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Dubai

Photo © tamstar

Travel Guide Middle East United Arab Emirates Dubai

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Introduction

Burj Kalifah

Burj Kalifah

© All Rights Reserved RobandEve

Dubai is the second-largest of the seven emirates that together constitute the United Arab Emirates. This is one of the fastest growing areas anywhere in the world with buildings being erected at an enormous speed. Plans are even more ambitious with hundreds of high rise buildings to be added (including the highest building in the world) and thousands of islands in the form of the world or palms which are for the rich and famous only. Unfortunately, much of the old and original Dubai is hidden away in between, but can still be found in the old quarter of the city.

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Sights and Activities

Shopping is a major activity for Dubai visitors. Ibn Battuta mall, Mall of the Emirates, Bur Juman, Magrudy's shopping mall are some of the numerous malls that have sprouted around the city in the past decade.

Burj al Arab

Burj Al Arab

Burj Al Arab

© All Rights Reserved neilcrespi

The Burj al Arab (the tower of Arabs) has become a landmark of Dubai, and one of the most famous buildings virtualy overnight after being finished in 1999. The very recognisable building that is shaped to resemble the sail of a Dhow, a local fishing boat. The structure is 321 metres tall, and stands on an artificial island 280 metres away from the beach. It is connected to the mainland by a bridge.
The building serves as a luxery hotel with 202 rooms. A hotel room is not cheap, the cheapest room costs about a thousand US$ a night, the Royal suits sets you back around US$ 28,000. If you want to arrive in style from the airport you can be picked up by a Rolls Royce or a helicopter.

Burj Khalifa

Officially opened on 4 January 2010, Burj Khalifa (Arabic: برج خليفة‎ "Khalifa Tower"), formerly known as Burj Dubai, took six years to complete. The tower is named after Khalifa bin Zayed, the current President of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Abu Dhabi. With a height of 828 metres (2716 feet), Burj Khalif is the tallest man-made structure in the world, topping the previous recordholder (Taipei 101) by a staggering 319 metres. It also is nicknamed "the Needle" and "The Tower of Bable". It has 168 floors, with the upper 30 to 40 floors being so small that they are useless, apart from storage room. Counting all the floors and the podium, it has 465,000 m² of surface space. In the skyscraper you will find 1,044 luxury appartments, 49 floors of offices and the 7-star Armani Hotel, with 160 rooms that are designed by Armani. An observation deck, named At The Top, is located on Level 142 of the tower. Tickets for At The Top are available online and also from the reception at the lower ground level of The Dubai Mall, located within the building.

Jumeirah Beach

VIEW FROM THE BAR AT TEH TOP OF THE BURJ!

VIEW FROM THE BAR AT TEH TOP OF THE BURJ!

© All Rights Reserved dwalker66

Jumeirah Beach is the famous beach resort area about 15 kilometres south of the centre of Dubai. The Burj al Arab is located here, as well as the Jumeirah Beach hotel and the waterpark 'Wild Wadi'. There is also the Jumeirah Mosque, one of only a few mosques which is open for non-Islamic tourists, which has regular morning tours. In 2009, the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup was held here as well.

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Events and Festivals

  • Dubai Shopping Festival
  • Dubai Summer Surprises
  • Eid in Dubai
  • Modhesh
  • Ramadan in Dubai

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Weather

Weather in Dubai generally is warm to hot and dry. The hottest months are between June and September when temperatures can rise up to 45 °C or even more. Humidity can be high as well, although this mainly applies to the coastal areas. Still, the best times to visit are from October to April with warm and dry conditions, although some rainshowers are possible during the wintermonths.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max24 °C24.6 °C27.9 °C32.4 °C36.8 °C38.8 °C40.6 °C40.4 °C38.7 °C35.1 °C30.5 °C26.2 °C
Avg Min13.7 °C14.5 °C17 °C20.1 °C23.5 °C26.1 °C28.9 °C29.3 °C26.3 °C22.7 °C18.3 °C15.4 °C
Rain Days1.83.73.81.60.400.10.1000.32

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Getting There

By Plane

Dubai International Airport (DXB) is a major airport just 4 kilometres southeast of Dubai centre. Dozens of airlinies serve hundreds of destinations. Emirates Airlines has its base in Dubai. It has flights to over 100 cities in about 55 countries, making it one of the biggest airlines in the world. It handled almost 41 million passengers in 2009, resulting in the 15th busiest airport in the world. As of June 2009, there over 5,600 weekly flights operated by nearly 100 airlines to over 200 destinations across all six continents.

