The Ultimate Guide to Visiting Dubai for the First Time
When it comes to planning a trip, Dubai is one of the most popular destinations in the world today. With its status as a top tourist destination, it is no surprise that many people want to visit this city. The city has all that it takes to entertain both budget and luxury travelers who come seeking solace in the bulging city towering over the deserts of the Middle East.
Visiting Dubai for the first time can be an overwhelming experience for some people. However, if you follow our guide below, you will have all your bases covered when it comes to planning your trip and ensuring that you have a great time.
A Brief Overview of Old Dubai
Dubai is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is also considered to be among the most important financial centers in the Middle East. The city has been continuously growing since its establishment in 1833 and has become one of the most important ports on the Arabian Peninsula, as well as one of the busiest airports in the world.
Today, Dubai boasts countless skyscrapers, luxurious hotels, and resorts, which attract millions of tourists every year from all over the world.
If there’s anything we’ve learned from our previous experiences traveling around the world, it’s that planning ahead can make all the difference between having an amazing trip or having a nightmare experience! Before hitting the road, it’s important that you have everything you need to make your trip as smooth and enjoyable as possible. Whether you’re traveling with friends or family, here are some things we recommend packing in your bag before heading out on an adventure
Best Ways to Travel Around Dubai
Getting around Dubai is easy and inexpensive. The city has an excellent public transport system that includes buses, trains and trams. On top of this, there are taxis available everywhere, as well as Uber and Careem.
If you’re visiting Dubai for the first time, here are some tips on how to get around:
The bus is the most common form of transportation in Dubai. There are two main types of buses: red ones run by RTA (Roads and Transport Authority), which cost 3 dirhams per ride, and green ones run by private companies such as National Transport Company (NTC). These cost 6 dirhams per ride.
There are three bus stations in the city: Gold Souq Station near Gold Souq, Al Ghubaiba Station near Al Ghubaiba Bus Station, and Al Rigga Station near Al Rigga Metro Station. If you’re planning on taking a bus at night, I recommend waiting until after 9 p.m. as many buses stop running early in the evening.
Dubai Metro is one of the best ways to travel around Dubai if you want to avoid traffic jams or long walks between different points in the city center. It’s also much cheaper than taxis, with a one-way trip costing only 2 dirhams. However, the train system only serves Dubai’s central business district (CBD) and doesn’t extend to many other parts of the city yet.
Taxis are an easy way to get around Dubai. They’re cheap and plentiful, with most drivers speaking English. The flag-down rate for a taxi is 3 dirhams (USD 0.68) and then 1 dirham per kilometer traveled. Most taxis can be hailed on the street, but you can also book one via an app or by calling. You’ll need to give the driver your destination and your phone number so he can call when he arrives. Uber is another popular option for getting around Dubai.
Top 7 Must-See Attractions in Dubai City
Dubai is a beautiful city that is known for its skyscrapers and rich culture. You will find many interesting attractions in Dubai. Here are the top 10 must-see attractions in Dubai if you’re traveling to Dubai for the first time.
Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world. It stands at 2,717 feet high. The tower has 163 floors and can be seen from miles away. It was designed by Adrian Smith & Gordon Gill Architecture Ltd. The name ‘Burj’ means tower or building in Arabic language. If you want to see this amazing tower, then you should definitely plan your trip during nighttime as it looks spectacular at night with its lights on.
Dubai Fountain is one of the most popular attractions in Dubai, where tourists come to watch colorful fountains dancing to music created by famous musicians like Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley. The fountain also has an observation deck that provides excellent views of Dubai Creek and other buildings, such as Madinat Jumeirah Hotel and Burj Al Arab Hotel. You can enjoy watching it from anywhere in the city as it’s visible from almost every corner of the city during the daytime as well as nighttime.
The Dubai Mall
The Dubai Mall is the largest shopping mall in the world, and it has more than 1,200 stores, a luxury hotel, and the world’s largest aquarium. The Dubai Mall is also home to the world’s biggest indoor theme park called KidZania. It has over 50 interactive activities for children aged three years and older. Kids can have fun while learning about different professions, from being a pilot to becoming a doctor, engineer, or firefighter.
This man-made island was originally built to replicate the shape of an Arabian dhow (a type of boat) and to help solve the issue of limited land space in Dubai. Today, it is one of Dubai’s most popular tourist attractions, with several hotels and resorts located on its shores. It also houses some of the city’s best restaurants, like Souk Al Bahar, which serves up traditional Arabic cuisine along with modern dishes like steaks and pasta.
Palm Jumeirah also has plenty to do for visitors who want to enjoy the beach life as well as nightlife options such as bars, nightclubs, and casinos – all situated close by each other, so there’s never too long between drinks!
The Dubai Museum is located near the Burj Khalifa and offers visitors an educational experience of what life was like in this city long before it became the modern metropolis that we know today. There are artifacts dating back thousands of years that give us an idea of how people lived in this area during ancient times. The museum also features interactive displays so visitors can learn about some of the most important historical events that took place here over the last few thousand years.
Dubai Marina is a waterfront development located on the shores of Dubai Creek. This area was once home to fishermen who lived in shacks made from palm fronds and wood. Today, it has been transformed into a modern residential and commercial area. Its main attraction is The Walk, which features restaurants, shops, cafes, and parks along its waterfront promenade.
