From a humble village to a cosmopolitan city
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 Gulf Today
The Gulf News
7 Days (free sheet)
Thanks to split-shift staffing systems, many shops are open 24 hours a day while most others stay open until 21.00 or 22.00. On Fridays many shops close from 11.30-12.30 for Muslim holy day prayers. Times are revised during Ramadan.
Around 3 million
Dubai Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing
Ground, 6th, 8th and 9th Floors, Al Fattan Plaza, Airport Road, Deira Dubai
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 Dubai Fountain
Dubai Parks and Resorts
Burj Al Arab
Dubai Water Canal
Dubai Historical District
The Dubai Mall
Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
IMG Worlds of Adventure
A thriving urban beach scene
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 beachside shopping scene, luxury resorts and watersports, Dubai offers the best of the city and the sea. Kite Beach, Sunset Beach and The Beach at JBR are popular seaside spots and all feature a running track for a leisurely stroll or jog along the water.
Family Beach Clubs
City Meets 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, paddleboard along the coast or swim with dolphins and sharks. You can even leave the city and dune bash 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
Sky Hub Paramotors
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, Mall of the Emirates and City Walk 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.
Festivals / Shopping Experiences
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.
Dubai Food Festival
Cafés & Bakeries
Vegan & Healthy Eating
Street Food & Food Trucks
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
Dubai Parks and Resorts
Dubai Miracle Garden
Dubai Garden Glow
The Green Planet
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 rich culture ranges from the Iron Age to stark modernity and there is no better time to see its evolution than now.
Dubai International Film Festival
Al Seef District
Dubai’s world-class tennis courts, golf courses and sports clubs are here to help you achieve your personal best. Into watersports? Head to Kite Beach for kitesurfing or Sunset Beach to test your balance during a stand up paddleboarding or surfing session. Plus, the fun doesn’t end during the summer months. Dubai Sports World is equipped with cool indoor facilities ranging from football to skateboarding, so you can enjoy all of your favourite activities throughout the year.
Motorsports & Off-roading
Tennis & Squash
Boating & Fishing
There are literally hundreds of spas in all shapes and sizes, from internationally acclaimed spas like the Talise Ottoman Spa at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray and Assawan at the Burj Al Arab to the simple street corner variety. Common to all are great service and value.
Take a break from the stunning 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 taking place in 2018.
Dubai Shopping Festival
Emirates Airline Festival of Literature
Dubai World Cup
Dubai Fitness Challenge (DFC)
New Year in Dubai
Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship
Dubai International Boat Show
Omega Dubai Desert Classics
Dubai Food Festival
Sikka Art Fair
World Art Dubai
Middle East Film and Comic Con
Al Gaffal Long Distance Race
Eid Al Fitr
Dubai Summer Surprises
Dubai Sports World
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.
Layover in Dubai
Dubai in 24-Hours
Dubai in 48-Hours
Dubai in 72-Hours
Five Days in Dubai
Dubai for Business
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's Dynamic Nightspots
Shopping: Malls & Souks
Best Live Music Venues
Book an unforgettable stay in the city of dreams. Check-in to five-star hotels right at the heart of all the action in Dubai or choose to unwind at one of the city's many beachside resorts with endless waterside views and memorable hospitality.
Atlantis The Palm
Dubai International Airport
The Dubai International Airport is located 4 km (2.5 miles) southeast of Dubai. Transportation from the airport is possible by taxi and bus. Transfer between the terminals takes about 10 minutes using the airport shuttle service. The Terminal 1 departures concourse (Sheikh Rashid Terminal) is linked to Terminal 1 via a tunnel with travelators. Terminal 2 is used exclusively for business and charter flights.
Taxi service is provided by the government-run Dubai Transport airport taxi, where each cab is meter-run.
Bus service: Bus stations are located opposite both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Buses run frequently and serve the most popular places in Dubai (www,dubai-buses.com/index.aspx).Tickets must be bought prior to the journey.
You can also take the metro to and from the airport. The metro runs at ten-minute intervals and stops at various stations located across the city.
Address: The Dubai International Airport, Dubai
Phone: +971 4 224 5555
The bus service in Dubai is an easy, quick and inexpensive way to get around in the city, operated by the Dubai Municipality Transport Section. Fares are low, and a pre-purchased Nol Card is the most convenient payment option. There are special 24-hour passes available for visitors; these work on all forms of transport and allow visitors to easily reach most tourist sites.
There are two metro lines in Dubai, red line and green line. The Red Line runs every 3-4 minutes during peak time and 7 minutes during off-peak hours. Every metro station will have bus connections and taxi pickup. To travel with Metro you need to buy a Nol card or Nol ticket. You can buy your Nol ticket on the ticket vending machine, ticket office or RTA authorised sales agent. Each time you travel, tap your card at the card reader on the fare gates.
Phone: +971 4 800 9090
The most convenient way of getting around. Beware of uninsured illegal taxis. The four government franchised official operators have strictly controlled fares. Cabs can be hailed at the roadside, or summoned via telephone or one of the electronic booking machines found around town. For those with data services, Uber and Careem are handy and easily available. Driver knowledge is sometimes lacking, so use a major landmark as a homing device when saying where you want to go.
Phone: + 971 4 208 080 8