There’s a reason why Dubai is one of the most visited cities in the world. The most populous city in the United Arab Emirates has a lot in common with Las Vegas as there’s luxurious shopping, modern architecture, and skyscrapers that fill the desert skyline. What Dubai has that Vegas doesn’t is the Persian Gulf shoreline, amazing culinary dishes, and one-of-a-kind attractions. While there’s a lot of modern elements to the city, you’ll also find traditional ones like the souks and wooden boats. Before you head to Dubai, read this handy guide to the city.
Best Times to Visit
The best months to visit Dubai are November to March. In regards to weather, the city is always hot. While this is the best time to visit, expect to see lots of crowds as it’s peak tourist season. You can always visit during the summer months, but be ready for temperatures above 100 F.
How to Get Around
Taxi and metro are the best ways to get around Dubai. The prices are high for taxis, but they’ll help you avoid traffic. The metro system transports passengers to most major points of interest. You can always rent a car, but driving in the city can be stressful.
Where to Stay
Ghaya Grand Hotel
This 5-star luxury hotel has two restaurants, a 24-hour fitness center, a poolside bar, a coffee shop, a full-service spa, and an outdoor pool. Other amenities include free valet parking, a free area shuttle, and a free beach shuttle.
Grosvenor House, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Dubai
With eight restaurants, a marina, and two outdoor pools with poolside bars onsite the Grosvenor House, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Dubai, a 5-star hotel, is super lavish. The 750 rooms overlook the Dubai Marina and the hotel is within walking distance of most of the city’s attractions.
Jumeirah Al Qasr – Madinat Jumeirah
Jumeirah Al Qasr – Madinat Jumeirah has a private sand beach and a full-service spa so you can get some sun and then relax afterward. The 5-star hotel has six restaurants.
What to Do
Burj Al Arab
This gorgeous hotel building overlooks the Persian Gulf and lies between Jumeirah Beach and Palm Islands. The hotel has been open since 1999 and its curved glass structure, modeled after sail,s is located on its own man-made island. The hotel has the tallest atrium in the world, standing at almost 600 feet high and it’s one of the tallest hotels in the world. It even has revolving beds in some suites, a helipad, and complimentary Rolls-Royces that pick you up from your arrival point.
One of the largest malls in the world, Dubai Mall is located in downtown Dubai. There are over 1,300 stores, 200 restaurants, and tons of entertainment attractions including an ice skating rink, a movie theater, and an aquarium. At night, visit the Dubai Fountains found outside the mall, which feature nightly shows set to western and eastern music.
North of the Dubai Marina, you’ll find Jumeirah Mosque, which is built in traditional Fatimid style. Unlike other mosques, non-Muslims are welcome inside to see the unique décor which features painted panels against bright blue and yellow backgrounds. Make sure you come dressed modestly when visiting.
What to Eat
This simple dish consists of lamb, chicken, or shrimp topped with rice. It’s seasoned with cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, dried lemon, and yellow raisins.
This dessert, which is similar to donuts, is made from batter deep-fried in ghee and served with date syrup and sesame seeds.
These Emirati-style pancakes are infused with saffron and cardamom and topped with sour cream and date syrup.