From a humble village to a cosmopolitan city and a travel hub.
Dubai has transformed from a humble fishing village to one of the most cosmopolitan and innovative cities in the world today. Tracing its origins back to 3,000 BC, Dubai's inhabitants made their livelihood from fishing, pearl diving, boat building and sea trading, before the discovery of oil in the late 1960s. In 1971, Dubai joined its neighbours to form the United Arab Emirates, safeguarding the area's prosperity.
1 Dirham (AED) = 100 fils
The currency in Dubai is the dirham (AED or Arab Emirate Dirham). One dirham is divided into 100 fils.
The National – www.thenationalnews.com/uae
The Gulf Today – www.gulftoday.ae
The Gulf News – gulfnews.com
Khaleej Times – www.khaleejtimes.com
Thanks to split-shift staffing systems, several shops are open 24 hours a day while most others stay open until 9pm or 10pm. On Fridays many shops close from 11:30am–12:30pm for Muslim holy day prayers. Times are revised during Ramadan (in 2022 it is expected to be 2 April – 2 May).
Around 3 million
Department of Economy & Tourism
One Central, Building 2, 4th floor, PO Box 594
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Telephone: +971 600 55 55 59
Dubai is a city that must be seen to be believed. Record-breaking architecture stands alongside traditional quarters, while man-made islands jut out of the coastline. Here are the top places to tick off your sightseeing list when you’re in town.
The Palm Fountain
The View at The Palm
Madame Tussauds Dubai
Sky Views Dubai
Museum of the Future
Deep Dive Dubai
Mohammed Bin Rashid Library
The Dubai Mall
Dubai Historical District
Dubai Parks and Resorts
The Dubai Fountain
The Lost Chambers Aquarium
Burj Al Arab
Dubai Water Canal
Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
Wondering where to find the best restaurants, family-friendly activities or hottest art galleries? Here's a handy guide to the Dubai’s hottest neighbourhoods, packed with plenty to suit all travellers. Add these easy-to-explore districts to your Dubai holiday itinerary and experience the city like a local.
Downtown Dubai & Sheikh Zayed Road
Business Bay & Dubai Canal
Dubai Design District
Jumeirah Lakes Towers
Dubai is one of the few places to enjoy a beach vacation within a thriving city. Experience a holiday Dubai-style, combining high-energy city action with the beauty of the Arabian Gulf. With a vibrant atmosphere and beachside shopping scene, luxury resorts and watersports, Dubai offers the best of the city and the sea. Kite Beach, La Mer and The Beach next to JBR are popular seaside spots where you can take in the waves after a leisurely stroll or jog along the water. Alternatively, Dubai's hotels offer amazing pool experiences, including infinity pools, jacuzzis, water play areas for kids, and much more.
Family Beach Clubs
Palm West Beach
With year-round sun and a dramatic combination of both the desert and beach, Dubai is the perfect setting to be swept away by high-adrenaline activities. Rocket across the Arabian Gulf in a speedboat or roar along the circuit in a race car, skydive over Palm Jumeirah, ski around the World Islands, paddleboard along the coast or swim with dolphins and sharks, explore the depths of the open waters, or go diving in the deepest pool in the world. You can even leave the city and try dune driving in the desert or soar above the sand in a hot air balloon. Fasten your seatbelt, harness or helmet – it’s going to be an exciting ride.
Hot Air Balloon
Hatta Wadi Hub
Safaris, sunsets and star-gazing
When it comes to Dubai's majestic desert, visitors have many options to discover its beautiful landscape. Beyond the popular off-roading or desert safaris, there’s much to do amid the dunes. Whether you're taking in some history with a traditional Bedouin meal, cycling through Al Qudra or watching for wildlife, don't miss the opportunity to experience the desert. Visit a resort or conservation reserve, or simply watch the sunset before some stargazing.
Between Dubai’s grandiose malls including The Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates to traditional souks such as the Gold Souk and Perfume Souk, you’re practically guaranteed to find a souvenir to treasure from your holiday to Dubai. Plus, with massive citywide shopping celebrations like Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) and Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS), you could snag the deal of a lifetime during your visit to this global shopping destination.
