Tourist in Dubai tips
I thought I’d just write a few pointers about what to do and dont in Dubai now that I’ve been there. Some of the photos are from my own camera:
* I’d recommend the Big Bus Tour. Its the bus thats burgendy and yellow and we have them in London as well. They operate in Dubai and it cost around 130 DHRs (I think thats about 20 UK pounds) for a 48 hour ticket. I think the full rate is 160 but we used the coupon from the inflight magazine which gave us a discount. This is the magazine called DXB on Virgin Airlines. The Big Bus operates two different lines, one is red (and operates around central Dubai) and the other one is blue (which operates further away. Included in that ticket are two free tickets to museums – Dubai Museum and the Al Maktoomb Museum. I realised that we didnt actually save that much money because the museum tickets are dirt cheap – around 2 DHRs (which is about 25 UK pence). If you dont see the guy in a yellow t shirt waiting to give your free ticket, dont wait too long because its so cheap to just buy the ticket yourself. The bus tours are well air conditioned, they provide free water and even if you are not interested in the tour details, you can use it as an alternative to taxis. Sometimes you can ride the bus to the furthest stop you can find and then cab it from there to your preferred destination.
* Dubai Museum – I highly recommend this museum because of its value for money. Its well air conditioned and has lots of old artifacts on display. They have also recreated life in Dubai and their history.
* Gold Souk – As we maxed out credit card for the diamond ring, it did not leave us to do much shopping at the Gold Souk. But I would still recommend it to anyone going to Dubai. Its a whole area of Gold shops, each more lavish than the next. The main gold souk has a wooden archway and you can see many visitors and Arab men resting on their benches. Some people walk around trying to sell you drinks.
* Al Maktoomb House – I was not very impressed with this because its further out and one tourist couldnt even find it. Its basically a bunch of houses which have some photos of the royal family. But I must say that the Al Maktoomb House has the best airconditioning in Dubai.
* Dow Ride – I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND ANYONE GOING ON THIS BOAT RIDE. Firstly, you have to walk a few minutes to get to the boat from the stop the bus drops you off at. Then you spend about 20 minutes waiting for the boat to start without air conditioning. When they finally turn the air conditioning on, it doesnt help much unless you stand directly under the air conditioning and then you are not able to enjoy the view you intended to enjoy. Also, bring your own water as they charge 20 DHR for water inside the boat. The cheek!
* Care4 – This is a local supermarket, kind of like Tescos. Everything is reasonably priced. I got some adorable baby clothes for my fiance’s friends who are all delivering left, right and centre.
* Dragon Market – This is an expo by Chinese traders. i found some wedding favour bags for about 10 pound for 150 of them. They would cost around 50 pence for bag so I’ve saved a bit of money. Unfortunately, my fiance and I found a nicer wedding favour to put on our tables so I might have to sell them or give them away. The Dragon Market is amazing for good deals – i got tons of gift bags and I truly felt the shop was meant for me.
* Wild Wadi Water Park – This is one of the best things about Dubai and many of my friends agreed. If you arrive after 5.30 (which we coincidently did) you get the ticket for half price. I think its about 130 DHR for that day. They have some amazing rides. One of them is where you sit in a donut float and the water pressure forces you forward. One of my favourites is the one which mimics a wave so you can learn to surf. There is also a fake beach which simulates waves. All very cool and also helps you cool off in the process.
* El Karama – I think this is considered the ghetto of Dubai. I used the public toilet here and it was the worst toilet I’ve ever seen in my life. Anyways, despite the dirty surroundings and sleazy men, the bargains in this district are amazing. They have fake stuff for 10% the price you would pay. Some even had the labels and price tags on, which made me think they were export rejects.
* Take a taxi/cab everywhere we go. We once attempted to walk from Dhira to the Gold and Diamond Park which was only a stone’s throw away and the heat was so oppressive that we had to cab it. It only costs a few pounds to travel everywhere. For example, from the Gold and Diamond Park to our hotel, the Hyatt Regency at the other end of the town took about 20 minutes to travel and costs about 30 DHR (about 5 pounds) I would rather take the cab in a nice air conditioned vehicle than risk heat stroke.