To/from the airport

  • The airport is served by the Dubai Metro, which will operate 2 lines through the airport. The Red Line (Dubai Metro) has a station at Terminal 3, and at Terminal 1. The metro provides services between 06:00am and 10:15pm everyday except Friday, when it operates between 02:05pm and 11:15pm.
  • Dubai Buses run by the RTA run a number of routes to around the city but mainly Deira, available at the Airport Ground Transportation Center and the Arrivals. Bus stations are situated opposite both Terminal 1, 2, and 3. Local buses 4, 11, 15, 33 and 44 can be used to connect with Terminal 1 and 3, while bus 2 connects with Terminal 2. Dubai International Airport Buses provide air-conditioned transport into the city centre and over 80 hotels in the city.
  • Coach service is available to major cities and towns like Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, and Sharjah.
  • Government owned Dubai Taxi Agency provides taxis, which provides 24 hour service at the arrivals in every terminal.

The new Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC) will start passenger operations from March 2011 onwards and will be one of the largest airports in the world and a major hub for flights between most continents.
Some of the main destinations from Dubai International Airport are Moscow, London, Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt, Nairobi, Delhi, Mumbai, Beijing, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Johannesburg, Rome, Hong Kong, Auckland, Cairo, Cape Town, Casablanca, Shanghai, New York, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto, Perth, Seoul, Washington, D.C., Istanbul and Bangkok.

A great alternative for some low-cost airlines is the nearby Sharjah International Airport (SHJ) which is just about half an hour from downtown Dubai. It has flights to most major cities in the Middle East and also to various cities in India and other countries in southern Asia and eastern Africa. It is the main hub for budget carrier Air Arabia, which has the bulk of flights.

By Car

It's easy to get to/from Dubai, though the traffic during rush hours can be dramatic. Once you are outside the city, traffic is relatively light though, except on the route to Sharjah.

By Bus

There are daily connections between Dubai and Muscat, the capital of Oman, taking around 4 to 5 hours.

By Boat

Several ferries and fast catamarans travel between Iran and Dubai. Connections include Bandar Lengeh to Dubai, and Bandar Abbas to Dubai. Check the Iran Traveling Center for more details about schedules and prices.

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Getting Around

By Car

Many people get around by car but the roads get extremely congested, especially during rush hours. Travellers wanting to drive themselves better keep it to a minimum.

By Public Transport

  • Taxis are the most common means of public transport. However, it is also one of the most frustrating ones as it is very difficult to get one during peak hours or in front of shopping malls. One would have to walk a long distance to get away from the crowds waiting to catch a cab to have a better chance of getting one.
  • More buses now ply the city than in the 90's but information on the bus routes is not easily available to the new visitor and bystanders on the road do not help with queries.
  • On the 9th of September 2009, the Dubai Metro started operations. It is a fully automatic system, the waiting platforms are airconditioned and there are special VIP areas as well. The first line to be opened was the Red Line, the Green Line is still under construction and there are a few more lines planned as well. The Green Line will start operations in June 2010 if all goes well. After this completion, it will be the longest fully automatic metro network in the world (current is in Vancouver). The Red Line runs from Jebel Ali Port, the American University in Dubai, through the city centre to Al Rashidiya. The Green Line will run from Festival City, through the city centre, Dubai International Airport Terminal 2 and the Airport Free Zone. The Purple and Blue Line will form a major transport connection between the current airport and the new Al Maktoum International Airport, expected to be in operation from June 2010 onwards. Both lines will be in operation from 2012 onwards and a Yellow Line was announced in 2008, but has no deadline of operation yet. For an overview, see the Dubai Metro Map
  • An easier way of crossing the Dubai Creek is by abra, essentially a small ferry. Abra stations are located along the Creek on both the Bur Dubai and Deira sides, and the system of filling the boats is remarkably efficient. The cross-river trip costs 1 AED per passenger, payable to the driver after the boat has left the station, and affords a very picturesque view of the city. Abras set off very regularly, and the service is available round-the-clock. The Waterbus is another option for tousists who want to go by boat but avoid the abra crowd (or the heat). It is a part of Dubai's public transport system. The waterbus also features a 'tourist route' round trip. While this is convenient, it can get quite expensive (AED 50 for an adult, AED 25 for a child).

By Foot

Some areas are easily navigated on foot, but mind the heat in summer, when it's better to stick to short distances and use public transport and taxis as well.

