If you are visiting Dubai During late may to october, this is the hottest months in dubai, where the temperature rises up to 55 degrees celsius (140 fahrenheit), it is best to bring sun screen lotions (preferably the higher SPF's of 50 to 120) to put into your face, neck, upper back and arms as to prevent any sunburn on these areas and off course the important hat and eye shades (which I have separate tips for them). you can just buy the sunscreen lotion at any supermarkets and stores in dubai or just bring one.
Plus don't forget to bring lip balm to protect your lips from dryness too.
if you plan to swim along the beaches of dubai or have a day at wild wadi waterpark in Jumeirah Hotel or at Aquaventure Resort in Atlantis Hotel or go to Yas Waterpark in Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, You will need a good and tough waterproof camera to take pictures and videos of your activities and there are man good waterproof all weather cameras like the panasonic lumix, the olympus tough, the canon d20 or if you have the dough, get a GO PRO sports camera and video.
Nothing beats taking a video while in the water and then viewing your recordings on a big LED tv.
If you are the intrepid shooter of lots of films and videos on your travels, then you must have a powerful optical zoom camera like a canon sx50 (which has a 50x optical zoom) or a nikon coolpix 510 (42x optical zoom). They are less bulky than the DSLR cameras and the zoom capacity lets you view and shoot objects and pretty girls from far away. Also have the new large capacity SDXC cards, which are better than the regular SDHC cards which can hold only up to 32 gigabytes of memory as compared to the SDXC cards which now have up to 256 Gigabytes of memories. perfect for shooting full hd videos and taking pictures at the same time as the new cameras like the canon sx50 and olympus sz-31 MR can do.
also bring the new USB powerbank storage device (preferably the 8,400 mAH up to 10,000 mAH variety so that you can do multiple recharges on camera battery before recharging your USB powerbank), which can easily recharge your camera battery plus smart phone and tablet devices.
When visting the United Arab Emirates, you must bring light colored shirts so as to deflect the rays of the sun as it can get really hot since this area is an arid desert after all. you can use your walking shorts instead of jeans and slacks but you will not be allowed to enter mosques as they have a strict dress code. Don't wear leather shoes specially if you are in a desert tour or safari as it would be hard to walk with the leather shoes.
you can also bring a portable umbrella if you want (it rarely rains in dubai) primarily as a shield against the heat of the sun and also to prevent sunburned skin around the arms and neck area.
Everyone Knows that Dubai is along the Harsh Desert of Arabia and that You can get sun burned easily even if you have brought sun tans along if you don't cover your head with a hat of a cap as 20% of liquid loss by the body is via the head. plus to avoid heat stroke as the suns rays penetrate your exposed hair.
Also you need to have sunglasses as to protect your eyes from the blinding heat here specially during the early to late afternoon, where the temperature is high. the sunglasses will protect your eyesight from dizziness and heat blindness.
Luggage and bags:
Dubai is known worldwide as a shoppers haven in the middle east, with low taxes on goods and a sheer variety of International Brands having a prescence at Dubai and some of these are chaper to buy than their home countries due to a low 5% import tax levied on foreign imports (in lieu of sales tax or Value Added Tax). So if you will be buying lacoste, burberry's. louis vuitton's, hermes', bulgari, etc. the cost will be way cheaper than in europe or in the USA since the import tax is less than the avarage 9% sales tax and 20% VAT levied on goods in the USA and Europe.
So if you are the shopping type like us, have a big lightweight luggage and then the foldable stroller type hand carry luggage as extra that can fit in your big luggage
Luggage and bags:
An insulated "freezer-bag" for keeping your food & drinks cool is always useful when going into the desert or to a public beach. (these bags can be purchased at most supermarkets in the freezer section)
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Dubai is very liberal, but it's still a Muslim city: Keep this 1 Golden Rule in mind:
WHAT TO WEAR DEPENDS ON WHERE YOU ARE GOING.
M E N should not wear shorts unless they are at the beach. Long, light trousers and t-shirts/shirts with collar are appropriate for malls, museums, souks, etc.
W O M E N, it's obviously more complicated:
When dining/partying at clubs & Western restaurants: Pretty much anything goes.
In malls & "Western" areas: knee-length skirts & tops that cover the shoulders (and stomach) & are not too deep-cut are fine.
When visiting souks, mosques or the museum: it's best to wear long skirts or trousers & loose tops to cover down to the elbows as not to offend anyone & not to attract any unwanted attention.
