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Dubai Tourism: Plan Your Trip to Dubai

Dubai — the World’s Best Destination
From luxury hospitality and cutting-edge architecture to world-class shopping, culture and nature, discover what makes Dubai the best of the best

Watch The Wanderer

Follow Cam Mackintosh in the guise of The Wanderer, as he dives into the fascinating emirate of Abu Dhabi. Explore each step of his travel guide among deserts' hidden gems. Follow along on his epic journey.

Travel Advice

Essential Dubai

Traveler Spotlight

Traditional Trek Around Dubai

Dubai certainly dazzles with its uber-modern design showcased in sights like the Burj Al Arab, and with its over-the-top attractions like the Dubai Mall and Palm Jumeirah. But it wasn't the glitzy nightclubs and crowd-pleasing brunches that won me over, it was the traditional architecture, Emirati culture, and delicious pistachio dates. So if you're looking for a more traditional slice of life, here are some of my favorite places you should visit in Dubai.
Lara Grant, New York City, NY
  • Dubai Gold Souk
    Located in the Deira district, the Dubai Gold Souk is a traditional market with over 350 stores, most of which sell jewelry. Gold, diamonds, and precious stones are all available here, but do your research on the best stores if you're looking to buy!
  • Deira Old Souk Abra Station
    Abras are traditional wooden boats that act as water taxis on Dubai Creek, ferrying travelers between the Deira Old Souk and Bur Dubai Abra Stations. As a bonus, the creek is a busy hub, with lots to do and see nearby.
  • Cafe Bateel
    Bateel is renowned for their gourmet dates packaged in hand-painted wooden boxes, and the cafe expands that upscale approach to all-day dining. Scrumptious bateel date pudding and traditional Arabic coffee are highlights.
  • Siraj
    Dubai is well-known for its fine-dining cuisine and outposts of global restaurants, but for a truly authentic Emirati meal, head to Siraj. Go with friends and share the camel steak, chicken biryani, and green mango salad. Pro tip: snag a table outside for a gorgeous Burj Khalifa fountain show view.
  • Ripe Market
    Skip the fancy restaurants and indoor malls and spend an afternoon strolling the Ripe Market, an outdoor farmers' market showcasing local businesses. I was a big fan of the organic veggies and fruits, cute handicrafts, and chic jewelry.
  • Jumeirah Mosque
    Firstly, built in traditional Fatimid style, the Jumeirah Mosque is beautiful. And, it's one of the few mosques open to non-Muslims. It's a unique experience to observe the prayer and learn more about the customs.
  • XVA Art Hotel
    XVA Art Hotel offers a more traditional, simple alternative to the towering, flashy hotels. It’s located in the heart of the Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood, the oldest community in Dubai, and it occupies the former home of the Seddiqi family – high-end watch retailers. There are just 14 rooms on-site, all individually decorated and with locally inspired furnishings. A cozy café and gallery showcasing Arab artwork add to its charm.
  • Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding
    Although roughly 80 percent of Dubai's population is foreigners, travelers can still get a peek inside Emirati culture by visiting this center. It's in the historic Al Fahidi neighborhood and I love that visitors can take part in activities such as walking tours, authentic dinners, and conversations with local Emiratis.

Rent a Home for Your Next Escape

Popular homes in Dubai

Dubai Is Great For

Standout markets and malls

Classy cocktails and wild nightlife

Day trips worth the drive

Dubai Travel Guide

Travelers' pro tips for experiencing Dubai

Dubai's most popular restaurants are usually booked up quite far in advance. If you are only visiting for a short period, it’s advisable to book them as soon as you arrive in Dubai.
There is no eating in public during the Ramadan months until evening time. So if you must eat, do it in your hotel room!
James F
Be polite to service staff in restaurants and take interest in the people who serve you. They are tuned in and can also offer great advice about a myriad of subjects in Dubai.

In the words of those who've been there before ...

Dubai is an amazing experience. You will never be bored. It has everything, desert dune buggy trips, ballooning, parachuting, cruises, art and culture, even skiing.
Dubai is simply a City of Wonders that is in continuous expansion and development.
This city will never fail to entertain… and entertain all kinds of visitors — the thrill seeker, the shopaholic, the foodie, the beach lover, and the nature lover!

