Traveling tips for United Emirates (Dubai) – what you should know before traveling to Dubai

Planning a trip to Dubai? Discover essential traveling tips for United Emirates (Dubai) to make your journey memorable and hassle-free. Learn about visa requirements, cultural norms, transportation options, and more!

Dubai, known for its stunning skyscrapers, luxurious lifestyle, and rich cultural heritage, is a city that never fails to captivate its visitors.

Having the necessary information at your disposal can help guarantee a hassle-free and pleasurable trip to the United Arab Emirates. This guide will cover everything you need to know before visiting Dubai, from local customs to visa requirements.

The top attractions in Dubai

Dubai, located in the United Arab Emirates, is known for its luxurious lifestyle and modern architecture. Here are some of the top attractions:

  1. Burj Khalifa: The tallest building in the world, offering breathtaking views of the city from its observation deck.
  2. The Dubai Fountain: A captivating musical water spectacle and the world’s tallest performing fountain.
  3. Burj Al Arab Jumeirah: Known as the world’s most luxurious hotel, it stands on an artificial island.
  4. Palm Jumeirah: A man-made island in the shape of a palm tree, known for glitzy hotels, posh apartment towers and upmarket global restaurants.
  5. Dubai Mall: One of the world’s largest shopping malls in UAE.
  6. Dubai Museum: The main museum in Dubai, located in the Al Fahidi Fort, which is the oldest existing building in the city.
  7. Jumeirah Mosque: Considered by many to be the most beautiful of Dubai’s mosques.

Visa Regulations and Entry Requirements for Dubai

Traveling to Dubai involves understanding the visa regulations and entry requirements. Here are some key points:

1. Tourist Visa:

A tourist visa is for those who are not eligible for a visa on arrival or a visa-free entry to the UAE. You can apply for a tourist visa through airlines, hotels, and travel agents. Females below the age of 18 are not eligible to apply for this type of visa unless they are traveling with their parents.

2. Multiple Entry 5-year Tourist Visa:

This visa enables tourists to enter the UAE multiple times on self-sponsorship and remain in the country for 90 days on each visit, which can be extended for a further 90 days. To obtain this visa, the applicant must have a bank balance of 4,000 USD or its equivalent in foreign currencies during the last six months, a valid health insurance policy applicable in the UAE, a ticket to and from the UAE, and proof of stay (hotel/residential address) in the UAE

3. Visa on Arrival:

Some nationalities are eligible for a visa on arrival, either for 30 days or 90 days contingent on nationality2. Indian nationals who have a visit visa issued by the USA, or a green card issued by the USA, or a residence visa issued by the UK or the EU are eligible for visa on arrival.

4. GCC Residents:

Citizens of GCC countries do not require a visa or permit to be sponsored by a national or resident in the UAE. They need to produce their GCC country passport or national ID card at the point of entry into the UAE.

5. Passport Validity:

Your passport should be valid for no less than 6 months. Passports with the “X” gender marker are not accepted

Cultural Etiquette and Customs

Understanding and respecting the cultural etiquette and customs is crucial when visiting Dubai. Here’s a guide to help you navigate the local culture with grace:

Dress Code:

  • Dress modestly, especially in public places. Men and women should avoid revealing clothing such as short skirts, shorts, or sleeveless tops.
  • Women may need to cover their heads with a scarf when visiting religious sites or certain areas. Carrying a lightweight shawl or jacket can be useful.

Greetings and Communication:

  • A simple handshake is generally acceptable when meeting locals. However, wait for Emirati women to initiate the gesture as some may prefer not to shake hands with men.
  • After shaking hands, Emiratis may touch their right hand to their heart, a gesture of respect.

Respect for Islam:

  • Islam is the predominant religion. Non-Muslims are welcome to visit mosques but should dress modestly and women should cover their heads with a scarf.
  • During Ramadan, be considerate by refraining from eating, drinking, or smoking in public during daylight hours.

Public Behavior:

  • Public displays of affection (PDA) are considered inappropriate and should be avoided.
  • Do not drink excessively or appear drunk in public. Do not drive under the influence of alcohol.
  • Swearing in public or using offensive gestures can lead to severe consequences.

Additional Tips:

  • Use your right hand for eating and drinking. This is also applicable in Indian establishments
  • Do not shake the hand of an Emirati woman unless she offers first

Accommodation Options

When looking for accommodation in Dubai, you have a variety of options to choose from, catering to different preferences and budgets. Here are some popular choices:

Luxury Hotels:

  • Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights: A 5-star hotel with a rating of 8.3/10 according to, offering luxury amenities.
  • Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre: Another 5-star option, highly rated at 9/10 on Tripadvisor. Guests recommend upgrading to the Royal Club for premium rooms and services.

Budget-Friendly Hotels:

  • Lemon Tree Hotel, Jumeirah Dubai: Offers comfortable accommodations with an outdoor swimming pool and fitness center, with prices starting from approximately $72.98 per night.
  • City Premiere Marina Hotel Apartments: Located in Marina, providing self-catering accommodations with free WiFi access, with rates starting from around $125.86 per night.

