The Dubai Diaries

What comes first in your mind when you talk about Dubai?

Dubai is an amalgamation of Magnificent architecture, hyper skylines, luxury shopping, sexy cars, desert fun, nightlife … Well, the list is quite long I must admit!

  • Dubai is one of the Emirates of UAE
  • Visa on arrival facility available; And max visa time limit is 3 months at a go
  • 1.5 hrs time difference from India
  • Found it as the safest place to visit
  • On landing have an eye scan process which takes a bit of time, depending on the rush

Dubai skyline

Basic Budget: 50,000 INR (per person) approx

I visited in December. It was a trip with my cousins for 8 days and 9 nights

How can I reach Dubai?

By Air
There are frequent flights to The Dubai International Airport from many places across the world. The airlines servicing the airport include Emirates Airlines (Dubai’s official international airline), FlyDubai and Etihad.

Also, you can enter the city from the Sharjah International Airport with Air Arabia. And a taxi ride will get you to Dubai in no time.

By Bus
Emirates Express, the frequent bus service there connects Dubai to all other emirates.

What is the Best Time to visit Dubai?

Since Dubai encounters high temperatures most months of the year. The best time to visit Dubai is during the winter months, from November to April. The weather is pleasant and suited for all kinds of outdoor activities.

Especially, January and February see heavy tourist traffic because of the Dubai Shopping Festival, this makes the city come alive.

What all can I do in Dubai?

Well, you name it and you get to do it in Dubai 😉

I was on a laid back vacation with my cousins, our schedule used to be late night fun and to get up late in the morning. Our actual day used to start from evenings 🙂

Day 1 – Desert Safari

The journey was beautiful, desert on both the sides and barren roads

  • Prefer evening desert safari, enjoy the sunset and food
  • Furthermore, pre-book desert safari, many travel agents/sites available
  • Various locations for safari, ours was Abu shagara
  • Safri plans have land cruiser pick and drop from your hotel/place staying
  • Also, safari includes: desert driving, dune bashing, desert sunset, desert campsite, camel riding, Arabic costumes for photographs, henna painting, sheesha, buffet dinner and soft drinks; Belly dancing and Tanura dance show (which was awesome)
  • Cost for Dessert safari: 115 AED approx

Day 2 – Mall of Emirates + Shopping

As a part of Christmas and new year celebration, the mall was fully decorated.

  • Malls here are huge and have many brands to offer. Also had Shopping festival going on (every end of the year)
  • Food joints are must try: Cheesecake factory was my favourite
  • Ski Dubai:m its one of its kind indoor Ski. offers a variety of activities. Cost 150-250 AED approx
  • Magic planet for gaming: bowling, pool, video games etc

Day 3 – Atlantis

  • Located on Palm Jumeirah island. It is one of the best luxury hotels in Dubai. It is a beautiful property I must say. A place for many movie shootings, like Happy New year from India.
  • It has a huge water park, enormous rides; Carry your costume, have lockers and changing rooms to keep your valuables.
  • The Lost Chambers, a huge aquarium, diving options too.
  • Park or take a cab to the location, have shuttles for the entry area from parking

Day 4 – Ferrari World

  • Ferrari World is an amusement park, located in Abu Dhabi. It is around 160 km from Dubai and takes around 2 hrs to reach.
  • It offers fun rides, describes Ferrari brand history. Due to Christmas and new year had various events/live shows. It accommodates go-karting, various simulators, roller coasters etc.
  • Enough to take up your full day, you can plan to stay in Abu Dhabi or take a day’s trip from Dubai. Suggested to reach asap to enjoy the full day.
  • Book a cab or there are direct bus services from Dubai for Abu Dhabi.
  • Have options to shop for souvenirs and various food joints.
  • The entry fee cost 250 AED approx
  • Nearby had a water park and shopping mall.

Day 5 – Dubai Mall and Light show at Burj Khalifa for New Year celebration

  • Dubai mall is huge, like really huge. It accommodates an aquarium too.
  • Has direct connectivity with metro, so to avoid the rush on roads and expensive cab rides, use the metro.
  • If you are visiting near New year, there is a special light show at Burj Khalifa.
  • Be much before time to book a slot at the grounds near to enjoy the view

Day 6 – Dolphin show, Dhow cruise and Clubbing

  • Dolphin show is a nice and fun experience. Dolphinarium is situation in Deira area; the show cost 12o AED
  • Dhow cruise is an awesome experience. Floating ships with food, music, magic show and a lot more. And city skyscrapers and lighting around. It will cost you approx 70-80  AED.
  • You can cruise either at Deira or JBR area. Book the slots in advance.
  • Movenpick hotel for clubbing; full on Bollywood music. Not such a big place but a nice one.

Day 7 – Miracle Garden and Burj-al-Arab and Jumeirah beach

  • Miracle Garden depicts the beauty of flowers. It can be treated as another wonder of world
  • The Garden has so many sculptures created using flowers . The entry would cost you 50-60 AED approx
  • Jumeriah is man-made beach; It is famous picnic spot. Beware of the dress code, though!
  • Burj-al-Arab is a luxury hotel near Jumeirah beach. It is one of the tourist attractions. At night the building encounters changing colours, a delight to watch.
  • Filli cafe: offers the best tea; many outlets in and around; one is near Jumeirah beach; opens up late till 2-3 AM

Day 8 – Dubai mall and Burj Khalifa (At the top) + Shopping

  • Dubai Mall is one of the world’s hugest mall. It has so much to offer under one roof; restaurant, various brands, food, fountain show etc
  • Dubai mall fountain show is world renowned. It started around 6ish in the evening, must watch!
  • Shop for clothes, accessories, gold, perfumes, dates, and what all what not 😛
  • Burj Khalifa is a wonder in itself. Have office complex, hotels, restaurants, residential apartments.
  • Only 2 floors are observation deck: 124th and 148th floors. Named “At the top”: cost 140 AED approx. The entry for the same is from Dubai mall itself!
  • You can shop for souvenirs to take back with you from the shops available on the ground floor.
  • Patiala restaurant by Kunal Kapur is a must visit for Indian food in Dubai mall area.
  • We were lucky enough to encounter the Shopping festival which starts end of the year. Happy Shopping 😉

Means of transportation in Dubai!

Bus: Buses connect all the major landmarks and tourist spots of the city and are very comfortable. With the fare starting pretty low, these buses run every 15-20 minutes.

In addition, you can also take the economical Big Bus sightseeing tour which takes you to all the major attractions and offers live commentary and free admission to the Dubai Museum and a dhow cruise.

Metro: This is one of the most commonly used and efficient modes of public transport in Dubai.

Taxi: Since taxis are a convenient way of getting around Dubai. Also easily available throughout the city, you will always find a long line waiting outside shopping malls and other attractions.

Water Bus: This is an economical and preferred way to travel from Bur Dubai to Deira and vice versa.

Driving: Vehicles are driven on the right side of the road and you need to have a credit card and a domestic and international driver’s license if you wish to hire a car in Dubai.

However, this is not recommended due to the several traffic congestions and rules.

What all can I wear in Dubai?

This was and is a constant question in the minds of travellers to middle east about clothing. These places are a bit conservative in terms of clothing.

  • May be emirates I have visited like Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi are not.
  • Rather you can wear absolutely anything you want to at these places. It is no less than any fashion capital.
  • Most noteworthy, beware of too much transparency or anything offensive to the culture
  • Only some places like the mosque and all have dress codes to be followed.
  • You will find the locals wearing burkha and their traditional attires around
  • The place usually has high temperatures in day and a bit chilling at night
  • Visited in December, the days were hot enough to carry sleeveless but required light woollens during the night.

Where can I Stay/eat best at Dubai?

  • Bur Dubai is an apt location to stay in Dubai, since it is centre to most tourist places. Also, transportation is easy; due to metro connectivity, bus stand etc
  • Also, the variety of food options inBur Dubai area is ample.
  • Bur Dubai is famouIndian cuisine; JBR for Italian cuisine; Chatori Gali for chat

My cherished moments!

  • The nightlife
  • Shopping sprees
  • Elegant architecture

Things I regret!

  • There was too much to explore and the time was too less. Missed few places below:
    • Iban battuta mall: this mall has cultural representation of many countries
    • Gold souk: Hub for the gold shopping, wonderful jewellery designs
    • Global village: operational from November-April; have stalls from all country worldwide
    • Dubai glow garden: everything inside is created using lights

Do’s and Don’t s in Dubai!

  • Do get the Visa beforehand to save time. Many airlines do provide the same. Cost Rs 5000 from India
  • Most of all if planning in the peak season, book well in advance to get the best rates possible and avoid any inconvenience. Cost from India Rs 14000 round trip per person approx.
  • Don’t cross the cultural boundaries, there are some rules. respect them!
  • Dubai is strict with driving rules, heavy fines. Do Follow! Need license and have a right side driving.
  • Follow a normal Dress code, nothing over the top.
  • Shop for gold, dates, perfumes etc
  • Do visit during Ramadan, just follow a few basic rules as it is a wonderful time to visit and observe the local culture. Don’t eat/drink in public during Ramadan.
  • Follow some basic rules: Don’t drink in public, no drugs, no song and dance on the streets, avoid too much of PDA, and watch your tongue.

Enjoy the experience that Dubai offers! Go Banjare! 😉

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