So you’ve found the perfect self-catered accommodation, booked the flights and you are starting to get excited. Your trip to Dubai is just around the corner, but with so much to see and do, what should you do first? Here are a few great ideas if you are feeling active:
1. Swim With DolphinsHave you always dreamt of swimming with dolphins? Well, your dream could come true. During your holiday in Dubai spend a day at Dolphin Bay, one of the world’s largest dolphin habitats. Here you can meet the dolphins, swim with them or even scuba dive and plunge underwater with them. Plus if you pay for a dolphin experience you will also get access to the Aquaventure Waterpark.
2. Virtual Racing
Do you have a need for speed? Or perhaps your kids love cars? Then pay a visit to Xxtreme Simulation. This is an advanced racing simulation centre, where you can take part in real-time virtual car racing. Imagine what it would be like to drive an F1 car; you can experience this here in a safe and secure environment!
3. Sand BoardingWhile you are out in the desert, get an adrenaline rush by having a go at sand boarding. It’s so much fun! Explore the desert and slide down the steep sided dunes, before stopping for snacks. This is a half day safari not to be missed.
4. Bounce About
If you are looking for a break from the heat and want a fun activity for both kids and adults...
Ramadan is an exciting time and an important religious holiday. If you are thinking of travelling during this time, here is what to expect from your time in Dubai.
What is Ramadan?
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the religious holiday of Ramadan, it is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar and is observed by a period of fasting. Muslims will fast from dawn to sunset, refrain from drinking any liquids, stop smoking and will not engage in any sexual relations during this time. It is believed that refraining from these pleasures helps them stay away from these vices long term, and that this time increases their devotion to Allah.
Ramadan became a holy month for Muslims in 610CE when the Quran was revealed to the prophet Muhammad on Laylat al-Qadr (the Night of Power).
This year’s event runs from 29th June 2014 to 27th July 2014.
The Dos and Don’ts of Ramadan in Dubai
If you are planning a visit to the United Arab Emirates during Ramadan, but do not practice Islam, it is important to be polite and acknowledge their customs. You wouldn’t want to offend, would you? Some people have even gone to jail for breaking these rules.Eating and drinking in public is illegal, this includes in cars, for anyone, not only Muslims. Public displays of affection are frowned upon in Dubai at any time but this i...
Ramadan can be arduous during the best of times. Why? Fasting during long and hot summer days can be particular draining, especially if the fast is required to last for as long as sixteen or more hours at a time. Follow our trusty tips to ensure adequate nutrition and continued good health over the course of this hard month.
Consult a Doctor
Whilst you may consider yourself to be generally in good health, it’s always important to consult your doctor before Ramadan to receive medical advice regarding your individual health circumstances. It’s important to be aware that fasting from sunrise to sunset every day for 29-30 days will take its toll. Your doctor will be able to inform you of the safety of fasting and you will be able to appropriately plan your schedule and meals.
Eat Suhoor Just Before Dawn
During Ramadan, two meals are served - suhoor and iftar. Suhoor is the pre-dawn meal before the fast. Although it’s a bit of a struggle to wake up for this early morning meal, it’s certainly worth it. As well as setting you up for the long day ahead, it will also help you to wake up for the Fajr prayer, a significant prayer that marks the beginning of the daily fasting. The desire to overeat may be overwhelming but it is advised not to...