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Sleep

Budget and Midrange

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Al Sharq HotelRolla Square SHARJAH DubaiHotel78
Arabian Dreams Hotel ApartmentsP.O.B: 31993 Bur Dubai - MankhoolApartment-
Flora Park Deluxe Hotel ApartmentsNear Deira City Centre, Port Saeed Road DeiraHotel-
Golden Sands Hotel ApartmentsMankhool Street, Bur Dubai Behind Bur Juman Shopping CentreHotel82
Nihal Hotel58 al Makhtoom Street Diera DubaiHotel-
Ramee Hotel ApartmentsAl Rolla StreetHotel66
The Country Club HotelBehind New Gold SoukHotel93
Admiral Plaza HotelAl Nahdha Street Po Box 26888Hotel-
Al Jawhara Gardens HotelP.O. Box No.: 121711Hotel-
Dunes Hotel Apartments MuhaisnahAl Barsha Behind Mall of Emirates P.O. Box 115557Apartment-
Ramee International HotelNasser Square PO Box 26941 DeiraHotel-
Dunes Hotel Apartments BrAl Muhaisnah 4 Amman street Before lulu villageApartment-
Mercure Gold HotelAl Mina RoadHotel-
Marco Polo HotelAl Muteena St. DeiraHotel-
Dream Palace HotelAl Muraqqabat RdHotel-
Karama HotelKuwaity street Karama DubaiHotel-
Orchid HotelAl rigga road Dubai United arab emiratesHotel-
IMPERIAL SUITE HOTELRolla Street Near Al Khaleej Bur DubaiHotel-
Al Jawhara Hotel ApartmentAl Jawhara Hotel Apartment Oppsite Deira City Centre Deira DubaiApartment-
Al Jawhara Metro hotelAl Jawhara Metro hotel Near to Union Metro Station Fishroundabout Deira DubaiHotel-
Moon Valley Hotel ApartmentsBank Street Opposite Bur Juman Mall Bur DubaiApartment-
Dubai Palm HotelAl Muteena Street DubaiHotel-
Rush Inn HotelKhalid Bin Walid Road Bur DubaiHotel-
Crystal Living CourtsAl Barsha Near The GreensApartment-
Oaks Liwa HeightsJumeirah Lakes TowersApartment-
Topaz Living CourtsAl Barsha Facing Mall of EmiratesApartment-
Opal Living CourtsAl Barsha Near Mall of The EmiratesApartment-
Savoy Park10 b Al Mankhoul StreetHotel-
Savoy Suites Hotel ApartmentsMankhool Bur DubaiApartment-
Savoy Crest Hotel ApartmentsOff Bank Street 18 Bur DubaiApartment-
Avenue HotelAl Rigga Road Opposite to ADCBHotel-
Orient Guest HouseHistoric Bastakiya Area Opposite Al Musalla P/office Al Fahidi StreetGuesthouse-
Arabian CourtyardAl Fahidi Street Bur DubaiApartment-
Landmark HotelAl Nasser Square Deira,Hotel-
York International HotelKhalid bin walid road Bur DubHotel-
Highland City HotelKhaleed Bin Waleed streetHotel-
Aluruba HotelSikkat Al Khail Street Al Rass United Arab EmiratesHotel-
Waterfront Hotel ApartmentsKhalid Bin Waleed Bank StreetApartment-
Dolphin Hotel ApartmentsKhalid Bin Al Waleed Street Bur DubaiApartment-
Jormand SuitesAl Raffa Street United Arab EmiratesHotel-
Arabian Park HotelAl Jadaf area near Al Wasl Hospital behind Dubai Police ClubHotel-
Al Shams Plaza Hotel & ApartmentOff Mankhool St - DubaiApartment-
Semiramis HotelAl rigga street DeiraHotel-
FLORA GRANDAl Rigga Street DeiraHotel-
Number One Tower SuitesSheikh Zayd RoadApartment-
Ramee Guestline Deira HotelNear Clock Tower Al Rigga StreetHotel-
Ramee Guestline Hotel Apt 2Behind New Spinney’s Next to Burjuman Shoping Mankhool Street BurdubaiHotel-
Ramee Royal HotelP.O. Box 26816, Khalid Bin Waleed St.Hotel-
Regent Palace HotelOpp. Burjuman Shopping Centre besides Khalid Bin Al Waleed Underground Dubai MetroStationHotel-
Regal plazaMankhool Road (Bur Dubai) Kalid Bin Waleed RoadHotel-
Regent Beach Resort1 Beach Road Open BeachHotel-
Ramee Guestline Hotel DubaiAl Rigga Street DeiraHotel-
St. George HotelAl Ras, Deira Baniyas RoadHotel-
Mövenpick Hotel Jumeirah BeachJumeirah Beach ResidenceHotel-
Cassells Al Barsha HotelAl Barsha 1, Shk Zayed RoadHotel-
Grand Midwest Bur Dubai Hotel ApartmentsBank Street Behinde Bur dubal Shopping MallApartment-
Coral Deira HotelAl Muraqqabat Street deira dubaiHotel-
Corp Executive Al BarshaAl Barsha 11Apartment-
Coral Oriental DubaiAl Naif Road Burj Nahar Roundabout DeiraApartment-
Coral Boutique Hotel & SpaAl Barsha Sheikh Zayed RoadApartment-
Coral Al Khoory Hotel ApartmentsAl Barsha Sheikh Zayed Road DubaiApartment-
GRAND CENTRAL HOTELAl Rigga Road, diera DubaiHotel-
Sandras InnAl naser Square, DieraHotel-
Khalidia Hotel ApartmentsAl Maktoum StreetApartment-
Ascott Park Place DubaiSheikh Zayed RoadHotel-
SUN AND SAND HOTELAl rigga Buteen, Near clock tower Deira, dubaiHotel-
Ramada Hotel Dubai4 A StreetHotel-
Dunes Hotel Apartments Oud MethaNear to American Hospital Oud MethaApartment-
Ramee Rose HotelTecomHotel-
Marina View Hotel ApartmentsApartment-
Miami HotelNaif Road, Deira Near U A E ExchangeHotel-
Coral Hotel AdenKhormaksar,Aden Republic of YemenHotel-
Dusit Princess City Centre DubaiGarhoud Road Deira Adjacent To The Etihad BuildinHotel-
Hallmark HotelAl Rigga StreetHotel77
Pacific HotelP.O.Box: 21423, DubaiHOTEL-
Fortune Classic Hotel ApartmentsDamascus Street near Airport Free ZoneAPARTMENT93
Ramee Rose HotelThe One Tower, Sheikh Zayed RdHotel-
Ewa Hotel DubaiAl Khaleej Road Near Al Baraha Hospital, DeiraHotel-
Fortune Boutique HotelBurj Nahar, near Naif Intersection, DeiraHOTEL73
Dubai's Jumairah Beach StudiosAlthaniya Street Al Manara, JumairahGUESTHOUSE-
AlHamra Hotel DubaiDeira - Abu Baker Al Siddique st. Near Clock TowerHOTEL-
Coral Boutique VillasAl BarshaHOTEL-
Marmara Hotel ApartmentsAl Barsha 1 PO Box 63907HOTEL-
Savoy Central ApartmentsAl Rolla RoadApartment-
CORP Executive Al Khoory Hotel – Al Wasl4 Al Wasl RoadHotel-
Fortune Plaza HotelAl Qasis DubaiHOTEL-
  • Dar Al Sondos Hotel Apartments by Le Meridien is part of the Starwood properties in Dubai. Located on Rolla street in Bur Dubai, the apartments are lovely self-contained units with a kitchenette, cable TV, IDD facilities and a lovely bathroom. Prices are from AED 300 - 500 per night (80 - 140 US dollar) for an apartment for two. A great bargain in the expensive city.

