quantities
> The passenger must not enter the country with goods on a regular basis, be a trader in what he possesses or a member of the respective conveyance crew..
>Passengers below 18 years of age may not bring cigarettes or alcoholic beverages into the country.
>Prohibition and restriction procedures shall be applicable to items or belongings accompanying passengers.
>The amount of alcoholic beverage and beer shall not exceed 4 litres for alcohol beverages; or 2 cartons of beer (each consisting of 24 cans, not exceeding 355 ml for each can or its equivalent)
People in u.a.e drive on the left-hand side of the road and give way to the right.RTA with a driving licence issued by a Competent Authority in their respective countries are allowed to drive during their stay in uae.
Duty Free Procedures
Duty-free goods can be bought at accredited shops and will be delivered to the customs desk at the airport or the Chamber of Industry and Commerce’s desk.
Visitors returning home can claim a VAT refund at the airport by showing a receipt and goods bought.
The u.a.e economy is based on three sectors: oil , Tourism, and Services.
Police(ambulance ) :999, Police : 999
Fire : 997, General Information: 101
Flights from Europe
Air u.a.e operates over 25 weekly flights from several major European cities, mainly through France together with five direct weekly flights from the UK. British Airways operates three direct weekly flights from London and Emirates operates four weekly flights to u.a.e. l There are 3 cities in United Arab Emirates with direct flights to Europe
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven independent emirates: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, and Al Fujairah. The UAE has a total geographical area of 83,600 sq km (including an archipelago with an area around 5900 sq km). Abu Dhabi is the largest emirate of the UAE covering an area of about 67,340 sq km, while Ajman is the smallest emirate with an area of just 259 sq km.The country is located in the southern corner of the Arabian Peninsula between latitudes 22°-26.5°N and longitudes 51°-56.5°E. The UAE is bordered by the Persian Gulf to the north, Saudi Arabia to the south and west, Qatar to the northwest, and Oman and the Gulf of Oman to the east.
United Arab Emirates takes place in a framework of a federal, presidential, elected monarchy. The UAE is a federation of seven absolute monarchies: the Emirates of Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Qaiwain. The ruler of Abu Dhabi is President of the United Arab Emirates, the head of state, and the ruler of Dubai is the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, the head of government.
Standards of health care are considered to be generally high in the United Arab Emirates, resulting from increased government spending during strong economic years. According to the UAE government, total expenditures on health care from 1996 to 2003 were US$436 million. According to the World Health Organization, in 2004 total expenditures on health care constituted 2.9 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), and the per capita expenditure for health care was US$497. Health care currently is free only for UAE citizens.
Arabic is the official language of the UAE. English is used as the favorite medium of communication in the majority of trade and commerce activities, along with Arabic. English is widely spoken and understood in major cities of the UAE like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah etc. Urdu, Hindi, and Farsi are other major languages in the UAE
Free public medical facilities are widely available.DOHMS. clinics provide medical services for a fee.
Besides a wide choice of local papers, the pick of the European and American press is available.
Nudism and topless sunbathing are frowned upon on our public beaches.ÊNo hotel permits nude sunbathing on beaches.ÊTopless sunbathing is sometimes tolerated.
2.8 million (Year 2010)
Population literacy rate
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has pledged to eradicate illiteracy within seven years to become the first Arab country to attain 100 percent literacy,
New Year’s Day. Mouloud (Birth of the Prophet).Leilat al-Meiraj (Ascension of the Prophet).Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan).Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice).National Day.Al-Hijra (Islamic New Year).Ashoura.
Muslim festivals are timed according to local sightings of various phases of the moon and the dates given above are approximations. During the lunar month of Ramadan that precedes Eid al-Fitr, Muslims fast during the day and feast at night and normal business patterns may be interrupted. Many restaurants are closed during the day and there may be restrictions on smoking and drinking. Some disruption may continue into Eid al-Fitr itself. Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha may last anything from two to 10 days, depending on the region
• A tourist police service has been set up to ensure security in tourist zones.
