Dubai, United Arab Emirates

By | February 2, 2023

Dubai is incredible! This largest city in the UAE never ceases to change and amaze. Even those who visited the emirate only 7-10 years ago no longer have the full right to say “I saw Dubai”, because every day Dubai prepares new surprises for its residents and guests. Only a few things remain unchanged: the city’s skyrocketing upwards towards shining stars and new building height records, incredible architecture and grandeur of projects, stunning shopping, vibrant nightlife and entertainment, and the desert in which this modern and cosmopolitan center of attraction has grown. Check to learn more about United Arab Emirates.

The myth about Dubai’s petrodollars has already lost its relevance – income from the oil and gas industry is no more than 6% of the emirate’s GDP.

Unremarkable half a century ago, today Dubai has become one of the richest cities in the world, a leading tourist, commercial, financial and transport point on the planet map. The emirate is ready to offer its guests the most unexpected and most interesting leisure options – a ski resort in the middle of eternal summer, a huge aquarium with tens of thousands of marine animals, exhibitions of all kinds of world significance, festivals and unforgettable impressions of man-made islands and dizzying skyscrapers.

Communication and Wi-Fi

Travelers who are accustomed to buying a local SIM card in the first souvenir shop or newspaper shop they come across will be disappointed in Dubai – if you did not have time to purchase a local operator card at the airport, you will have to look for a branded salon, and then present your passport. According to the combination of “quality of communication – affordable prices”, one of the leaders is the company Etisalat (website). The operator has a convenient website in English, where you can decide in advance on the necessary tariff and service packages. For example, guests of the emirate are offered a universal Visitor Line tariff, the user gets a choice of three options: 1 GB of mobile Internet and 5 hours of Wi-Fi at Etisalat access points, 60 minutes of local and international calls and 60 SMS to local and foreign numbers or a mixed “line” out of 30 minutes of calls, 30 sms and 500 MB of internet. You need to spend the due minutes and access to the network in 2 weeks.

The Emirates have their own take on online censorship, so don’t be surprised to see your favorite site blocked. East is a delicate matter.

When booking a hotel, check the conditions for accessing the network, sometimes you will have to pay a fair amount for using local Wi-Fi in the room. Although a free hotspot will be easy to find in one of the malls or cafes.

Dubai Pass

Dubai pass is a subscription for tourists that allows you to visit city attractions with discounts up to 60%. In total, there are 33 cultural and entertainment facilities in the affiliate program.

Guests of the emirate get the opportunity to visit the most interesting sites in Dubai: the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, IMG and Dubai Parks adventure parks, an indoor ski slope, a safari, a water park, a dolphinarium, Legoland, etc. Club card holders will also be able to ride with take a city tour, buy a half-price ticket to the La Perle acrobatics show and many other experiences.

Three types of cards are currently available: Dubai Unlimited, Dubai Flexi Attractions Pass and Dubai Select. Dubai Pass Select includes 3 tickets to choose from for any participating shows and attractions, valid for 7 calendar days from the date of first presentation. Dubai Unlimited (all inclusive) costs AED 1189 for a card for three days from the date of first presentation (subscriptions for 5 and 7 days are also available) and opens admission to all participating shows and interesting objects with a maximum discount of up to 60%.

Detailed information about tariffs and services is on the official website.

What to try

Those with a sweet tooth need to soberly weigh the pros and cons, and then spit on conventions and head to the world’s largest candy store Candylicious (website) in the Dubai Mall. Absolutely crazy and delightful store: more than 5,000 varieties and types of sweets, including exclusive ones. What to try is not important, what is important is to leave there happy.

From the local sweet flavor – camel milk ice cream (affordable and delicious), ice cream with gold (insanely expensive, probably delicious). The same story with coffee: be sure to try strong black varieties brewed according to local recipes and technologies in coffee shops, order light Arabian from unroasted beans with a bit of cardamom, and coffee with gold is more suitable for kitsch and stories (this is Dubai). You can flavor coffee gatherings with hookah.

Fans of a snack on the run are advised to try “mankish” – melted cheese with herbs and olives in pita or pita bread. Well, kebab with shawarma, of course. Finally compare with the Moscow version. From authentic exotic for a thorough lunch or dinner, choose ruz bil tamar – rice with dates, goes well with fish.