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafés are fairly common in the larger cities, and web censorship is at times odd, but rarely obtrusive. Free wifi is rolled out over the country, starting with Abu Dhabi en Dubai in 2014 and 2015, and many places like hotels, restaurants, bars and coffee places have free wifi as well.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The country code is 971. Emergency numbers include 999 (police), 998 (ambulance) and 997 (fire), though the general 112 number can be used as well.

The mobile phone network uses the GSM technology and use is widespread. The format for dialing is: +971-#-### ####, where the first "#" designates the area code. Key area codes include Dubai (4), Sharjah (6) and Abu Dhabi (2). Calls to mobile phones use the operator's area codes: (50/56) for Etisalat and (55) for Du.

If you bring your own cellphone, be sure to switch off roaming to avoid high costs, or otherwise purchase a local SIM card from Du or Etisalat. You need your passport with valid visa to purchase the SIM card.

Post

Emirates Post provides services in the country. It's fairly affordable and reliable and many post offices keep long hours from Saturday to Thursday, usually from around 7:30am to 8:00pm or even a little later. Most are closed on Fridays, though some are open for a few hours. If you want to send packages internationally, you might want to use companies like DHL, TNT, FedEx or UPS, as they are fast, reliable and competitively priced. A good alternative is the country's own Empost UAE.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 25.27087
  • Longitude: 55.309212

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This is version 39. Last edited at 7:39 on Jul 7, 14 by Utrecht. 157 articles link to this page.

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