The United Arab Emirates is the dream destination for all types of travelers – families, recently married couples on their honeymoon and even a solo traveler – there’s something for everyone. When coming to the UAE for a solo trip, visitors are guaranteed to never feel alone as the country is fast-paced and always popping, full of people from across the world for travelers to meet and socialize with. The tips below will make a solo trip to the UAE even easier and more fun.
Read up on UAE’s rules and laws This should be a must when visiting UAE, it’s vital to be well informed on the country’s laws and social rules. With UAE’s unique culture, there are many regulations that wouldn’t be obvious to tourists. Therefore it’s crucial to know what is within the law, as well as things that tourists should never do when visiting the UAE. This way you guarantee the most pleasant trip possible.
QUICK FACTS Located on the Persian Gulf and one of the seven emirates that make up the country, Dubai is home to just over 2.1 million people. The desert city has been attracting worldwide focus due to its ambitious expansion, modern architecture, gigantic shopping malls and impressive skyscrapers. A global metropolis, Dubai serves as the business, transport and commercial hub of the Middle East. Nicknames: City of Gold
PRACTICAL INFORMATION Currency: United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED). Spoken languages: Arabic and English. Best time to visit: November to March to escape the hot arid temperatures and enjoy the beaches. Arriving via airport: Dubai International Airport (DBX) is served by metro and public bus lines that operate on a zone system. Taxis charge AED30-AED40.
GETTING AROUND NOL is a smart card used to pay for fares by stored value and the only valid ticket across all of Dubai’s transportation, including bus, metro and water taxi services. RTA operates the public bus transport system across 79 routes that keep the city well-connected. Fares are calculated based on distance. Dubai Metro provides efficient, fast and cheap travel. Tickets start at Dh2.50 for 1-zone while a day pass valid across all zones costs Dh14. Taxis are an excellent way to explore the far flung districts of the city. Meter starts at Dh5 and charges Dh1.60 per km plus surcharges. Dh20 is added to rides passing Sharjah and Northern Emirates.
DUBAI NIGHTLIFE Drinking age is 21, and last call is 3 AM. Burj Khalifa is the energetic address for Dubai’s premier nightlife. Al Barsha is where the young and fashionable hang out to dance and party the night away. Jumeirah stuns with open-air venues, unique nightclubs and sophisticated lounges.
UNIQUE LANDMARKS TO VISIT Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding aims to educate visitors on the local culture, its customs and religion by offering mosque tours and heritage walks. Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world and the crowning jewel of downtown Dubai surrounded by some of the city’s best hotels, restaurants and entertainment options. Burj Al Arab is an icon of modern architecture, the third tallest building in the world designed by Tom Wright that can be admired from anywhere in the city. Dubai Fountains were designed by the same creators of the Fountains of Bellagio in Las Vegas and are choreographed to music for a stunning show set on Burj Khalifa Lake. Al-Jumeirah Mosque is Dubai’s most photographed mosque and a sacred symbol of the city.
INTERESTING WALKS Dubai Creek hosts charming markets, motor boat cruising and plenty of viewpoints from which to admire the city skyline. Madinat Jumeirah is Dubai’s first modern Arabian marketplace, sprawled along the beach. Abra Dock is where visitors can hire a water taxi and witness incomparable views of the city while admiring the bustling activities on shore.
LOCAL WISDOM The city follows the Islamic religion, which should be respected by all visitors in order to avoid trouble. As such, sensible attire should be observed by both men and women (especially when out in public). Visitors are required to observe the local customs during the month of Ramadan, which means they should not eat, drink or smoke in public during the daytime.
Find the best place to stay When travelling alone, the place you choose to stay can make or break a trip. It’s crucial for the solo traveler to the UAE to choose a hotel that is in a busy area where you can easily find restaurants, shops and things to keep busy. The solo traveler should always pick Dubai as their city stay, although the other Emirates have lots to offer, they are not nearly as busy as Dubai. Some of the best areas to look for hotels are Downtown Dubai and Dubai Marina, as they have a vast array of restaurants, bars, malls, touristic attractions and a metro nearby for transport.
Discover the Dubai nightlife One thing not many visitors are aware of is that Dubai has a vibrant nightlife. The city is populated by bars and clubs for all tastes and budgets. When travelling alone to the city, it’s a great idea to check out the nightlife, as this will be a guaranteed way to meet people and have a fun night.
