Travel Guide

Dubai City Travel Guide

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest special offers
and news on products and services.
Travel Guide

Culture of Dubai

Following a massive expansion and transformation post the discovery of oil in 1960s, Dubai has over the years welcomed expats from different parts of the world for employment purposes. Dubai has expats in substantial numbers not only from Asia but also from America, Europe, and Australia. Unsurprisingly, it is a cultural melting pot with 85% of its population being expats.

This cosmopolitan culture of the emirate has brought it at par with the various global cities of the world. What is more praiseworthy is its remarkably lenient administration which allows expats to practice their own culture, tradition, and religions. Needless to say, Dubai is renowned all over the world for its exceptional hospitality and warmth, making it a perfect vacation spot for all types of visitors, from couples, families, and honeymooners to adventurous travelers.

Rooted and devoted to the Islamic culture, Dubai, however, observes Arabic traditions in the everyday life.

Although the overall percent of local Emiratis is limited to just 15%, the culture of Dubai has a huge reflection of the Arabian philosophy. You can easily spot traditionally dressed gulf Arabs chattering in Arabian language and smoking Shisha which comes quite as a cultural shock to the foreigners and intrigues them. For a passionate traveler who is interested to know more about the city, observing the culture is a great way to peep into the region's history.

Hospitality too, is deep rooted in the Emirati culture. People understand that a major part of their livelihood comes from the tourists, and therefore, they are extremely gracious while maintaining their limits. If you understand the boundaries of the Islamic culture and adhere to them, you’re surely going to make lots of new friends in the city and get to know a lot more about it.

Currency and Economy in Dubai

Dubai uses the Emirati currency called Dirhams (Dhs). The country’s economic focus has shifted from oil export to tourism in the last 10 years and rightly so, the emirate earns its 80%GDP from tourism and less than 20% from natural gas and petroleum. A city that emerged as a business center in Middle East post the oil boom, Dubai transformed itself into a tourist hub with conscious efforts. The aim was to create larger than life and unimaginable attractions that will make the city unique and irresistible for the travelers all across the world. The introduction of the Dubai Shopping Festival further added to the city’s vision and since its inception in the 1990s, the festival has been a huge success. Attracting millions of tourists from all over the world, Dubai has positioned itself as a family destination and lived up to it. For a city that lives on tourism, no wonder, its hospitality is unmatched and the visitors are treated with royalty.

The introduction of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) in 2004 has allowed the city to develop itself as a finance and IT hub along with promoting various other service industries. The 2nd wealthiest emirate of UAE after Abu Dhabi, Dubai has long back moved its dependency from the oil export to the tourism. Today only a small amount of oil income makes a part of the city’s GDP as against the 90% in the 1990s. tourism has given overall boost to the services sector as well. With millions of tourists visiting the city every year, there are now plethora of hotels, restaurants and various other business establishments that has tremendously helped in making Dubai’s economy a thriving one.

History of Dubai

Dubai came into existence when around 800 men and women from the Bani Yas tribe led by the leaders of Maktoum’s family settled near the creek that proved to be a natural harbor for trade and business for them. By the start of the 20th century Dubai became a successful trading port. In 1966, the discovery of oil changed the fate of Dubai and resulted in enormous revenues. Further, the vision of the government of Dubai intelligently channelized those revenues and built the basic necessities like hospitals, schools and roads along with contemporary communications network. The government did not stop at this. There was a continuous exploration of ways to make this revenue generation of Dubai permanent as they knew that the oil boom won’t last forever.

The year of 1971 too was one of the landmark years for the UAE. The rulers of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum of Dubai realized their dream of creating a federation of the emirates in the region with Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah came together to form UAE. But the government knew that oil won’t give them forever stability, and it was in the year 1980s that the emirate decided to invest their resources in making Dubai a world class tourist destination. What started as a dedicated effort to make Dubai visible on the map of Dubai turned the fate of the country with magnanimous attractions inviting millions of visitors from all over the world came into existence. But amidst developing the city in to a tourism hub, Dubai also preserved its rich history and the rare artifacts of not only the era before the oil boom but also the period when Dubai was nothing but a small Bedouin fishing village.

