Known as the jewel of the United Arab Emirates, Dubai attracts millions of travelers from all over the world every year with its stunning and luxurious buildings, fabulous restaurants, and endless entertainment. However, Dubai is hardly Cancun and there are a few things you need to know before visiting Dubai.
Important Things to Know Before Visiting Dubai
Remember, it’s in a completely different country from our own, with its own set of cultural expectations and political climate. Not to mention its literal climate is nothing to be reckoned with either. If you’re considering traveling to Dubai, here are some of the most important things to know before visiting this bejeweled city.
1. Respect Local Culture
When in doubt, follow the advice of Aretha Franklin. R-E-S-P-E-C-T goes a long way anywhere in the world, but particularly in Dubai, which is deeply rooted in Islamic tradition. It doesn’t matter whether you’re over the age of 70 or about to turn 10 years old, you will be expected to adhere to local customs.
From the way that you dress to respecting the fasting period known as Ramadan. Even though you might be ready to pack your best sundresses with open shoulders and exposed thighs, you can forget about it in Dubai.
2. Prepare for Heat
Remember, Dubai is in the middle of the desert. Temperatures can soar well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit at any time of year, and during the summer months, it can get as hot as 115. While you can expect air conditioning throughout Dubai, you’ll still have to get from one place to another, which requires the right precautions.
Make sure that you always carry a bottle of water, and sunscreen, and don’t stay out in the sun for long periods of time. If heat isn’t your thing, then you may want to skip this destination altogether. Otherwise, you should consider visiting between the months of November and March when temperatures are much lower, and you can explore the city in less extreme weather conditions.
3. Consider a Car Rental
Much like most metropolitan cities, Dubai does offer a public transportation system. You can get around on the Dubai metro or even by bus. However, much like Los Angeles, Dubai is most conveniently navigated by car. Renting a car is the best way to avoid large crowds, baking in the heat, and potentially getting lost. A car rental promises air conditioning and built-in GPS so you can easily get to where you need to go. As long as you’re mentally prepared for potential traffic jams, you may find that a car rental is the best choice.
4. Budget Accordingly
Dubai is home to some of the most luxurious stores and restaurants on the planet. However, that’s not to say that you can’t visit on a modest budget as well. It’s all about planning ahead. Get to know what kind of activities you’re planning on doing ahead of time so that you can budget accordingly.