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Dubai

 From a humble village to a cosmopolitan city

Dubai has transformed from a humble fishing village to one of the most cosmopolitan and innovative cities in the world today. Tracing its origins back to 3,000 BC, Dubai's inhabitants made their livelihood from fishing, pearl diving, boat building and sea trading, before the discovery of oil in the late 1960s. In 1971, Dubai joined its neighbours to form the United Arab Emirates, safeguarding the area's prosperity.

currency

1 Dirham (AED) = 100 fils

phone

999 (Police-Ambulance)
997 (Fire)

newspaper

The National
The Gulf Today
The Gulf News
Khaleej Times
7 Days (free sheet)

hours

Thanks to split-shift staffing systems, many shops are open 24 hours a day while most others stay open until 21.00 or 22.00. On Fridays many shops close from 11.30-12.30 for Muslim holy day prayers. Times are revised during Ramadan.

population

Around 3 million

info

Dubai Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing
Ground, 6th, 8th and 9th Floors, Al Fattan Plaza, Airport Road, Deira Dubai
info@visitdubai.com

Top Attractions

Dubai is a city that must be seen to be believed. Record-breaking architecture stands alongside traditional quarters, while man-made islands jut out of the coastline. Here are the top places to tick off your sightseeing list when you’re in town.

The Dubai Fountain

Dubai Parks and Resorts

Dubai Opera

Madinat Jumeirah

Palm Jumeirah

Burj Khalifa

Burj Al Arab

Dubai Water Canal

City Walk

Etihad Museum

Dubai Historical District

The Dubai Mall

Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo

Ski Dubai

IMG Worlds of Adventure

Jumeirah Mosque

Dubai Creek

Dubai Frame

Beaches

A thriving urban beach scene

Dubai is one of the few places to enjoy a beach vacation within a thriving city. Experience a holiday Dubai-style combining high-energy city action with the beauty of the Arabian Gulf. With a beachside shopping scene, luxury resorts and watersports, Dubai offers the best of the city and the sea. Kite Beach, Sunset Beach and The Beach at JBR are popular seaside spots and all feature a running track for a leisurely stroll or jog along the water.

JBR Beach

Kite Beach

Beach Clubs

Beachside Dining

Watersports

Family Beach Clubs

Beachside Cafés

City Meets Beach

Beach Activities

La Mer

Adventure

With year-round sun and a dramatic combination of both the desert and beach, Dubai is the perfect setting to be swept away by high-adrenaline activities. Rocket across the Arabian Gulf in a speedboat or roar along the circuit in a race car, skydive over Palm Jumeirah, ski around The World, paddleboard along the coast or swim with dolphins and sharks. You can even leave the city and dune bash in the desert or soar above the sand in a hot air balloon. Fasten your seatbelt, harness or helmet — it’s going to be an exciting ride.

Buggy Safaris

Skydive Dubai

Flyboarding

Jet-Ski

Quad Biking

Sandboarding

Camping

Dubai Safari

Hot Air Balloon

Sky Hub Paramotors

The Desert

Safaris, sunsets and star-gazing

When it comes to Dubai's majestic desert, visitors have many options to discover its beautiful landscape. Beyond the popular off-roading or desert safaris, there’s much to do amid the dunes. Whether you're taking in some history with a traditional Bedouin meal, cycling through Al Qudra or watching for wildlife, don't miss the opportunity to experience the desert. Visit a resort or conservation reserve, or simply watch the sunset before some stargazing.

Desert Safaris

Desert Hotels

Desert Activities

Al Marmoom

Desert Dining

Shopping

Between Dubai’s grandiose malls including The Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates and City Walk to traditional souks such as the Gold Souk and Perfume Souk, you’re practically guaranteed to find a souvenir to treasure from your holiday to Dubai. Plus, with massive citywide shopping celebrations like Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) and Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS), you could snag the deal of a lifetime during your visit to this global shopping destination.

Malls

Souks

Beachside Shopping

Luxury Shopping

Boutiques

Markets

Festivals / Shopping Experiences

Homegrown Labels

Gastronomy

There’s nothing the people of Dubai love more than to dress up and dine out. You can choose from a glittering array of celebrity restaurants and a huge variety of Middle Eastern food, plenty of them family friendly and almost all in Instagram-worthy locations.

Dubai Food Festival

Emirati/Arabic Cuisine

Brunch

Cafés & Bakeries

Fine Dining

Celebrity Restaurants/Chefs

Kid-Friendly Restaurants

Beachside Dining

Outdoor/Rooftop Dining

Vegan & Healthy Eating

Street Food & Food Trucks

Experiential Dining

Business Restaurants

Private Dining

Fast Food

Amusement Parks

With big ambitions and the expertise to make even the wildest dreams a reality, Dubai is becoming the most exciting adventure playground in the world. Whether it's family fun or hair-raising thrills you're after, there are laughs in store for all.

