Imagine 10 million people, 0% unemployment, no crime, no taxes and $100 billion net worth in oil. What would you do with all this money? Would you build an indoor ski resort? fastest Ferrari roller coaster in the world? tennis court on top of a 7 star hotel? or a wave pool? Booking a flight with Etihad or Emirates, the official airlines of the UAE can give you a taste as to what life in Dubai really is all about. Tourists interested in visiting a Middle Eastern sharia based (Islamic law) country will need to do their homework before arriving at customs. Here are some tips so you can guarantee a vacation of a lifetime.
Top 15 Travel Tips:
- Burj Khalifa Tallest building in the world. 35,000 Emiratis live and work in the 1/2 mile high sky scraper. To give you another perspective the Burj is twice the height of the Empire State Building.
- Burj Al Arab 7 star hotel: $2,000/ night minimum (VIP’s use helicopter pad)
- Eat Hammour (Local fish) *Eating in public during the holy month of Ramadan is prohibited from sunrise until sunset and visitors should consume meals in the confines of their hotel or residence. Also it is inappropriate to ask for a take out box- Emiratis believe you should only order what you can eat.
- Desert Safari (All-inclusive): sand boarding, dune bashing (Remind the driver to deflate the tires and you may want to stay clear of dune bashing if you know you get carsick), camel riding, camel milk, Arabian belly dancing, shisha, traditional food
- Dubai Mall
- Madinat Jumeirah (Arabian resort of Dubai)
- Public display of affection is frowned upon: A simple kiss in a public place could land you a month or more in jail. The UAE might seem to have more relaxed laws than their other Arab counterparts, but the laws are still very different from most Western countries, and their laws are strictly enforced.
- Palm Jumeirah: 7 million tons of rock and 150 million tons of sand creates space for over 5,000 homes on the luxury man-made island resort- shaped like a giant palm tree. The best lots go for over $50 million dollars and they plan on building more in the future to expand UAE’s shoreline.
- Dubai Marina (Beach)
- Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque: Women will need to wear an abaya and headscarf once inside the mosque which will be provided for free. Men who wear shorts will be provided with a kandura to wear. You will also need to take your shoes off on entry to the mosque. In Abu Dhabi and Dubai there is a mosque every 100 feet. The number of pillars represents the importance of the mosque. If you plan on sleeping in- the UAE is not for you. *Prayer times- Fajr: 4:55 am, Sunrise: 6:11 am, Asr: 3:41 pm, Maghrib: 6:18 pm, Isha: 7:48 pm
- Abu Dhabi Corniche: Many Emirati’s commute from Abu Dhabi to Dubai (vice versa) as the commute is only 1 hour and 30 minutes. Speeding on the highway is quite common for the locals and once in a while you might find yourself racing a camel.
- Quad Bike Safari from Dubai desert into Oman (Don’t forget your passport & Dirhams)
- World Islands (Archipelago): Half a billion tons of sand sculpted into a map of the globe
- It is illegal to drink alcohol in public places. Alcohol can be bought only for home consumption at certain outlets in Dubai or at the airport. Supermarkets only stock non-alcoholic beers. Most 3 to 5 star hotels have bars and nightclubs for those interested in the nightlife. World-class DJs frequent Dubai’s nightclubs, and many A-list musical celebrities are adding Dubai to their list of tour dates. Drinking age 21+ *Government departments, multinational companies, and most schools and universities are off on Friday and Saturday (The WEEKEND).
Also make sure to check out the guys who will do anything for a perfect Dubai picture and remember you must have at least 6 months validity on your passport! Happy Traveling #SpartansWill