First Time Visitor's Guide to Dubai
Dubai is the jewel in the
crown of the United Arab Emirates, and a truly unique destination. It is
an opulent playground built upon a philosophy with boundary pushing architecture
and innovation at its core.
|What is most astounding
about Dubai is the fact that for the most part it is brand new: to the
extent that over the course of less than a decade, the Emirate has been
transformed from a sparsely populated desert land into one of the most
desirable locations on earth. It is a place of great wealth, great power
and above all: of great times!
Dubai as a holiday destination
appeals to a broad spectrum of people, of all ages. The chances are, that
if you think you might be interested in visiting Dubai then you will almost
certainly enjoy a trip there. It is home to the world's tallest building,
the world's first seven star hotel and many other world firsts alongside
a wealth of shopping, dining, relaxation and diverse experiences. There
are very few other places on earth where you can go from 5 star luxury
hotel facilities to a Jeep safari in the desert and back again within a
matter of hours.
Although it is very similar
to Europe and the USA in many cultural aspects, there are however some
differences and it is imperative that local laws and cultural issues are
respected and adhered to, similarly it must not be forgotten that temperatures
can reach very high levels. The following points should be carefully noted
but by no means be a cause for concern:
Dubai has an arid, sub-tropical
climate (which is hardly surprising given that it is located with the Northern
desert belt). As such temperatures can reach uncomfortable levels during
certain months, between June and September for instance, the average temperature
is between 39 and 41 degrees C. As such, the peak holiday season is between
December and March when average temperatures are between 23 and 27 degrees:
which is considerably more palatable for many Brits!
|If however you aren't fazed
by high temperatures, then it is worth bearing in mind that there are often
incredibly good deals to be had on trips taken between June and September
and the vast majority of hotels, restaurants, malls and other indoor areas
are fully air conditioned.
Despite the high temperatures
it is strongly recommended that you dress conservatively when out in public
in Dubai, it is for instance never acceptable to wander the streets in
swimwear (for men or women) and women are not permitted to go topless,
even on the beach or at the pool. Revealing clothing should always be avoided
to avoid causing offence to the resident, Muslim population.
Public displays of affection
are frowned upon in Dubai, as has been highlighted in the news recently.
The cases which have been brought to the attention of the world by the
press are however extreme examples and by exercising common sense and restraint
you will not encounter any trouble.
|The Impact of Islam
Dubai is a predominantly
Muslim place and as such Islamic customs are adhered to. One of the most
prevalent repercussions of this fact is the impact of Ramadan upon the
Emirate. Ramadan is a month long period of fast and it does have a bearing
upon the opening hours of bars and restaurants whilst also bringing with
it some other restrictions. Ramadan occurs over different dates each year;
as such it is worth finding out when it takes place before booking a trip.
Although visiting Dubai during Ramadan is still a thoroughly enjoyable
experience and unlikely to negatively impact upon your visit, it is generally
advised to avoid visiting during the religious festival if possible.
All in all, Dubai is truly
incredible holiday destination which offers a perfect hybrid of Middle-Eastern
and Western Cultures. The factors listed above should in no way be viewed
negatively, but should simply be considered when booking or packing for
what promises to be an incredible trip.