LUXE City Guides - Dubai - - Front Page -

In only fifty years this lit­tle Mus­lim pearl-fish­ing vil­lage wedged be­tween the Ara­bian Gulf and the desert has trans­formed it­self into a ritzy, mega-rich R&R stop of sun, sand, shop­ping and spa. And what it doesn’t have, it’s build­ing. So c’mon Aladdin, rub that magic lamp...


Make al­lowances for traf­fic. If you take The Gulf as north and Dubai Creek as your cen­tre, then Deira, the orig­i­nal old quar­ter is east, down­town Dubai is to the west, en­com­pass­ing hap­pen­ing hubs Dubai Mall, sky-high Burj Khal­ifa and its danc­ing foun­tains, and con­tin­u­ing west along the coast are glitzy Jumeirah and Dubai Ma­rina.

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Weather: the per­fect time to visit is Nov-Apr, take a pash for the cooler evenings; avoid Jul-mid-Sep when tem­per­a­tures can soar to the high 40s Don’t use sun­screen, use sunBLOCK Check ahead and plan around Ra­madan month when the city fasts from sun­rise to sun­set, or the prophet’s birth­day when bars are shut and virtue is es­sen­tial Dubai Int’l Air­port to Emi­rates Tow­ers: 25 mins / Dhs 60 English is widely spo­ken, and the peo­ple are friendly Dubai lacks a proper ad­dress sys­tem and land­marks are of­ten used in­stead. Get your concierge or driver to call ahead, or get a map faxed if in doubt The metro is cheap and handy for mall hop­ping, but taxis are plen­ti­ful and the eas­i­est way to get around Events to watch for: Dubai World Cup (Mar) – geegees (sans gam­bling); Dubai Desert Clas­sic – golf (Jan-Mar); Art Dubai – int’l con­tempo art fair (Mar); Rugby 7s – strap­ping men in shorts (Nov/Dec); Dubai Food Fes­ti­val (Feb-Mar) – top chef ex­trav­a­ganza; Dubai Film Fes­ti­val (Dec) – Clooney and Cruise fest Dubai’s week­end is Fri-Sat. Some small shops don’t open un­til 4pm on Fri­days, but all of the big malls open from 10am and trade un­til late The city is very safe, there is vir­tu­ally no crime Dubai is re­mark­ably lib­eral both in be­hav­iour and dress, but egre­gious dis­plays of anger or saucy be­hav­iour are frowned upon, and there is a ZERO tol­er­ance of drink-driv­ing. Of­fend­ers go di­rectly to jail Al­co­hol is served only in restos/bars at­tached to ho­tels, and the prices charged are of­ten crim­i­nal Tip­ping is not oblig­a­tory, but ap­pre­ci­ated Cur­rency: of­fi­cially the AED; but many pric­ing la­bels use Dhs. Dhs 3.67 = US$1 fixed Coun­try code is +971 and 4 for Dubai, lo­cal mo­biles start with 050 or 055 and land­lines 04 Po­lice and am­bu­lance 999, fire 997

The fol­low­ing Ara­bic phrases will come in handy...

Marhaba : Well, hello there Shukran : Thanks, aw­fully Sh­way, sh­way! : Slow down, Ab­dul! Where’s the fire?

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