Recently, Dubai’s Tourism board announced that they aim to be the world’s most visited city by 2020. In order to meet this title, Dubai will need to attract 20 million visitors a year – something that is going to be extremely expensive to do. However, figures show that if the growth rate in visitors maintains the current 10.6% growth as it saw in 2013 then this goal, although ambitious, is realistic. Here’s how Dubai could become the most visited city in the world: Must-See CityTalk to anybody who’s been to Dubai and they will tell you that you simply have to go. In fact, they won’t tell you so much as harp on about it for weeks and weeks. But there is a reason for that – Dubai holds some of the world’s greatest wonders, from the Palm Jumeirah to the infamous gold souks. There are so many things that you can see that a single visit, often, is not long enough to enjoy all that Dubai has on offer. [Source]
Lots to Do and More to Come Dubai has already invested heavily in the city, building the world’s tallest hotel and the world’s tallest building and the world’s largest shopping mall. Check out our super cool ‘Dubai Record Breakers’ infographic for more amazing records! So whether it’s staggering panoramic views you’re after or thousands of shops in one place, Dubai is the place to be. If that’s not your scene then why not head out on a desert safari, go skiing indoors or visit the Wild Wadi water park? There’s something for everyone and even more to come in the run up to 2020 as Dubai prepare for the World Expo. [Source]
Sunshine and Warmth All Year RoundOne of the big...
In Dubai, where everything from buildings, malls and cars bigger, better, flashier and more extravagant, not only has it fast become one the world's most exciting and popular tourist destinations, but it looks like there's no end to the dizzying heights the city can reach!
With even more plans to become one of the biggest cities on earth, Dubai keeps knocking records off their perches!
From the tallest building in the world, the longest driverless metro and now even the world's very first indoor ski slo...
Dubai is a beautiful place to go on holiday and soak up the sun and local culture. But it is imperative that you follow the rules and social norms of the Arab nation, otherwise you could land yourself in a whole heap of trouble. There are some things which you would consider to be normal behaviour which could slap you with a fine or even a prison sentence if done in Dubai. To ensure that you have a fun and enjoyable holiday, here is a complete guide of things to avoid when visiting Dubai:Be Wary Where You DrinkDrinking is a very complicated matter in Dubai, in that non-Muslims are allowed to partake but only in licenced venues. Do: If you are going to drink, make sure that you’re in licenced restaurants, pubs, clubs, or private venues. If you are staying with a resident who has an alcohol licence then it is also allowed to drink within their home. If you are staying in self-catered accommodation or with people you don’t know very well it is important that you find out whether they are licenced before agreeing to consuming alcohol. Don’t: Drink in public spaces, the beach for example. If you are going to drink, make sure you know your limits and stop before you’re completely inebriated, as being drunk and disorderly in public can land you in trouble with the police. [Source]
Be Careful about Smoking Before lighting up and smoking a cigarette, you should consider where you are. It is strictly forbidden to smoke in government areas, offices and shopping malls – think, if you wouldn’t smoke there in the UK don’t smoke there in Dubai. Dubai has a zero tolerance policy on drugs; there is absolutely no Do when it comes to drugs here.No Sexual Relations Outside Marriage Stories always crop up in the news about a couple receiving jail time for exchanging a kiss in Dubai. It is important that you know the rules when it comes to interacting with your partner in Dubai.Don&r...
Are you eagerly anticipating a stay at the Palm Jumeirah apartments or perhaps you are staying in one of the hotels on the main land? Well, either way, when visiting a foreign country it is important to learn the common courtesies and local etiquette. Do you know how to say hello in Dubai?How to Address a Person
Manners and politeness is important in the United Arab Emirates and it is expected that visitors will respect this. Whereas in the UK we may call a person by Mr or Mrs, things are a little more complicated in Dubai. For example, if a person says their name is Akeem bin Ali Naifeh Khouri, Akeem is his given name, he is the son or grandson of Ali Naifeh, and Khouri is the family surname.
These names of course can be shortened as we do in Western culture, but in formal occasions when first meeting a person it is important to use their full name. The centre names may be omitted for ease.
If you would like to address a man as sir, or a woman as madam, the equivalents are ‘Sayyed’ and ‘Sayeeda’ followed by their full name. ‘Madame’ is now acceptable in modern UAE culture.
How to Say Hello
Once a person is introduced to you, you may like to say “hello” or “nice to meet you”. The common greeting in Dubai is ‘Salam alaykum’ which means ‘peace be upon you’. To this the correct and polite reply is ‘Wa alaykum as-salam’ which translates as ‘And upon you be peace’.
