For about two decades now, "Visit Dubai" has been amongst the favorite travel destinations on tourists' bucket lists, which is understandable given the many marvelous spots that make the city a great place to explore.
Tourists who would love to enjoy every aspect of a tourist trip in one experience often end up choosing to travel to Dubai, for the big city has something to offer to everyone.
Generally speaking, Dubai is known as a business hub, probably the biggest and most important in the Middle East. But for years, Dubai has been offering its visitors a countless number of experiences, whether in terms of hotels, beaches, restaurants and pubs, amusement parks, or desert gateways.
In terms of a tourist experience, Dubai has it all. Even though it is not the capital city of the United Arab Emirates, Dubai has become the most prominent city in the country, kind of like the New York of the UAE.
Gaze at the beautiful Dubai city skyline at the Creekside from your new apartment at Marsa Plaza. Offering the most exquisite views and a choice of superb lifestyle amenities, it’s the perfect place to call home. #NewExperiencesEveryday #DFCSummerVibes pic.twitter.com/zaSt97ApwK— Dubai Festival City (@DFCdubai) September 12, 2021
Visa to Visit Dubai
Dubai's visa policies are quite similar to that of the UAE. Citizens of many countries around the world are exempt from the long process of applying for a visa before traveling to Dubai, rather the UAE welcomes them for visa-free visits for up to 30-days. Citizens of all other five GCC countries get to enjoy this free pass to the UAE; Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Qatar.
Another group of countries also enjoy an easy travel process to Dubai, as UAE authorities can stamp their visas on their passports upon arrival without extra charges. Those countries include; Andorra, Australia, Brunei, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Kazakhstan, Macau, Malaysia, Mauritius, Monaco, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, San Marino, Singapore, Ukraine, United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, United States of America, and the Vatican City.
Citizens of other countries will have to apply for UAE visas through UAE embassies and consulates in their respective countries so they can enjoy the travel experience to Dubai.
Dubai Visa Types
Travelers to Dubai can arrive at the city through one of 9 different types of visas; Tourist visa, Service Visa, Visit Visa, Employment Visa, Residence Visa, Student Visa, Golden Visa, Green Visa, and of course the Transit Visa.
Each type of visa to the UAE has a different set of requirements that can be easily met by the right traveler.
While the #COVID19 pandemic has hampered travel plans for many, the #Expo2020Dubai will allow visitors to take a unique journey around the world with a customizable passport that will track their trips to over 200 pavilions.https://t.co/CPTGDE6sqn— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) September 9, 2021
Visiting Dubai During COVID-19
Due to the health risks varying in different parts of the world and in order for authorities in Dubai to keep the virus outbreak under control in the country with one of the world's highest rates of vaccinations, travelers to Dubai might need negative PCR tests before and upon arrival to the country.
For citizens of Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Uganda, Vietnam, Zambia, travelers need a valid negative COVID‑19 PCR test certificate with a QR code issued within 48 hours prior to departure from an approved health facility in addition to a rapid PCR test report with a QR code for a test conducted at the departure airport within six hours of departure.
Currently, all passengers traveling to Dubai from any other country must have proof of a negative COVID‑19 RT‑PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before departure, except for travel from Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Uganda, Vietnam, Zambia (for which specific requirements are stated above).
Travelers to Dubai from Afghanistan, Angola, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Poland, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Russia, Senegal, Slovakia, Somaliland, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Zimbabwe will require a PCR test on arrival too.
Before anyone heard of COVID-19 and @Expo2020Dubai was still under construction, we teamed up with @ChrisHemsworth and created this commercial.— Emirates Airline (@emirates) September 7, 2021
We are so excited that Expo 2020 Dubai is finally here. We hope you enjoy it and hope to see you there.#FlyEmiratesFlyBetter pic.twitter.com/tOLbwWy101
Be Mindful of Dubai's Culture
When visiting Dubai, tourists should be careful to show respect for the local culture and the country's rules. While Dubai is the most cosmopolitan and open area in the UAE and probably in all of the GCC, it is still important to know some general rules to follow, to guarantee to have an ultimately great experience.
- While there is no official dress code in the UAE, everybody is expected to dress modestly when in public. Both men and women are advised to not wear traditional Emirati attire unless they have been invited to do so by a local, which usually only happens during safari trips to the nearby deserts.
- PDA is not common in Dubai at all. Tourists are usually advised to respect the local culture, often described as conservative, and refrain from expressing any form of physical intimacy when in public.
- The UAE applies strict rules when it comes to recreational drugs, even ones that are legal elsewhere. Individuals with illegal drugs anywhere in the UAE might risk major legal consequences.
- While Alcohol is not illegal in the UAE, the country still does not allow drinking in public. Individuals who wish to enjoy a few drinks should head to pubs, restaurants, or hotels that serve them or purchase them to be consumed in private spaces.
Even though this long-awaited international event was scheduled for October 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced authorities in Dubai to postpone it for another year, similar to many other global events that were rescheduled for 2021 for health and safety considerations, such as the Olympic Games that were held in Tokyo last July.
The event has been confirmed to take place between 1 October 2021 – 31 March 2022 in Dubai, under the theme Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.
Participants at Expo 2020 as well as enthusiasts will have easy access to visa services across the world, as UAE authorities have announced resuming issuing visas prior to the global event.
Best Luxurious Hotels in Dubai
Not only is this 7-star hotel the tallest in the world, but it is also one of Dubai's most famous landmarks that attract visitors all year long. The group is managed by the Jumeirah hotel group. Building Dubai's Burj Al Arab started in 1994 and it was opened in 1999. The hotel has 202 bedrooms in total, in addition to 6 different restaurants.