Book your tours of the UAE There is no shortage of travel agencies that offer several types of tours around the UAE. Whether you want to have a full day tour of Dubai, check out other Emirates like Abu Dhabi and Sharjah or take an adventure on a desert safari – solo travelers hitting up the UAE should definitely book a tour to get to know the country better. This is a certain way of meeting other people who are visiting the city and will allow lonesome visitors to make friends and future plans.
Take some “me time” – book a luxury spa Perhaps the best part of travelling alone is getting to enjoy some “Me-Time” and doing things that you normally don’t have time to do in a routine surrounded by other people. One of the best ways to treat yourself in the UAE is by making an appointment at one of its several luxury spas. Whether for a massage, a scrub or a Turkish bath, the country has spas that will baffle even the most sophisticated traveler – and no one ever feels alone when getting a good massage!
Things to do in Dubai
1. Explore Dubai by going on a half-day or full-day city sightseeing tour Discover this beautiful desert city of U.A.E. as you embark upon your half-day/Full-day city sightseeing tour. There will be an expert local guide who will make your Dubai tour look like a cakewalk. You will travel in a comfortable car or minivan or coach and take in the top landmarks of Dubai while absorbing the city’s cosmopolitan atmosphere. Do not forget to take photographs of the world-famous sites.
2. Feel your adrenalin rush at a Waterpark Spend some action-packed time in Dubai’s waterpark by buying yourself an all-day ticket at the entrance itself. Given the hot temperature that graces the city for the better part of a year, you bet there are some amazing water parks to help you cool down! If you’re looking for some family-friendly water parks, you are in the right place!
3. Look down from the top of Burj Khalifa Here is a wonderful opportunity for you to feel on top of the world while visiting Dubai. You simply need to purchase an entrance ticket to access the viewing point of Burj Khalifa’s 124th floor. As you ride the 65-meter (213-foot) moving sidewalk, enjoy watching a wonderful multimedia presentation, which narrates the story of this beautiful desert city as well as Burj Khalifa. Reach the observation deck by taking a high-speed elevator and enjoy the views of Burj-Al Arab, Dubai Marina, and other sights, which are simply mind-blowing from the top. There are powerful digital telescopes that can be used to view the surrounding landmarks below.
4. Experience the finest Dubai desert safari tour There is no better way to get acquainted with the beauty and the mysteries of the desert than going on the Dubai desert safari tour that lasts for six hours. A guide will accompany you in a cozy 4x4 as you leave from Dubai for your destination. Enjoy a superb mix of contemporary and traditional desert adventures during this trip. Experience the unique joy of riding a camel, enjoy dune bashing, and finally arrive at a campsite when the sun sets. You can get your hands tattooed with henna and watch the famous folk dance of the desert called “Tanoura.” To top it off, you will also relish a scrumptious barbecue dinner and enjoy a mesmerizing belly dancing show around the campfire.
5. Boat tour around Palm Jumeirah and Dubai Marina You should definitely not let go of this excellent opportunity to enjoy a yacht tour. Enjoy unhindered views of top tourist attractions like the royal palaces, Burj AI-Arab, Dubai Lagoon, Palm Jumeirah, and Palm Atlantis during the cruise. Each boat has a capacity of only few people, so you can really have a unique and personalized experience.
6. Dinner cruise on stylish Dubai Cruise Sail smoothly along the famous Dubai Creek and marvel at the skyline of Dubai while enjoying fine gourmet dinner on this unique “Dubai Cruise” evening cruise that lasts for about two-and-a-half hours. Get a red carpet treatment as you are greeted with a cool welcome drink. Also, enjoy the sights of Dubai’s top tourist attractions including the Al Maktoum Bridge and Clock tower. The three-course dinner is accompanied by a beautiful piano performance. You can select a soda or go for one of the delectable house wines to accompany your food.
7. Enjoy gourmet dinner on a suspended mid-air platform called a Flying Cup If you are an adventure seeker or a die-hard foodie, then do not miss this excellent activity in the city of Dubai. You will be served a three-course delicious meal by a chef while enjoying the superb views of the desert city as well as its surrounding waters. But the most unique feature of this excursion is that everything happens while being suspended on a platform up in the air. So, enjoy this unique experience and cherish some best moments of your life.
8. Amazing helicopter ride in Dubai This amazing shared helicopter ride offers you some spectacular views of the city of Dubai from the air. The ride lasts for about 15 or 45 minutes. An experienced pilot has the controls while the chopper has seats for five passengers. Enjoy sights of top city attractions like Burj-Al-Arab and Palm Jumeirah among others as you soar above them. Do not forget snapping pictures of the landmarks from the air to capture the sights forever.
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