The Walk is lined with palm trees that give it a tropical feel, while the shops and restaurants offer visitors everything they could possibly need or want while they’re visiting Dubai. For those who love shopping, there’s The Beach Mall, which has over 200 stores and restaurants, such as H&M, Zara, and Carrefour Market! For those who love food, there are plenty of options, including Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK), Pizza Hut, and KFC.
Dubai Miracle Garden
A visit to Dubai is incomplete without a trip to the Dubai Miracle Garden. It is one of the biggest gardens in the world and features some of the most stunning flowers, trees, and plants. The garden also features an amazing fountain show every hour on the hour between 9 am and 11 pm. There are several restaurants, cafes, and shops in the garden where you can enjoy a meal or relax with a cup of coffee after visiting the garden.
Adventure and Outdoor Activities in Dubai
Here are some of the best adventure activities in Dubai:
A desert safari is a must-do activity for your first time in Dubai. It takes you through the sand dunes of the Arabian Desert, where you can see camels, falcons, Bedouin camps, and more. You can also opt for a night tour or a private tour if you prefer that over public tours.
Hot Air Balloon Ride
If you want to see the sunrise from above, then hot air balloon rides are an excellent option for you! This activity is one of the most famous Dubai attractions, and it provides spectacular views of the city skyline from above as well as its surroundings, such as the Palm Jumeirah island and Burj Khalifa skyscraper. It’s truly an exhilarating thing to do in Dubai.
If you’re looking for something more adventurous than hot air balloon rides, then skiing is another must-do activity in Dubai! Skydiving allows you to experience freefalling at high altitudes before opening your parachute to descend safely back down to earth again. If you’re not too scared of heights, this is a thrilling activity that you should definitely experience! You can also opt for tandem jumps if you want to try skiing but are not comfortable with the idea of jumping out of an airplane alone.
If you’ve ever wanted to fly like a bird, then parasailing is a great choice for first-time visitors. Parasailers soar over Dubai Marina on board a boat with two parasails attached by cables; once they reach the top of their rise, they will glide back down safely into the water. It’s a relatively easy activity, so it’s perfect if you want to try skydiving but can’t commit to jumping out of an airplane.
Accommodation Options in Dubai
Whether you’re looking for budget-friendly hotels, luxurious resorts, or something in between, Dubai has a wide range of accommodation options to suit every traveler’s needs and budget.
I. Budget-Friendly Hotels
For travelers who are looking to save money without sacrificing comfort, budget-friendly hotels are a great option. Dubai is home to many budget-friendly hotels that offer clean, comfortable rooms at an affordable price. Some of the best budget-friendly hotels in Dubai are located in Deira, Bur Dubai, and Karama, which are all conveniently located near the city center. These areas are also known for their lively street markets and traditional souks, making them a great place to experience local culture.
One advantage of staying in a budget-friendly hotel is that it can save you money, allowing you to spend more on attractions and activities during your trip. However, it’s important to keep in mind that budget-friendly hotels may have fewer amenities and services compared to luxury resorts. To make the most of your stay, it’s important to research and compare different hotels before booking and look for reviews from previous guests to get a better idea of what to expect.
If you’re looking for the best deals on budget-friendly hotels, consider booking your room in advance, traveling during the low season, or booking through a travel website that specializes in budget travel.
II. Luxury Resorts
Dubai is renowned for its luxurious resorts, which offer top-notch amenities and services to guests. From private beaches to world-class spas and infinity pools, luxury resorts in Dubai are designed to make your stay as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. Some of the most popular luxury resorts in Dubai are the Atlantis The Palm, the Burj Al Arab, and the One&Only The Palm.
One advantage of staying in a luxury resort is that you can enjoy a high level of comfort and pampering during your trip. However, this luxury does come at a cost, and it’s important to keep in mind that luxury resorts may be more expensive than budget-friendly hotels.
III. Vacation Rentals
For travelers who want more space and privacy, vacation rentals are a great option. Dubai offers a wide range of vacation rentals, including apartments, villas, and private homes. Vacation rentals offer a unique opportunity to experience Dubai like a local and allow you to cook your own meals and have a comfortable place to relax after a long day of sightseeing.
One advantage of staying in a vacation rental is that it provides more space and privacy compared to hotels. However, it’s important to keep in mind that vacation rentals may not have the same level of service and amenities as hotels. It’s also important to research the location of the rental to make sure it’s in a safe and convenient area.
When it comes to finding the perfect vacation rental, it’s important to do your research and compare different options before booking. Look for reviews from previous guests, and make sure to check the photos and description of the rental carefully to make sure it’s a good fit for your needs.
Safety and Etiquette tips for your first trip to Dubai
Dubai is a safe city, but it’s important to follow some basic guidelines to ensure your trip goes smoothly. Here are some tips for staying safe while in Dubai as first-time visitors:
- If you’re planning on driving, get a local driver’s license from the Traffic Department. Otherwise, you may be fined or jailed.
- As an Arab country, expect to remove your shoes when entering homes and mosques. Most restaurants also require that you take off your shoes before eating.
- Avoid public displays of affection between unmarried couples, as it’s considered offensive and can lead to legal consequences.
- It’s illegal for women to wear clothing that shows their shoulders or legs (such as shorts), so make sure you cover up if you’re going out at night or shopping in malls during Ramadan.
There goes it. If you are visiting Dubai for the first time, be sure to follow the tips and tricks that we have provided here for a fun and fulfilling stay.