Theme Parks

Waterparks

Wild Wadi

Aquaventure Waterpark

IMG Worlds of Adventure

Dubai Parks and Resorts

Global Village

Dubai Miracle Garden

Dubai Garden Glow

The Green Planet

Culture & Arts

With Dubai Opera, the arts district Al Quoz and the discovery of relics from the Iron Age, Dubai is fast evolving into a cultural hotspot. The city’s rich culture ranges from the Iron Age to stark modernity and there is no better time to see its evolution than now.

Museums

Art Galleries

Souks

Historical Neighbourhood

National Heritage

Dubai International Film Festival

Al Seef District

La Perle

Sports

Dubai’s world-class tennis courts, golf courses and sports clubs are here to help you achieve your personal best. Into watersports? Head to Kite Beach for kitesurfing or Sunset Beach to test your balance during a stand up paddleboarding or surfing session. Plus, the fun doesn’t end during the summer months. Dubai Sports World is equipped with cool indoor facilities ranging from football to skateboarding, so you can enjoy all of your favourite activities throughout the year.

Golf

Running

Rugby 7s

Cycling

Motorsports & Off-roading

Tennis & Squash

Cricket

Football

Watersports

Boating & Fishing

Polo

Horse Riding

Hiking

Spas & Relaxation

There are literally hundreds of spas in all shapes and sizes, from internationally acclaimed spas like the Talise Ottoman Spa at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray and Assawan at the Burj Al Arab to the simple street corner variety. Common to all are great service and value.

Spas

Beauty Salons

Hammams

Signature Spas

Destination Spas

Arabian Beauty

Yoga

Medical Spas

Nature

Take a break from the stunning skyline and explore the natural wonders that make the city come alive. There are enormous green spaces with picturesque lakes and lawns right in the heart of the emirate. Discover on your own, or take advantage of tour guides who specialise in the region’s diverse flora and fauna.

Parks

Ecotourism

Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary

Desert Wildlife

Birds

Turtle Rehabilitation

Sea Life

Al Marmoom

Hatta

Sample Itineraries

Experience the magic of Dubai with our handy itineraries. Whether you're in the city for 8 hours or the weekend, we've packed in all the highlights but with plenty of time to let you discover some hidden gems along the way.

Layover in Dubai

Dubai in 24-Hours

Dubai in 48-Hours

Dubai in 72-Hours

Five Days in Dubai

Dubai for Business

Nightlife

Get ready for a night to remember in Dubai. The city boasts rooftop lounges with skyscraper views, iconic venues for a glamorous evening with friends and chic speakeasys that combine the best in food, music and entertainment.

Dubai's Dynamic Nightspots

Shopping: Malls & Souks

Lounges

Best Live Music Venues

Hotels

Book an unforgettable stay in the city of dreams. Check-in to five-star hotels right at the heart of all the action in Dubai or choose to unwind at one of the city's many beachside resorts with endless waterside views and memorable hospitality.

City Hotels

Beach Hotels

Desert Hotels

Business Hotels

Budget Hotels

New Hotels

Iconic Hotels

Atlantis The Palm

Essential Information

Dubai International Airport

The Dubai International Airport is located 4 km (2.5 miles) southeast of Dubai. Transportation from the airport is possible by taxi and bus. Transfer between the terminals takes about 10 minutes using the airport shuttle service. The Terminal 1 departures concourse (Sheikh Rashid Terminal) is linked to Terminal 1 via a tunnel with travelators. Terminal 2 is used exclusively for business and charter flights.

Taxi service is provided by the government-run Dubai Transport airport taxi, where each cab is meter-run.

Bus service: Bus stations are located opposite both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Buses run frequently and serve the most popular places in Dubai (www,dubai-buses.com/index.aspx).Tickets must be bought prior to the journey.

You can also take the metro to and from the airport. The metro runs at ten-minute intervals and stops at various stations located across the city.

Address: The Dubai International Airport, Dubai

Phone: +971 4 224 5555

Website: www.dubaiairports.ae

Buses

The bus service in Dubai is an easy, quick and inexpensive way to get around in the city, operated by the Dubai Municipality Transport Section. Fares are low, and a pre-purchased Nol Card is the most convenient payment option. There are special 24-hour passes available for visitors; these work on all forms of transport and allow visitors to easily reach most tourist sites.

Website: www.dubai-buses.com

Metro

There are two metro lines in Dubai, red line and green line. The Red Line runs every 3-4 minutes during peak time and 7 minutes during off-peak hours. Every metro station will have bus connections and taxi pickup. To travel with Metro you need to buy a Nol card or Nol ticket. You can buy your Nol ticket on the ticket vending machine, ticket office or RTA authorised sales agent. Each time you travel, tap your card at the card reader on the fare gates.

Phone: +971 4 800 9090

Website: www.rta.ae

Taxi

The most convenient way of getting around. Beware of uninsured illegal taxis. The four government franchised official operators have strictly controlled fares. Cabs can be hailed at the roadside, or summoned via telephone or one of the electronic booking machines found around town. For those with data services, Uber and Careem are handy and easily available. Driver knowledge is sometimes lacking, so use a major landmark as a homing device when saying where you want to go.

Phone: + 971 4 208 080 8

Website: www.nationaltaxi.ae

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