You may also say ‘Ahla...
Haggling is something that we, as a Western civilisation, have almost completely forgotten how to do. This is largely due to fixed price supermarkets and VAT concerns meaning that customers don’t get as much freedom in deciding the price they wish to pay for goods. Shopping in Souks, however, is a completely different beast as you can haggle the price down as long as you know what you’re doing. Here are some techniques to make sure that you get the best experience when visiting Souks: [Source]
1. Never Be Too Keen One of the worst things you can do when trying to grab yourself a bargain is to look like you actually want to buy what you’re haggling over. Once you show interest the seller knows that they have you hooked, but if you look like you could walk away at any moment then they will be happy to lower the price just to make a sale. 2. Give and Take Haggling isn’t picking a price out of the air and sticking with it. You need to be prepared to change your offer and accept that there will be a cut-off point for the market trader as they wouldn’t profit from the sale. Figuring out when to accept a higher price and when to walk away is absolutely vital. 3. Do Your Research Find out how much similar products are being sold for in other places – you can use this information when haggling to try and undercut those costs. Don’t be afraid to use a little creative licencing with how much others are charging, knocking 10% off their competitor’s price could help...
Are you visiting Dubai in the near future? Then you’ll probably want to know what the best way to get around the city is. Here’s a round-up of Dubai’s public transport:By Road
Dubai is known to be home to flash and expensive cars, Top Gear has even covered the cars found here. So if you are hiring a car on your visit get out there and explore the city on the many roadways. The city is split into 2 main sections; the East and West side. The two sides of the city are linked by a number of different bridges and there are 5 main routes that run through Dubai and link it with the rest of the emirates. These are:
• E11 – Sheikh Zayed Road• E311 – Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road• E44 – Dubai-Hatta Highway• E77 – Dubai-Al Habab Road• E66 – Oud Metha RoadTaxis
In Dubai, taxis are easily recognised. All taxis in Dubai are cream in colour with roofs in varying colours to help you identify the operator. The biggest operator is the Dubai Taxi Corporation that has red roofs. Other private operators include Metro Taxis (orange), Network Taxis (yellow), Cars Taxis (blue) and Arabia Taxis (green). Or for females who want to be driven by a female driver, look for a pink roof. By RailIf you wish to get around Dubai by rail then you are in luck. The Dubai Metro project is under construction. This is the first urban train network in the Arabian Peninsula and you won’t have to worry about trains being late as they have no driver – they run automatically. A huge £2.31billion has...
You may not think that the 40°C heat of Dubai would be a particularly good place to have sport, especially not in the depths of the summer months. However, you would be wrong!
Dubai has created several indoor arenas and artificially cooled outdoor stadiums in order to facilitate sporting activities throughout the summer. Here are just some of the sports available to you in Dubai: FINA Men’s Water Polo Super Final
This is a good one for the spectators with the Men’s Water Polo World League fighting for the title at the Hamdan Sports Complex in Dubai. The tournament will take place between Monday 16th and Saturday 21st of June and is open to the general public. If you haven’t had the opportunity to watch water polo before then this is the perfect opportunity to get involved! The best teams in the world will be coming together to compete at the highest level.
Never heard of padel tennis before? That’s probably because it’s a brand new sport that has been cooked up in the Arab Emirates in the last few years. What is it? Well, it is like a hybrid concoction of standard tennis, squash and racket ball. You play in doubles in either an outdoor or indoor court – it has several differences to a tennis court however, as it is much smaller and has surrounding walls which you can play off whenever you need to. It can be pretty complicated, but the Real Racquet Academy offer trials to help you learn the sport for free!
Dubai Sports World If you love sports then you will simply adore Dubai Sports World which is a premier indoor sports complex. It features pro-standard pitches for football and rugby as wel...
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