Dubai (United arab emirates)
Dubai is almost an independent city-state in the United Arab Emirates, located at the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf. The city is very modern and is the free trade port of the United Arab Emirates, and it has recently become increasingly popular among tourists. Among the most famous buildings of Dubai is the tallest tower in the world, the Burj Khalifa tower house (828 m), which hosts nine different hotels and a huge shopping mall. Dubai also has the world's highest moving fountain (270 m) and three of the world's largest artificial islands. You can even find a ski stadium in Dubai.
Monthly Weather Conditions
A great city with great weather all year long, so it's not important to plan around the weather. The whole year has around 6 rainy days.
Even though the weather is great all year, the best time to visit Dubai is during the winter months, between November and April. January and February see heavy tourist traffic because of the Dubai Shopping Festival, the city really come alive at this time.
More information: Dubai forecast and weather conditions monthly
Dubai 13 most important sights:
- Burj Khalifa: Dubai's landmark building is the Burj Khalifa, which, at 829.8 meters, is the tallest building in the world.
- Dubai Museum: Dubai's excellent museum is housed in the Al-Fahidi Fort, built in 1787 to defend Dubai Creek.
- Bastakia (Old Dubai): The Bastakia Quarter was built in the late 19th century to be the home of wealthy Persian merchants who dealt mainly in pearls and textiles, and who were lured to Dubai because of the tax-free trading and access to Dubai Creek.
- Sheikh Saeed Al-Maktoum House: Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum was the ruler of Dubai from 1921 to 1958 and grandfather of the current ruler.
- Dubai Creek: Dubai Creek separates the city into two towns, with Deira to the north and Bur Dubai to the south.
- Jumeirah Mosque: Jumeirah Mosque is considered by many to be the most beautiful of Dubai's mosques.
- Deira Souks: Deira is located on the northern bank of Dubai Creek; the winding streets here unveil the melting pot of different nationalities that have come to call Dubai home.
- Bastakia Mosque: The Bastakia Mosque may not be the largest or most glitzy mosque in the United Arab Emirates but it has to be one of the most photogenic.
- Heritage and Diving Village: Dubai's architectural, cultural and maritime heritage is showcased at the Heritage and Diving Village, with displays related to pearl diving and dhow building - two of old Dubai's historic economic mainstays.
- Dubai Aquarium: One of the city's top tourist attractions, the Dubai Aquarium houses 140 species of sea life in a huge suspended tank on the ground floor of the Dubai Mall.
- Dubai Mall: Dubai Mall is the city's premier mall and provides entry to the Burj Khalifa as well as to the Dubai Aquarium.
- Burj al-Arab: The Burj Al-Arab is the world's tallest hotel, standing 321 meters high; it's located on its own artificial island off the Dubai coastline.
- Jumeirah Beach: This strip of sandy white bliss is the number-one beach destination for Dubai visitors.
Recommendation for one day:
- First, the Burj Khalifa. It's Dubai's landmark building, and at 829.8m, it's the tallest building in the world. For most visitors a trip to the observation deck on the 124th floor here is a must-do while in the city.
- Go to the Dubai Museum, housed in the Al-Fahidi Fort which was built in 1787 to defend Dubai Creek. The fort's walls were built with traditional coral-blocks and held together with lime. Or you can go to Bastakia (Old Dubai), which was built in the late 19th century to be the home of wealthy Persian merchants; who dealt mainly in pearls and textiles, and were lured to Dubai because of the tax-free trading and access to Dubai Creek.
- Nearby is Dubai Creek. The creek has been an influential element in the city's growth, first attracting settlers here to fish and pearl dive. Small villages grew up alongside the creek as far back as 4,000 years ago, while the modern era began in the 1830s when the Bani Yas tribe settled in the area.
- Very close is Deira Souks, most famous for its traditional souks (markets), which bustle with shoppers at all times of the day. Deira Gold Souq is world-renowned as the largest gold bazaar in the world and the reason that Dubai has received the name "City of Gold".
- For a perfect end to the evening, visit Dubai Aquarium. It houses 140 species of sea life in the huge suspended tank on the ground floor of the Dubai Mall; as well as free viewing from the mall, if you enter the Underwater Zoo you can walk through the aquarium tunnels.
The recommended accommodation areas for Dubai are:
Cheap area: Deira
Central location: Port Saeed
Beach area: Kite Beach
Compared to prices worldwide, Dubai is an expensive destination.
On a tight budget, the daily budget is approximately $86.30, which includes hostel accommodation, budget meals and public transportation.
On a moderate budget, the daily budget is approximately $221.34, which includes a moderately priced hotel, meals at moderate priced restaurants and transportation costs.
- Hotel (2 stars): $91.09
- Hotel (3 stars): $100.90
- Hotel (4 stars): $140.14
- Hotel (5 stars): $277.48
- Taxi ride (3 miles): $5.77
- Taxi ride (6 miles): $8.27
- Beer in a restaurant (16 ounces): $10.91
- Meal, McDonalds: $6.81
- Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant: $7.09
Dubai has been classified as safe with security classification 4/5.
Safety index values (higher is better):
- General: 82.9 (better than United states average 48.9)
- Walking alone during daytime hours: 90.2 (better than United states average 69.0)
- Walking alone at night: 82.5 (better than United states average 41.3)
More information: Dubai safety
Things which affect the renting of the car:
- Direction of traffic: In many countries in Asia the traffic is left-handed. In countries like China, Vietnam, the Philippines and Laos the traffic is right-handed.
- Age restrictions: The minimum age for renting a car is usually 18 - 25 years. Drivers under 25 years of age and over 65 years of age are charged an extra fee or get rental terms and conditions, which include to take an additional insurance for damage / collision.
- Driving abroad: Without special contracts a rental car can almost invariably only be driven inside of the country in which it is rented.
- Driver’s license and documents: An international driving license, passport and credit card are mostly required to rent are car. The exception is China, where only a Chinese driving license is valid, so for driving in China it is either a Belgium or a Hong Kong driving license required, which can be translated to Chinese.