Visiting Dubai

Inside info

Dubai, a Middle East metropolis, has an image of ostentation, with its glitzy shopping centres, luxurious hotels and flashy cars. However, looking past this shiny, materialistic surface, you will discover a different Dubai, one where traditions are respected, where you will see locals enjoying traditional dances and customs. Whichever aspect of the city you prefer, you will come away with fantastic memories from this city like no other.To discover Dubai’s history, a great way to do so is by visiting Dubai Museum, housed in the Al Fahidi Fort, which is thought to be the city’s oldest building built in 1799. This fort used to be the residence of Dubai’s rulers as well as the seat of government up until 1971. This interactive museum has displays of life-size figures depicting daily life in the ‘pre-oil’ days. A military museum is housed in the main fort and it also has displays of objects from ancient history including pottery artefacts dating back to 4,000 years ago. Immerse yourself in ancient Arabic culture by taking a trip to the Al-Ain Camel Market. You will find all sorts of camels kept in pens and it is an interesting experience watching people haggle over prices. The camels sold and bought here aren’t racing camels, they are mainly sold for milk and meat. Other animals such as sheep, pigs and cows are also sold here and the best time to visit is on Thursday and Fridays. Whilst in Al-Ain, take the opportunity of climbing to the top of the Jebel Hafeet Mountain for breathtaking views across the dunes. If you are interested in Islamic religion and culture, visit the Jumeirah Mosque, the only one in Dubai that is open to non-Muslims. This beautiful, intricately detailed mosque is one of the most attractive in the city and it is breathtakingly beautiful at night when it is lit up. Tours are organised by the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding for non-Muslims and the aim is to promote cultural understanding of the Islamic religion. However, as with all mosques, ensure that you are dressed modestly and remove your shoes before entering. If you are looking for a bit of adventure in the desert, go on the 4X4 Dubai Desert Safari. This afternoon excursion takes you on a trip in a 4WD to a camel farm and across the desert where you will be able to experience a breathtakingly beautiful desert sunset. During the afternoon, you will get to try your hand at sandboarding on the sand dunes. Upon arrival at the campsite, if you wish, a camel ride is organised. In the evening, a BBQ dinner is organised on the campsite and a shisha (an Arabic water pipe) along with a performance of belly dancing. The day ends at around 9pm when you are be dropped off at your hotel. No visit to Dubai would be complete without a trip into the desert!

Travel review

I visited Dubai for 3 days last year with a group of friends whilst on our way home from the Maldives. We stayed at the Address Downtown Dubai Hotel which was fantastic. The rooms were spacious and extremely clean and had amazing views of the ‘Burj Kalifa’ the world’s tallest building. It was well located, it’s only a 5 minute walk to Dubai Mall. The only thing was that it was quite pricey, but that is to be expected in Dubai.We hired some buggies to go dune buggy driving and it was definitely one of the highlights of our short trip. It was an exhilarating experience driving a buggy with a 1300 cc engine. Although we had to follow a guide and couldn’t go where we wanted to, it was still an amazing experience going at speed across the sand dunes. This is a definite must do if you like speed!We wanted to experience old Dubai and not just all the glitz and luxury which have spread all over the city. We spent the good part of a day at Dubai Creek which are surrounded by souks selling textiles, gold and spices. This is a great place to go to get a taste of what Dubai life used to be like and it’s fun bartering in the souks. But make sure you buy when you start bartering, otherwise the shopkeepers may take offence. We also took a ride in an Abra which took us to the other side of the Creek and we walked to the Heritage Centre where we saw the old Sheik’s palace as well as the Architecture Museum. We enjoyed a couple of meals at Kosebasi which specialises in Turkish cuisine. It has a nice casual feel to it and the food is very nice especially if you enjoy kebabs. We really enjoyed the starters of hummous and aubergines with chopped tomates in a tomato sauce. The service was efficient and the staff friendly and the food was very good value for money. We all enjoyed our short break in Dubai and were pleasantly surprised at how much history the city actually has. We were impressed with all the amazing architecture and wealth in the city, but that got a bit boring after a while, so we spent most of our break visiting various museums and the old part of Dubai which is a definite must!

Did you know ?

Street addresses do not exist in Dubai!

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The weather for Dubai in the United Arab Emirates

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The climate in Dubai

Situated on the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf of the Arabian Peninsula, this city in the United Arab Emirates is a global city and a business and cultural hub. With a population of over 2 million, it is considered one of the best places to live in the world. Dubai attracts tourists with its shopping and ancient and modern attractions, making this City of Gold one of the most visited cities in the world. It has over 70 shopping centres including the largest in the world. Dubai has a desert climate. Summers are hot, windy, and humid with average highs around 42°C and night-time lows of 29°C. Winters are warm with highs around 23°C. Most days are sunny with over 3,500 hours of sunshine annually.