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A Quick Trip through Dubai

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Dubai has developed a fully justified reputation internationally as being a really exciting and interesting place for vacationing. From shopping, to beach, to desert safari, 5 star dining etc etc, Dubai has it all. Only one health warning. Its getting very expensive. Restaurants, hotels, shopping etc - particularly for Europeans where the Euro has collapsed against the US$ (the UAE currency, the Dirham, is directly linked to the US currency). So be warned. You can however insulate yourself against some of this expense through a) buy an Entertainer Guide - approx cost Euro 90 - in it you will dining & entertainment vouchers that will entitle you to discounts in restaurants, water parks etc. b) if you are staying at a hotel it is better to book a flight/hotel package - hotel tariffs are very expensive. If you are booking direct ALWAYS haggle on price. Indeed this applies to EVERYTHING in Dubai. c) most hotels will have discount vouchers for many of the tourist attractions or at least the things than might be of interest to you and d) if you know any friends living in Dubai link up with them - they will have learnt how to keep costs under control. Also they will be a rich source of supply of alcohol - as tourists cannot buy locally (buy at Dubai/Abu Dhabi airport when you land - you are entitled to 5 liters per adult) and buying in hotels/bars is very expensive In the 'dining' category there is SO much choice. If you want alcohol with your meal your choices are limited to restaurants in/linked to hotels. And these are expensive. Mall restaurants offer better value but don't have alcohol. In this latter category I like PF Changs (most Malls), Pauls (most Malls), Rich (most Malls, MORE (most Malls) and, my favourite (particularly for breakfast and lunch), La Farine (at the Marriott Marquis in Business Bay). For the 'alcohol' options you really need to be careful. And make sure you have bought a dining Entertainer Guide (it has Fine Dining and other Dining options - different books so be careful. Although there are deals where you can get two books for the price of one). I personally like Eau Zone at the One & Only, Junsui (Asian buffet) at the Burj al Arab where you can eat all night at a fixed price of c Euro 90 per head (it will also get you access to one of the worlds best hotels), Friday brunch at many hotels (all you can eat & drink for 4/5 hours and excellent value), McGettigans at the Bonnington Hotel in Jumeirah Lake Towers (its a bar rather than expensive dining but great food), Grand Grill at the Habtour Grand Hotel (bring a voucher), Trader Vics (many outlets all good) and again La Farine. At the real expensive end there is Pier Chic (al Qsar Hotel), La Serre (Downtown), Seafire (Atlantis Hotel) and Zuma's (DIFC). Don't go near any restaurant (except Seafire) on the Palm Jumeirah if you want alcohol. It is extortionate - due to Nakheel, the Master Developer, taking its 'tax' in addition to normal hotel/restaurant margins. If purchasing diamonds or jewelry is on your 'agenda', then you will definitely be able to get a bargain at any of the Diamond Parks - and again NEGOTIATE. Hard. Wild Wadi is the best water park (bring or get discount voucher and turn up early for a fun day), the Grand Mosque in Jumeirah is worth a visit as is the Museum (Dubai has more history than people think, Desert Safari's are in my view over-rated but you can hire sand buggies for a few hours and they are great fun, Safa & Zabeel parks are also great points of relaxation, there are public beaches (ask your hotel or guide), Jumeirah Beach Residence has a wonderful array of beach restaurants/cafes - but traffic is a real issue. Taxi transport is reasonably priced but the Metro is a nice experience. And particularly good if you need to avoid the evening traffic, And cheap. Dubai night life has some of the best options of any major city. But don't get too drunk, if that is a personal tendency. From Barasti to Nasimi Beach to Bahri Bar, the options are too many to cover here. But again ask guidance from 'locals'. Some places are very expensive. And there are many 'Happy Hour' (or six) options. Dubai is one of the safest places in the world. So enjoy walking, knowing that you will not be robbed or assaulted. Or if you are, then you will indeed be an 'unusual' person/event The weather is wonderful 8 months of the year. Hot months are June, July, August and September. Dubai also has great golf courses (bring vouchers please), many of the worlds best sportspeople migrate or attend major tournaments every year (horse racing, golf, tennis etc) and most of the worlds best known music brands now have Dubai on 'the tour' While in Dubai, Abu Dhabi is also worth a visit. Or day. It has many attractions for the kids and will cost Euro 100 for the day if you take a taxi (ie both ways and he will drive you around) Finally Downtown (Burj Khaliffa), the Burj al Arab (try the afternoon tea as a cheap way of obtaining access) and the ski slope at Mall of the Emirates would be 'essentials' on my list. And in Dubai Mall you have an ice skating rink, dancing fountains and much much more. I think however you will find 'general shopping' very expensive - but look out for promotions.

