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5 Things to Know Before You Holiday in Dubai

Aug 18, 2008
Everyone's talking about holidays in Dubai. Luxury beyond luxury, amazing sights and a climate to die for makes it a great choice for all - especially couples and families. But before you jet off into the sun, there are some important things you need to be aware of to make the most of your stay and to make sure you are prepared for anything! Here are 5 pieces of travel advice for Dubai...

The Best Time to Visit Dubai

One important piece of travel advice for Dubai that can make or break your trip is to time your travel carefully. It can get unbearably hot in Dubai - if you don't think you can stand the heat, the best time to head out is during Dubai's winter. This "winter" is by no means cold, and offers a more mild average temperature of around 20 degrees centigrade. Perfect for enjoying the sights and sounds of this amazing place. Combine with this an awareness of Ramadan (when there is daily fasting between 5am and 5pm that prevents ANYONE from eating, drinking or smoking in public), this year in September (however it changes each year), and I'd say that the ideal period to head out on a luxury Dubai holiday is between December and March.

Behaviour

This is the most important thing on a holiday to Dubai - watch your behaviour and respect the local customs. Remember that the country is Muslim, and as such practices Islamic law with a no-tolerance policy on behaviour considered immoral. There have been a number of high profile imprisonments lately for drug related offences, as well as a specific case of an expatriate facing six years in prison for a public sex act. Technically in the country, sex between unmarried people and homosexuality are illegal - there have even been arrests for public kissing. This is more enforced more stringently in the non-tourist areas, so be extra careful when venturing into areas largely inhabited by locals.

The sale of alcohol is also controlled and can only be bought by those with licence. In practice this means you will only be able to get a drink in hotels and nightclubs, which isn't dramatically different from the rest of the world. Taking all of this into account, the travel advice for Dubai is simple: Respect the law and the local customs with regards to drugs, alcohol and sex and you should have no problems at all.

Getting Around

Taxis are pretty expensive in Dubai, and the costs can quickly ramp up if you're travelling a lot. It's well worth considering a hire car if you're out there for longer than a few days, but if you do this be sure to remember to drive on the left - despite being in foreign lands.

The Must Sees

There are so many great sights in Dubai, it's hard to know what to suggest first. A desert safari is an absolute must - you haven't experienced the country until you have driven freely across the endless sands! Then there's shopping at the gold market, which is an experience like no other, the Wild Wadi Waterpark to cool off, the amazing indoor man-made ski slope (with 'real' snow), the surprisingly green golf course and some stunning hot air balloon rides. You're never short of things to do on a luxury holiday in Dubai!

The Language Barrier

The main language spoken in Dubai is Arabic, but most people should be able to understand English. The rules of speaking to non-native English speakers apply though - speak slowly and clearly to stand the best chance of not being misinterpreted.

Keep this travel advice for Dubai in mind, and you'll be sure to have an unforgettable holiday, and fall in love with Dubai in the same way I have!
About the Author
Peter Vasilou is a Dubai expert for key2holidays, an online tour operator specialising in Dubai luxury holidays , as well as holidays in Australia, Cuba, the Caribbean, Europe, the Far East, the Maldives, Mauritius and the Seychelles, Egypt and Southern Africa. Key2holidays has a dedicated team of experienced travel consultants to share their knowledge and help you to plan and book your ideal holiday.
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