Golden Rule No. 2: Ladies, if you show too much skin, everyone will think you're a prostitute.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: B.Y.O. Sun Lotion! Sun lotion is only used by tourists and Western expatriates in the UAE (Arabs & Asians generally bleach their skin to become whiter, whilst we spend hours trying to tan... crazy world) Therefore, sun lotion is relatively expensive in Dubai and I suggest bringing your own from home.
Also, it can be quite windy at Dubai beaches, which dries-out the skin; dry skin is the main reason we get sunburn. For that reason, sun tanning OILS actually prevent sunburn better than high-factor white, sticky lotions. (I recommend Hawaiian Tropic tanning oils)
Photo Equipment: Don't take your brand-new, expensive, digital camera-gear to the beach or desert with you unless you have a seal-tight carrying case/bag for it... the sand gets everywhere and can really mess-up your equipment ;-)
photo equipment, that is!!!
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: A good pair of sunglasses is a must (also for children!) as well as a wide-rimmed hat. Sunglasses can also help to keep the sand out of your eyes... it get's quite windy.
TIP for Women: Instead of going back to the hotel & changing every few hours, to be on the safe side: wear long skirts or light trousers & tops that cover the shoulders. I *always* carry a light cardigan or shawl / pashmina with me to cover my shoulders if I should decide to visit a more "conservative" area... it's also useful to keep warm, as the air-conditioning in malls & restaurants can be freezing cold!
Miscellaneous: Electricity: 220V, 50Hz .
Plugs/Socket: 3 rectangular pins (exactly the same as in the UK)
JULY 2008: PUBLIC DECENCY LAWS in the UAE: http://www.gulfnews.com/gngalleries/galleries/10227399.html
--> UPDATE August 2009: Dubai's shopping malls have now introduced flyers & posters requesting shoppers to dress appropriately. FULL STORY: http://www.gulfnews.com/nation/Society/10338386.html
Have several shirts & trousers, as if you visit in summer, you will surely need to shower & change more than once!
You should also bring a sunhat & sunglasses, the latter is handy even in winter as the sun is quite bright even when it's cloudy!!
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Sunblock, moisturiser
Photo Equipment: Carry extra memory & your battery charger for your digital camera. I got so carried away clicking away at the various, funky skyscrapers & the Dubai Museum exhibits, that my battery nearly ran out. From past trips I felt a single charge should last enough for 5 days & so I did not take my charger!
Also, don't forget that this is a desert, hence carry good cases to protect your camera from a freak sandstorm!
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: The beaches are nice & welcoming, so don't forget to take your swimming kit & towels along. Some hotels offer them, and others charge for beach towels. Ideally buy lifeventure antibacterial towels as these are very compact - ideal for travelling.
Luggage and bags:
Whether you're planning a day-trip or overnight stay in the desert, there are certain things you need to take with you. Here's what we take with us every time. Many of these things are available in supermarkets, at petrol stations or at Dubai's DIY store ACE Hardware: http://www.aceuae.com/
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Desert for a DAY-TRIP:
> Water! Plenty of H2O for you & also for your car in case it overheats.
> First Aid Kit: bandages, disinfectant spray, burn cream, etc.
> BBQ with coals & lighter fluid.
> Sports/Electrolyte Drinks: by sweating your body doesn't only loose water but also vital salts & minerals. Gatorade, Isostar or similar will help combat any nausea or sun stroke.
> Multiple fully-charged mobile phones with good coverage.
> Cooler box: for drinks & to keep BBQ foods (meat, etc.) cool & fresh.
> Sun lotion (you won't need repellent as there aren't many mosquitoes)
> Toilet roll/wet wipes: dig a small hole, do your business and cover it up with sand to avoid certain "odours" wafting through your campsite.
> Any kind of hat (baseball cap, etc.) & sunglasses.
> Tow ropes: Make sure at least 2 persons have a set each.
> Balloon-air-jack for the sand (punctures are common & any normal jack will, of course, sink!)
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: OVERNIGHT Camping Trip:
If you're staying for the night, take additionally:
> Mats/Blankets for sitting on.
> Fire wood! there is no wood in the desert, so if you want a camp fire...
> Lights! Torches, storm candles, anything that will help you find your way in the dark.
> A change of clothes (in case of spillage, stinkeage, etc… haha!)
> A pair of good walking shoes (you may not get far in flip-flops)
> Sleeping bags & a sturdy tent: it can get very windy in the desert & in the winter months night-time temperatures drop down to 5-10 degrees Celsius.
> Batteries & a radio: we all know what happens if you leave your car-radio on all night...
> A canister of petrol (just in case...)
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: And finally...
