stock up with alcohol at the airport
If you like a drink then you can buy alcohol at the airport once you have passed customs and collected your baggage. There is a duty free shop just before you leave air side so get stocked up as you won't find price's this cheap anywhere else in Dubai.
Women: Even though you'll see Western women running around Dubai wearing exactly what they'd wear in London, Chicago, or Sydney, do please take the local Muslim population into consideration by NOT wearing spaghetti straps, sleeveless dresses or blouses, shorts, or two-piece bathing suits. You can get by with a bikini on a private beach owned by a 5-starr hotel, but otherwise, never.
Men: Do not wear shorts except when obviously participating in a sport, and stay away from tank-tops as well.
Both: Remember, Dubai, for all its 21st century trappings, is still a predominately Muslim city. The way non-Muslims dress is seen as highly provocative and morally repugnant. Frankly put, women who dress this way are seen as being very little more respectable than a whore.
Although many Emiratis themselves are very sophisticated and could care less how visitors dress, a large percentage of the resident population comes from other much more conservative Muslim countries where such tolerance is unknown.
DON'T HAVE THE HEART TO LEAVE JUST YET...
I think it's fair to say that most of the dreamers who come to The Majlis, do so more for the experience than the art. Not to say that the paintings here aren't any good. In fact, it's an eclectic collection of reprints, originals and sculptures, with a heavy Oriental accent. The Majlis encourages local talent a great deal, and are always open to amateurs bringing in their stuff as well. Many expats residing in Dubai have even held their first exhibitions at this gallery.
You really oughta' make it down here on your next trip, if not for anything else, then atleast because it's a personal favourite of mine :)
"You belong in the City" - it's ALL here!
Whether you're a resident of Dubai or visiting the city for a holiday, Deira City Centre has plenty to offer. Shopping malls are the only escape from the summer heat for us Dubai residents, so we have learnt quickly to tell the good ones from the "unworthy" ones!
Even if I'm not planning on shopping, it's always a great place to meet friends for lunch, go to the cinema or just sit in a cafe and practice people-watching; one of our favourite pastimes in Dubai!
The mall is one of the leading shopping destinations in the entire Gulf. The complex has over 300 shops and 1.2 million sq.ft. of retail space. The (free) car park has space for 6,000 cars. Magic Planet - indoor entertainment centre; with video games & rides to keep nagging kids entertained! Adjacent there's a Food Court with the usual: McDonald's, KFC & Burger King, Chinese, etc. As far as food courts go it's generally what you'd expect: noisy rides, screaming children & stressed waiters.
You'll also find the UAE's leading Book & Stationary Store: Magrudy's here.
For all your electronics-needs with computers, audio, stereo, cameras, etc. visit Plug Ins Electronix.
CityWalk comprises of 13 restaurants & cafes.
There's also the 11-screen CineStar Cinema and Virgin Megastore for all music lovers! This part of the mall has recently (2007/2008) been rennovated & now has even more shops.
The mall also features a number of themed courtyards: the Jewellery Court, Textile Court & Arabian Treasures. TIP: However, these courts definitely charge tourist-prices, and the exact same jewellery, souvenirs & textiles can be bought over 50% cheaper in the Gold Souk, Karama Shopping Strip & Textile Souk.
A post office, money exchange & pharmacy are located on the lower level of the Centre Court.
The mall also features a HUGE supermarket called Carrefour, where visitors can shop for groceries, clothes, cosmetics & perfumes, cigarettes & more.
NOTE: Alcohol is not available in this or any other supermarket. Alcohol can only be purchased with a licence (available to UAE residents) in specific liquor stores. Non-residents can purchase alcohol in the airport's Duty Free section only.
Update Feb. 2008: The mall's new extension is open with "New Look", "Crispy Creme", "Cool Cat" and many fabulous restaurants (try Bella Donna Italian Rest.)! There's something for every taste & every budget... There are over 300 shops, so if you cannot find what you want, you cannot be helped!
Opening Hours: Saturday - Tuesday 10:00am - 10:00pm.
Wednesday - Friday 10:00am - midnight.
UPDATE: Since January 2008 a smoking ban has come into effect in Dubai's shopping malls.
The Public Transport System is horrible
The bus system is the cheapest way of travelling around Dubai. Just to try it out, I used them a few times. The only positive point is the quality of the busses, ie they are using air-conditioned Mercedes busses.
- The stops are difficult to find and reach and sometimes there is no indication on the street that there is a bus stop here.
- The schedules mentioned on their website and/or on the bus stations are far from beeing accurate, since the busses are almost always late.
- The intervals between busses are too long which causes overcrowded busses especially during rush hours.
- The drivers are usually unfriendly and stressed. (I found one exception though, when the driver was very friendly)
- There are no bus lanes, so you are stuck in the traffic jam like everyone else.