Top 7 Tips for a Wonderful Trip to Dubai

burj kalifa with a stretch of beach in Dubai

Synonymous with luxury and known for its many tourist-loved destinations, Dubai has climbed the travel ladder in the past several years to reach its very top as one of the most exciting, eventful places the world has to offer. Many know Dubai for its architectural marvels the likes of Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab, while others rush to its bustling center for the vibrant nightlife. 

No matter how many times you go, the city always has something new in store for its natives, the many expats who inhabit its borders, as well as tourists who eagerly immerse themselves into the local lifestyle. For those traveling for the very first time, especially women, it pays to understand the local culture and etiquette in order to ensure comfortable explorations all over the city. From hitting the finest nooks of Dubai, all the way to the dress code, let’s take a look at a few must-dos for your first time in this majestic city in the United Arab Emirates!

Hit the famous Dubai Mall

Any shopaholic worth their salt knows about the Dubai Mall, one of the most prestigious and the most expensive shopping centers in the world. Home to approximately 1,300 stores, it can rightfully be dubbed the mecca of shopping. However, even if you’re not in the mood to spend your savings in hundreds of luxury stores, there are other fun options that await under the same roof.

The Dubai Mall Aquarium is an impressive collection of sharks, rays, and other marine life, while you can also meet turtles, otters, and penguins. Add to that, a massive ice rink inside the Mall is a great way to cool down in the middle of that scorching desert heat, while a flight simulator waits for those brave of heart! 

Mind your manners

While you’re searching for the next adventure, make sure you follow some basic rules of conduct that the local law prescribes. For example, if you’re traveling with your significant other, public displays of affection are strictly forbidden, with the exception of holding hands and a peck on the cheek.

Getting drunk, using offensive hand gestures, or cursing in Dubai are all illegal activities, and they are punishable by law (and by that we mean high fines, jail time, and deportation), so make sure that your attitude is appropriate for the city’s expectations and cultural norms.

Pay attention to your dress code

Although you’ll find many tourists wearing garments considered not entirely polite by the locals, there are certain rules that go without saying, or that are strictly implemented in restaurants, malls, and entertainment centers. So, if you put on something considered inappropriate or revealing, you risk being asked to leave a place or offered to buy something more appropriate, which typically comes with a hefty price tag.

To avoid such issues, look for appropriate women’s clothing online that will help you fit in better when you go to Dubai. Consider breezy pants and skirts that are below the knee, as well as shoulder-concealing lightweight blouses and shirts. Also, pack a pashmina just in case you plan to visit some of the more conservative places around. 

Save some time for Jumeirah Beach

Situated conveniently close to Burj al Arab, this spectacular stretch of the coast is a perfect way to spend some time sunbathing and enjoying the warm waters of the Persian Gulf. If you’re traveling with kids, you’ll find that even the Jumeirah beach is packed with entertainment options, while those looking to stay away from the sun can enjoy the many bars nestled right next to the beach.

Time-travel in the Bastakiya Quarter

Contrasting the massive peaks of the modern era, the beautiful and historic corner named the Bastakiya Quarter is minutes away from all that glamor, untouched and preserved for its cultural and artistic value. This is where you can roam the district in search for art galleries, and take a break at the well-known Arabian Tea House for an authentic experience. 

Book some thrill at a desert safari ride

Get away from the hustle and bustle of the city itself and treat yourself to a desert safari ride together with a camel ride, performances that showcase the local culture (think: belly dancing), and a delicious buffet dinner. Crossing the seemingly endless dunes is a one-of-a-kind experience that every thrill-seeker should try out while in Dubai. 

Prepare your palate for Emirati cuisine

Have you ever had a chance to sample Al Machboos, camel meat, or Manousheh? Arabic cuisine has some of the most extraordinary delicacies you could possibly imagine, few of which are prepared in the same manner outside of their native lands. This is where you can finally try the genuine taste of Luqaimat, a dessert resembling doughnuts in taste, soaked in date syrup and covered in sesame seeds. Try the authentic Arabic Gahwa, or coffee, for a flavorful taste of the East and a perfect gesture of hospitality in this region. 

Dubai is indeed a destination packed with adventure and culture, so it’s always best to travel prepared. Keep these tips and suggestions in mind for your adventure in this stunning city, so that you can make the most of your journey and diversify your experience with the help of a wide variety of Dubai’s extraordinary attractions.

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Fiona Wood

Fiona is a lifestyle blogger based in Melbourne, Australia. She's in love with good coffee, croissants and fashion magazines. In her spare time, she plays tennis and travels around the world. You can read more from her on her blog High Style Life.

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