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Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Guide to Visiting Dubai for the First Time

Synonymous to lavishness of the Middle East Region, Dubai gleams of towering skyscrapers and glowing desert sands populated by a workforce and residents from all over the world. Being caught up in this place can appear overwhelming at first sight – but after getting used to its global vibe, one can really experience a unique travel experience while discovering the gems hidden in its nook and crannies. To help you better explore Dubai, here are some guides to first time visitors to this stunning city.

Photo Credit: http://www.visitdubai.com/

Visa Fees and Requirements

Dubai requires visa for most countries but citizens from the European Union are automatically given a 90-day multiple entry visa upon arrival. Travelers from Australia, United States and Canada are afforded visa-free for a period of 30 days.

Israel citizens aren’t allowed to enter Dubai and the rest of the UAE.
Tourists from other countries not covered by the multiple entry and visa-free of Dubai can apply for a tourist visa at $250 for a longer stay up to 90 days and $500 for multiple entry visa (multiple 14-day stay covering a six-month period).

Sights in Dubai

Photo Credit: http://www.visitdubai.com/
The bustling city of Dubai is home to a myriad of worldwide culture and history. Landmarks, shops and restaurants numbers aplenty giving you a wide ranging choice to fill up the duration of your stay. Activities ranging from chasing art, learning about the region’s religion and history to lifestyle dining in Dubai can form some of the best travel memories.

In downtown Dubai, one can avail of the hop-in-hop-off tour buses that plies around almost all of Dubai’s attraction. One can finish this tour in one day. Along the places one can see are the; Burj Khalifa, Dubai Museum, Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah Mosque, Al Fahidi Historic District, Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, Bastakiya Quarter, Heritage and Diving Villages, Dhow Wharfage, Bazaar Markets, Palm Islands and the World and a lot more.

Social Customs

Arabs are known to practice proper civility especially when meeting other people for the first time. Make sure to greet the locals correctly. When addressing a man it is better to hail him with “Sayyed” (‘Sir’) for a man and “Sayeeda” for women, before mentioning their names. “Madame” is another name to address a woman.

Photo Credit: http://www.visitdubai.com/
Observe strict clothing etiquette for business functions and when entering religious places such as mosques. Women should avoid wearing revealing clothes. While Men should refrain from wearing over-casual clothes such as shorts and sleeveless shirts in public places.

Never say ‘No’ each time food or drinks are offered to you. When eating – only use your right hand for both eating and drinking as the left hand is seen as the dirty hand.

Locals in Dubai are extremely friendly and hospitable. Make sure to befriend them and not act as a foreigner confined to your own personal space.

Weather in Dubai

Sunshine and blue skies reigns over Dubai and the rest of UAE almost year-round. The only issue would be the temperature when the heat becomes hotter during the summer months from April to September. Desert safaris are perfect after summer when weather conditions are cooler. Shopping season in Dubai is usually held during the months of January to March. Over-all, the year-long weather in Dubai is ideal for traveling.

These are just some of the important things you need to know before traveling to Dubai. Once you stepped into the soil of this rich city, you will instantly realize how easy it is to immerse in the local culture and mingle with its people. Enjoy and have a wonderful trip to Dubai. 



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