As you approach the public boat stop along the creek to catch a shuttle across, you will undoubtedly be given the opportunity to cross in a private boat. The trip on a public boat is very quick, and they only take as many passengers as can be seated, so unless you dislike sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with the locals, turn down the boat touts.
Unique Suggestions: Negotiate the fare.
Fun Alternatives: Take the public boats instead.
Scuba Diving in Dubai
Not exactly a trap - just a warning.
Lots of people like to learn scuba diving on holiday, and experienced divers can't pass up the opportunity to get in the water, but because of all the offshore construction work (Palm Island, and now "the World" islands), the dive sites have been trashed by the dredgers and fleets of supply boats. There aren't any coral reefs - its all wreck dives off the Dubai coast. Sadly, most of these are unaccessible now.
Its great to do a PADI course in 5* luxury surroundings, but if you're new to diving, your open water dives are not going to be that great, and experienced divers will probably be disappointed.
Unique Suggestions: The dive centres (Pavilion at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Al Boom Marine) obviously know the local sites aren't up to standard, although they are still using a couple of them, but they are now offering excursions to the east coast (about an hour and a half drive) and Musandam (around two hours drive to Dibba then a long boat ride to the dive sites).
We would never discourage anyone from learning to scuba dive, but you do need to be aware that the visibility is pretty awful now (it was never that reliable anyway!).
Fun Alternatives: Diving off the east coast (Khor Fakkan / Fujeirah) and Musandam (Oman) is marvellous. Clear, calm, warm blue sea (most of the time), good visibility and a wonderful variety of marine life. If you really want to dive in the UAE, make the effort to get up early and go on a trip to the Indian Ocean on the east coast. We’ve had dives that rival the Maldives here!
- Diving and Snorkeling
Dubai Shopping Festival, a disappointing event.
A event that is exaggerated to make money and entrap tourists.
Its true, you might be able to find a few things cheeper than normal. Much of it is not worth buying anyway.
The Festival city is a waste of time to me.
The idea with it is good enough, but the final outcome disappointing. Its meant to have different sections with things and food from different countries - however, most of it was like going to a cheap market as Karama.
Unique Suggestions: Dont go to Dubai for the festival only, thinking youll make lots of good bargains.
Fun Alternatives: Dubai is under construction everywhere - Festival City as well, so dont despair, changes are on their way. Im sure it will be an amazing place with lots of entertainment and cultural enrichment within a few years.
- Theme Park Trips
Currency exchange rates
n Dubai the currency exchange is no problem at all. But you have to make sure about the conversion rate being used. I have seen that the conversion rates used by all banks at airport are the best.I have also been to currency exchanges in Bur Dubai and found their conversion rates lesser then the ones offered by the banks at airport.
Unique Suggestions: I always prefer to get currency exchanged at airport. And I would also suggest others to use currency exchanged facilities offered by banks such as Emirates Bank and National Bank of Dubai at airport.
Internet Cafe charges
There are many internet cafes in Dubai. Their per hour rate vary from AED 2 to AED 30. This tourist trap is about internet cafes charging AED 2.
I entered to this internet cafe charging AED 2 and started using internet. The browsing speed was very bad and PC was infected with viruses. Most of the programs were corrupt are it was not possible to use Internet. After efforts of 10 minutes I decided to leave. When i came to payment counter to inform about problem and my decision to leave , the owner told me to pay AED 5 for "internet usage".
When I told him about the displayed rate of AED2 per hour then he smiled and then said okay give me AED2. I told him that it was just for 10 minutes and I was not even able to use internet then for what he was charging me money. Then he agreed and came out of this cafe.
Unique Suggestions: If you also face such situation then do not pay any money. And make sure whatever you are paying is according to their displayed rate.
Fun Alternatives: An alternative would be to try another internet cafe. The standard rate is AED 5 in most of the good internet cafes. Their service and browsing speed would be excellent and your PC would have all the latest services such as webcam, printer and scanner available for use.
- Budget Travel
- Business Travel
- Study Abroad
When I travel, I depend on the internet to communicate with family back home. The internet service in the resorts is very expensive (approx 1 Dirham per min). There was an internet cafe located in the strip mall next to my hotel. I bought a membership for the week I was there and it worked out to be extremely cheap.
Unique Suggestions: If you have to use internet service within the resorts, ensure that the hotel staff log you off the computer when you are done. If you don't, then you will be charged even when you are not using it. Check and double-check how much internet time is billed to your room.
Fun Alternatives: If you go to City Centre Mall to shop, there is interenet service available on the second floor in the Electronics Store. Enter this store and walk straight to the back. It costs 10 Dirhams for 1 hour.
Most nights there is a 'Dinner Cruise', well a few hours sailing down the Creek & back with Dinner included. Not a cheap night out but the food was excellent and a good night out. Some people were still eating from the buffet as we disembarked!
Unique Suggestions: As the food is served inside, ask for a table inside. There are tables outside on a higher deck but you have to negotiate steps each time you visit the buffet. Not always easy for ladies with high heels. After dinner there is ample room outside to enjoy the warm night air and night lights of Dubai, and the buffet is always available should you still be peckish.
- Food and Dining
Don't pay too much to cross the river
Remember that is doesn't cost all that much to take the boat (abra) across the river. Just get in the boat together with locals and you only pay 0,5 Dhs. The first day we agreed to go in a boat alone with this guy and we had to pay like 10 Dhs.
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