Home to architectural wonders that rise like shards of glass from an ocean of desert, a trip to Dubai is both a brush with the ancient culture of the Emirates and the most modern luxury on the planet. With artificial islands shaped like countries of the world and cocktails laced with gold, Dubai makes no apologies for its unashamed opulence. Built on the barrels of black gold that have seeped from its depths, this pleasure seekers paradise draws holidaymakers in their droves.<
Lured by dazzling sights such as the sparkling seven star hotel, The Burg Al Arab, and sprawling shopping malls where bargains can be bought in their millions, endless pleasures await visitors to this man-made paradise. You might not be booking a 7 star hotel - or perhaps you are? - but rest assured, there are plenty of hotels in Dubai to choose from.
Time out from the frenzy of Dubai life can be found in the serene sands of the surrounding deserts, where a night of Bedouin tales, fireside music and sleeping under the stars is the perfect antidote to any over indulgence.
Kids can escape the heat in the wet and wild fun of the Wadi Water Park; build their own architectural treasures from sand on popular family friendly Jumeira Beach or enjoy the playful nature of dolphins at the Dubai Dolphinarium. Adults can find solitude and inspiration in the history and art of Dubai Museum and in the beauty of the Grand Mosque or the once stately residence, now museum housing historic artefacts Saeed Al Maktoum House; before sipping a sea breeze at sundown on the waterfront. Get more inspiration on this dazzling city in our Top Things To Do in Dubai guide.
Dubai is served by its main airport, Dubai International. It is located in the district of Al Garhoud, about 2.5 miles southeast of Dubai, allowing for easy access to the centre of Dubai by taxi, bus, metro, car rental and limousine. Local buses depart from the terminal building to either the Al Sabkha or Al Ghubaiba bus stations, passing by many of the main hotels in Dubai en route. Dubai’s extensive taxi network connects visitors from the airport to anywhere in the city while the relatively new metro operates automated trains every ten minutes between ten stations located across the city. Keep track on your flight information in our arrivals and departure boards for Dubai.
What you need to know
Currency: The Dirham (AED)
Visas: British citizens can get a 30 day visa on arrival in Dubai which can be extended for a further 30 days by visiting an immigration office in the UAE and paying an extension fee. If you hold any other type of British nationality (British Overseas Citizen or British National Overseas) you will need to get a visa from the UAE Consulate before you arrive in the UAE. Visa requirements for other nationalities vary. For more information, check with a local embassy.
Laws: UAE laws and customs are very different to those in the UK. There is zero tolerance policy for drugs-related offences; the penalties for which range from a lengthy prison sentence to the death penalty. Alcohol may be consumed in licensed premises such as hotels and clubs but it is a punishable offence to be under the influence of alcohol in public. The legal age for consuming alcohol is 21. Sharjah is the only place in the UAE where drinking alcohol is illegal. Women should always dress modestly particularly in public areas such as shopping malls. Swimwear should only be worn on beaches or by hotel pools. Public displays of affection are frowned upon with arrests known for kissing in public. Also, if you are thinking of renting a car in Dubai, be aware that there is a lot of reckless driving here - and everyone seems to ignore any speed limits (you shouldn't!). You should always ask the most experienced driver to drive.
Best times to Visit
The best time to visit Dubai is between November and March where the temperature is considerably cooler than the rest of the year, allowing visitors to stroll around parts of the city; something not possible during the rest of the year. Ironically the cheapest time to visit Dubai is in the summer months, but this is due to temperatures reaching anywhere up to a scorching 45 degrees Celsius. This could make desert safaris, camel rides and days at the beach more of a challenge than a pleasure! Tourists wanting retail therapy should visit Dubai during its four week shopping festival held between January and March. One thing is when to visit, but take care to choose the best time to book as well, to get the best deal.
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Frequently asked questions
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