Travel to Dubai

Dubai

With a perfect winter climate, top class hotels, superb facilities for a variety of sports and leisure activities and excellent shopping, Dubai has something to offer everyone. Moreover, the emirate is friendly, safe and virtually crime-free.  Sunshine, shopping, seaside, sports and safety - five of the key ingredients that have earned Dubai a growing reputation as one of the world’s most attractive and rapidly developing leisure destinations.

Long established as the trading and commercial hub of the Middle East, the emirate combines the excitement of a bustling commercial center with the wide open spaces of a luxurious resort.  Located at the cross-roads of Asia, Europe and Africa, Dubai is well positioned to attract tourists looking for somewhere new and different, a destination combining the traditions of the east with the comforts of the west.

Both business travelers and tourists find that Dubai offers the highest standards of comfort and luxury. As befits a dynamic and prosperous business center, Dubai’s ultramodern hotels offer every luxury. Yet the comforts of the 21st century co-exist comfortably with the emirate’s rich Arab-Islamic culture.

An intriguing land that combines old-world souks and modern shopping malls, rolling sand dunes and championship grass golf courses, remote Bedouin villages and an array of five-star hotels, Dubai defies easy definition.

Overview

People

Dubai’s culture is rooted in Islam, providing a strength and inspiration that touches all aspects of everyday life. Virtually every neighborhood has its own mosque, where the faithful congregate for prayer five times every day. One of the largest and most beautiful - Jumeirah Mosque - is a spectacular example of modern Islamic architecture. Built of stone in medieval Fatimid style, the mosque is particularly attractive at night when subtle lighting throws its artistry into sharp relief. 

Ramadan, which commemorates the revelation of the Holy Koran, is the Holy Month of fasting when Muslims abstain from all food and drink from dawn to dusk. Courtesy and hospitality are among the most highly prized of virtues in the Arab world, and visitors will be charmed by the warmth and friendliness of the people.

Language

The official language is Arabic. English is widely understood and ranks alongside Arabic as the language of commerce.

History

Originally a small fishing and trading settlement, Dubai was taken over in about 1830 by a branch of the Bani Yas tribe from the Liwa oasis led by the Maktoum family who still rule the emirate today.

Traditional activities included herding sheep and goats, cultivating dates, fishing and pearling, but the inhabitants built up trade too. By the turn of the century, Dubai was reputed to have the largest souks on the Gulf coast, with 350 shops in the Deira district alone.

Commercial success allied to the liberal attitudes of Dubai’s rulers, made the emirate attractive to traders from India and Iran, who began to settle in the growing town. But, while trade developed, Dubai remained politically a protectorate of Britain as part of the Trucial States extending along the northern coast of the Arabian Peninsula.

On the British withdrawal in 1971, Dubai came together with Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Fujairah and (in 1972) Ras Al Khaimah to create the federation of the United Arab Emirates.

This was shortly after the discovery of oil in 1966, which was soon to transform the emirate and its way of life. Dubai’s first oil exports in 1969 were followed by a period of rapid development that laid the foundations for today’s modern society. Much of the credit for this development can be traced to the vision of the late Ruler, HH Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, who ensured that Dubai’s oil revenues, despite being relatively modest by the standards of the region, were deployed to maximum effect.

His work has been continued by the present Ruler, HH Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and his brother, Their Highnesses Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance and Industry. The result is that Dubai is constantly building up its infrastructure of transport facilities, schools, hospitals, tourism developments and other amenities of an advanced society.

Travel Guide

Currency

The monetary unit is the dirham (Dh) which is divided into 100 fils. The dirham is linked to the Special Drawing Right of the International Monetary Fund. It has been held constant against the US dollar since the end of 1980 at a mid-rate of approximately US$1= Dh3.67.

Weather

The UAE has a sub-tropical and arid climate. Rainfall is infrequent and irregular. Falling mainly in winter, it amounts to some 5 inches a year.  Temperatures range from a low of about 50 degrees Fahrenheit to a high of 118 degrees Fahrenheit. The mean daily maximum is 75 degrees in January rising to 106 degrees in July.

Health Requirements

No health certificates are required for entry to Dubai, but it is always wise to check before departure, as health restrictions may vary depending upon the situation at the time.

Visa Requirements

A passport is required to enter the UAE. For personal travel of 30 days or fewer, U.S. citizens holding valid tourist passports may obtain visitor visas at the port of entry for no fee. For stays longer than 30 days, all travelers must obtain a visa before arrival in the UAE.

Credit Cards

American Express, Diners Club, Visa, MasterCard, etc are generally accepted in the main hotels and larger shops but some retailers offer better bargains for cash.

Electrical Appliances

The electricity supply in Dubai is 220/240 volts at 50 cycles. US-made appliances may need a transformer.

Water

Tap water is quite safe to drink but visitors usually prefer locally-bottled mineral water and this is generally served in hotels and restaurants.