There’s nothing the people of Dubai love more than to dress up and dine out. You can choose from a glittering array of celebrity restaurants and a huge variety of Middle Eastern food, plenty of them family-friendly and almost all in Instagram-worthy locations.
Cafes & Bakeries
Vegan & Healthy Eating
With big ambitions and the expertise to make even the wildest dreams a reality, Dubai is becoming the most exciting adventure playground in the world. Whether it's family fun or hair-raising thrills you're after, there are laughs in store for all.
IMG Worlds of Adventure
Wild Wadi Waterpark
Bollywood Parks Dubai
The Green Planet
Dubai Miracle Garden
Legoland Water Park
With Dubai Opera, the arts district Al Quoz and the discovery of relics from the Iron Age, Dubai is fast evolving into a cultural hotspot. The city’s highlights range from the ancient past to stark modernity, and there is no better time to see its evolution than now.
Infinity des Lumières
Theatre of Digital Art
Dubai’s world-class tennis courts, golf courses and sports clubs are here to help you achieve your personal best. Whether you're looking to tee off at an iconic golf course or challenge friends to a game of football, there's plenty to pursue. Plus, the fun carries on throughout the year with cool indoor facilities hosting all the action during the summer months.
Horse & Camel Racing
Motorsports & Offroading
Tennis & Squash
There are literally hundreds of spas in all shapes and sizes, from five-star options like the Talise Ottoman Spa at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray to internationally-acclaimed centres and neighbourhood wellness spots. Common to all are great service and value.
Take a break from the stunning Dubai skyline and explore the natural wonders that make the city come alive. There are enormous green spaces with picturesque lakes and lawns right in the heart of the emirate. Discover on your own, or take advantage of tour guides who specialise in the region’s diverse flora and fauna.
Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary
Dubai has it all. From world-class performances and revered art exhibitions to award-winning fairs and concerts by global superstars, we've got just the ticket. Here are just a few of the many events currently taking place in the city:
Dubai Shopping Festival
Emirates Airline Festival of Literature
Dubai World Cup
Dubai Fitness Challenge
New Year's Eve
Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship
Dubai International Boat Show
Slync.io Dubai Desert Classic
Dubai Food Festival
Sikka Art and Design Festival
World Art Dubai
Al Gaffal Long Distance Race
Eid in Dubai
Dubai Summer Surprises
Experience the magic of Dubai with our handy itineraries. Whether you're in the city for 8 hours or the weekend, we've packed in all the highlights but with plenty of time to let you discover some hidden gems along the way.
One Day in Dubai
Three Days in Dubai
Five Days in Dubai
Get ready for a night to remember in Dubai. The city boasts rooftop lounges with skyscraper views, iconic venues for a glamorous evening with friends and chic speakeasys that combine the best in food, music and entertainment.
Dubai International Airport (DXB)
Dubai International (DXB) is located four kilometres (2.5 miles) southeast of Dubai. One of the world's busiest travel hubs, Dubai's primary airport boasts three sprawling terminals and two huge runways that operate around the clock, serving both passenger and cargo planes. Transportation from the airport is possible by taxi, bus or metro.
The currency in Dubai is the Dirham (AED or Arab Emirate Dirham). One dirham is divided into 100 fils and has been pegged to the US dollar since the end of 1997.
US$1 = AED3.67
Upon arriving at Dubai International Airport, you're connected to every major neighbourhood in the city via the Dubai Metro. Most of the city's main attractions, including The Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa and Dubai Marina can be reached directly via the metro or tram. Simply purchase a prepaid Nol card from any metro station, to use on the metro, tram and buses. The city's ubiquitous yellow and red topped taxis are available streetside. For those with data services, a cab from Uber, or the local ride-hailing equivalent Careem, is just a tap away.
Dubai enjoys a warm climate year-round. The winter months from October through to April are the coolest, with temperatures ranging from around 20 degrees centigrade to the mid-30s. During the months of May through September, the weather heats up significantly, with average temperatures ranging from high-30s to mid-40s. Luckily, Dubai offers plenty of attractions for all seasons.
When you visit a new country, it can be helpful to know some basic details to keep your stay safe, enjoyable, and hassle-free. That's why we've put together some useful information about Dubai to help you on your stay. Please click the link below to find out more.