You will be greeted by skyscrapers and awesome structured buildings when you enter the world of Dubai. The developments and infrastructure are definitely world class and worth experiencing. The Burj Khalifa and the Dubai mall are one of the striking landmarks of Dubai. Old Dubai still carries the effervescence of the real Arabia with areas like Deira, Al Satwa, and Port Rashid forming clusters. You will still find the bustling sounds in this part of the city selling spice and gold, things have not changed over the years. They are home to Asian immigrants and nationals of Lebanon and Syria. The new or modern Dubai is more a mix of people from several races, cultures and religion. The city offers modern infrastructure and amenities which makes the overall pricing of everything a bit on the higher side. Shopping syncs with Dubai and you can great deals throughout the city. Bargaining is a norm in the city, but you will need to polish your negotiation skills to get the best deal. The following article would act as a Dubai travel guide and enlighten guests and tourists with valuable information about Dubai.
Weather in Dubai
You are greeted by warm waters and sunny skies all through the year. The temperatures in Dubai are generally at an extreme. In summers which are usually between April end to the starting of September, the heat and humidity are at times intolerable and generally people prefer being in their homes or in air-conditioned malls. Dubai would probably be the only city in the world where you have the facility to ski in the snow even when the outside temperatures are even as high as 50°C. People often visit Dubai during the Dubai Shopping Festival and the Food Festival which is held during the months of January – March every year. During the summers, the temperatures during the day are on an average 42°C (108°F), during the night it comes down to 28°C (84°F) and the water temperature is as hot as 37°C (99°F). During fall and spring seasons, the daytime temperatures are around 25-40°C (80°F) and at night, it comes down to 20°C (65-75°F). The winters generally are dry and pleasant with daytime temperatures of 25°C (75°F) and night temperatures as low as 10°C (55°F).
The highest precipitation is around 10cm (5inches) in Dubai during the months of December to April. The showers generally do not last more than a few minutes. The temperatures go to record lows during the rainy season.
Things to check out in Dubai
Old Dubai gives you a feel of the traditions and cultures of Dubai. Located in clusters around Deira. Following will act as a tour guide in Dubai and give you a list of the must check out places to visit in Old Dubai
Dubai Museum – This provides ample information about the traditional styles and cultures which have existed in the Emirati culture. The modern extension which has been built underneath the Al-Fahidi Fort showcases Dubai’s history using the latest technology with wonderful sights and sounds. There is a nominal fee charged for entry.
Jumeirah Mosque – Located on Jumeirah road, it is the largest mosque in the city and showcases the exemplary Islamic architecture. The interiors are decorated with elaborate Arabic calligraphy and are illuminated by floodlights in the evening. The mosque is open to non-Muslims and they conduct special tours on Tuesday, Thursday and Sundays to promote awareness about the Islamic religion.
Al Ahmadiya School – Located in Deira, it was built in 1912 and was Dubai’s first school. The place has been restored and would give you a warm feeling of old Dubai. The entry is free.
Bastakiya District – Home to many reconstructed buildings which were built in traditional styles. There are a lot of art galleries and cafes to check out.
Shindagha District – There are several open museums of the Heritage Village and is the home of the former Sheikh Rashid Al-Maktoum.
Souks – Worth exploring as you will find endless varieties of things which are reasonably cheap and affordable.
The Dubai shopping malls offer a great memorable experience and are definitely to be marked on top of your checklist. Each mall has something unique to offer and offers a completely different experience. Apart from the malls, following are a list of other destinations to check out:
Burj Khalifa – standing tall at 828 meters, this is the world’s tallest building ever built. There are 160 floors in this building, there is an observation desk on the 124th floor. The view is simply amazing and a treat to get a bird’s eye view of the entire city. It is home to hotels, restaurants, and apartments. The tickets for entry at charged at around Dhs 125 – 400, but do book in advance as there have been cases of tickets selling out well in advance.
Dubai Fountain – It is the world’s largest artificial dancing water body. The water jet shoots water as high as 500 feet (150meters). Around 1.5 million lumens of projected light enlightens the fountain in the evening. There are shows in the evening every 30 minutes from 6-10pm on weekdays and from 6-11pm on weekends. You can enjoy this awesome sight with classical Arabic music.
Burj al-Arab Hotel – The perfect glimpse of the lifestyle of the richer half of Dubai. It is self-proclaimed to be the only 7-star hotel in the world. You can visit the hotel only after reservations which are usually a month in advance. You can book tours, but these are done only when the hotel is not full. There is a dress code for entry – Smart Casuals.
Dubai Marina – Home to a phenomenal skyline, several world class hotels, a fabulous beach, a mall, and 2 different walkways. There are cafes, shops, and restaurants. You can even get a ride on a yacht, which can be rented also. There are open markets which run every Fridays and Saturday during daytime in the months of October to May.
Palm Islands – Located off the coast of Dubai and is home to three artificial islands in the world. Each island resembles a palm tree extending like branches from the trunk which connects the mainland. One of the islands – the Palm Jumeirah is expected to open shortly.
Activities in Dubai
Beaches and sea – White sand and blue waters, you have endless water-sporting activities at the beaches. The water temperatures are usually in the range of 35°C in the summers, and 22°C in the winters. Do experience the thrill of the white sand and blue waters through parasailing and the banana boat ride.
Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo – on the ground level of the Dubai mall, this is definitely one of the largest suspended aquariums in the world. Open between 10-12am, you can book tickets online. There are thousands of fish and other underwater sea creatures to explore.
Fishing – you can go fishing in the Dubai Sea. There are large numbers of companies like the Dubai Dhow which offer fishing boats on rent. You can experience the modern infrastructure along with the latest equipment which doubles up the excitement and thrill to go fishing. The boats are prescribed as per government regulations and follow all standard safety measures.
Dubai Desert Safari/Dune Bashing – This adventurous sport gives you a different thrill altogether. There are several operators offering customized packages. Do research well before finalizing on one. Experience the ups and downs of the desert while leaving a silken layer while going through the safari.
Dubai Creek Cruise – was the port used for trading initially, but has been renovated as one of the famous tourists attractions in the country. The creek cruise gives you a wonderful ride across Dubai and experiences the wonderful ride with the moonlit stars in the background.
Hot Air Balloon – Get a bird’s eye view of the entire city by indulging in the hot air balloon early in the morning or during sunset. This amazing view is definitely going to sweep you off your feet.
Ski Dubai – Dubai is probably the only country where you have skiing and snowboarding facilities even when the outside temperature is hovering around 50°C. Located in the Mall of the Emirates, this 2-hour ride is going to give you a truly memorable experience.
Other activities to check out:
Natural Outdoors – Dubai offers one of the most beautiful natural destinations like pristine waterfalls, freshwater lakes, and cliffs with fossils.
Parks – Guests and tourists often indulge in sports like tennis, soccer, and volleyball. Al Safa Park is one of the oldest parks in Dubai. You can even wander through the maze in the park.
Camel Races – one of the few unique attractions in the city. It is held every Thursday and Friday in the winters. There are several vendors to sell off blankets to beads and rugs, one of the few places where you can purchase souvenirs.