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 centre 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 centre, 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 has
Getting Arround in Dubai
Public transport in Dubai is the cheapest and the most popular mode of transport, preferred by lower income class travelers. Managed by the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA), it includes public buses, inter-emirate buses, metro rail and taxi services. Bus and Train Ticket fares/passes are available online as well as on boarding. Routes and bus numbers are placed in both Arabic and English. While traveling in Old Dubai, Abras or Dhows are used as transportation to cross the Dubai Creek to the Al Sabkha station. Extremely cheap compared to other transport services, the Abras are revived as a part of a conservation program, running from Creek Park Station to the Public Library Station. Public Transport in Dubai is controlled by the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) which includes public buses, inter-emirate buses, metro rail and taxi services.
RTA operates an extensive web of public buses in Dubai working on 734 bus schedules on 79 bus routes. The custom built buses travel on planned routes during weekdays except for Fridays and public holidays when passenger demand is at its peak. Public buses are the cheapest way of transport, though not always feasible due to increasing traffic chaos. The government has made available easy e-swipe cards and discounts, but most tourists and locals prefer traveling by car, which is the obvious cause of the traffic congestion.
The most frequently used mode of transport, taxi services, is operated by the Dubai Taxi Corporation, part of the Roads & Transport Authority. Although there are public cab services available, DTC taxis are easily identified by their cream colour. Taxis are easily available and cheap as the fares are metered according to distance traveled. They are characterized by the services they offer that include airport transfers, special taxis for women, families and physically challenged and the regular taxis to hop from one destination to another. Presently the minimum taxi fare in Dubai is 10 AED and is less if they are booked in advance.
Rail / Metro
RTA operates and maintains an advanced, state-of-the-art Dubai Metro rail system, a much sought after transport option. It is a driverless, fully automated metro system built mainly underground to solve the traffic congestion in the city. Currently, the Red Line is fully operational covering stations from Al Rashidiya to Jebel Ali, traveling along the Sheikh Zayed road where most of the corporate offices and hotels are located. The RTA has introduced separate NOL cards for frequent travelers, first class travelers and tourists to pay for the tickets. These cards can be used for other modes of transport and parking as well.
Tourists in Dubai are partial towards Car rentals as it allows them to travel at their own convenience and privacy. Also, a national or international driving license is enough to hire a car making the procedure quick and easy. Moreover, today many websites provide for online booking of cars to pick up from the airport or alternatively to be delivered at the hotel. It is possible to rent 4x4 SUV to enjoy adventurous Desert Safaris or cars for long distance traveling beyond Dubai into another emirate. Dubai possesses an impressive and well signposted road network which makes getting about quite easy. In fact, traveling in Dubai by car is comparatively a low cost option since the petrol pricing is reasonably cheap in the Middle Eastern countries. It's important to remember, traffic regulations in Dubai are considerably strict. Have a good knowledge of the driving laws and regularly check the speed limit.
Recommended Shopping Malls
The Dubai Mall
Located in Downtown Dubai, The Dubai Mall is the world’s largest mall home to every imaginable fashion brand in the world. It also features entertainment, including The Dubai Fountain, KidZania, access to At the Top of Burj Khalifa, Dubai Aquarium, SEGA republic, Dubai Ice Rink and Reel Cinemas. Five star hotels belonging to group of chains like The Address and The Palace have made their presence felt at The Dubai Mall.
Deira City Centre
This shopping centre is not as fancy as most of the ones mentioned below but still competes well with its rational lay-out of shops. Like a lot of the other malls it offers a wide seletion of outlets such as Debenhams, Virgin Megastore, Zara and other international high street brands. It includes a multiplex cinema amongst a spread of restaurants and cafes. Deria City Centre is also home of the “Arabian Treasures” souvenir and traditional textiles area. There is a Carrefour hypermarket
Mall of the Emirates
Near the 4th interchange on Sheikh Zayed Road, this is one of the largest shopping centres in Dubai. It houses more than 200 shops, including international high street chains, luxury brand shops, boutiques such as Charles & Keith, and craft shops like the popular Al-Jaber Gallery. Furthermore, the well known food outlet, Carrefour, is attached to the centre. The mall of the emirates also includes many restaurants and cafes and more importantly offers the chance to ski and even watch
this shopping centre concentrates mostly on the high end of the market, offering premium brand shops and luxury boutiques such as Dolce & Gabbana, Cartier, Calvin Klein and Tiffany. It is located near Khalid bin al-Waleed (Bank St.) and Trade Centre roads.
Dubai Festival City
This interconnected shopping centre, branded as a retail resort of its own, opened in 2007 and has been popular ever since. It holds around 600 stores, features out-door performances and 100 restaurants and cafes, as well as being the home of three major hotels. The centre presents so much variety, including well known shops like Mark Jacobs, Marks & Spencer and IKEA. Overall the shopping centre is set over an enormous 2.8 million square foot and its location by the water offers picturesque abra rides.
movies at the multiplex cinema, all under one roof.
The best places in Dubai for Gold and Jewellery shopping
Gold Souk – located in Deira, this is a very impressive historic market containing hundreds of shops offering all kinds of jewellery. There are many stunning items such as pearl necklaces, diamond rings and gold bangles to choose from. It is the largest gold market in Dubai located at the mouth of the Creek and is a must see for tourists.
Gold & Diamond Park – at interchange 4 on the Sheikh Zayed Road, this Arabian designed centre contains over 30 retailers, and over 100 manufacturers willing to negotiate good deals on gold and diamond jewels.