Dubai: Top Destination on Travel Map of the World
Planning a trip to Dubai
Dubai has established itself as one of the top tourist destination of the world. Dubai city is part of United Arab Emirates (UAE). Dubai is also organizing Dubai Shopping Festival 2020. Later this year Dubai EXPO 2020 is also coming up. Dubai International airport (DXB) is one of the busiest airports in the world. Surprisingly, the loacals constitute only 12% of the population. More than 50% are Indians and others include people from Pakistan, Bangladesh and other countries. It doesn’t grow anything but the best of everything is imported and made available there. Presently the construction is in full swing there. There are many tourist attractions which include:
- Dubai City Tour
It’s a 2-3 hours tour of city, mostly by sitting inside your vehicle. The brief about the city is given by guide from time to time. It stops at 2-3 locations for phot shoot. It usually covers Presidential palaces of rulers and their families, Atlantis Hotel, Hotel Burj Al Arab, Palm Jumeirah, Burj Khalifa from road, other buildings, Dragon Mall etc. For happenings in the city download Dubai Calender App from Google Play Store. (Time to spend: 4 hrs)
- Palm Jumeirah
The manmade island in the form of palm tree is designed to give sea facing access to all property holders. All the villas are connected with the road symbolising trunk of palm tree through the roads symbolising the leaves. Kudos to its great shape and great vision! (Time to spend: 1 hr)
- Burj Al Arab, a 7* hotel
The hotel stands on the manmade island which is reclaimed from the sea. It is one of the 7 star hotels in the world. However, the tourist could see it only from outside. (Time to spend: 1 hr)
- Dubai Mall, one of the biggest malls in the world
The ambience of Dubai Mall is good. It has show rooms of all the famous brands on this planet. There are regular discounts and offers for the shoppers. The discounts range from 10-70% on various brands. The Lower Ground floor has kiosks selling items at cheap prices as well. The range for these items is from 5 AED onwards. People buy souvenir and gifts for their loved ones from there. It also houses ice skating ring and aquarium. The fishes are visible from the glass wall in the shopping mall. (Time to spend: 6 hrs)
- Burj Khalifa, the biggest manmade structure in the world with height of 828 metres
The front of Burj Khalifa is seen from Dubai Mall where electronic graffiti is visible from time to time with messages. The tourists take time to snap photographs there. There are many eating outlets there. Close by is the food court of Dubai Mall.(Time to spend: 2 hrs)
- Fountain Show
It’s a musical fountain show where the water rises as per the music and make different patterns. The effect by the lights of different colours is attractive. One can see the fountain show for free while visiting Dubai Mall. The show starts at 6pm for 3 minutes followed by new song every half an hour.(Time to spend: 1 hr)
- La Mer Beach
Its a private beach where one can enjoy for free. However, only swimwears are allowed to go into water. There are changing enclosures for free as well as paid. Changing is not allowed in washrooms. The beach also has a lot of restaurants and shopping options. The beach is clean with white sand and clean and clear water. One can see the small fishes towards the shore as well. Water sports are also available.(Time to spend: 4 hrs)
- Desert Safari
It’s a travel to Arabian Desert by vehicle. The tourists are picked up from hotels and collected at the entrance to desert safari. All are shifted to desert camp by vehicles through the ups and downs of sand dunes. Dinner is arranged there. They call it BBQ dinner but it’s actually a normal buffet dinner. There are dancing shows by local artists including belly dance. (Time to spend: 4 hrs)
- Marina Dhow Cruise
A dinner is planned at a boat having tables at ground level and roof top. The tourists are picked up from respective hotels and taken to sea area for boarding into the boat. They call is Cruise but it’s very small. The buffet dinner is made available. There are dancing shows as well. The boat takes a trip in the Arabian sea. The whole program is for 2 hrs. Some people may feel sea sickness when the boat is taken towards deep sea. The view of the surrounding buildings is very good and soothing.(Time to spend: 3 hrs)
- Miracle Garden
A beautiful place to refresh you in the midst of flowers of different kinds, miracle Garden is a marvel of Dubai. Various characters are displayed through plants and flowers. Palaces, faces, patterns etc are beautifully carved out of natural plants. The flowers are placed astonishingly with creative ideas with jaw dropping awe. (Time to spend: 2 hrs)
- Gold Souk Market
Plenty of gold ornaments with numerous designs are on display at the jewellery shops at Gold Souk Market. The purity of the gold is World renowned. One can bargain on the making charges, which ranges from 5 AED per gram to 20 AED per gram depending on design. Any purchase above 250 AED is eligible for tax refund for tourists at Dubai airport. Tax refund slip is to be collected from the seller and claimed at airport. Jewellery can be purchased only for personal use. For more jewellery the same has to be declared at airport for levying import duty.(Time to spend: 2 hrs)
- Meena Bazaar Market
The Meena Bazaar Market is a common shopping destination in Dubai for tourists where you find everything including gold. You can bargain on rates. There are shops like “1 to 10” where each item costs from 1 AED to 10 AED. These shops are famous among tourists for buying souvenirs for their families and friends. (Time to spend: 3 hrs)
- Dubai Dolphinarium
Dubai Dolphinarium is established at Children’s City Park. The show is for appx 40 minutes. During the show different stunts are performed by dolphins and seal with their trainers. There are general and VIP seats. A painting is made by dolphins, which is auctioned then and there. One can click photographs with dolphins on extra payment. (Time to spend: 2 hrs)
- Global Village
Global village is an exhibition cum sale of products from various countries around the world. You get to see their culture through their dances and displays. The food from different countries also find place there. It attracts tourist’s crowd as well as locals who are looking for products or food of a particular country. There is a lot of bargaining potential. 30-50% could be bargained on various items. (Time to spend: 6 hrs)
- Bollywood Park Dubai
There are many attractions at this theme park as follows:
- Don Chase Show: A virtual reality experience of chasing of Don. Rating 2.5/5
- Lagaan Cricket Show: A virtual reality roller coaster ride without physical movements. The best experience for those who can’t go on roller coaster ride due to health or fear. Excellent, life time experience. Rating: 5/5
- Krish Show: A virtual reality show with great adventures. Rating: 4/5
- Ra-One Show: A virtual reality show with feeling of involvement in the game. Rating: 3/5
- Sholay Show: A virtual reality gaming experience with shooting skills. Rating: 3/5
- Live performances by various artistes at different locations.