Incredible Facts About Dubai That you Didn't Know

Boasting of the tallest, largest, and various superlatives of magnificent; Dubai attractions should not be missed. The city is constantly working towards creating more innovative attractions that surpasses the imagination. The most recent additions in the list of best things to see in Dubai are Dubai Parks and resorts and the Dubai Opera house that is garnering all the world attention. From Burj Khalifa- the tallest manmade structure in the world to the Dubai Miracle Garden, the serenity of Dubai creek to the adventure of the Desert Safari, no matter what you choose, rest assured of a super fun getaway at the crowned jewel of the Middle East.

Few of the numerous incredible facts about Dubai, good enough to persuade you for your next trip is as follows:

  • Dubai boasts of the world’s tallest manmade freestanding structure in the world- The Burj Khalifa.
  • It has the world’s largest suspended acrylic aquarium in the world.
  • It has three of the world’s biggest shopping malls.
  • Dubai has made the world’s biggest manmade islands that has extended its coastline by over 500kms.
  • Dubai Miracle garden is the world’s biggest natural flower garden with over 45million flowers arranged in various themes.
  • The Dubai fountain is the world’s largest themed fountain that jets water up to a height of over 500ft.
  • Dubai boasts of a golf course that requires 4,000,000 gallons of water on a daily basis.
  • The metro rail of Dubai is a driverless above ground metro train system with 42 stations, built in a record span of just 18 months.
  • Dubai is set to open the Dubailand on grounds of the Disneyland which is expected to be the world’s largest tourist destination by its tentative opening year of 2020.
  • The latest attractions making their way up in the list of becoming the tourist favorites are Dubai Parks and Zoo along with the celebrated Dubai Opera House.

Weather of Dubai

Summer in Dubai:

Dubai is by all means ‘hot’. There’s no other weather in the desert city. The weather is hot and humid most of the year and it becomes a bit pleasant during the months of November till March. No matter which month are you planning to visit the city of Dubai, don’t forget to carry a good sunscreen.

Rains in Dubai:

Yes, it does rains in the Desert. Starting the November and December months of every year, Dubai experiences rainfalls which increases vastly in the months of January and February, thereby, making them the wettest months of the year for the city. However, the temperature doesn’t drastically decrease and maintains a steady range of 20 to 28 degrees approximately.

Winter in Dubai:

Dubai experiences winters from the months of January to March. Don’t expect winters to be the winters you experience in the other parts of the world. Dubai winters are pleasant but the temperatures still don’t go less than 15 degrees even at night. However, the sun is less punishing and it is one of the best time to visit the city.

How to Reach Dubai

The Best way to reach Dubai from any part of the world is by Air. The National airline carrier of Dubai is the Emirates Airlines. Visitors can also land at Abu Dhabi or Sharjah airports and take a cab till Dubai. Dubai can also be reached through waterway via cruise.

The city transportation of Dubai is very well organized ranging from the most economical metro trains and buses to the ultimate luxurious helicopter rides. The transportation of Dubai is primarily based on metro rail, local buses, and taxis. While taxis are a bit costlier affair, local buses are pretty cheap and since all the buses in Dubai are air conditioned, travelling in them even during afternoon hours is not a problem. But Traffic during the peak hours may not be cooperative if you plan to reach at a destination on time, and that is why metro train network of Dubai is the best transport to ride on in the most economical way.

For the ones looking for unparalleled luxury, there’s no limit to what Dubai can do to spoil and pamper you. From luxurious limousine rides to the helicopter trips to your destination, Dubai has it all planned for you. The vast Arabian sea of Dubai is home to some of the best cruises and sea voyages too.

