Crime and Safety
There's almost no crime in Dubai, and what little exists is mostly non-violent and typically happens away from the tourist areas. Nobody harrasses you (except that one annoying guy in the souk), there are no drunks, no serious anti-social behaviour, and no riots or demonstrations. Despite being in the middle of a geopolitical hotspot, no significant terrorist attack has ever been carried out here. It's probably on same level of safety as Iceland, except there's little chance of earthquakes and volcanoes here either.
Because of all the warnings we read before leaving for Dubai, we both took conservative clothes with us that covered our arms and feet, but when we arrived we found women walking about in miniskirts and low cut tops and guys in t-shirts and shorts. I think a lot depends on what part of Dubai you are in. Some areas are much more conservative than others, but the main tourist areas are very relaxed, especially on the beaches where people are lying all around in swimsuits. I think it's important to show respect, but you can probably feel comfortable exposing an arm, or maybe even a bit of leg, if it gets too hot. Give yourself some flexibility in your dress so that you can cope depending on where you are and where you go. If you day-trip out of Dubai the situation might change a lot.
It's hard to know the truth about Dubai when it comes to law. There are many stories of people getting caught out by some harsh law, and yet on the other hand the city appears on the surface to be almost as relaxed as any in Europe. It's illegal for unmarried couples to share a hotel room, and my hotel warned me that I'd need to show our marriage certificates, and yet when we arrived nobody asked to see it. The hotel served no alcohol, and I was so paranoid I didn't ask for a corkscrew the first night for the wine I'd bought in the airport, because technically it was illegal and I didn't have an alcohol licence. But when I did ask, they were only to happy to supply me with one. It must be normal for their guests to ask, because they had no wine to serve themselves.
I think in truth it's actually quite simple to stay the right side of the law in Dubai. If an action would cause people to stop and stare at you in Europe or America and only tut, here it might get you a fine. Actions like staggering around drunk, using foul and abusive language, making out in public, and urinating in the street. Nobody is going to arrest you for drinking a glass of wine in a restaurant, but if you refuse to pay the bill and curse out the owner in several languages, then the police might decide to also fine you for the drink when they come to deal with the owner's complaint.
What a waste of time, the red flag in the private beach of Dubai Marine until 7AM!
At 6 AM, both the air and water were under 40º C, the water absolutely quiet, the beach empty, no jellyfish, good visibility, and… no swim?
Be sure to check if you require a visa to enter the UAE. If you don't get a visa in advance, you could be spending a few nights in the airport, as this happened to a colleague of mine. Luckily, there is a hotel in the airport!
Watch your lenses
You feel good in the air conditioned. But you need to exit and... there's your photo!
Take it easy. The warmth and humidity instantly dims the lenses and disgraces any quick photo, so, each time you face the strong chock of temperature and humidity, you'd better give your camera a time to adapt, or clean the lens. Otherwise you will end, like me, ashamed of your pictures, and the computer will make only half miracle.
Remember - that may happen each time you leave the air-conditioned!
- Arts and Culture
Take seriously, very seriously, all the warnings about dehydration.
I only exposed myself to the sun for the needed seconds to enter the water, and had no problems, but Fernanda likes to stay under the sun, and even bypassing the “killing hours” of the day, she had problems twice.
Even before 10 AM, twice she felt… something she was not able to explain, but that I fought immediately with a big bottle of water, with immediate success.
At the second time she listened to me: since then she followed my precautions and everything ended happily.
The secret for a good vacation is… preparation. Time is always short, the budget, short or large must be controlled, and the location and quality of hotel may make the difference.
I booked my stay in Dubai with the objective to stay first in Deira to visit the city, and afterwards in Jumeirah beach. I booked the Sheraton hotel that, in the net, seemed very good and well priced.
In VT forum I was alerted for Sheraton's location, almost 30 km from town, and that made me change to Dubai Marine, at the other end of Jumeirah beach and close to town.
I visited the Sheraton and confirmed the wisdom of my decision: It is a good hotel (I think) in the middle of a building quarter. With the impossibility to stay long in the beach (the heat…) and with anything else than cranes in its surroundings, I would have spent a lot of time and money in long distance taxis.
VT (Thanks Jess) was precious!
Booking an escorted visit around town may seem a good idea, and, considered the aggressive weather out there... it was. But I must confess some disappointment, when I noticed that half of the announced time of the trip was used... collecting guests from the hotels. That's when we realize that the city is wide, the construction obsessive and the traffic generally jammed.
Of course, we passed in places where we wouldn't go, saw what we wouldn't see, but discovered that a taxi to the souks area would be cheaper and allow more time to what really should be seen.
