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The In-Depth Guide to City Breaks in Dubai

Dubai is a phenomenal place for a unique city break, yet many people still don’t know too much about this part of the United Arab Emirates. Isn’t it all just expensive? Surely there’s not a lot to see and do? Isn’t it true you can hold hands or drink alcohol? Common misconceptions about this incredible city, which is actually an awe-inspiring tourist destination if you give it a chance. In order to help make your mind up, we’ve put together an in-depth guide to city breaks in Dubai. If you were unsure before, hopefully you’ll fall in love by the end of this guide.

Getting to Dubai

The best way to get to Dubai is by plane, although those afraid of flying will be pleased to know that you can get in by boat also. Contrary to popular belief, cheap flights to Dubai are available if you know the right places to look and the best times to go. Visiting between November and March will likely cost you less and the temperatures are slightly more moderate. Autumn is still fairly cheap and you’ll be able to enjoy a bit more sunshine, whilst still keeping cool in the evenings. Those flying will arrive at Dubai International Airport, where you then have a choice of a taxi, bus or metro ride to the city centre. Make sure you plan your transfers in advance, so as not to get flustered and confused when you get to the airport.

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The beautiful city of Dubai can be accessed by plane or boat

Getting around Dubai

Dubai has one of the best public transport systems in the Middle East, perhaps even the world. You’ll never be stuck somewhere for very long, as there’s a whole range of ways to get around. The Dubai Metro covers much of the city and offers a wide range of affordable ticket options; tourists can buy a ‘Red Ticket’ which lasts over 10 trips in a 90 day period.

Other public transport options include monorail, trams and buses, all of which run throughout the city on a regular basis. If you want to add a bit of luxury to your trip then why not hire a car? The roads may seem illogical and congested at times, but at least you get the comforts of air conditions and comfy seats. If you’re feeling even more flush then you can hire a car with a driver, to escort you through the city whenever you want.

Make sure you check out one of the many traditional souks in Dubai

Top Things to See and Do in Dubai

This city has a whole range of unique things to see and do, ranging from the traditional and historic attractions through to the modern and cosmopolitan. Here are just some of the top things to see and do in Dubai, no matter how long you’re staying for:

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BurjKhalifa – You can’t go to Dubai without visiting the world’s tallest building! Make your way to the 124th floor for an incredible outside observation deck, which will let you experience the sights and sounds of Dubai in a completely unique way.

Dubai Spice Souk – Fancy a more traditional shopping experience than one of the many malls in Dubai? Take a trip to one of the many Arab marketplaces, known as souks. The Spice Souk is one of the must-sees, thanks to the incredible array of colours, smells and sounds.

Ski Dubai – Here’s something a little bit different, a huge indoor ski slope. In fact, Ski Dubai is the third largest indoor ski slope in the world. If you fancy cooling down after a hot day at the souks, then this is the perfect place to do so. The kids will love it here, too.

There are dozens more to add to the list, but we’d be here all day! Make sure you also check out the Dubai Fountains, Bur Dubai Abra Dock, the Bastakia Quarter and the Souk MadinatJumeirah to name a few.

Staying Safe in Dubai

One of the things that concerns travelers going to Dubai is the seemingly endless list of laws, regulations and policies. However, it isn’t as bad as you may think! There are several important things to remember when you visit this city, which is governed by a fairly relaxed version of Islamic state law.

Firstly, if you want to make friends with the locals then make sure you dress appropriately and modestly. Women can wear long skirts (knee length or longer, with long sleeve tops and nothing tight or revealing. Men, on the other hand, should opt for trousers or jeans and tops with sleeves. Whatever you do, try not to show off your belly; keep the swimwear for the beach or the hotel swimming pool.

The second thing to make note of, is displaying affection in public. You shouldn’t kiss or cuddle someone of the opposite sex in public, especially during Ramadan. Also, it is illegal for those of the opposite sex to share a hotel room if they are not married (unless they are a parent or child). This may make it difficult for a romantic break away, but as long as you keep your petting behind closed doors then there shouldn’t be any problems.

Finally, a really common misconception is that Dubai is a dry country, which doesn’t allow alcohol at all. This isn’t the case, as you can find many pubs and clubs in the city. What is illegal is to be seen in public intoxicated, which means you should get a taxi directly from wherever you’ve been drinking to your hotel.

There we have it, an in-depth guide to city breaks in Dubai. We hope you’ve fallen in love with the place as much as we are – and you haven’t been too put off by the rules! Next time you need a winter city break, make sure you do give Dubai some serious consideration.

Image credits: SaNuRiTa FaJoRa, travelyourplanet.com and Joi

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