How to Apply Dubai Visa

We make your visa processing extremely easy and hassle-free. Our exclusively designed 3 step visa process ensure you stand a better chance of approval and your application is processed super-fast. Dubai visa regulations are lenient and are easily available within 3-4 working days. Visit our page to see the list of countries that do not need a visa to enter Dubai.

Entering Dubai becomes extremely easy if the applicant is from any of the following 32 countries of the world. The nationals of these countries can anytime enter and leave Dubai. The cities are Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, USA, and Vatican City. These countries do NOT need any prior visa approval.

For countries which are a part of the list of no prior visa arrangements necessary to visit UAE, those countries get their Visa at the UAE airports immigration counter. All you have to do is simply carry your passport and show it to the authorities at the time of immigration. The authorities will grant you a 30-day VISA free of charge. In case you want to extend your stay, pay an additional charge and you can extend your Visa for another 30 days.

Dubai visa policies for tourists is subjected to frequent changes. It is always better to check the latest guidelines before planning the trip.

Things to do Around Dubai

Dubai has plethora of attractions that are so interesting, you wouldn’t want to leave the city ever. The surrounding emirates of Dubai too are irresistible and a must visit by one and all. That is exactly why most of the tourists take some time out and prefer visiting other emirates during their visit to Dubai itself. These places around the city are within a distance of just a few hours are worth every bit of your time and money. Here are some of the best options for you to explore.

Abu Dhabi (155kms): The capital city of UAE is rich in culture and history and offers some of the world’s best attractions for its visitors like the world’s largest handloom carpet, Ferrari world, and a lot more. Visit the city for a relaxed paced lifestyle and some more of the jaw dropping attractions that are hard to fathom.

Ras Al Khaimah (112kms): Known as the ‘headland of small huts’, Ras Al Khaimah is your getaway for the most beautiful beaches in UAE. The place is full of luxury spas and resorts and home to best of adventure watersports. The emirate is famous for its adventure water sports and exceptional sea cruises.

Sharjah (41kms): Declared as the cultural capital of the UAE by UNESCO, Sharjah is your best bet if you’re interested to know about the Islamic culture, Arabian history, and traditions of UAE. The city is full of museums and cultural architecture to give you some great insights. Sharjah is also the best place to understand the religious beliefs culture, and the traditions of the Emiratis. This conventional emirate is visited by many tourists every year.

Eating and Drinking in Dubai

Dubai is a foodie’s paradise. You think of a cuisine and in all probabilities you’ll get at least 10 restaurants across all budget range in Dubai. From the best of 7-star dining to the sumptuous street food, Dubai offers an impeccable variety of delicious cuisines. It is a mix of world indulgence including the Thai, Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Japanese, Lebanese, European, Chinese, and its traditional Emirati cuisine. The hospitality industry of Dubai is so precise in ensuring the authenticity of the taste of their food that best of the chefs are flown from the country of origin to offer authentic dishes to the customers.

Food in Dubai is available across all pocket ranges. From the most expensive meal in Dubai to the most sumptuous but pocket friendly street food. The cosmopolitan nature of the city makes the food a must try. The vibrancy of the menus and colorful eateries makes it impossible to fall in love with the food scene of Dubai.

Drinking is prohibited in Islamic culture but since Dubai is cosmopolitan city and a tourist hub, they allow drinks inside big restaurants and pubs. But to buy drinks from liquor shops, you need to have a license for it. Even the Emirati citizens need to own a license to buy liquor, even if it is meant to be consumed inside their own houses. During the months of Ramzan, the city observes strict rules related to food and drinks. If you’re a foodie, Dubai is definitely your place to be, just ensure you’re not there during the month of Ramzan and if you are, then you must know all the rules to be followed during the month.

Events in Dubai

Dubai is a hub of world events. A favorite city of celebrities around the world, Dubai is always beaming in the electrifying energy of some or the other event. Whether it is the annual Dubai Shopping festival or the Dubai music festival, there’s always some great event to attend in Dubai.

