Whether you’re going to Dubai for a holiday or for business or work purposes, your stay here will be more pleasant and memorable if you prepare well for your trip.
Before the exciting thoughts of visiting the Burj Khalifa, going on a desert safari, and enjoying a wonderful Dubai Creek boat ride overcome your senses, make sure you are 100% ready for your journey to avoid a lot of hassles before and during your travel.
Here are some tips and advice that can ensure you’ll have a problem-free and unforgettable first time in Dubai:
1. Find out if you need a visa
The UAE has strict visa regulations. However, citizens of specific countries will be granted a free visa on their arrival at the Dubai International Airport. These visas can range from 30-day validity to multiple entry 90-day visas that are valid for six months. Citizens from other countries will have to apply for a visa with a sponsor such as a hotel, airline, or existing business before the trip.
Before making any plans, find out if you need a visa to travel to Dubai. If yes, check the requirements you will need to submit when applying for one. Find out how long the whole application process takes so that you can schedule your flight and trip properly.
2. If possible, schedule an off-peak trip
If your visit to Dubai isn’t urgent, consider going to this city during summer – the country’s off-peak season. During this season, when Dubai is at its hottest, the city is not a popular tourist destination. As such, this is the best time to travel to take advantage of affordable flights and hotels.
A visit to Dubai won’t be cheap, so going to this city during off-peak season will save you a lot of money. However, you need to be prepared for the scorching heat since during summer, the average temperature can reach 41°C (106°F).
As long as you can handle the weather, you will still have a great time in Dubai. Also, there are many things you can do indoors and at night when temperatures are lower, so visiting this city in the summer isn’t such a bad idea.
3. Book your accommodation in advance
There is no lack of accommodation choices in Dubai. You can choose from hotels, resorts, and even holiday apartments in Dubai Marina. If you want to score more discounts, book your choice of accommodation weeks before your trip. This is something that is easy to do since you can view your choices and book your room online.
To book the ideal hotel, consider your primary purpose for visiting Dubai, and your interests, and select one that is close to the places and landmarks you have to go to or visit.
4. Create an itinerary
When you’re visiting Dubai for pleasure, you need to create an itinerary of places to visit, sights to see, and things to do in this city. This is something that you have to do to be sure you don’t miss out on anything unique and fun the city has to offer.
Some of the best places to visit and things to do here include:
- Burj Khalifa
- Relax and engage in fun water activities at the best resorts in Dubai
- Dubai Mall
- Dubai Museum
- Heritage and Diving Village
- Ski Dubai (an indoor skiing and snow village)
5. Know what to pack
Lastly, the UAE is a Muslim country so you need to bring clothes that will allow you to dress modestly in certain areas. You must be particularly careful about wearing something that shows too much skin in public areas such as in malls, restaurants, cafes, public transportation, etc.
You are allowed to wear swimwear while on the beach or poolside in hotels and resorts because they are considered international zones where beachwear or summer outfits are acceptable. For ladies, it is best to always bring a kaftan or cover-up and put this on when leaving the pool or beach.
If you need to bring some medication, go online to check if you will be allowed to bring them. Request a medical note from your doctor and bring this document with you throughout your trip. Don’t forget to bring some sunscreen as well, but you can also buy this at shops in Dubai.
Finally, make sure to exchange some local currency before your flight or as soon as you arrive in Dubai. In the UAE, you can use the services of private exchange offices. Just make sure you have some Dirhams in your pocket or wallet because you never know when you just might need some cash.
If you want to experience the perfect stay in Dubai, prepare for your trip sufficiently. By doing so, you’ll be able to manage your time and money better and have more fun on your visit here.
Thomas Grundner is the Group Director of Sales and Marketing for JA Resorts and Hotels. He has more than 20 years of expertise in the hospitality and leisure industry – across international markets including Germany, Egypt and Spain. Grundner oversees all sales, marketing and revenue efforts as the company continues to build on its key growth and development strategies and further cultivates its unique blend of “Heartfelt Hospitality” and “Casual Luxury”.