Map

A: Alexandria
B: Amboseli National Park
C: Arusha
D: Aswan
E: Bazaruto Island
F: Benguerra Island
G: Botswana
H: Bwindi Impenetrable NP
I: Cairo
J: Cape Town
K: Cape Winelands
L: Central Kalahari Region
M: Chobe National Park
N: Denis Island
O: Desroches Island
P: Drakensburg
Q: Dubai
R: Dubai Beaches
S: Dubai City Center
T: Dubai Desert
U: Dubai Marina
V: Durban
W: Eastern Cape
X: Eastern Cape Safaris
Y: Egypt
Z: Ethiopia
AA: Etosha National Park
AB: Franschhoek
AC: Garden Route
AD: Greater Kruger National Park
AE: Greater Winelands
AF: Hermanus
AG: Hwange National Park
AH: Johannesburg
AI: Kafue National Park
AJ: Kampala
AK: Kariba
AL: Kenya
AM: Kigali
AN: Knysna
AO: Kruger National Park
AP: Kwazulu Natal
AQ: La Digue
AR: Lake Manyara NP
AS: Lake Nakuru
AT: Lewa Wildlife Conservation
AU: Linyanti/Savuti Region
AV: Livingstone
AW: Lower Zambezi National Park
AX: Luxor
AY: Madagascar
AZ: Madikwe Game Reserve
BA: Mahé
BB: Maldives
BC: Mana Pools National Park
BD: Masai Mara
BE: Mauritius
BF: Mombasa
BG: Mozambique
BH: Nairobi
BI: Namibia
BJ: Ngorongoro Conservation Area
BK: North Island
BL: Okavango and Moremi GR
BM: Oman
BN: Oudtshoorn
BO: Plettenberg Bay
BP: Port Elizabeth
BQ: Praslin
BR: Queen Elizabeth National Park
BS: Quirimbas Archipelago
BT: Rwanda
BU: Sabi Sands
BV: Samburu National Park
BW: Selous Game Reserve
BX: Serengeti National Park
BY: Seychelles
BZ: Sharm El Sheik
CA: Sheik Zayed Road
CB: Silhouette Island
CC: Skeleton Coast National Park
CD: Sossusvlei
CE: South Africa
CF: South Luangwa
CG: Stellenbosch
CH: Sun City
CI: Sun City and Surrounds
CJ: Swakopmund & Walvis Bay
CK: Tanzania
CL: Tarangire National Park
CM: Timbavati Region
CN: Uganda
CO: Umhlanga
CP: Victoria Falls
CQ: Vilanculos
CR: Volcanoes National Park
CS: Windhoek
CT: Zambia
CU: Zanzibar and Pemba Island
CV: Zimbabwe

Destinations

Explore the rest of our Dubai destinations:

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This Destination

Dubai

Related Destinations

Alexandria
Amboseli National Park
Arusha
Aswan
Bazaruto Island
Benguerra Island
Botswana
Bwindi Impenetrable NP
Cairo
Cape Town
Cape Winelands
Central Kalahari Region
Chobe National Park
Denis Island
Desroches Island
Drakensburg
Dubai
Dubai Beaches
Dubai City Center
Dubai Desert
Dubai Marina
Durban
Eastern Cape
Eastern Cape Safaris
Egypt
Ethiopia
Etosha National Park
Franschhoek
Garden Route
Greater Kruger National Park
Greater Winelands
Hermanus
Hwange National Park
Johannesburg
Kafue National Park
Kampala
Kariba
Kenya
Kigali
Knysna
Kruger National Park
Kwazulu Natal
La Digue
Lake Manyara NP
Lake Nakuru
Lewa Wildlife Conservation
Linyanti/Savuti Region
Livingstone
Lower Zambezi National Park
Luxor
Madagascar
Madikwe Game Reserve
Mahé
Maldives
Mana Pools National Park
Masai Mara
Mauritius
Mombasa
Mozambique
Nairobi
Namibia
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
North Island
Okavango and Moremi GR
Oman
Oudtshoorn
Plettenberg Bay
Port Elizabeth
Praslin
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Quirimbas Archipelago
Rwanda
Sabi Sands
Samburu National Park
Selous Game Reserve
Serengeti National Park
Seychelles
Sharm El Sheik
Sheik Zayed Road
Silhouette Island
Skeleton Coast National Park
Sossusvlei
South Africa
South Luangwa
Stellenbosch
Sun City
Sun City and Surrounds
Swakopmund & Walvis Bay
Tanzania
Tarangire National Park
Timbavati Region
Uganda
Umhlanga
Victoria Falls
Vilanculos
Volcanoes National Park
Windhoek
Zambia
Zanzibar and Pemba Island
Zimbabwe

Related Hotels

Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai
Atlantis The Palm
Bab Al Shams Resort & Spa
Desert Palm Resort & Hotel
Four Points by Sheraton Bur Dubai

Related Vacations

Dubai - City of Merchants

Related Tours

A Walk through the City of Contrast - Walking Tour of Dubai
An Off-Road Adventure - Wadi & Desert Tour
City of Merchants, Dubai City Tour
Hot Air Ballooning
Morning Dune Drive - Visions of the Arabian sands


Top Stays

Kapinga Camp
Exeter Dulini Lodge
Phinda Zuka Lodge
Selinda Camp
The Oyster Box Hotel

Top Vacation Packages

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Hotels/Lodges

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Atlantis The Palm

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Bab Al Shams Resort…

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Four Points by…

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Golden Sands Hotel…

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Grosvenor House

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Hyatt Regency Dubai

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Metropolitan Hotel…

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Movenpick Jumeirah…

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Park Hyatt Dubai

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Radisson Blu Hotel,…

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Tamani Hotel Marina

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The Meydan

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Towers Rotana Hotel

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Vacation Packages

Dubai - City of…

7 Days, 6 Nights
From $671 per person based on double occupancy*
Dubai - Abu Dhabi

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Tours

A Walk through the…

A walking tour of Dubai’s old quarter is the best way to get…

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An Off-Road…

An easy drive along the imposing Hajar Mountains’ to the Umm Al…

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City of Merchants,…

A fascinating historical excursion. Our route takes us from Burj Al…

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Hot Air Ballooning

Hot Air Ballooning experiences for a minimum airborne period of 45…

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Morning Dune Drive…

The tranquil beauty of the desert invites you on an unforgettable…

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Sundowner - Dune…

The mysterious desert beckons you for a magical evening out - an…

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