Dubai reigns as the UAE’s glitziest city, with ATMs that dispense gold bars, a 1,200-store mall and a fleet of police vehicles that includes Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Bentleys. Take time to explore Dubai’s soaring skyscrapers, sandy beaches, alluring souks and desert sunsets.
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WHEN TO GO
The ideal time for Dubai travel is Nov. through March, when temperatures hover around 30 C (86 F). Summers can be positively broiling, though prices drop; if you visit between June and Sept. keep cool at Dubai’s many indoor attractions.
NEED TO KNOW
Visas: Nearly all travelers entering the UAE are required to show a passport. U.S. nationals do not require visas to visit the UAE for stays less than 30 days; they will be granted a free One Entry Visit Visa.
Money: Local currency is the dirham. ATMs are widely available and credit cards are generally accepted. Prices are fixed in most shops, but it’s possible to bargain in souks and outdoor markets.
Travel Health: Check with the United Arab Emirates government website for the latest health safety information, including travel protocols and requirements like negative COVID-19 tests, quarantines, mask mandates and more in connection with COVID-19. Before traveling, research and prepare for what to do if you get sick while away.
Getting Here: Dubai is served by Dubai International Airport (DXB). Visitors can take a taxi or the metro to their hotel or hire a private car. Some hotels also offer airport shuttles.
Getting Around: Dubai’s metro system is efficient and inexpensive. Taxis and ride shares are easily accessed, though many folks use the local ride-hailing service, Careem. Bike shares can be accessed through Careem. For fun ways to see the city, ride the elevated monorail between Palm Jumeirah and Dubai Marina, or hop aboard the Dubai Ferry and explore various routes from the water.
Local Lingo: Arabic is the official language in Dubai. Learn a few basic phrases before you visit: Marhaba: Hello. Kayf halak/halik: How are you? Shukran: Thank you. Nem / la: Yes / no. Maafi mushkila: No problem. La afham: I don’t understand.
Must-Have Apps: Visit Dubai; Careem; RTA Dubai; Dubai Mall App
Insider Tips: Visiting Burj Khalifa is a must-do. Know that ticket prices vary depending on time of visit (peak time is around sunset). If you book your tickets online, you can add skip-the-line features (totally worth it), discounts at on-site souvenir shops and discounts to other attractions, like a desert safari.