Cafes and restaurants in Dubai

In big cities, even the smallest wants to feel like a part of something great, so don’t be afraid of “Restaurant” signs in Dubai, it is possible that it will be a mediocre cafe, or even a small eatery. As for the cuisine, here gourmets have a real expanse: the multinationality of the emirate, the continuous flows of tourists and temporary workers have brought here the cooking traditions of many countries and corners of the world. In Dubai, you can easily get acquainted with the intricacies of the multifaceted Arabic cuisine or taste Indian and South Asian dishes. A nice nuance is quite large portions and excellent quality of products.

If you want to spend money on high cuisine in the truest sense of the word – visit the Burj Al Arab restaurant. It is believed that the check starts from 500 AED, but in fact, for not the most plentiful lunch or dinner, you will have to pay from 2000 AED. The bonus is the service of the highest class and a panoramic view from a height of 200 m. Although expensive and unusual food in Dubai is not a problem, there would be a desire. And money.

If you are not inclined to gastronomic experiments and the risks associated with them, including financial ones, then turn your attention to restaurants (oh, these restaurants, cafes are cafes) Golden Fork. In Dubai, there are about a dozen establishments of this network. Specialization: please everyone. The menu includes European, continental, Chinese, Indian, Arabic, Russian and other cuisines, fusion and fast food.

Holidays and events

Dubai hosts many exhibitions and festivals throughout the year. One of the most popular – the Dubai Shopping Festival – is held in January-February: all month large shopping centers offer customers significant discounts, sometimes reaching 60-70%. In summer, the Dubai Summer Surprises festival is held for city guests.

Dubai is a recognized venue for major international events.

6 things to do in Dubai

  1. Climb to the 124th floor of the Burj Khalifa and take in the emirate from a bird’s eye view.
  2. Shop for luxury items at the largest Gold Market.
  3. Descend from the Ziggurat tower in a glass tube through the shark pool at Aquaventure Water Park.
  4. Admire the musical “dancing” Dubai Fountain.
  5. Dine among the sand dunes at the award-winning Al Hadhira Restaurant.
  6. Have some fun at any of Dubai’s many vibrant festivals.

Emirates Airlines Dubai Rugby Sevens

The only international rugby competition in the Middle East takes place annually in December at the impressive Sevens Specialty Stadium (website).

Omega Dubai Ladies Masters

The first all-female European tour ever to take place in the Middle East. Organized by Golf in Dubai, this tournament has become a prominent event in the UAE golf calendar, featuring the world’s top players every year. Held in December at the Emirates Golf Club (website).

Omega Dubai Desert classic

An annual professional golf tournament, a leg of the European Tour and the first of its kind in the Middle East. Organized by Golf in Dubai, this prestigious competition attracts world-class players such as Tiger Woods, Paul Casey and many more. It takes place in January-February at the Emirates Golf Club.

Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship

Organized by the Dubai Duty Free Center (website), the two-week tennis tournament attracts many fans and internationally renowned tennis players. Held in February-March at the Aviation Club.

Dubai World Cup

The most expensive horse race in the world, the Dubai World Cup includes 7 races with different prize pools. Held annually on the last Saturday of March at the Meydan hippodrome (web site).


In Dubai, it is almost always sunny and cloudless – the geographical position obliges. It is pointless to take an umbrella with you, since rains fall under the “rarity” category, and a sudden gust of wind from the desert will nullify attempts to hide from the sun under a fragile structure.

Winter in Dubai is mild, good for excursions and shopping, but it is unlikely that you will be able to soak up the beach: the water is cool and windy. In addition, a light jacket is useful for night walks. But the peak of the swimming season falls on the calendar spring – the winds calm down, the water warms up, and the heat of the day is still quite bearable. As summer approaches, the thermometer stubbornly creeps to +40 ° C and above, all living things move into the shade and under the air conditioners. Walks and water procedures should be abandoned, as well as a trip to the emirate at this time of the year. August is especially cruel and uncompromising. Tourist life in the emirate returns in the second half of autumn.

When heading to the desert city, be prepared for sandstorms and don’t leave your hotel in the event of a storm warning.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates