Dubai Marina skyscrapers and The Palm Island aerial view

Your Trip to Dubai: The Complete Guide


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Dubai is renowned for having the tallest building in the world, amazing beaches, and fantastic shopping like the Dubai Mall. It is also home to some of the most luxurious hotels in the land and fun-filled adventures such as dune-bashing and Ski Dubai. Whatever your heart's content, it can be found in the City of Gold. Get lost zipping through the souks in Old Dubai or be stricken by the beautiful architecture and design throughout the city. Use this guide to lead you on your way exploring the enchanting city of Dubai.

Planning Your Trip

Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit Dubai is from October through April. This is the most comfortable time to explore the city as the months are cooler and much more bearable. It’s the best time for enjoying outdoor activities and festivals.

Language: Arabic is the official language in Dubai. However, English is widely spoken throughout the UAE.

Currency: The Emirati dirham (DH) is the official currency of Dubai and the UAE.

Getting Around: Dubai has an extensive public transport system consisting of buses, monorail, tram, taxis, and the Dubai metro. The Road and Transport Authority (RTA) is the official operator of the public transport network.

Travel Tip: If you are a fan of ridesharing apps like Uber or Lyft, make sure you download Dubai’s version Careem prior to your trip. The app also offers food delivery and access to bike-sharing services.

Things to Do

While most have a desire to visit the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, while visiting Dubai, there are plenty of other things to see and do. From visiting one of the museums to enjoying fine dining at the assortment of international restaurants and soaking up some rays at the public beaches, Dubai has even more experiences to enjoy.

  • Visit one of the many theme parks available in Dubai such as the Dubai Parks and Resorts, which features Motiongate Dubai and 27 themed rides. If you desire to cool off instead, then consider exploring IMG Worlds of Adventure, which is the biggest indoor theme park in the world featuring the Lost Valley Dinosaur Adventure. The kids will rave for days from this action-packed experience!
  • Dubai is home to the Guinness Book of World Records largest structure made of flowers at the Dubai Miracle Garden. It features a real life-sized Boeing A380 full of over 500,000 floral arrangements. The Miracle garden also offers the Dubai Butterfly Garden, which houses 15,000 butterflies of more than 26 species.
  • Dubai also features the largest shopping mall in the world the Dubai Mall. Explore this feast on the eyes, which offers the Dubai Ice Rink and the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo. The aquarium features more than 300 sharks and other species of fish, which can be seen for free from outside of the tank while walking by with friends and family.

Explore more attractions with our full-length articles on the most adventurous activities to in Dubai, the 10 best day trips from Dubai, and Dubai’s top 10 beaches.

What to Eat and Drink

Dubai has an assorted food scene, considering that more than 80 percent of residents in Dubai are from various nationalities there is no wonder why. Whatever type of food that you desire, it can be found at one of the many fine-dining restaurants or street food stalls on Jumeriah beach.

Check out our complete guides to which foods to try, the best bars, and where to eat at the Dubai Marina.

Where to Stay

There are a host of hotel options in Dubai for the discerning traveler to the globetrotter willing to shell out the big bucks in the City of Gold. Many travelers enjoy staying closer to the southern end of the city in the Jumeriah Beach and Dubai Marina areas. Nevertheless, the Downtown Dubai and Business Bay area offers both high-end and affordable options as well such as Rove Downtown and the Palace Downtown, an Address hotel. 

Check out our recommendations for the 9 best Dubai hotels and a guide to Atlantis The Palm, Dubai.

Getting There

The main airport in the city is Dubai International Airport (DXB), which is a hub for many international destinations. It was operated with more than 86 million customers in 2019 , thus making it one of the world’s busiest airports for international passengers. Dubai also has the smaller Al Maktoum International airport at Dubai World Central (DWC), which is linked to the city and Dubai International airport by buses operated by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

Culture and Customs

Some people may think of the Middle East and have concerns about safety there. Nevertheless, it is safe to travel to Dubai. The UAE actually is one of the safest countries in the world . While Islamic culture may be different than what we are used to in Western cultures, as long as you respect the culture in Dubai, you will be respected as a tourist here.

It is advisable to dress conservatively in certain areas like visiting a mosque or traditional areas. This may include covering your arms past your elbows and legs past your knees. It’s a good idea for women to keep a scarf on them for visiting holy places so you can cover your hair. Again, respect is the key term here and better to err on the side of caution.

Money-Saving Tips

Many think that when you travel to Dubai you have to spend loads of money on entertainment, food, and shopping. You will more than likely pay for a tour for certain activities and will like to experience other unique activities popular in the city like Dinner in the Sky and more. However, there are some ways to stay on budget while in Dubai.

  • The Entertainer is a booklet and app that many locals and visitors can use to get great discounts and deals at restaurants, activities, and hotels. It offers great two-for-one specials on various theme parks, attractions, clubs, restaurants, and more throughout the city. The booklet is available at bookstores and supermarkets, or you can download the app prior to your trip.
  • Instead of paying for pricey taxis from one side of the city to the next, consider taking the Dubai Metro for a cheap ride across the city. It is available for transport from the airport to locations south of the city.
  • Consider cutting back on those drink price by attending a happy hour at places like the famed McGettigan’s to Perry & Blackwelder’s, or one of the many other options.

Learn more about inexpensive ways to have fun by exploring 10 free things to do in Dubai.

Article Sources
TripSavvy uses only high-quality, trusted sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Guinness World Records. "Largest Flower Arrangement/Structure."

  2. Reuters. "Dubai airport sees rare annual drop in passenger traffic in 2019."

  3. Numbeo. "Safety Index by City 2020."