The city has an ever packed calendar of events happening at all places. Bars, nightclubs, music and art festivals, shopping extravaganzas and much more. Some of the best known events are new year and Christmas celebrations that is attended by millions of tourists from all over the world. Offering you a treat of one of the best fireworks of your lifetime, Dubai woos you at the Burj Khalifa, the Palm islands, the Dubai festival city, and the Global Village to name a few. During the new year celebrations, various events around the city adds to its glitz and glamour including the special desert safari celebrations and the exquisite Dhow cruise.

While you’re there, Rayna travels will help you stay informed on every happening event in the city, and if you want, we’ll help you be a part of it too. The restaurants too serve you special celebratory menus and almost the entire city offers the best of deals and discounts. If you ever have the chance of going to Dubai around the New year, don’t miss it.

Nightlife of Dubai

The nightlife of Dubai is full of excitement, grace and panache. Home to some of the best night clubs in all of UAE, the city has some or the other vibrant celebrations going on with world renowned Djs and artists. From the sensational nights, the Fridays to the social rooms, all night carnivals to the infamous Sunday; Dubai’s nightlife is too good to not be experienced. From the best of beachside parties, see- to- be- seen parties, and high-end hangouts, Dubai night scene and hip and happening. Dubai is a regular for most of the world renowned celebrities. One of the biggest claim to fame of Dubai is its vibrant nightlife and therefore, it cannot be ignored. Nightclubs like Club 360, Trilogy, barsati, Mahiki, Indulge and more lift up the nightlife clubbing of Dubai to a whole new level.

The interesting thing about clubbing in Dubai is the fact that most of the best known clubs organize special ladies’ night out parties to attract even the conventional ladies out of their zone and enjoy.

Shopping in Dubai

Dubai Shopping festival, the most famous souks of the world, the best of world malls and almost all the known international brands of the world; Dubai is a world of shopping delights that can turn even the most cold- hearted into a shopaholic. Every street of Dubai has something or the other that will entice you to shell money out of your pocket. No amount is enough when it comes to shopping in Dubai. Tourists from all over the world come here in million numbers every year to enjoy a plethora of shopping options and some of the world’s most amazing deals on the best of international brands. It’s not just the exceptional prices or the items, the whole shopping experience is what makes shopping in Dubai a favorite for all tourists.

Home to some of the best and the biggest malls in the world, Dubai boasts of the finest international brand showrooms and franchises that are hard to find anywhere else. The top known shopping names in Dubai are the Dubai mall, Mall of the Emirates, Festival city mall, Diera mall, Ibn Battuta mall and many more. Dubai also boasts of the traditional souks that are trading since early times but still maintain the tourists interest in them. Amongst these souks gold, spice, perfume and textile souks score the most popularity. On a regular day, the Gold souq boasts of over 10 tons of gold ready to be traded.

Things to See in Dubai

Dubai Miracle Garden- the world’s largest natural flower garden with 45 million flowers adorned in beautiful shapes and designs.

Burj Khalifa- the tallest manmade structures in the world bosting of 164 stories and has various offices, hotels and residential flats too.

Bastakiya Quarter- Dubai’s oldest neighborhood that gives you best peep into the life of the Bedouin people before the oil boon. It has the wind towers that aptly performed the work of air conditioners during that era.

Desert Safari- they say no trip to Dubai is complete without experiencing the calming Dubai desert and enjoying the amazing adventure of Desert safari.

Global Village- touted as the world’s biggest leisure and entertainment project, Global Village is your chance to see worlds inside a world.

Dubai Fountain- the world’s largest themed fountain that shoots water up to a height of approximately a 50 storey building.

Mall of Emirates- one of the biggest malls in the world, Mall of Emirates house the Ski Dubai (Middle East’s first indoor ski rink with world’s first ever black run) and the best of world brands.

