20 important travel tips when heading to Dubai
Respect the dress code
Buy "The Entertainer" app
Don't buy a local sim
I am normally the first to say getting a local sim while travelling is the way forward. However, in Dubai, phone charges and rates are incredibly expensive.
You always need to present a residence visa before getting a sim. This might be a problem for people who just moved or tourists.
Always pay the taxi driver in Dirham
Use Airbnb to cut costs on lodging
Using Airbnb can save you a lot of money when booking lodging in Dubai.
As Dubai is a very rich and expensive city and emirate, hotels can be quite pricey. Yes - you can find cheap hotels as well! But more often than not you will have to put up with bed bugs and other nasty little critters.
There are loads of amazing places you can rent on Airbnb for a fraction of the cost of a hotel room.
There are some amazing places to rent on Airbnb for less than $50 a night! Such as this lavish 1 bedroom apartment at Jumeirah Beach Resort near nightclub and amazing party sport Barasti Beach. You can also opt for this great studio with amazing pool close to Dubai Festival City. Or this absolutely stunning apartment on the (!!) 49th floor with stunning views and an amazing pool.
Airbnb is an amazing platform and I do not know what I would do without it when I travel. There are so many amazing places to stay at in Dubai without breaking the bank!
Using the Dubai Metro - travel gold class
Travelling first class on a third class budget? That's possible in Dubai Metro.
Dubai Metro was first taken in service in 2009 and its elevated tracks span the length of the city. My husband and I use the metro all the time as it is cheaper for us to travel from and to the center than taking a taxi.
Don't take pictures of planes, the military, the police or strangers
Gay in the UAE: Dubai and LGBTQ
As the UAE and thus Dubai use Sharia law, being Gay is seen as a great offense and is illegal.
This does not mean, however, that you cannot be a gay tourist in Dubai!
I am going to be very straight here (no pun intended) and put it out there that the same rules are in place for gay couples as there are for straight couples.
As a couple, it is best not to hold hands and you should definitely not kiss as this might get you in massive trouble. When you are not married you best ask for a room with separate beds and don't show PDA - even in clubs.
And the same is true for Gay Couples.
My husband and I wait to give each other a kiss until we are in the elevator of our building - and even then I am a bit scared to kiss him on the lips. We hardly ever hold hands and even when we have had a few drinks we keep our distance.
Research Ladies nights for free drinks
Drinks are unimaginable expensive in Dubai. Until recently Dubai was the most expensive place on earth to buy an alcoholic drink - and that's not an understatement.
When going out you pay between 50 AED (£ 10.50/ $13 ) and 80 AED (£17 / $22) for a beer, a cocktail or a wine. My husband and I seldom go out and prefer brunches over nights at the bar because of this. However, a lot of our female friends go out for ladies night!
There are loads of great Ladies Night deals offering free alcoholic drinks. They might also offer free food and free sheesha to ladies and sometimes even their partner. It might be a good idea to research these ladies nights as they can often change days or even theme and offer.
Eat Local : Cafes are very cheap!
Go to brunches to save money
Visit Dubai in Winter
Haggle at the souks
Travel to other emirates by bus
There are many tour operators who will try to sell you expensive tickets to travel to Abu Dhabi from Dubai. Although the drive to the next emirate takes 2 hours, bus tickets are cheap. Travelling to Abu Dhabi costs about £4 one way. No need to pay £50 - or even more, to take a taxi to Abu Dhabi!
Book your desert safari on Groupon
Although I do not always think the deals on Groupon are always the best, the Desert Safari's are very cheap and often a great deal.
I would definitely research the companies and read reviews on TripAdvisor and other review websites so you can be sure you are picking a great company and get an amazing experience.