> Rubbish Bags: PLEASE take your rubbish home with you so you don't affect local wildlife & so the next person can also enjoy the beauty of the desert. Also, hundreds of camels & gazelles starve to death every year after nibbling on plastic bags left in the desert, that then solidify in their stomachs and cause a slow, miserable death.
FULL STORY HERE: http://www3.gulfnews.com/nation/General/10184326.html
Miscellaneous: > If you are planning a serious off-roading trip, then you might want to consider investing in a GPS sytem for your car. Over the past few years most major roads and even well-known desert tracks & common meeting points have been mapped for GPS.
Luggage and bags:
a small bag or backpack for the daily trips is good!
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: - You will def. not need an umbrella ;) it only rains here a few days a year.
- havaianas/flip flops..not sure how you call it...but you definitely need some open shoes for the hot weather
- at night people like to dress up to go out for dinner so some nice shoes are an advantage
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: - sunblock is very very important...even more if you come from a cold country where sun doesn't come out too often. Here, some of the day, when it's cloudy people think that there's not need for suncream...don't leave home without it! Really...otherwise you might get very red instead of tanned ;)
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: - don't forget your swimmers!!! and a towel/pareo/canga to lay on at the beach
Luggage and bags: I flew from Perth. Australia to Hamburg via Dubai. The overnight stop in Dubai was gladly welcome after the 12 hour flight from Perth. Main luggage are sent straight through to Hamburg. You don't get to pick it up and take it with you in Dubai. Much more convenient of course but passengers in transit in Dubai should pack a small overnight bag with essentials (toiletries, change of underwear, etc) for the overnight stay.
Luggage and bags:
Carrying a decent tote is always worthwhile when visiting souks or malls, to avoid having so many bags. The Carrefours shopping bag for 2DH is a cheap souvenir and useful, too. Pack an extra, collapsible suitcase for purchases!
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: We were there in summer: needed more sandals, more capris (as a woman I was just uncomfortable wearing shorts, tho' others did) and more packable coverups for malls with AC on full blast! I had only taken 1/1 pair of each. Covering up is not required except for mosque, but even short sleeves and capris got some stares...
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Keep some toilet paper in your tote if you are going to "heritage" sites or shops off the beaten track, as it may not be provided.
Photo Equipment: Batteries were plentiful tho' expensive.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Must wear sandals on beach or risk burning bottoms of feet (summer!) Portable battery-powered fans (Walgreens, Brookstone, Sharper Image, etc.) were invaluable for desert dining and day to day, as were cheap folding Chinese fans. Max SPF sunscreen a must. Hang-gliding and boating available.
Miscellaneous: Floppy hat was useful. Wet washcloth in small plastic bag was comforting. As a Western woman with light hair, I immediately realized I would not fit in! Stares but no comments, and it seemed most who worked in shops, hotels, restaurants, etc., were not from Dubai. Can ski at Ski Dubai (gear for rent) Lots of spas. Zoo a major disappointment. Some history/museums. No art museums, no theatre.
Luggage and bags:
A large suitcase- you're sure to buy....
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Absorbent clothes are best- especially . cotton.
A shawl or cardigan may be needed in winter months
Take more clothes especially underwear than you think you'll need . The humidity means clothes take so long to dry, that you may end up having to wear damp undies!
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Most things can be purchased locally. re-medication see colin_ bramso's warning tip.
Photo Equipment: You may end up buying the latest equipment. Everything is here.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Swimming outfits, sunglasses, sandals and suntan lotion an absolute must
Wear something light but bring a jacket in winter (December – February). A pair of sunglasses and a cap would also be good as the sun can be very strong. Bring a pair of nice walking shoes – you’ll need them to explore the shopping districts of Deira and the heritage areas along the creek.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Bring lots of water anytime. In winter, you’ll need it because the dry weather will take its toll on you. In the summer – need I say more? Bring along some lip balm as lips tend to crack because of the dry weather. Bring some skin moisturizer too (but you won’t need this much in the summer months!)
Photo Equipment: Bring a camera and snap it all the way. However avoid using it during a sandstorm or a dusty day, because sand may get trapped in the lense!
Miscellaneous: Bring lots of the local currency – cost of living is high. Taxi and food are expensive and you’ll need them a lot when you are here!
Luggage and bags:
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: If running short of these items...shopping is a delight in Dubai. Rather bring less with you so you can fill up your suitcases with real bargains.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Easily Available
Photo Equipment: NO PROBLEM WITH THIS....AS THE LATEST IS AVAILABLE HERE AT A BETTER PRICE THAN BACK HOME.