- Arts and Culture
Dubai metro offense
It is a big offense not either tag in or out of Dubai metros, litter it or seat in the female areas.
if you get caught or found wanting in anyway, you will be made to pay through your noise- i mean u will pay in multiple of like 10 of what the metro will have charged you.
if sleeping is not allowed, so please lets be guided when entering metros. Below link tells you more
Early Closing Time at Bars, Pubs, Clubs, Lounges
Even though Dubai is the Most Liberal City in the Arabian Peninsula (Beirut in Lebanon is the most Liberal City in the Middle East), Please Remember that it is still a conservatic Islamic Society and hence Local Bars, Night Clubs, Lounges, Irish and English Pubs and late night hangouts must be closed by 1:00 am at the latest. So don't be surprised if your server of waiter in the bar will ask you for any last orders at midnight as the local police are strict in Enforcing that the Local Bars must close by 1:00 am or else they would face stiff fines.
An if you are driving a rental car, don't get caught drunk driving as they have a zero tolerance for Driving Under the Influence.
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Dubai Scam Warning!!
Please be aware of the travel scammers in Dubai. Normally their "representatives" are found in / around the shopping malls, sitting in fancy stalls where they will tell if you answer their question, you will win a gift (I was asked to tell the names of 3 Arabian countries ending in "N"), they will even help you answering the question by giving you clear hints!!
Next they will congratulate you on answering the question and winning a "surprise" gift. They will have your contact details written on a piece of paper and will invite you to join their "party" tomorrow where you will receive your "free" gift. There are also their reps in the shopping malls who will collect from you your contact details and will say they will contact you if you win in the "lucky draw" tonight!
And then you will start receiving calls from their company the next day seeking your confirmation to attend.
When you go to their well decorated office the next day, one of their rep will have a meeting with you for at least more than one and a half hours! Doing nothing but wasting your time and forcing you to buy one of their travel packages (staying for 36 nights or so in five star hotels around the world during coming five years on "discounted" rates etc.). You will find it a bit difficult to get rid of them once you join them.
To my understanding, they are fraud. Never ever give them any money, your financial details - simply avoid their reps in the shopping malls etc.
Has anyone else experienced the same??
Let's contribute in sharing information about the scams here.
Be extremely careful going to Dubai. My son has just returned after a nightmare where he went for his dream job as a personal trainer, with Fitness First, expectation of excellent accomadation and job. Well,the dream was the nightmare earning approx £3 and hour 6 day week , Accomadation 3 to a room covered in bed bugs no sanitation for 4 days when the water went off, literally a slum. He became very ill and only got his passport back because he said he needed urgent medical treatment and needed wired money.As a family we pulled together and got him the first flight back-check absolutely everything before you go, I know the temptation is there and they tell you it will be wonderful etc etc ?????
Fast Car Rentals/SCAM
MONEY STEALERS .... If this company has your credit card information, they will take money from your account. You have to sign a form stating that they are authorized to take money owing to them (damages, tickets etc). Legally, anytime they say you owe them money they will access your account without informing you and there is nothing you can do. I've never had a speeding ticket before and I found myself with 7 in a month, at a cost of over 4000 dirhams (fake tickets or tickets other people didn't pay that got past on to me). I found my bank account empty and I had no idea why. My advice is pay a little extra and go with a reputable company like Budget and know your bank account is safe.
Read more: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/162ea7/1c579b/8/#ixzz20JuEOau6
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Caution & General dangers at the beach
Whilst swimming at the beaches of Dubai, you usually don't have much to worry about: sharks, poisonous fish, etc. can only really be found on the East Coast of the UAE (Indian Ocean). Do, however, be aware of the strong currents, which cause many people to drown in even the shallowest of waters every year, jelly fish & sea snakes.
Snorkling/Diving is not possible along the Dubai coast, due to little or no plant-life, whirled-up sand & offshore construction.
All hotel beaches & beach parks have lifeguards (they may not be Pamela Anderson, but they do a good job anyway guys!), many equipped with jet skis to reach swimmers in trouble within seconds. If the red flag is up, do not enter the water. This indicates that the waves & currents are too dangerous.
If stung by a jelly fish, rub the area with sand immediately (this acts as a natural "peeling/scrub", popping the tiny poison-blisters created by the sting and getting the painful poison out of your skin.) For larger skin areas/attacks, visit a doctor or pharmacy.
Dubai is home to at least 7 species of sea snakes, abundant in the warm, shallow Arabian Gulf. Some are the Arabian Gulf Sea Snake, Yellow-Bellied Sea Snake, Short Sea Snake & an unidentified species of the genus Hydrophis. They are generally not aggressive, but will attack if provoked. Most bites occur when beachgoers accidentally step on a snake in shallow waters or on beached snakes. But don't worry too much - "encounters of the slithering kind" are pretty rare!
Difficulty Breathing & Swallowing / Aching Muscles or Numbness / Intense Pain / Swelling of the Affected Limb.
Apply ice to the site. Do not try to suck the venom out of the wound! Do not make any cuts. Some types of venom can enter the blood stream through the gums & tongue. Remain as still as possible & limit victims movement. Call for an ambulance immediately.
Be safe & sensible, and the only grim reminder of your day at the beach may be a sunburn.
UPDATE October 2008: Another occasional hazzard at Dubai's beaches is the contamination of the water by untreated sewage (yuck!!) being pumped into the ocean... many beaches have been closed in the past due to this stinky situation. Full Story HERE: http://archive.gulfnews.com/articles/08/10/05/10249875.html.
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