• An anti-terrorist law has also been proclaimed.u.a.e specific law relating to all tourist activities and corrupt practices has also been voted.
• The following essential pieces of advice are meant for you: safety :
> Keep an eye on all personal belongings at all times.
> Be careful when withdrawing money from a cash point.
> Avoid wearing expensive jewellery.
> Do not leave anything inside your car.
> (For trips or purchases) use only recognised operators or suppliers.
> Keep your passports, plane tickets, jewellery of value and large sums of money in safe custody.
> During individual sea trips, always notify the person responsible for the boat house.
> For sea excursions, do not rent boats with inadequate security standards.
> Do not go swimming in areas where it is forbidden.
Tipping is not compulsory.
u.a.e has international direct dialling facilities to most parts of the world as well as high speed fax and internet services.
Satellite TV and local tv & radio are available in most of the hotels.
In a report to the UAE’s federal authorities Dubai Customs has recommended a 3% limit for the Value Added Tax (VAT) expected to be rolled out across the country in early 2009.
Visa & Entry Requirements
passport is valid for at least 2-6 months before your arrival. Information about the various UAE visa.
A visit visa applies to tourists who wish to spend more than 14 days in the UAE, whether it is to visit relatives or for business purposes. The categories given below identify whether an individual requires a visit visa before arrival or whether one can be issued to them at the airport or entry point
What to Wear
Take your best beach and casual wear. In the winter months (december -february), carry some light woollen
clothing for the cool evenings.
Please show due respect when visiting religious places.Wear appropriate clothing (and remove leather shoes and belts) when entering the premises.
According to the UAE Labour Law the maximum working hours in Dubai are eight hours per day, or 48 hours per week
Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa, Dubai Fountain show
The Dubai Mall is the largest shopping mall in the world and is like no other mall I’ve seen in my life. I don’t like malls generally but I was so fascinated by the Dubai Mall. You can find so many interesting things in the Dubai Mall. I spent two days in the mall actually.
How to get to the Dubai Mall?
By metro: The metro stop is Dubai Mall/Burk Khalifa.
By car: There are parking lots in the Dubai Mall.
On foot: Don’t even try! You might need a few days to figure out how to walk there from somewhere else. I gave up and took the metro.
Best things to do in Dubai Mall
The Dubai Fountain and the fountain show
The fountain show which is also called water dance is a must-see. It’s free. During the day there are only two shows. From Saturday to Thursday it’s held at 1 pm and 1.30 pm. And on Friday it’s held at 1.30 pm and 2 pm. The first one is around 5 minutes with super awesome Arabic music and the second one is really short, like 3 minutes, and it’s played with some classical music. Then, in the evening the fountain show is played every half an hour from 6 pm to 11 pm. All for free.
You can watch the fountain show from the Apple Store free, from next to the lake where the fountain show is or from any of the restaurants around the lake.
Optional: You can, of course, pick any restaurant around the lake from which you can watch the water dance. I tried Logma serves among others traditional Emirates dishes. I had a portion of Machbous chicken with traditional milk tea called Karak. It was 76 AED (~19 € / ~21 USD). You can get there from Fashion Avenue.
Enjoying good service with traditional food in a fantastic location
Beautiful and tasy local food: Machbous chicken
The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world since 2009 with a total height of 829.8 meters. Its elevator is not the fastest in the world but one of the fastest ones. You can admire the Burj Khalifa from the Apple store, from down the Dubai lake or from one of the cafés around the lake just like the Fountain Show. All free.
Dubai Mall Aquarium
You can see it and take photos in front of the Aquarium which is one of the largest Aquariums in the world. It’s in front of the restaurant called Cheese Cake Factory. It’s a super popular restaurant that people love there so much. By the way, next to the Cheese Cake Factory there is a candy shop I really love. It’s the Candylicious. Hahhaa, check it out! You can also see how they make the candies there.
