Between sea and desert, Dubai is the capital of excess. A kaleidoscope of skyscrapers, with its giant malls and ski resorts in the desert. Two hundred communities and three and a half million people live in this architectural arrogance and financial excess. So, to visit this "world city" and above all, to find one's way around, is not an easy task. Of course, it is a unique experience, but it is very important to be well informed and to know the best tips.
1 - Going to Dubai at the right time
The first piece of advice is to choose the right time to travel. It is usually very hot in Dubai and the best time to avoid it is during the summer, in other words, avoid going there between June and September. During these months, the temperature rises to over forty degrees and even if you like the heat, it can quickly become very unpleasant to walk around. Another negative point of summer is that there is a lot of rainfall, which is an additional constraint. Specifically, we advise you to go between November and April because the temperatures are much milder and the humidity is relatively low. The ideal time to go for a walk!
2 - Use public transport
Using public transportation is a very good option in Dubai. Not only will it be much cheaper than taking a cab (knowing that the cost of living in Dubai is high), but the transportation is modern and very well done. There are two metro lines that serve most of the interesting areas of the city, as well as terminals 1 and 3 of the airport. There is the red line which leaves from the international airport, and which you will take to go to Sheikh Zayed Road. There is also the green line that goes from the Deira district to Dubai Creek Harbour, and that you will take to go to the Gold Souk, the traditional gold market. Finally, there are many bus lines that can be used if you are making shorter trips.
3 - Visit for free
Of course, life in Dubai is expensive and many activities require a certain budget, such as amusement parks or water parks. But it is quite possible to do a lot of sightseeing without spending money in Dubai. This is the case for example of several public beaches. You can also go and see the great fountains of Dubai which are at the foot of the Burj Khalifa, which are 275 meters long and go up to 150 meters high. You can also go for a walk in the Dubai Mall which is built on more than one million square meters, which includes more than 12,000 stores. It's well worth a visit even if you don't plan to shop!
Finally, visit the fishing villages which tell a lot about the history of the city. Fishing was once the main source of income in Dubai, hence the importance of these villages to this day.
4 - Eating in traditional restaurants
Of course, if you are on a budget and like fancy restaurants, you will be served. There are many quality restaurants in Dubai. But contrary to what you might think, it is quite possible to eat for cheap in Dubai! The best way to do this is to go to traditional restaurants that offer traditional dishes at unbelievable prices. There are many delicious Asian and Middle Eastern dishes (as well as a wide selection of teas). And if you choose the right places, you will be pleasantly surprised by the amount of the bill! We advise you to use Tripadvisor and Google which will allow you, depending on the area where you are, to choose the restaurants with the best quality-price ratio.
5 - Visit the other United Arab Emirates
We often talk about Dubai, but we don't talk as much about the other United Arab Emirates that are easily accessible from Dubai and that offer equally interesting activities. We think of course of Abu Dhabi, where you can visit the Al-Qana district and take a walk in Yas Bay. To get there, all you have to do is take the E102 bus that runs between Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
There is also the Emirate Ras Al Khaimah where you can contemplate the mountains and the archeological objects in the National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah. There are only about 100 kilometers between Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah. If you stay in Dubai long enough, we recommend that you take at least one excursion!
Written by Quentin Pakiry