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Shopping Fanatic
  • Foodie
  • Beach Goer
  • Luxury Traveler

16 Places

1 City Tip

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Map

16 Places

Burj Al Arab

Architectural Buildings

Wild Wadi Waterpark

Water Parks

Seafire Steakhouse

Restaurants

Bonnington Jumeirah Lakes Towers

Hotels

More Cafe

Restaurants

Barasti Beach Bar

Restaurants

Bice Ristorante

Restaurants

Teatro

Restaurants

Dubai Creek

Piers & Boardwalks, Bodies of Water

Ski Dubai

Theme Parks

Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo

Aquariums

Dubai Museum

History Museums

Mesquita Jumeirah

Sacred & Religious Sites

Dubai Dolphinarium

Game & Entertainment Centers, Aquariums, Swim with Dolphins

Dragon Mart

Shopping Malls,

Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding

Historical & Heritage Tours, Cultural Tours

David M's City Tips

  • Entertainer Vouchers for dining/entertainment discounts. A 2 or 3 Dirham tip is sufficient for taxi's. Bring US$ or Euro & exchange at Malls (but 'bargain')
  • Burj Al Arab
    Architectural Buildings
    See more photos
    David M Says:

    Once you are in this hotel you know you are somewhere very special. Just the best hotel in the world - but not for everybody

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Must See
    • Friends
    • Couples
    Tips
    • Treat yourself to afternoon tea. It's a 'relatively cheap' way to gain access (it is restricted) and is a great way to spend the afternoon
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 391 things to do in Dubai
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Really interesting building on a man build island 07/14/2019
    • Luxury at its best,, 07/11/2019
    • Burj Al Arab
    Address:
    3 Jumeirah Street
    Burj Al-Arab Hotel
    Dubai
    United Arab Emirates
    Phone:
    +971 55 223 8206
    Other:
  • Wild Wadi Waterpark
    Water Parks
    See more photos
    David M Says:

    Very special waterpark with lots of fun rides. Spend the day

    Good for
    • Family
    • Friends
    Tips
    • Go early in the morning to get best seats and get discount vouchers to avoid paying the full price. Also bring towels with you to avoid extra cost
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #50 of 391 things to do in Dubai
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Spoiled by unreasonable irresponsible staff on duty 07/15/2019
    • What’s not to like about Wild wadi 07/12/2019
    • Wild Wadi Waterpark
    Address:
    Jumeirah Beach Road
    Umm Suqeim 3
    Dubai
    United Arab Emirates
    Phone:
    +971 4 348 4444
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    Other:
  • Seafire Steakhouse
    Restaurants (Steakhouse, European, International, Australian)
    See more photos
    David M Says:

    Some of the best steaks in Dubai. And a lovely restaurant with great staff. Wine is however very/too expensive

    Good for
    • Friends
    • Couples
    Tips
    • Make sure you get an Entertainer Guide discount voucher. It will get you a main course (Euro 50) free with every purchase (ie 2 for price of one). Frank Sinatra night is Wednesday
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #40 of 7,753 restaurants in Dubai
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Awesome restaurant! 07/15/2019
    • Night out 07/15/2019
    • Seafire Steakhouse
    Address:
    Crescent Dr
    Atlantis, The Palm
    Dubai 211188
    United Arab Emirates
    Phone:
    +971 4 426 2626
    Hours:
    Wed - Mon
    6:00 PM - 11:00 PM
    Other:
  • Bonnington Jumeirah Lakes Towers
    Hotels
    See more photos
    David M Says:

    McGettigans is a great bar for sports, entertainment and food. So if you want a night out that will not cost you a 'packet' spend an evening here

    Good for
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • Go on Ladies night and also visit Healys Bar
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #100 of 629 Hotels in Dubai
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • It’s very good. 07/15/2019
    • Clean hotel and friendly staff 07/15/2019
    • Bonnington Jumeirah Lakes Towers
    Address:
    Cluster J
    Jumeirah Lakes Towers
    Dubai 37246
    United Arab Emirates
  • More Cafe
    Restaurants (Cafe, International)
    See more photos
    David M Says:

    Some great food at excellent prices. Great menu with vegetarian and health food options.

