An Essential Guide To Dubai

This glitzy and glamorous city, found in the middle of the Arabic Desert, is kicking goals with world records for all sorts of things. From the tallest structure in the world, to an elaborate project to make a world map out of islands in the ocean, Dubai is an incredibly unique and interesting city.

It is also home to some of the most amazing luxury resorts in the world, including several 6 star hotels!

dune safari in the arabian desert

dubai stamp graphic

Where is Dubai?

Dubai is located in the United Arab Emirates of the Middle East and follows the Gulf Time Zone UTC +4.

Getting To Dubai

Dubai is located in the United Arab Emirates and is an easy stop over on long haul flights for people flying between Europe and Australia or Asia with Emirates airlines.

Dubai International Airport (DXB) is located just 5 miles out of the city centre, and is a very easy and cheap taxi ride away from either Downtown Dubai or The Palm.

Check out the best deals for flights to Dubai

READ MORE:
Everything You Need To Know About Visiting Dubai During Ramadan

Language in Dubai

Arabic. People working in the tourism and hospitality industries will speak some English but you will struggle a little more with local markets, some shops and some taxi drivers.

Climate in Dubai

Dubai has a tropical desert climate, with extremely hot and humid summers (with an average temperature of 41℃) as well as warm winters (with an average temperature of 25℃).

train station in dubai

Getting Around Dubai

Where your hotel is located in Dubai will depend on how you can best get around. The hop on hop off bus for Dubai can get you around to most places you would like to go, and also run quite regularly across a few different routes. They also have a route that comes out to the Atlantis at The Palm, which makes it easier to get back to your other hotels around The Palm.

Otherwise, if you’re staying on The Palm the easiest way to get into and out of Downtown Dubai is by taxi or hotel shuttle bus if it is offered by your hotel. Getting around Dubai’s city itself is super easy on the Dubai Metro – with stops at most major attractions and shopping centres and regular trains throughout the day.

Dubai also offers a taxi service that is run completely by women. Their cars are pink and white and you can easily spot them if you’re looking for a taxi. We highly recommend using these taxis as their service was above and beyond and we always felt so safe with the drivers. The same can not be said by some other male driven taxis.

Check out the best places to stay in Dubai

Money in Dubai

Currency is the Emirati Dirham (AED or Dhs). Credit and debit cards are accepted at most places, and ATMs are generally easily accessible.

However, keep in mind that things are BIG in Dubai, and sometimes ATMs might not be in the most convenient location. For example, when we needed to get some cash for a taxi that had a broken EFTPOS machine we had to walk 15 minutes into the Dubai Mall before we found the first ATM.

READ MORE:
A Complete Guide To The Dubai Mall

Internet Access in Dubai

Great high-speed internet in most hotels, however we found that not many restaurants and cafes offered internet access. Most of the hop on hop off buses did offer free wifi though, which was helpful to look things up while we were on the move during the day.

fancy hotels in dubai

The Main Streets of Dubai

Dubai is a giant city and doesn’t really have main streets as such as everything is just so spread out.

The main areas to visit during your trip include The Palm, The Dubai Mall and around the Gold and Silver Souks in Diera.

Best Time To Go to Dubai

Due to it’s location in the desert, Dubai only really has two seasons – hot and hotter. The best time to go is between November and March, which would technically be their “winter”, however winter in Dubai looks a lot like blue skies and perfect beach weather, without the humidity of the summer months.

READ MORE:
Dune Bashing In The Arabian Desert

Can’t Miss Experiences in Dubai

+ The best experience in Dubai (in my opinion) is definitely dune bashing and dinner in the Arabian desert – it was such a magical evening
+ Spend an afternoon exploring the GIGANTIC Dubai Mall – which has over 1200 stores, 120 restaurants, an Aquarium AND an Underwater Zoo
+ Check out the epic views from the Burj Khalifa
+ Haggle for gold at the Gold and Silver Souks in Diera
+ Take an Arabian Dhow Cruise down the Dubai Creek

Explore all of the adventures and experiences you can have in Dubai

Good to know for your trip to Dubai

While many luxury resorts, including the infamous Atlantis Resort, are located on The Palm, it is actually a bit of a pain to get to if you decide to stay out there. While taxis aren’t that expensive, it can take about 20 to 25 minutes to get out to The Palm, and public transport options are very limited, with trains and public buses not reaching out that far.

Additionally, if you are visiting anywhere in the UAE, including Dubai, during Ramadan you will need to be aware of the religious practices and rules in place throughout the country. Something as simple as drinking water in public can be trouble during Ramadan.

Make sure you read this article before you travel during this time: Visiting The UAE During Ramadan: Everything You Need To Know

READ MORE:
Why You Should Stay At A Jumeirah Resort In Dubai

Check out all of our adventures through Dubai

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AN ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO DUBAI

Happy travels,



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Emma is a travel photographer and blogger, living in Melbourne, Australia with her husband Thom in between adventures. She started Explore Shaw to share her experiences, travel tips and destination advice, and to inspire others to travel the world and their own backyard whenever they can.

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Just two twenty-something married Aussies, visiting as many places as we can in between normal life, and hoping to inspire and offer advice for your travel planning.

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