Enjoy Sunshine and Shopping in Dubai

Sunshine and shopping opportunities abound in Dubai, a popular vacation spot on the southeastern coast of the Persian Gulf. Enjoy mostly lower prices in this most densely populated city in the United Arab Emirates. With cheap public transportation, it is easy to explore the city and all it has to offer tourists.

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Best time to visit Dubai

Dubai is an ideal place to visit year round due to its beautiful subtropical climate.  The best time to travel to Dubai may be from October to April when temperatures are lower, usually ranging from 25° to 35° C. Temperatures during the summer months can reach as high as 45° C. If you are looking to experience some local culture, be sure to visit on December 2 for National Day. Or make plans to be in Dubai for Eid, the most important Islamic festival that marks the end of Ramadan. The dates of Eid vary, as it is in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.

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Important things to know before you travel 

British citizens can apply for a 30-day visa when arriving in Dubai, but be aware that there are fines for outstaying your visa. Before you travel, double check that your boosters and routine vaccines are up to date. When travelling to Dubai, there are some important cultural facts to be aware of as well. For instance, during Ramadan, eating, drinking and smoking are not permitted in public during the day. There are typically very strict regulations on drinking alcohol in the United Arab Emirates.

For the most part, Dubai is cheaper than London, with restaurant prices averaging around 45 percent cheaper. European imported goods are more expensive, however. Electronics are cheaper in Dubai. Remember, you can haggle at souks (local markets). Dubai is at GST (Gulf Standard Time), which is UTC/GMT +4 and three hours ahead of London.

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Local tips and information 

Cheap public transport can be found for about 4 AED for a single ticket on the metro or bus. However, transport is 50 percent cheaper with the red ticket which is convenient and cheap for tourists, allowing a maximum of 10 journeys and valid for 90 days. Taxi prices in Dubai are more expensive than public transport but still cheaper than in UK as petrol is cheap.

From the airport, the red line metro stops at Terminals 1 and 3 every 10 minutes. The green line stops at the Airport Free Zone near terminal 2. Both metros run Saturday through Thursday from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Fridays from 1 p.m. until midnight. Ticket prices are approximately 4 AED for one zone, 6 AED for two zones and 8.50 AED for three zones.  Buses stop at all terminals from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Look for bus numbers 4, 11, 15, 33 and 44. 

Budget accommodation is available in hostels from around 100 AED shared. Single hotel rooms typically cost around 800 AED. Book rooms early during the peak season from September till May.

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