Optional: In case, you want to enter the Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, you can buy the tickets here.
Souk Al Bahar
It’s a traditional Arabic style retail and dining location. The architecture of this part is simply marvelous.
Optional: In this souk, you will find some places where you can dress up in traditional Emirati attire and take photos.
Price: 100 AED (~25 € / ~27 USD)
Luxurious and tradtional: Like in your dreams!
After the souk, the Fashion Avenue is the most beautiful part where you can find stylish cafés and expensive retail shops. The design of this part is simply gorgeous, so don’t miss it. I’m curious about what you will say about!!! I felt like this is the first time I see a shopping center. Hahhaa!
It’s a new extension in the Dubai Mall. I found it accidentally while looking for something I only found a couple of hours later. Hahhaa! I love this part because I found there something super delicious. By the way, it was also fun to take selfies with Star Wars figures as well but I kept going back to eat donut cones to a place called Sidekick. My favorite one was the Red Velvet. It’s just a personal thing. It’s actually not donut but the base is the Hungarian chimney cake. It costs only 25 AED (~6 € / ~7 USD) Tell me if you tried it!
I tried Indian, Chinese, Japanese food, bubble Tea and who knows what in the Dubai Mall. I loved everything! Average a proper meal cost around 40 AED (10 € / 11 USD) but I had all kinds of snacks around 25 AED. Just embrace all the delicacies from different cultures and surely you won’t regret it. I can’t wait to go back to Dubai and eat my way out in the Dubai Mall.
Dubai Marina, Speed boat or yacht tour, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Bluewaters Residences Island
How to get to the Dubai Marina
Metro: DAMAC Properties Metro station
Go to the Dubai Marina, walk around there. If you walk to the right on the Dubai Marina Walk, you’ll find there restaurants. The main courses cost an average of 60 AED (~15 € / ~16 USD) there. I found a food stall where I bought a Shawarma for 25 AED ( ~6€ / ~7 USD).
Optional activities in the Dubai Marina
Speed boat or yacht tour
I took my speed boat tour at 1 pm. It was a good decision because at that time was really sunny.
Book your Speed Boat tour here! This is really the best way to see some of the major landmarks of Dubai such as the Dubai Marina, Dubai Eye, Atlantis The Palm Hotel and the Burj Al Arab. By all means, book the 99-minute boat tour as that’s the only taking you to the Burj Khalifa as well. I tried an hour-long wooden boat tour as well but it’s not that wauuu as I thought. So after trying different boat tours, I can tell you that the speed boat is the most exciting one and the best for nice photos as well. I also highly recommend that you book with the same company I linked here because I can tell you that they are really awesome. They have nice and funny English-speaking guides. And most importantly they take awesome pictures. You’ll have so much fun with them.
Atlantis, The Palm from the speedboat
Burj Al Arab from the speedboat
If you like it more relaxed, then take a luxury yacht tour with breakfast or barbacue. By taking this tour you will also see the same places as I did from the speed boat.
Close to the station, there are also restuarants where a main course costs around 60 AED here as well. I just bought a nice sandwich for 15 AED (~4 € / USD) from Waitrose for lunch.
Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR)
How to get to the JBR
After the boat tour, take a water taxi to the Marine Promenade which is around a 30-minute journey. It costs 8 AED (~2 € / USD). From the water taxi station, you can walk to the Palm Jumeirah Beach which is in front of the Jumeirah Beach Residence.
The Palm Jumeirah Beach is an extremely popular beach. It’s full of people and restaurants. If you are a beach person, just stay there for a while. Then, I can recommend you to walk around in the shopping and dining area of the beach, and have dinner in one of the restaurants next to the beach to feel the vibe of the place.
If you are up for some adventure, experience the longest zip line of the world. It’s 1 km long above Dubai includes Marina. Its max speed is 80 km per hours and it runs over the the Dubai Marina. They have two zip lines parallel. So you can scream your head off with someone. And you don’t even have to worry about recording this one of a lifetime experience because you get a professional edited video and photos of all this fun.