What is the best way to get there?


Dubai is served by two international airports: Dubai International Airport and Al Maktoum International Airport.

Do I need a visa?

Visit Dubai’s Department of Tourism website to determine visa eligibility and criteria.

When is the best time to visit?

Winter (November to March): Dubai has a hot desert climate with two distinct seasons. The winter months have the most pleasant weather, ideal for outdoor activities. The average daytime high is around 27°C with lows of around 17°C.


Careem BIKE offers pedal-assist bike hire through its bike-share app.


The Dubai Metro, run by the RTA, operates 2 lines — red and green — which run from about 5:00 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday. On Fridays, the service operates later — the red operates from about 2 p.m. to 1 a.m. and the green line operates from about 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.

For more information about the network and fares, see here.


Dubai’s public bus service, run by the RTA, operates local buses on more than 120 routes.

For more information about the network and fares, see here.


Dubai Taxi Corporation operates government-licensed taxis 24 hours a day and can be hailed in the street, picked up at taxi stand or booked by phone. They are recognizable by their red roof.

For more information, to book a taxi or calculate a fare, see here.


The Dubai Tram makes 11 stops with trams running from about 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday to Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Friday.

For more information about the network and fares, see here.


Abras are motorised traditional wooden boats linking Bur Dubai and Deira across the Dubai Creek via two routes.

For more information about the routes and fares, see here.


The Dubai Ferry operates 5 major routes on a limited schedule.

For more information about the routes and fares, see here.


Uber and Careem are available in Dubai on your smartphone.

On the ground
What is the timezone?
Gulf Standard Time
What are the voltage/plug types?
The standard voltage within the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is 230V and the standard frequency is 50Hz. Wall outlets accommodate plugs with three rectangular pins in a triangular pattern.
What is the currency?
United Arab Emirates Dirham.
Are ATMs readily accessible?
Are credit cards widely accepted?
Is it easy to find a bank?
How much do I tip?
Tipping in Dubai isn’t compulsory but is customary and appreciated. Here is a rough guide:
Bellboys and valets
Spa and beauty therapist

For more information about tipping, see here.

Are there local customs I should know?

The legal drinking age for Dubai is 21 years old but buying and consuming alcohol is only legal at licensed bars and clubs at major hotels -- and only for hotel guests and non-Muslim residents with government-issued liquor licenses. It is illegal for non-Muslims to sell or offer alcohol to Muslims. Public drunkenness -- no matter where the drinking occurs -- is also considered a very serious offense. Travelers should refer to the travel advice issued by their government before visiting the UAE.
The UAE is a mostly Muslim country with strict standards of dress and behaviour. Dress modestly and ensure your shoulders and knees are covered. It is also recommended to research dress codes for tourist attractions, shopping malls, beaches and other public places -- which can often be found on their official websites.
The holy month of Ramadan is a time of fasting, prayer, reflection for Muslims, so it is important to respect the religious and cultural customs at this time. During Ramadan, it's illegal to eat, drink or smoke in public between sunrise and sunset. The dates of Ramadan change each year, as it is celebrated in the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, which is slightly different to the regular Gregorian calendar.
Public displays of affection
You can be arrested for intimate public displays of affection, including hugging and kissing.
Sharing hotel rooms
It is against the law for people of the opposite sex to live together, or to share the same hotel room, if they aren't married or closely related. De facto relationships and civil unions also aren't recognised in the UAE. This law is often relaxed for tourists, however, you may be asked to prove you're legally married when checking into a hotel as a couple. Travelers should do research, contact their hotel and check their government’s travel advice before visiting the UAE.
It is illegal to photograph people without their consent, airports and other transport infrastructure, government buildings, some beaches, and palaces. Travelers should do their own research and be aware of signs which indicate where photography is prohibited.
Frequently Asked Questions about Dubai

We recommend staying at one of the most popular hotels in Dubai, which include:

Dubai is known for some of its popular attractions, which include:

If you're a more budget-conscious traveler, then you may want to consider traveling to Dubai between June and August, when hotel prices are generally the lowest. Peak hotel prices generally start between September and November.