A Quick Guide to Dubai

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First things first, Dubai is not a country! It’s a city, in fact, the largest one in the country of United Arab Emirates. It’s a coastal city and mostly man-made. Dubai is designed for tourists. It’s built like a dream. To be honest, there is an endless list of ways of spending time in Dubai and hence this quick guide to Dubai will be helpful so that you don’t have to go through the FOMO (Fear-Of-Missing-Out).

A quick Dubai city tour

Hop on in a cab and ride around the city to visualize all the marvellously designed buildings. Every single building in the New Dubai city is architecturally ingenious. You better watch out straining your neck from looking up at all those tall towers.

Must stops are:

  1. Hotel Atlantis on the artificially made Palm Jumeirah islands. This hotel is a sight to behold at night.
  2. Burj Khalifa: The tallest building in the world…do I need to say more? When we visited we rode up an elevator to the 141st floor of Burj Khalifa. There are entry tickets for visitors and it also has homes and official floors in the building. Also, they have a fountain show only in the evening which you might not want to miss out on and so, better visit it in the evening.
  3. Dubai Museum: It’s not big and impressive, but for someone very alien to the culture and history of the middle east it’s an essential stop.
  4. Dubai Mall: The largest mall on the planet. It houses a huge aquarium and all brands you can afford to shop at and can only dream of shopping at.
  5. Miracle Garden: The largest natural flower garden in the world. It opens between October to April and remains closed during peak summer months.
  6. Dubai Marina:fjdtykfyk

Quick things to do in Dubai

  1. Dhow cruise: It’s a cruise with dinner and dance performances on board at night. On either side, one sees the city in lights and it’s amazing! I felt so royal on the cruise, no kidding.
  2. Skydiving in Dubai: If skydiving is on your list then this is the best place to do it!
  3. Desert Safari: Sports like “Dune bashing” in Jeeps and camel rides are just the beginning. Safaris start either in the early morning or evenings. Book an evening safari and then enjoy BBQ style dinner in a desert camp. These camps offer a peek into authentic nomad culture and some of the best belly dancing and sword dancing on the planet.
  4. Roller coasters: Ferrari world in Abu Dhabi houses the fastest roller coaster on the planet. This place is the ultimate amusement park in the world!
  5. The Underwater aquarium: It’s located in the Dubai Mall and they have a tunnel that you can walk in and there are sharks floating over your head. It’s so fascinating!
  6. Wild Wadi water park: It’s the best water park that I’ve ever been to. Not bragging, but I’ve been to the best water parks in India and the middle east and this is one place I want to go to once again and again.
  7. The gold market: Also called the “Gold Souk” is one of the finest places to shop for gold. The best prices and best designs, a bargain you must not miss.
  8. Hot air ballooning

Budgeting

Dubai is an expensive city for sure. Even a bottle of water costs you over $5 and despite being such a tourist loaded city, most public spaces don’t have free water booths. Hence, remember to carry your own water bottles around and refill them from your hotel.

Food is affordable, filling and all hotels have a free breakfast buffet. We all know the classic buffet tricks, don’t we?

Dubai has a metro train facility and you can use it if a cab seems too expensive. It’s well connected with all tourist sites.

Visa, Code of conduct, and some other tips

  1. The visa process is very straightforward and is an online affair. Check if your country falls in the list of “on arrival visa approval” category. If not, check out this site for further processes.
  2. When travelling across the city always keep your passport with you. The law and order are strict here and do not try to meddle with it. The police here drive Ferraris and they are way beyond bribing.
  3. It’s the middle east. PDA, drugs, drinking in public, immodest clothing, taking pictures of random people without their consent, and offending the state religion are all punishable by law up to varying degrees.
  4. Buy your souvenirs from the Dragon mall.
  5. October to February are the best months to visit Dubai. Summers are dry and fatal to some degrees and you don’t want to ruin your trip.

Dubai is a very friendly place and it is designed to accommodate and entertain tourists. Food is never a problem because every cuisine is catered in various corners of the city across all budgets. People from all over the world come here and it experiences a beautiful diversity. If there was only one place you could ever visit, I suggest you should just spend it experiencing everything that this city has to offer. Because believe me, it has everything you can ask for!

This guest post has been contributed by Manas Patil (an undergrad student who loves travel and writing) and Bhakti Kansara (I’m a medical student with a love for stories and a passion for expressing.) from Madman’s Journey.

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