If you can’t get enough of adventure, fly into Dubai’s sky at 13,000 feet above the ground! You can skydive over the Palm. Ohh, how fabolous it can be!!! The price includes not only skydiving but professional photos and videos. I didn’t do these but it’s really my dream to do both!!! If you have the budget for it, don’t hesitate!!!
Bluewaters Residences Island
From the JBR you can walk to the Bluewaters Residence Island taking the Bluewaters pedestrian bridge from which you will have a nice view of the beach and the Dubai Eye.
Minimum budget for the day per person
Water taxi: 8 AED
Small water: ~1.50 AED
Shawarma or sandwich: 15 – 25 AED
I highly recommend that you schedule this trip for Friday. On Friday there is normally less going on as it’s the first day of the weekend. So be in the desert on this day! There are a lot of super cool activities in the desert and it’s hard to decide which one to go for. But I’ll help you to decide. There are shorter and longer desert tours shared and private ones.
Dune bashing in the Arabian Desert
I highly recommend this tour which has several options:
Premium Red Dunes & Camel Safari with BBQ at Al Khayma Camp
If you take the shared 4-hour desert safari tour, you have all these included:
- Hotel pick-up
- Dune bashing with a 4 WD Land Cruiser 30 – 45 minutes
- Mineral water for the bashing
- Unlimited soft drinks
- English speaking guide
- Short camel ride
If you take the shared 7-hour desert safari tour, which would be the best for you, additionally you can enjoy all these:
- Sunset photo stop
- Gaymat (sweets), Gahwa (coffee), and dates (7-hour option only)
- Henna painting
- Falcon experience
- Smoking shisha in the shisha Lounge
- Tanura and belly dancing show
- Barbecue meal: open buffet
I say, go for this one to get the real Arabian vibes!
Old Dubai: Dubai Heritage village, Bastakiya Quarter, Dubai Creek, Deira
How to get to old Dubai?
The best way is to go there by metro. Take the metro to the Al Fahidi Station and from there you can walk to old Dubai. Even if you have a car, better to go there by the metro because it’s pretty hard to park there.
By the way around the metro station, you can find very cheap places to eat. For example, I had Indian Chicken Biryani for 13 AED (~3 € / ~4 USD) with Karak (milk tea) for 2 AED.
From the station walk to the Dubai Museum. The entry fee is 3 AED (~0.70 € / ~0.80 USD)
Dubai Heritage Village and the Bastakiya Quarter
When you are in old Dubai, either participate in the breakfast, brunch or lunch program of the Sheikh Mohammed Cultural Center. It lasts for 90 minutes. You need to book well in advance as this event is super popular. I didn’t take part in it because when I was in Dubai all of the events were prebooked 2 weeks in advance. In Dubai, you find a lot of international restaurants but not so many places where you can try traditional Emirati dishes. But here you can taste a variety of local Emirati dishes and learn about the customs and traditions of the UAE. So don’t make the same mistake I did and book one of the events at the Sheikh Mohammed Cultural Center.
Brunch at Sheikh Mohammed Cultural Center
Lunch at Sheikh Mohammed Cultural Center
Before or after the cultural center, try coffees in the Coffee Museum where the entrance is 10 AED (~2.50 € / 3 USD). Then, stroll around in this historical area and check out all the other museums if you have time. A lot of them are free. These are touristy but it’s not busy at all.
Photoshooting action in the old Dubai
If you don’t want to join this event, I’ll tell you about where you can eat here. I had lunch here in an Indian restaurant called Bikanervala in the heritage village. I would say that the prices here are quite average. I paid 30 AED (~7 € / ~8 USD) for a meal and 7 AED (~2 € / USD) for a Karak (milk tea). If you are interested in a more authentic experience, go for the Arabian Tea House Restaurant and Cafe which is close to the Coffee Museum. Here traditional Emirati main courses are between 60 and 70 AED (~15 € / 16 USD). I would say that the price is average for an Emirati restaurant.