Dubai Mall- one of the best known and the largest mall in the world, it has more footfalls in a year than the total number of tourist footfalls in the entire New York city.

Dubai Aquarium and Underwater zoo- Dubai aquarium is the world’s largest suspended acrylic aquarium of the world with over 33000 marine species inside it including sharks and rays,

Sheikh Zayed Mosque- one of the best known mosques of the city, it is a beautiful sight to visit and to get insightful information about the Islamic religion.

Jumeirah beach- the best free beach of the city with a breathtaking backdrop of the Burj Al Arab, the Jumeirah beach is a must visit for absolute relaxation.

Rayna tours offer you the best of Dubai across all budget and time range. Whether it is a 24-hour layover or a week long luxury vacation, whatever is your itinerary, we have a package for you. Our tours give cover the entire city and beyond and take you through all the attractions of the city like a local. From the off beaten paths to the hidden gems, we promise to take you everywhere. Unlike the regular operators we don’t give you only the pre-designed packages but allow you the benefit of absolute customization as per your itinerary. So what if you’re in Dubai only on a 24-hour layover, we ensure you get to see the best of the city even in that short duration. From your stay, your food preferences, your sightseeing, and your comfort, we take care of everything so that you enjoy a memorable time with your loved ones.

What’s more, you can also avail special tailor- made tours to your favorite destinations for your desired time with us, at the most affordable rates. We have various packages that offer solutions that fit everyone’s pocket without compromising on their comfort and security. What makes Rayna one of the most sought after tour operators in Dubai is the exceptional professionalism and warm hospitality that we extend to our guests. The happy testimonials are an example of the happiness of our guests. Our priority is to give you the best of our services and in turn see the happy and satisfied feedback from our guests.

Best Time to Visit Dubai - Weather, Temperature & Season Information

Best time to visit Dubai - well, this is largely based on your personal interests, being Dubai acknowledged as a year-round holiday spot. And this section breaks down this topic as per your preferences and top travel seasons. This also covers a brief month by month guide.

Best Time To Visit Dubai According To Travel Seasons

Peak Season: November through March is the best season to visit Dubai. Among these, December and January are the most vibrant months, as visitors (from all over the globe) swarm the city for the extraordinary seasonal attractions and events held during this period, mainly Christmas Festivities, New Year’s Eve, DSF etc. Add to this refreshing weather accompanied by cool and pleasant ambience.

Shoulder Season: The shoulder season in Dubai is during the late spring months (April and May) and autumn months (September and October). The greatest perk of visiting Dubai during these months is that you’ll be able to get rid of blistering hot while still enjoying some amazing discount on accommodation and travel tickets.

Less-Touristy Season: June to August – this is when summer heat in Dubai reaches is at its highest. It’s also the time when the majority of the expats here fly back to their home country, thus leaving the place almost empty. Not to mention, you can look forward to enjoy some unbelievable discounts on your favorite activities, hotel rooms etc. That said, be sure to pack a light jacket as the indoor attractions will be super cool and air-conditioned.

Best Time To Visit Dubai According To Your Preferences

Best Time for Budget Holidays: Come here during summer months, especially July and August. Being summer heat at its peak, most visitors don’t prefer to travel Dubai during these months which make the place less crowded. The bonus is that airline tickets, accommodation (even in a high end hotel or resort) etc will easily fall into your budget. Al though these months are not ideal for outdoor activities, you’ll still be able to make the most of the city’s many indoor, air-conditioned attractions such as malls, amusement parks, escape rooms etc.

Best Time for Foodies: Dubai, on the whole, is a haven for foodies. But, if you wish to savor diverse culinary flavors from different parts of the world under a single roof, the most ideal time to visit here during winter months, particularly December, January and February. After all, this is the time when Global Village becomes active while representing art, culture, and cuisines, among others, from across the world. You’ll also get to participate in exclusive events such as Dubai Food Festival.

