RED HOT !
There are several beaches in the Dubai area and you may be enticed by the bath warm clear waters and the beautiful hotels beaches, but watch out! The sun superheats the sand from about April to October and you need flip-flops. If you think you can either run or tip toe across, forget it. You will end up with burns. I did.
If you don't have sandals, buy some before you visit the beach!
If you have never delt with extreme heat and humidity, it is probably best you plan this trip during the Dubai winter months. From March until October the temp could range from 30 to 60 celsius plus intense humidity. Drink plenty water, wear long sleeves and long pants. Especially fair skin people. Lots of sun block or just stay inside till dark. You won't have the sun but it still will be 40 celsius and humid till midnight or later.
This is especially for women. Anyone can tell you the men will hound you like the last hotdog in the pack. I't s not as bad as other middle eastern countries but always keep your eyes open. Guys will walk up to you asking you to come see there watches, purses etc. These guys, you stay away from.
Please be aware of the taxi service in Dubai. Always agree on a price before entering the taxi. You can get an estimated price from browsing the internet. There are local private cabs that are honest and they provide good service, but always agree on a price before entering the taxi ! I have just returned from another trip to Dubai; Dec. 22-24th, 2006, and now there is a coordinated taxi service at the airport. There is a taxi stand located to the left as you exit the airport. Just stand in the line and you will be directed to the next taxi available. The taxis's are metered, and I believe it starts at 20 dirhams ($5.50USD) Very inexpensive ! So, presently I would recommend taking the metered taxi !
If you're driving in Dubai, beware. The roads are a nightmare to drive on. What you think should only take 20 minutes usually will take an hour because of accidents, rush hour etc.
Dubai has some of the most unsafe roads it has to be said, but the authorities are getting on top of the situation and are bringing in new measure to make the roads safer.
If you get a job in Dubai or any other place in UAE it appears as if you are in heaven but
what comes later at most of the places (In private companies) that the employers
will treat you nice for few days and they will take you in good trust. They will ask
for your Passport and Visa and in most of the cases you don't have any other option
then giving Passport and Visa to your employer.
The real tragedy starts from the next day. If it is not a big company (even if it is big..)
they will compell you to work for over 12 hours or more that too without giving
you proper food in office or any over time compensation. Some of the employers
(In departmental stores or in small organisations) will hold your salary and then
start treating you like a slave.
You are living fully on their mercy and when you ask for your Passport and Visa
to leave the job or going back to your country they give you so many threats
saying that they have good connection with authorities.
I have not heard any rule in UAE that an employer can keep the Passport and Visa of the
Employee. No body even the authorities in UAE are bothered to ckeck such conditions
and checking the language of the agreements/contracts between employers and employees.
Most of the labourers are not well educated and do not understand English whereas most of the contracts are made in English where employers write any thing in favour of themselves.
My previous employer had taken my Passport and Visa and did not alow me go go home
when I raised this issue with some influential people they gave my Passport, Visa and return
ticket. But what happens to those who are helpless...
In Dubai we opted to take the four wheel drive tour of the Emirates, and set off early in the morning. It was hot and we were relieved when our driver opened a cool box, took out cans of ice cold drinks, and we drank our fill.
We drove up the high mountains along dirt tracks and next thing the heavens opened and the rain poured down. Dubai seldom sees rain, and certainly not of this nature. It cam down in a sheet and washed the road away! Our clever driver pulled in off route and waited for the rain to stop. To keep nerves at bay he passed around packed lunches and more cold drinks. When the rain eased and then stopped, we set off on our journey once again, crossed the border to Oman, and generally had a wonderful and interesting time.
However, at this stage we all wanted to use the bathroom (we were full of ice cold drinks). There were none! In some other parts of the world you might get away with dodging behind a rock, but not in Dubai! We had to wait for literally hours until the driver brought us to a petrol station and there we used a hole in the floor which was infested with buzzing flies. The relief was palpable:-)
In such a wonderful and beautiful country, it was a shame that we had to spend a day in virtual agony longing for a bathroom.
When there is dust in the air , driving conditions are difficult as visibility becomes severely reduced. Dust swirls across the road, even in town.