It’s not only you getting hungry
Dubai old souk
It’s a typical Arabian street market but mostly with Indian sellers. It’s a great place to take pictures and buy souvenirs. I didn’t buy anything there because I was irritated by the sellers. Sorry!!!! I was literally escaping from that bazar. So instead of that, I went to a shop close to the station which looked like a Euro Shop and bought souvenirs there. I bought the same shiny camel for 10 AED that they offered for about 40 AED. Of course, you can bargain but I didn’t enjoy talking with the sellers there, so I just left the place quickly. I’m curious how other people feel about this place.
But I did buy some Indian street food and Karak (milky tea). So here you will find some stalls selling fried Indian street food. I asked Pakora for 5 AED and Karak. The Karak on the street costs only 1 AED. A local friend told me not to ask the price of the Karak, just pay 1 dirham. Also don’t ask the price for the Pakora, just ask for some for 5 AED. It’s more than enough anyway. If you ask the price, you will pay more. This is actually so filling that it’s enough even for lunch.
What can I say? These are simply gorgeous!
Take an abra, traditional wooden boat to the other side of the Dubai Creek to Deira. Taking this water taxi is the most authentic and traditional way of traveling in Dubai. I’ve done that a few times just for fun. Each boat is for 20 passengers and it costs only 1 AED. If you are willing to pay more you can do it privately.
Dubai Creek with old wooden boats called abra
On the other side, you will find some nice traditional buildings and markets too like the spice market or the gold market.
Minimum budget for the day per person
Lunch: Pakora with Karak: 6 AED
2 Small water: 2 AED
Abra twice: 2 AED
Dinner: Chicken Biryani with Karak: 15 AED
Total: 25 AED (~6.10 € / ~6.80 USD)
Abu Dhabi Day Trip
If you take this trip from Dubai, start the day as early as possible.
Check out my travel guide for Abu Dhabi. Here, I explain how you should spend a day in Abu Dhabi. Moreover, I will write about extra activities in case you have more time.
Abu Dhabi Travel Guide, things to do, see and costs
Palm Jumeirah, Atlantis the Palm, Waterpark, The Pointe
Palm Jumeirah is the infamous tree-shaped Island. This area in Dubai is absolutely fabulous. Remember, if you want to get the best view of this island, you need to fly, like skydive.
Atlantis the Palm
How to get to the Atlantis
Either by monorail or by taxi. The monorail is much better because the view is so much nicer than from the taxi.
How to get to the monorail (Palm Jumeirah Monorail Footbridge)
Fastest way: By taxi. Take the tram to the Internet City and then from there take a taxi.
Cheapest way: Take the metro to the Damac Properties (Dubai Marina) and then change for the tram to Palm Jumeirah, and then take the walk to the Palm Gateway. You will have to walk through a parking lot to find the monorail.
Monorail ticket: You can only buy your ticket on the spot. A single ticket costs 20 AED (~5 € / USD) and a return ticket costs 30 AED (~ 7 € / 8 USD). You can only pay with cash.
When you get to the Atlantis hotel, you can walk along the coast and in the public area of the Atlantis hotel where you can find the Aquaventure Waterpark and the Lost Chamber. Even if you don’t plan to go to these places, it’s worth taking the monorail and walking in and around the Atlantis.
The Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark and The Lost Chambers
The Atlantis Aquapark is the number 1 Waterpark in the Middle East. And in the Lost Chambers you will find 65,000 marine animals and you can even feed sharks and rays there.
How about making new friends with dolphins? Yes, Dubai is all about unforgettable experiences. You can meet cute dolphins and spend 30 minutes with them at the Dubai’s Aquaventure Waterpark at Atlantis. This way you can get free access to the Aquaventure Waterpark. This one is actually only in shallow water but there is another one where you can swim with a dolphin in 3-meter deep water.