This is yet another well-known landmark by which the world can recognize Dubai photos. This hotel/resort is located on the man-made Palm Jumeirah Island and features a variety of breathtaking spots, including the Aquaventure water park and the Lost Chambers Aquarium.
This 5-star hotel is amongst the top-rated hotels in Dubai. It is located in the heart of Dubai Media & Internet City - a vibrant business district - and close to the emblematic Palm Jumeirah and Dubai Marina district It offers a wide variety of experiences to visitors traveling in Dubai.
Here is another 5-star Dubai hotel right by the famous Jumeirah Beach Residence highly popular amongst Dubai visitors who wish to enjoy the city's sea view and try its beach sports activities.
This, too, is a 5-star hotel in Dubai, which is tourists' favorites due to its location in Downtown Dubai. Travelers who choose to stay at the Address Sky View get to enjoy the robust life of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashed Boulevard, which is the very heart of Dubai city.
Located on the Bluewaters Island of Dubai, this 5-star hotel offers residents an exceptional view of the Gulf as well as the Dubai skyline.
Dubai's Best Spots
You can not visit Dubai without heading to the world's tallest tower which was opened in January 2010. The skyscraper consists of 163 floors and hosts residential units, shopping centers, offices, and a hotel.
Just right next to the world's tallest skyscraper, you can see The Dubai Mall, which is the second-largest shopping center in the world by total land area.
The Dubai Mall is home to over 1,300 retail outlets including the world's most famous and most extravagant brands.
Walking from the Burj Khalifa towards The Dubai Mall you can not miss the choreographed fountain system that takes place several times a day every day in the Burj Khalifa lake.
so dubai fountain just played power while I’m having dinner 😭 pic.twitter.com/tKQAkPWrQN— 🌨 (@suchenportrait) June 30, 2021
This is the same spot where thousands of people gather every New Year's Eve to celebrate the new round around the sun, watching the annual marvelous fireworks show.
Visiting the Zabeel Park in Dubai, most travelers take a stop by the Frame, which is the biggest picture frame in the world, to take a few memorable photos to mark their Dubai visit.
Just discovered there’s a giant 500 ft tall thing in Dubai called “The Frame” and I cannot freaking get over it. pic.twitter.com/3KcgyDTVwj— Benjamin Scherliss (@_Dharmabum_) March 1, 2021
A visit to Dubai can not be complete if you do not visit the saltwater creek that is extended to Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary. The area is also home to Mohammed Bin Rashid Library that has 1.5 million printed books, two million digital books, and one million audiobooks.
Best Shopping Malls in Dubai
As mentioned earlier, the Dubai Mall is the second-largest shopping mall in the world and is located right next to the world's tallest skyscraper.
The Dubai Mall is home to thousands of retail stores including many of the world-class brands. The Dubai Mall has a total of 1,200 retail stores, two anchor department stores, and more than 200 food and beverage outlets.
Nowhere in the world but in Dubai can you visit pavilions of 90 countries at once for shopping and leisure all year long.
This is what the Downtown-located Global Village is for, helping both residents and tourists have multicultural experiences that reflect the diversity of Dubai.
Built in 2005 by the Majid Al Futtaim Group, is one of the most popular shopping malls in Dubai with 630 retail outlets, 7900 parking spaces, over 100 restaurants and cafés, 80 luxury stores, in addition to 250 flagship stores.
At Mall of the Emirates, people can also go skiing in the city's indoor ski resort with 22,500 square meters.
Best Museums in Dubai
This is the oldest museum in Dubai. It was built in 1971 to showcase the traditional aspect of life in Dubai, including the many cultures that have historically influenced the area and its population. It also includes the Al Fahidi fort which was built in 1787, which is the oldest existing building in Dubai.
* Note: The Dubai Museum is undergoing renovations throughout most of 2021. Before you schedule your visit, please make sure to check information over whether it is open to the public yet.
Coffee enthusiasts will have a great break visiting this place, as they get to wander through the coffee culture in different parts of the world, including roasting and brewing styles, in addition to showcasing the utensils used to make it.
Whether you are traveling with family or not, this spot is guaranteed to help you enjoy your time.
The museum contains six different; The Chair Illusion, Ames room, Anti-gravity Room, Rotated Room, Infinity Room, and The Vortex tunnel.
[#ASRNeighbourhoods x 🎬] Explore over 300 original moving image antiques dating back to the 1700s at the History of Cinema Museum. Enjoy an 11-minute stroll from Citadines Metro Central Dubai to this fascinating museum. Book a stay at https://t.co/dyJ8TqP80G pic.twitter.com/m2ewO8p9qi— Discover ASR (@DiscoverASR) April 13, 2021
The museum which was built in 2014 traces the history of moving pictures and showcases the development and the evolution of visual entertainment, presenting more than 300 antique items including cameras and monitors.
Best Parks in Dubai
Launched on Valentine's Day in 2013, this flower garden has attracted millions of visitors over the years, as it represents a marvelous springy scene all year long, with over 50 million flowers and 250 million plants.
Dubai Miracle Garden is the world's largest natural flower garden.
Enthusiasts of Indian cinema and drama will have the time of their lives visiting a theme park with an Indian setting. This family-friendly part has 9 rides and several spots to enjoy.
The first Legoland park in the Middle East and was the seventh worldwide was open in Dubai in 2016 offering visitors great experiences, especially for kids who love to put lego together.
Affordable Accommodation In Dubai
Besides thousands of hotels and residential apartments available for Dubai tourists who are on a budget, Dubai has thousands of Airbnb listings from which travelers can book their accommodation in advance and in their favorite spots around Dubai.
Sleek Updated Studio Apartment in JLT $89/night
ShehkZayed Rd Emirates tower $23/night
© 2000 - 2021 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)