- Various Bollywood shopping merchandise for different characters.
- Good Indian street food available at reasonable prices.
- Good Photography locations.
- Other shows on different themes are also organised from time to time.
(Time to spend: 8 hrs)
- Excursion to full day Abu Dhabi City Tour
It takes appx 2 hrs to reach Abu Dhabi from Dubai. Abu Dhabi is spacious and is famous for high rise buildings, Louvre Museum, Grand Mosque and palaces. (Time to spend: 2 hrs)
- Warner Bros Theme Park
The Warner Bros Theme Park is on the way to Abu Dhabi near Farrari World Theme Park. It contains many rides and virtual reality shows. The Superman Show is good. You need to spend a whole day there as there are long queues for each ride and waiting time is from 30-60 minutes. It has big statues of your favourite super hero from justice league. You also get chance to meet superheroes live and take photographs, of course through queue! (Time to spend: 8 hrs)
- Farrari World Theme Park
Its also on the way to Abu Dhabi near Warner Bros. It also has many rides with long queues. Need full day to enjoy all rides.(Time to spend: 8 hrs)
Important things to keep in mind:
- Get international roaming activated in your mobiles. All the operators have tie ups with local operators for mobile communication. The services of Airtel are hopeless. Better to go with Vodafone or Jio.
- Download offline map of Dubai from Google Play Store.
- Download other apps on Dubai from Google Play Store for information on plenty of things about Dubai.
- Most airlines allow 30 kg checked in luggage and 7 kg hand baggage. Recheck with your airline.
- Visa could be applied online through various agents or local agent for 30 days if going on short visit.
- If children below 12 years are going without their parents then additional visa for any one of the parent is also to be applied compulsorily.
- “Ok to board” may be required for passport having”ECR” stamp in their passport.
- Fresh photo showing 70% of face will be required for Dubai visa.
- Dubai has a right hand drive system. It is better not to try driving there if you are not comfortable with it.
- Road crossing must be from Zebra crossing only or you may have to pay hefty fines.
- Making loud noise, blowing horn, shouting in public etc is a no-no.
- Don’t announce your bad reviews on anything in public or you may be in trouble.
- If you are vegetarian, either carry your own arrangements or be ready to face difficulty in buffet meals at all places. Or search for vegetarian restaurants.
- Carry sufficient currency in cash as per your requirement. Dubai currency name is Dirham (AED). One AED (Dirham) is equal to INR 20 (Indian Rupee). However, as per their country, it is cheap and you may get a meal for 10 AED also. Though burger costs 40 AED in January 2020.
- Water bottles are usually provided in two half litres per hotel room or apartment per day. However, you may buy 1 litre water bottle for 1 AED from supermarket (mostly open 24*7) or from eatary for 10 AED. So it is better to carry your own half litre bottle whereever you go.
- At most of the paid theme parks, only half litre water bottle is allowed. No other eatables are permitted.
- Taxi services are good and well organized. HOHO (Hop On Hop Off) busses are also available for city tour. Local busses and metro trains are also available as public transport. However, the timings and distances have to be checked from the location of your hotel.
- VIP culture is prevalent for paid shows and paid theme parks. Check your requirements before booking.
- Avoid public display of affection even among close relationships.
- Bargaining can be done at most of the places of shopping including Gold Souq market.
- CCTV cameras are placed everywhere so be careful in your behaviour and dealing.
- There are tough rules for criminals. So avoid involvement in any unlawful activity including shoplifting.
- Since Dubai temperature is very high during summers and pleasent weather during winters, it is advisable to wear full clothes to save yourself from extreme heat as well as cold and to avoid tanning of skin.
- The number of television channels is limited which include news and entertainment.
- Duty free shops are available at Dubai airport for the travellers.