On the way back, take a taxi to The Pointe Beach which is the only public beach I personally liked. From there you also have an amazing view of the Atlantis. To get back to the tram station, take a taxi. It’s a residential area with families. It’s an awesome place to have a quiet lunch or dinner.
Chilling on a bean bag with a view Atlantis, The Palm and the main rail track
A spontanious sport car exhibition
Tea or dinner in the sky
If you feel like you wanna be high, I have something else for you. You can have tea with sandwiches and cakes or indulge in a 3-course dinner from a table 50 meters above the ground overlooking the Dubai Marina and Palm Jumeirah. SO are you having a Tea in the Sky or Dinner in the Sky?
Jumeirah Mosque, Kite Beach, Burj Al Arab, Madinat Jumeirah
Start the day with the Jumeirah Mosque. From the mosque, you can take a taxi to Kite Beach. There are buses as well. But save time by taking a taxi. By bus, it would take too much time.
From the Kite Beach you an walk to the Jumeirah Beach. It would take you around 30 – 40 minutes. To be honest, I don’t find these public beaches too impressive. They are nice but if you want to be more impressed and have the budget, just go to a beach club. I made some recommendations for beach clubs at the end of this blog.
From this beach, you can go to the Burj Al Arab and take a photo with it at the gate.
If you would like to be inside the most expensive hotel in the world, it’s also possible. You can make a table reservation for cocktails in one of the bars, lunch or dinner in one of the restaurants of Burj Al Arab. Here are some options I’ve found the best:
Drinks in Junsui Lounge where you can drink and dine under Swarovski crystals.
Lunch in the Al Mahara Aquarium Restaurant
3-course French or Mediterranean dinner at the oceanfront terrace of Scape
Arabic lunch or dinner at Al Iwan Resturant
Afternoon tea at Sahn Eddar Lounge
From the Burj Al Arab, you can just walk to the Madinat Jumeirah where you will find an indoor bazar and picturesq lake with cozy restaurants. Perfect place for a nice and quiet lunch or dinner. A meal here in the restaurants for a person costs at least 150 AED (~37 € / ~41 USD). But in most restaurants, you would pay more here.
Additional activity tips
As for my plan for my 7-day plan, day 7 contains must-see places in Dubai. But, to be honest, you can just replace the activities with any of the below-mentioned ones.
It already sounds awesome! It is needless to say that it’s the largest flower garden in the world. Here we are talking about 50 million different flowers and 250 million different plants.
40 AED for adults (~10 € / ~11 USD)
30 AED for children (3-12 y.) (~7 € / ~8 USD)
Beach clubs in Dubai
Beach clubs are big in Dubai. Here I collected the 3 best beach clubs in Dubai
Zero Gravity: This is a super popular beach club close to the JBR from which you will have a wonderful view of the Dubai Marina.
Price for day passes
Sunday to Thursday: 160 AED (~41 € / ~44 USD)
Friday Brunch AED 295 (~72 € / ~80 USD) for ladies, and AED 345 (~84 € / ~94 USD) for gents
Saturday Brunch AED 249 (~61 € / ~68 USD) for ladies, and AED 299 (~73 € / ~81 USD) for gents
10:00 – 21:00
This is an absolute dream. This is literally in front of the Atlantis, the Palm.
Sunday to Thursday: 11 am – 12 am
Friday to Saturday: 9 am to 1 am
So here there is no entrance fee but you have a minimum spend.
Sunday to Thursday: 150 AED (~37 € / ~41 USD)
Friday to Saturday: 250 AED (~61 € / ~68 USD)
Night life in Dubai
I didn’t really get to know the nightlife of Dubai. But I believe it can be awesome when you are with friends in Dubai.
I made a research on clubbing as well.
You can follow their accounts on Instagram and see whether you would like them.
What I like about Antika Bar is that they have live Arabic music.