Best Time for Newly Weds & Couples: The winter months from December to March is the most appropriate time. This allows you for some romantic experiences including Overnight Desert Safari, Hot Air Balloon Ride etc.

Best Time for Outdoor Enthusiasts: November to March is the most recommended time for those who love outdoors. Whether you’re looking to engage in water sport activities (like Kayaking, Stand Up Paddle and Jet Skiing) or desert exclusive activities (such as Sandboarding, Quad Biking and Camel Ride), the cool, pleasant climate during these months is certain to add to your experience.

Best Time for Shoppers: Dubai is home to over 70 malls including the world’s biggest mall (Dubai Mall), which itself indicates that Dubai is a shoppers’ paradise all through the year. But if you want to enjoy some astonishing discounts (30% - 70% or maybe sometimes up to 90%) and even win prizes worth jaw-dropping amounts, the best time to visit here is undoubtedly during the one-month long DSF (Dubai Shopping Festival). It begins towards the end of December and last till February.

Best Time To Visit Dubai According To Month

January: Immerse yourself in the city wide celebrations as part of the New Year Festivities and Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF). Chilly (yet pleasant) nights with milder temperatures during day allow for some great outing.

February: Enjoy cool salubrious climate and participate in an array of festivals, events and activities including Dubai Crown Prince Camel Festival, Dubai Food Festival, Emirates Airline Dubai Jazz Festival, and Emirates Airline Festival of Literature.

March: The spring season in Dubai kicks off, making it the most ideal time to experience its beaches and further indulge in a spectrum of water sports like parasailing, jet skiing etc. You’ll also get to participate in the prestigious Dubai World Cup, Art Dubai, and Dubai Challenge Cup, among other events.

April: Weather is warming up but is still ideal for sightseeing and witness some incredible events such as Al Marmoom Heritage Festival and World Art Dubai.

May: Temperature continues to rise and this is the time to experience the region’s religious spirit, with Ramadan in Dubai and finally Eid Al Fitr.

June: As summer has officially begun, expect Dubai to be sweltering hot. You can visit shopping malls, theme parks and be part of events like Dubai Sports World and Dubai Soca Fest.

July: Despite scorching summer heat, gear up for some exciting fun, activities and deals as part of the city’s Eid Al Adha celebrations.

August: Summer in Dubai may be at its highest in this month. That said, some remarkable surprises await you here by way of Dubai Summer Surprises which comes with an exciting line-up of cool shopping deals, amusing family-based activities and awe-inspiring events.

September: Weather has begun to cool down but it’s still pretty hot in Dubai and also one of the best times to make the most of its attractions such as Ski Dubai and Dubai Ice Rink.

October: This is usually the time when the region’s most seasonal attractions become active, such as Dubai Miracle Garden, Global Village, Dubai Garden Glow and Dubai Dinosaur Park. And this time, it’s extra special as the six-month Dubai EXPO 2020 begins on October 20, 2020.

November: A blend of mildly warmer days and refreshingly cooler evenings makes it one of the best times to experience Dubai’s stunning outdoors. Visit gardens, indulge in water sports and try activities such as XLine zipline adventure. Add to this some exciting events including Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens.

December: As the temperature drops down significantly, the whole region becomes magical with an extensive repertoire of activities and events. National Day, DSF and New Year’s Eve festivities are just a few to mention.

Precisely, whenever you plan to visit Dubai, one thing is sure that there is something distinct and exceptional to look forward to in this wonderful destination.

Best Selling Dubai Tours

  • Dubai Burj Khalifa Tour
  • Dubai Ice Rink
  • Dubai Dolphinarium
  • Ski Dubai Tickets
  • Dubai Frame
  • Dubai Mall Aquarium
  • The Lost Chambers Aquarium Tickets
  • Burj Khalifa and Aquarium Tickets

Dubai City Travelogue

General Terms and conditions
Privacy Policy