    Good for
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Go to the outlet at Marina Mall as it has outdoor seating - on the water
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1,072 of 7,753 restaurants in Dubai
    • international food 02/22/2019
    • Good food, great service! 01/15/2019
    • More Cafe
    Address:
    Financial Centre Street
    Al Murooj Rotana Complex, Gardenia Building
    Dubai
    United Arab Emirates
    Phone:
    +971 4 343 3779
    Price range:
    US$4 - US$17
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    7:00 AM - 11:00 PM
  • Barasti Beach Bar
    Restaurants (Bar, European, British, Pub)
    See more photos
    David M Says:

    More for the young people and people who like to be 'spotted' !! Also good for sports and night life

    Good for
    • Friends
    • Couples
    Tips
    • Just enjoy and get some of the best seats by going early. Food not great though
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #606 of 7,753 restaurants in Dubai
    • Free, ladies perks and great food 07/12/2019
    • If you are single, go for it 07/06/2019
    • Barasti Beach Bar
    Address:
    Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina
    Al Sufouh Road, Jumeirah Beach
    Dubai
    United Arab Emirates
    Phone:
    +971 4 399 3333
    Price range:
    US$10 - US$50
    Hours:
    Thu - Fri
    11:00 AM - 2:30 AM
    Sat - Wed
    11:00 AM - 1:30 AM
    Other:
  • Bice Ristorante
    Restaurants (Italian, Seafood, Mediterranean, European, Neapolitan, Campania, Southern-Italian)
    See more photos
    David M Says:

    A bit on the expensive side but excellent food and extensive menu. There are a number of outlets in various hotels but the Hilton is probably the best

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    Tips
    • Get an Entertainer Guide discount voucher - two for the price of one main courses ( so will save you Euro 50)
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #237 of 7,753 restaurants in Dubai
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Lovely Italian restaurant 07/15/2019
    • The best brunch in town 07/12/2019
    • Bice Ristorante
    Address:
    Lobby level
    Hilton Dubai Jumeirah
    Dubai 2431
    United Arab Emirates
    Phone:
    +971 4 318 2319
    Hours:
    Mon
    12:30 PM - 3:00 PM
    7:00 PM - 11:30 PM
    Tue - Sun
    12:30 PM - 11:30 PM
    Other:
  • Teatro
    Restaurants (Japanese, Sushi, Asian)
    See more photos
    David M Says:

    Good food although has started to get too expensive for me. And the staff are a bit arrogant. But worth one visit if you want an extensive choice of (overpriced) food

    Good for
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Need to book in advance as many nights you will be told there are no tables free - even when there are. But it's part of Teatro's unfortunate business culture
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #385 of 7,753 restaurants in Dubai
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A Portal to Another Dimension 05/16/2019
    • Nice restaurant but food was average 04/23/2019
    • Teatro
    Address:
    Towers Rotana, Sheikh Zayed Road
    Dubai 30430
    United Arab Emirates
    Phone:
    +971 4 312 2240
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    6:00 PM - 2:00 AM
    Other:
  • Dubai Creek
    Piers & Boardwalks, Bodies of Water
    See more photos
    David M Says:

    Full of history and the core to the growth of Dubai as an import/export hub. And it has an entertainment and dining infrastructure around it. Very impressive

    Good for
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • There is a museum close to the heart of the Creek (which will over the next few years be extended by another 20 kilometers) which is worth a visit
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #44 of 391 things to do in Dubai
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Awsome 07/14/2019
    • Very nice boat ride 07/13/2019
    • Dubai Creek
  • Ski Dubai
    Theme Parks
    See more photos
    David M Says:

    Getting a bit 'dated' now but still full of thrills for those who love the snow/ice. Many 'games' besides the ski slope itself and there is shopping/dining on your doorstep - its in Mall of the Emirates

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Family
    Tips
    • Discount vouchers can be got from wherever you are staying or if you have a friend/s living in Dubai
    From the community
    Ranked #43 of 391 things to do in Dubai
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Special experience 07/15/2019
    • Excellent outing for kids 07/13/2019
    • Ski Dubai
    Address:
    Shiekh Zayed Road, Interchange 4
    Mall of the Emirates
    Dubai
    United Arab Emirates
    Phone:
    +971 4 409 4090
    Hours:
    Sun - Thu
    10:00 AM - 11:00 PM
    Fri
    9:00 AM - 10:00 PM
    Sat
    9:00 AM - 11:00 PM
    Other:
  • Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
    Aquariums
    See more photos
    David M Says:

