I really can't think of any warnings to give for Dubai. The only thing that comes to mind is when I arranged transportation to the airport on my final day. I paid the hotel 30 Dirhams for a drive to the airport ; however, when I arrived at the Airport, the driver of the cab said he wanted another 5 Dirhams. He was very kind about it and said the hotel only gave him 25 of the 30 Dirhams (which I had paid the Dubai Marine Resort)
Hot, hot, hot
Dubai is very hot in summer. ,The temperature rises upto 50 celceus during may to august. During summer warm light cotton dresses and cover your head to avoind scorching sun. But almost all of the markets, public transport etc. are air-conditioned.
Current political realities for American visitors
Although you're not likely to have any trouble, I strongly recommend that American visitors try their utmost to blend in with the scenery. I say this because I've heard of a few incidents in the UAE where people have been refused service because of their nationality. This is rare, but it CAN happen.
Unfortunately, Amercians are too often much too loud and -- all too frequently -- they make it abundantly clear to everybody that they ARE American. Announcing your nationality is something that gets up everybody's nose -- whatever it happens to be. I never lie about it when asked, I don't pretend to be Canadian or something. However, I don't make sure everybody knows it immediately, either. I find that if I'm quietly spoken, make it clear that I respect their culture and customs, and don't start arguments, I have no trouble.
And another thing: always remember that anti-American comments are virtually never directed at you personally; they're directed at the government. Unfortunately, too many Americans seem to think that others believe that people and government are indistinguishable from one another and take the flak the wrong way. That just isn't true.
Hot and Cold
Dubai is very hot in summer days, but you spent very few time outside.. However almost all covered places have an aircondition system and they are cooling till to quiet lower degrees, when compared with outside.. Many times we felt cold with a T-Shirt..
So you should be careful about the changing temperatures, too Hot and too cold could make you il..
Really useless taxi drivers
Quite a few taxi drivers in Dubai are not locals and they might not always know where is the place you want to go to. They might also have a very approximative English and not even speak Arabic.
The worst example I've had of this is a situation where a group of us was at a restaurant on Sheikh Zayed Road, a few kilometres from the city centre. We wanted to go to the Emirates Towers. Now the Emirates Towers are also on Sheikh Zayed Road and happen to be the tallest buildings anywhere near so they can be seen from miles away, in particular from the restaurant where we were. We told the driver we wanted to go there, in English. When we realised he hadn't understood, we repeated in Arabic, which didn't help. We eventually had to direct the guy there, exercise that more or less consisted in saying "straight on" and "stop" at the right moment.
So, if you don't know the place, have a map with you. And if your driver seems to struggle with English, make sure you speak in a slow and articulate voice.
Shopping Warning for Electronics Buyers
If you are tempted to pick up a DVD or a flat-screen TV in Dubai, do be careful to make sure that it is compatible with the Area Standard or the broadcast system you need at home. Remember that if you're from North America, a DVD must be able to play disks encoded for Region 1 or else it must be capable of playing all the various regional coding systems. As for flat-screen TVs, make sure that it is multi-system because if you're taking it back to North America, it must be compatible with the NSTC color broadcasting system in use over there. Most parts of the world -- including the Gulf -- use PAL. If you don't clarify these technicalities before purchase, you might find your bargain purchase is useless to you when you get home.
Regarding DVDs, there are lots of them available in Dubai for very reasonable prices, but make sure you check the encoding note on the back. If you?re going to N. America, you need one for Region 1; if you're from Europe, it needs to be Region 2, while in the Far East it's Region 3. Here in the Gulf you'll find DVDs in virtually all encodings as well as in universal, play-anywhere varieties.
Prostitutes in clubs
Most young ladies alone in clubs in Dubai are prostitutes selling their wares. So, if a nice young girl starts chatting to you, be aware that she might be more interested in your wallet than your good looks. This varies between clubs. Of course, you can still be blunt and ask whether she is indeed a prostitute. Or you can apply a simple rule: if she comes from Western Europe or America, she's probably a tourist or an expat; if she is from Eastern Europe or Africa, she is probably interested in your money. Sad rule but unfortunately true.
Kamikaze drivers and Cultural Awareness
Watch yourself when you cross the street. Dubai drivers are maniacal, and crosswalks are not really respected. If you're driving yourself, never, ever lose your concentration, for drivers will do absolutely anything. Expect almost everyone passing you to continue on into the next lane; expect being cut off at every freeway exit; expect cars to approach from the rear at breakneck speed and braking at the very last, possible second. And if you're a woman driving and have the audacity to pass a male driver, expect him to pass you again, even if he's turning off immediately.
Wadis (dry river beds): If you go out to the desert to camp, do NOT pitch a tent in the bottom of a wadi. Flash floods can and do happen; careless campers are washed away or drown almost every year.
In terms of personal safety, Dubai is very, very safe compared with equivalent centers in the West. Theft is rare; muggings are unthinkable. There IS a little trouble with pickpockets in crowded areas, but the usual precautions are more than sufficient to avoid trouble.
NB: Dress code for women
Please, please do NOT wear spaghetti-straps, bare your middrift, or wear short shorts. You will see others dressed this way in Dubai -- usually they're Russian, CIS nationals, of E. Europeans -- but it is considered exceedingly offensive by the local Muslim population. Indeed, in the eyes of most Arabs, dressing in such a fashion is tantamount to announcing to the world that you are a prostitute -- and to be blunt, this is often the case with the Russians, Ukrainians, and Romanians who are there. Needless to say, if you do wear clothes that are too daring, you may well be approached by men if you are alone.
I use to like low season.
The sensation of almost exclusive use of the hotel is nice, and the prices are better. But in Dubai, low season… burns!
No! I don’t recommend Dubai in summer.
- Arts and Culture
In the summer extreme heat, the museum's freshness is a relief.
However, I think that women may need some precautions - when exiting, Marylin Monroe came to my mind. Guess why!
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
- Museum Visits
I'm not an alki but when i'm on holiday i like a beer or 2. if you do, make sure your hotel is not dry one like the Coral Deira in Dubai.
- Beer Tasting
- Wine Tasting
Be careful when organizing your agenda to spend a day in the city of Dubai: traffic is more than chaos, is crazy. 2 hours from one place to the other is something very usual.
- Business Travel
If you should decide to put a henna painting, take care to do it with red-brown henna. Never with black henna, it's too dangerous for infection.
Better don't take the pics of Arab dignitaries ...
-though sometimes you will so feel like doing this. You might meet them and their luxurious cars and wifes almost anywhere in Dubai...: )
do ensure you ask for permission before photographing the ladies.....it is strictly a non-kosher thing to photograph them unawares!!
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