One morning it was windy and a bit dusty, but we wanted to go to Festival City on the edge of town. The drive became increasingly more difficult as we went further into the 'desert'. On our way back we saw a couple of cars who had gone off road and got bogged down in the sand.
It was spooky driving with nothing on the horizon when you knew there were in fact multi-storey tower blocks ahead.
Once away from the major construction areas things were better, but still far from perfect.
Care is needed and remember Dubai drivers drive fast and don't obey rules.
This particular dusty day made the headlines of the local papers.
Yeah, we've all been there. You're with someone having a nice time, you're both kinda' tipsy, both itchin' to get back home. Pull over a cab, and start making out before the poor chap's even had the time to ask you "where to?" All good so far, right? Wrong, if the cabbie or anyone peering in happens to be from prudistan.
Next thing you know, you're explaining to a cop how and why your lips were actually trying to extract some gloss from hers. Play it safe, save it all for later - unless you want your amorous activities to extend to your cell-mates down at Bur Dubai Central. Public shows of affection are a no-no, though it's pretty much all good if you're inside most bars/ clubs.
Here's a pretty common scenario which you'll hear or read about - some poor soul being stripped off about a grand or being thrown in jail for a month for letting his/ her mouth get the better of them.
Even if you're in an expat-heavy environment, make sure that there aren't too many locals within earshot before mouthing off. Obscenity is a sin here, punishable by law, and all it takes is for some miffed off person to report you.
Also, needless to add, no giving the finger while in a car. There was this amusing incident a while back of a guy flipping the bird big-time to a car wanting to overtake him. Turns out, it was a cop driving home from work behind him!
In this uber-relaxed, perma-holiday environment, it's really easy to forget that you're actually living in a Middle Eastern country. A little respect towards the laws of the land isn't such a bad thing, really.
Many people intending to move to Dubai seem to think of it as some sort of idealistic utopia, where the money's easy and all for keeps.
News-flash. The city is just Income-Tax free. Which means you're still gonna' have to shell out exorbitant moolah for your car, loans, repayments, flight tax, etc.
This, coupled with the astronomical rent charges, are often a sobering realization for a lot of newcomers to the city. No exaggeration, rents will eat up more than half your income quite easily. And since it's a demand-driven market, unscrupulous landlords take pleasure in increasing rents by about 15% almost yearly. None of my friends & I have managed to save even a little bit of moolah while working here. You work hard, play even harder, and the money just keeps flowing away - as is the wont with most large cities. If I was even a little attached to money, I'd actually be pretty depressed about it! You have been warned.
To say that Dubai is swarming with prostitutes would be a mild understatement. Put aside your logic that these things aren't supposed to happen in a Muslim country, and take into account the fact that the No. 1 religion in this city is money.
Anyway, if you're a single woman, don't enter a bar or club alone. Even if it's a swanky club in a well-reputed area, atleast go in with a group of friends or acquaintances you might have here. Because there's no such thing as a designated red-light area, most men here seem to think that any woman, anywhere is fair game. And there are some areas you should go out of your way to avoid, unless your definition of 'adventure tourism' is really out there! Deira Roundabout, Naif Road, Bur Dubai interiors - all no go's.
Stay sensible, stay safe. Just a few normal precautions, and your trip will be as enjoyable as you want it to be.
If you are staying at one of the Jumeirah Beach Hotels, be aware of the enormous construction site that will be behind you. The 24.4million square feet development will provide accomodation for 150,000 people when it is completed. Sitting on the beach at one of the hotels you will not see the building work (it is directly behind you) but you will hear it (and the workers work 24 hours a day) and the dust can be considerable. Worst affected is the Sheraton.
Unsurprisingly camels have little roadsense and often wander down the middle of the road. When you are out of the city camels are surprisingly common and seem to particularly like standing in the middle of the road just around a sharp corner. Not only will they make a mess of your car, and if you are unlucky you, but the owner of the camel will then under law be entitled to charge you the market value of the camel. Not unsurprisingly the value of the camel seems to rocket as it lies dying at the side of the road, and you are picking up the bits of your car scattered all over the road. Drive carefully and watch out for camels. If you approach slowly the camels will generally stick around giving you a chance to take some great photos of them.
The problem of prositutes has been on the increase over the last few years , Its mostly confided to the older hotel bars but you also incounter them walking the streets around the Golden sands and other apartment areas