Take notes ladies & gentlemen –
Last week I shared your MUST DO bucket list for Dubai & in order to keep that list as short as possible I left out a lot of tips, tricks, & notes to bring with you.
Here are your 10 Vacation Notes to get through a trip to Dubai in the best way possible! Enjoy!
10 Dubai Vacation Tips:
1: Buy alcohol in Duty Free at the Airport
Buy alcohol in Duty Free at the airport. This is an absolute must. Buy as much as you think you’ll drink… & then some. There’s a limit to the amount of alcohol you can buy in Duty Free and bring into the country. The person at the counter will know the amount, so ask them.
2: Get a SIM Card
Have at least one person in your group get a SIM card so you have a phone. It’s pretty affordable & worth it. Google maps is your best friend while in Dubai, so having a phone is super helpful. The two major carriers to look out for while you’re in the airport are Du & Etisalat. I suggest Etisalat, Du had this weird Data or Voice option that really screwed me out of $$$$ while I was there. And I suggest getting the SIM card at the airport before you do anything else.
3: Don’t go to Dubai for a party
DON’T go to Dubai for a party. Dubai is not a place to go drinking, dancing & partying. It just isn’t. You can party if you want to, but it’s not going to be nearly as good of an experience as it would be somewhere else – you’ll spend WAY more money than it’s worth. Remember, Dubai is a Muslim country, it wasn’t created for alcohol <– Go with that mindset. You go to Dubai for shopping, the desert & jaw dropping buildings – not parties.
4: Plan around THIS list
I HIGHLY recommend doing everything on this list, and for any spare time you have – stay in your hotel… LOL! I say that because the hotels in Dubai are G R A N D and G O R G E O U S. Dubai puts a ton of pride in their hotels – by you simply staying in one, you’re already on a vacation. Stick to the list, and stick to exploring your hotel.
5: Dubai has rules, but don’t freak out about them
Dubai has rules, but you don’t need to freak out about them. Just don’t do cocaine, don’t rape anyone, don’t talk about their King, don’t have sex in The Dubai Mall and don’t walk around naked. In America, when I see people talking about Dubai on TV, they’re always mentioning the “rules”. There IS rules, and they are super strict IF you break them. But act conservatively and respect everyone – there’s absolutely nothing to be afraid of. Like I’ve said over and over again, living in Dubai was the safest I’ve ever felt. I absolutely love that they have major rules AND follow them. Well done Dubai, well done. (America gets their panties in a bundle over spilled milk *eye roll*).
6: Do NOT go in the summer
Don’t go in the summer. It’s fucking hot. I’d say May – August are probably off limits. December – March are the best.
7: Check for Religious Holidays
Check for Religious holidays! If you make the mistake of going to Dubai in the summer, you’ll probably also be there during Ramadan. I loved experiencing Ramadan, however – No eating, no drinking, no touching, no music, no restaurants. Unless you want to become “one” with the Muslim community, avoid going during this time. ALSO, they have holidays spread throughout the year that are “dry”. Make sure you know those dates too. (I saw on the Real Housewives they went during a dry time and were trying to act like it’s all cool, but that would be a total bummer if it’s your vacation… or at least I think so).
8: Plan, plan, plan
Plan ahead. There’s nothing wrong with making all your plans ahead of time, and when vacationing in Dubai –> that’s a fantastic idea. Listen, Dubai is confused. There are a ton of people that don’t know what the hell their doing – so if you casually “wing it” for a day and don’t know what you’re doing.. You’ll end up EXTREMELY frustrated. (Trust me.) Even after living there for a year, I would rarely leave the house without an exact plan. Know your locations so you can specifically tell a cab driver, even better: know large landmarks NEAR your destination, or the exact hotel the restaurant you’re going to is in. Also, know your timing, have your tickets, book your excursions… Basically – know your shit inside & out. Don’t assume you can ask someone something and they’ll tell you accurate information, that just doesn’t happen.
9: Rent a car, and be prepared to get lost
If you rent a car (which you should for Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque day), prepare to get lost. Their roads are easy to drive & I feel pretty safe, BUT there are no U-Turns. If you miss a turn – you’ll have a long detour. Use Google Maps. And take your time. Watch out for those expensive speeding cameras too! (FYI – the Mosque is actually pretty easy to get to…)
10: Expect to pay more than you budget
Have fun! Dubai is built for tourism, stick to the tourist things and you’ll have an awesome time. Next time I go, I’ll follow my own advice & act like I’ve never been before – I think that would bring out an entirely different perspective.
Adventurous people, I’m seeing holidays are in full throttle this summer… Lot’s of travel happening on the Instagram pages. Where’s everyone headed?
I’m always brainstorming the next destination on my travel agenda…
As always, let me know if you have any questions for traveling in the Middle East, I’d be happy to answer!
Be thoughtful today!