    A bit on the expensive side but worth a visit for the 'impact' alone. Unfortunately it is a little small to be completely impressive but great for kids

    Good for
    • Friends
    • Couples
    Tips
    • Again get yourself some discount vouchers in advance
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #6 of 391 things to do in Dubai
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Don't buy basic tickets 07/16/2019
    • A must to go to in Dubai 07/16/2019
    • Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
    Address:
    Sheikh Zayed Road
    The Dubai Mall, Doha Street Off 1st Interchange
    Dubai
    United Arab Emirates
    Phone:
    +971 800 382246255
    Price range:
    US$68 - US$68
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 AM - 12:00 AM
    Other:
  • Dubai Museum
    History Museums
    See more photos
    David M Says:

    Dubai has more history than most people think. Learn about the Bedouin past of this wonderful city.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    Tips
    • Spend some time in the vicinity - lots of cheap shopping around
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #71 of 391 things to do in Dubai
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Interesting and a nice break from the heat 07/12/2019
    • Couldn't get more boaring 07/11/2019
    • Dubai Museum
    Address:
    Al Fahidi St
    Al Fahidi Fort, Bur Dubai
    Dubai
    United Arab Emirates
    Phone:
    +971 4 353 1862
    Hours:
    Fri
    2:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    Sat - Thu
    8:30 AM - 8:30 PM
    Other:
  • Mesquita Jumeirah
    Sacred & Religious Sites
    See more photos
    David M Says:

    It will give you an insight into the Muslim Religion and is a very impressive building apart from the great sense of religious appreciation you will gain

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Make sure you are appropriately dressed for your visit
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #35 of 391 things to do in Dubai
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Stunning Mosque 07/10/2019
    • Loved to be there again.......... 07/10/2019
    • Mesquita Jumeirah
    Address:
    Al Jumeirah Rd
    Dubai 75157
    United Arab Emirates
    Phone:
    +971 4 353 6666
    Price range:
    US$25 - US$25
    Hours:
    Sat - Thu
    9:45 AM - 11:15 AM
    Other:
  • Dubai Dolphinarium
    Game & Entertainment Centers, Aquariums, Swim with Dolphins
    See more photos
    David M Says:

    Good but TV and the American 'parks' make this a little 'underwhelming' but great for kids

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    Tips
    • Once again get your discount vouchers
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 6 Zoos & Aquariums in Dubai
    • Good dolphin show - Go for regular tickets 07/09/2019
    • Great Show 06/30/2019
    • Dubai Dolphinarium
    Address:
    Umm Hurrair 2 St
    Creek Park Gate 1
    Dubai
    United Arab Emirates
    Phone:
    +971 4 336 9773
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 AM - 7:30 PM
    Other:
  • Dragon Mart
    Shopping Malls,
    See more photos
    David M Says:

    Difficult to get too but once you are there you will appreciate the scale of this 'shopping centre'. It is enormous. You can buy anything from a pin to a motorised vehicle. All Chinese manufactured and at great prices.

    Good for
    • Thrifty Traveler
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Family
    Tips
    • Make sure to bargain on price - particularly if you are buying bulk
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #98 of 391 things to do in Dubai
    • Wide range of goods from China, varied prices 06/30/2019
    • good selection of goods 06/04/2019
    • Dragon Mart
    Address:
    Dragon Mart Al Awir Rd
    Dubai 7567
    United Arab Emirates
    Phone:
    +971 4 433 6200
    Hours:
    Thu
    10:00 AM - 11:00 PM
    Fri
    2:00 PM - 11:00 PM
    Sat - Wed
    10:00 AM - 10:00 PM
    Other:
  • Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding
    Historical & Heritage Tours, Cultural Tours
    See more photos
    David M Says:

    Another investment by Dubai in helping you understand that there is more to Dubai than large/tall and unusual buildings and excesses

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Find out the best times to visit in advance - day/time etc
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #87 of 893 Tours in Dubai
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great concept 05/27/2019
    • A must do experience 04/02/2019
    • Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding
    Address:
    Al Mussallah Rd
    House 26, Al Fahidi District
    Dubai
    United Arab Emirates
    Phone:
    +971 4 353 6666
    Price range:
    US$23 - US$23
    Other:
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