Unique Stays:

  • Beach Walk Boutique Jumeirah: Facing the beachfront, this 3-star accommodation offers a garden, terrace, and restaurant, with very good reviews and prices starting at $109.07 per night.
  • Golden Sands Boutique Hotel-Dubai Creek: Features a rooftop pool and bar with panoramic views, rated 9.2/10 for its wonderful service, with prices from $189.69 per night

Transportation Tips

Navigating Dubai is quite straightforward, thanks to its modern and efficient transportation system. Here are some tips to help you get around the city smoothly:


  • Dubai International Airport (DXB): The main passenger airport and the busiest international airport in the world
  • Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC): Mostly serves low-cost carriers and is part of the expansive Dubai South development

By Road:

  • From Neighboring Countries: You can enter Dubai by road from Saudi Arabia and Oman. GCC residents can drive with few formalities, while others may face visa restrictions
  • Within the UAE: A modern highway system and inter-emirate bus services link all parts of the country. From Abu Dhabi, use the E11 highway, and from Al Ain, the E66 leads directly to Dubai

Public Transport:

  • Dubai Metro: An extensive network that covers major parts of the city. Remember to stand on the “In” side when boarding and follow the “Out” signs when disembarking
  • Buses: A wide network that connects all areas of Dubai. Ensure you have a minimum balance of Dh7 for a one-way ride on your Nol card
  • Taxis: Readily available and can be hailed on the street or booked via phone or app

Nol Card:

  • A smart payment card is used across various modes of public transportation in Dubai. Make sure to top it up before traveling.


  • Priority Seating: Give priority to pregnant women, senior citizens, and individuals with disabilities
  • Queuing: Always queue up when waiting for public transport to maintain an organized system.

Do’s and Don’ts:

  • Do not smoke on public transport.
  • Do not cause disturbances or distractions
  • Do not use expired, invalid, or counterfeit cards

By following these tips, you’ll find that getting around Dubai is a pleasant and efficient experience

Currency and Money Matters

The currency in Dubai is the United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED). While credit cards are widely accepted, it’s advisable to carry some cash for small purchases and emergencies. ATMs are readily available throughout the city, but be mindful of any transaction fees. Familiarize yourself with the current exchange rates and budget accordingly for your trip.

Health and Safety Precautions

When traveling to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, it’s important to be aware of the latest health and safety precautions:

Health Precautions:

  • Vaccinations: Ensure you are up-to-date with routine vaccines. It’s recommended for unvaccinated travelers one year old or older going to the United Arab Emirates to be vaccinated against Hepatitis A and B
  • Measles: Be aware of measles cases. Ensure you are fully vaccinated or have had measles in the past.

General Safety Tips:

  • Stay Hydrated: Dubai can be extremely hot, so drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
  • Respect Local Laws: Be mindful of local customs and laws, including dress codes and public behavior.
  • Travel Insurance: It’s advisable to buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation

Outdoor and Wildlife Precautions:

  • Avoid Contact with Animals: Cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) have been reported. Avoid contact with camels and products contaminated with camel secretions
  • Desert Safety: If you’re planning a desert excursion, always hire an experienced guide from a reputable company and travel in a 4×4 vehicle

Shopping and Dining Experiences

Dubai offers an unparalleled shopping and dining experience, blending luxury, tradition, and modernity. Here’s a guide to some of the best places to shop and dine:

Shopping Experiences:

  • The Dubai Mall: It’s not just the largest mall in the world but also a place where you can find everything from high-end brands to local boutiques.
  • City Walk: A unique outdoor shopping and dining district with a mix of international and local brands.
  • Boxpark: An urban shopping and dining area offering a selection of unique shops and restaurants.
  • Souk Al Bahar: An Arabesque shopping center located in the heart of Downtown Dubai, perfect for those looking for traditional artifacts and jewelry.

Dining Experiences:

  • Armani/Deli: Located in the Armani Hotel, it offers an authentic Italian culinary experience with a vibrant location in Downtown Dubai.
  • Galeries Lafayette: The French department store features Lafayette Gourmet with 11 individual stations offering international cuisines.
  • The Sum Of Us: A gourmet café and coffee roastery that’s perfect for a casual yet delicious meal
  • Unique Dining: Dubai is known for its unique dining experiences like desert dining at Sonara Camp or immersive theatre at Krasota



Is Dubai safe for tourists?

Dubai is considered one of the safest cities in the world for tourists. However, it’s essential to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded areas.

What is the best time of year to visit Dubai?

The best time to visit Dubai is during the winter months, from November to April, when the weather is mild and pleasant.

Do I need to tip in Dubai?

Tipping is not mandatory in Dubai, but it is appreciated for exceptional service. A gratuity of 10-15% is customary in restaurants and for other services.

Are there any cultural norms I should be aware of in Dubai?

Yes, it’s important to respect local customs and traditions, such as dressing modestly and avoiding public displays of affection.

What languages are spoken in Dubai?

Arabic is the official language of Dubai, but English is widely spoken and understood, especially in tourist areas.

Can I drink alcohol in Dubai?

Alcohol consumption is permitted in licensed establishments such as hotels, bars, and restaurants. However, public intoxication and drinking in public places are strictly prohibited.


Equipped with these crucial travel advices for the United Emirates (Dubai), you’re prepared to set out on an exciting and adventurous voyage. Dubai provides a wealth of options for visitors to make lifelong memories, from thrilling adventures to cultural immersion. Take advantage of everything this vibrant city has to offer and embrace the spirit of discovery.

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