Dubai: city of wonders awaits you
Dubai is a city of wonders. You will find a vast range of things to do here from shopping to dining, skiing indoors to desert escapes - there is something for everyone. The warm climate means escaping the heat in the amazing shopping centres is often the best choice. And these shopping centres are not your average High Street shops; many have indoors ski fields, enormous aquariums, and shopping, dining and entertainment options galore. The contrasting old and new, water against desert location, the striking modern architecture, all makes Dubai an amazing destination to be explored.
You will find a subtropical climate all year round in Dubai making it a great choice as a warm weather getaway. The best time to visit is October to April when the temperatures range from 25°- 35° C - in the summer months the mercury rises to 45° C with hot blustery winds. You should take note of when Ramadan falls before you make your travel arrangements, it is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and the dates change every year. Eid marks the end of Ramadan, and is the most important Islamic festival of the year.
Prepare for Dubai
During Ramadan, people fast throughout the day - there is no eating, drinking and smoking permitted in public during daylight hours. There are also very strict rules and regulations regarding the consumption of alcohol in the UAE. You should stick to drinking alcohol at your hotel. Dubai is three hours ahead of London; they are on GST (Gulf Standard Time), which is UTC/GMT +4. There is no need to acquire a visa before arrival; British Citizens can apply for a 30-day visa on arrival. There are fines if you overstay your visa. The local currency is AED. In general, the cost of living in Dubai is about 45% less than in the UK, particularly on dining and electronics shopping. Remember to haggle in the souks!
Dubai local information and transport
There is a huge range of accommodation in Dubai, from hostels to the infamous 7 stars. Prices range from around 100 AED for beds or bunks in shared rooms in a hostel, to around 800 AED and up as a starting price for single hotel rooms. If you plan to travel during peak times of September through May, it is best to book well ahead. Once you are there, getting around is fairly straightforward. From the airport you can take the red line metro from Terminals 1 & 3, which runs every 10 minutes; there is also the green line, which stops at the Airport Free Zone near Terminal 2. Both lines run Saturday to Thursday from 6am until 11pm, whilst on Fridays they run 1pm until midnight. Approximate Prices: 1 zone= 4 AED, 2 zones = 6 AED, 3 zones = 8.50 AED. The red ticket is convenient and cheap for tourists - you can use it for a maximum of 10 journeys and it is valid for 90 days. There is also a bus option which stops at all terminals and runs from 6am until 10pm daily - look out for bus numbers 4, 11, 15, 33 and 44.