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What to do in Dubai

Dubai is one of the seven Emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates or commonly referred as U.A.E. People sometimes also refer to Dubai as Pearl of the Arabian Gulf as it has a very strategic location along the Dubai Creek. The Dubai Creek extends from Arabian Gulf on 13 kilometer stretch passing through some of the most iconic locations in Dubai like Deira, Business Bay and Sheikh Zayed Road. Dubai was once a major hub for pearls and general trading dating back to early 1800s. The Al Maktoum family who took over as the ruling family over 150 years ago, led Dubai as one of the biggest financial and industrial players not only in Middle East but also globally. With establishment of free trade zones for businesses and malls, amusement parks and luxury hotels for leisure, Dubai is growing at a rapid pace to get ready as host nation of Expo 2020.

Travelling to Dubai and not sure what to do? Confused about local traditions and cultural norms? Well, our guide below is designed to help you relax your nerves and give you brief but useful information about Dubai and what you can do while visiting.

Currency: AED (U.A.E. Dirhams)

Time Zone: UTC +04:00

Language(s): Arabic (Native), English, Hindi, Urdu, Tagalog

Cultural Norms:

Some of the basic norms that you should be following in Dubai.

  • Dress modestly. A general rule of thumb is to cover yourself from shoulders to knees. When going to malls or other general public areas being dressed appropriately will save you the hassle of people starring and you feeling awkward. Swimwear is allowed near the pools or beaches.
  • People in Dubai are friendly and hence even strangers exchange greetings with each other. Here are some useful greetings you can use;

A’Salam U Alikum (a salam o alyi kum) – To be used when greeting someone first

Wa’ Likum Salam (wa layi kum salam) – To be used in reply to above greeting

  • During month of Ramadan, it is forbidden to eat, drink or smoke in public. Visitors and residents must dress appropriately covering themselves with trousers, shirts, long dresses or skirts.
  • It is recommended to refrain from public disorder which may include being intoxicated in public areas, use of abusive language and being disrespectful to local customs.

Must see attractions:

  • Burj Khalifa
  • Dubai Mall
  • Palm Jumeriah
  • Dubai Marina
  • Gold Souk
  • Museum
  • IMG Studios
  • Dubai Parks – Legoland, Motiongate, Bollywood Park
  • Global Village
  • Sky Dive Dubai