Located on the south eastern side of the Persian Gulf, the city of Dubai has everything a discerning tourist could hope for, from its powerful and stately cityscape to its white sand beaches. Everything seems clean and orderly in Dubai owing to its elegant architecture and its modern, efficient infrastructure.
Dubai is built on a desert. Summers are hot and sticky, with daytime temperatures of up to 45°C. Summer is the cheaper time to visit if the travel itinerary only includes shopping, dining and staying indoors where air conditioning is plentiful. Outdoorsy types wanting to experience a desert safari or hang out at the beach will enjoy visiting in October until about April, when temperatures range between 25° C and 35° C. On National Day, celebrated on 2nd December, expect to see parades, fireworks and festivities all over Dubai. Eid al Fitr, falling on varying dates, is the most important Muslim festival and marks the end of the month of fasting, Ramadan.
Prior to travelling to Dubai, vaccinations and booster shots should be current. British tourists are eligible for a 30 day visa, but fines will be incurred if overstaying the 30 days without approval. On average, prices for hotels and other amenities are around 45% less expensive than in London, electronics are more reasonably priced, but goods from Europe are more costly. Still, this is a haggling city when it comes to the bazaars which are locally called souks. Don't be afraid to negotiate for the lowest price. Alcohol consumption is strictly regulated in Dubai, and there is no drinking allowed on the streets. Further restrictions are in place during Ramadan, when eating, drinking or smoking in public are not permitted during the daytime. Dubai operates on Gulf Standard Time, which is 3 hours ahead of London.
Dubai has excellent and affordable transportation. The red line metro stops at terminals 1 and 3 of the airport every 10 minutes while the green line makes a stop at the Airport Free Zone close to terminal 2. Fridays are "off" days in Dubai, so the metros, which normally run from 6 am to 11 pm Saturday through Thursday, will only run between 1 pm until midnight on Fridays. The cost of travelling on the metro ranges from about 4 AED for all stops within 1 zone, around 6 AED to go 2 zones and approximately 8.50 AED to travel through 3 zones. It's cheaper to purchase a red ticket, valid for 90 days, giving the holder a maximum of 10 rides. This can work out to to 50% savings. Taxis are more costly, but petrol is cheaper here so a cab ride is still a better deal than in London. If you plan on being in Dubai from September to May, book your accommodation early as this is the peak season. Expect to pay around 800 AED for a single room, with budget hostel stays starting around 100 AED per dorm bed.