$820 - $1.520
With a glitzy skyline, a gorgeous Persian Gulf shoreline, and a growing list of larger-than-life attractions, Dubai entices a wide range of tourists from all over the world. The city is not only a hot destination on the tourist map, it is literally hot all year round! From November – April, the average temperatures are 75 – 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the peak tourist season, when the day temperatures are hot, but the nights are slightly cooler. For the remaining 6 months, the average temperatures range from 100 – 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Outdoor activities are less enjoyable because of the scorching heat. Being a desert location, there are not a lot of shady places in the city. If you visit during this time, protect yourself from the heat. Use a generous amount of sunscreen, drink plenty of water, and try to not to be outdoors for too long.
Direct international flights from the U.S. to Dubai are available exclusively from Emirates. All other airlines that fly this sector offer flights with 1 or more stops. You can choose from jetBlue, Air Canada, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, American Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Air China, China Eastern Airlines, Japan Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Korean Air, Qantas, Saudia, EgyptAir, Royal Jordanian, Kuwait Airways, Turkish Airlines, South African Airways, British Airways, Lufthansa, Norwegian, Swissair, Air France, TAP Air Portugal, KLM, Finnair, and Aeroflot.
DXB is the primary international airport serving Dubai, and has been consistently named amongst the top 5 busiest airports in the world. The airport is located in the Al Garhoud district, about 8 miles from Downtown Dubai. Here are the options to get around from the airport to the downtown area.
Dubai Metro offers a fast, convenient, and affordable way to travel from the airport to central Dubai. Take the Red Line from the Terminals 1 or 3 and ride the train to Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall Metro station in Downtown Dubai in 24 minutes. Trains run roughly every 10 minutes from approximately 6.00 a.m. – midnight. On Fridays, the service starts only at 1.00 p.m. The one-way adult fare is 5.00 AED. Cash payment is not accepted on any public transport in Dubai. You can purchase a Red Ticket for 2.00 AED from any ticket vending machine and load it with up to 10 single trips. This ticket can be used only for 1 mode of transport at a time. Alternately, you can purchase a NOL Silver Card for 25.00 AED and load it up to enjoy access to all modes of transport.
To travel between Terminals 1 and 3, you can use the free 24-hour shuttle bus service. The RTA-operated Dubai city buses have several routes that go past the airport terminals and travel to various parts of Dubai. Buses are mainly suitable for residents or people familiar with the city, as 1 or more changes are required to complete the journey to Downtown Dubai. Bus #55 travels from the airport to the Ibn Battuta Metro station every hour when the Metro services are in operation.
Taxis are available at the taxi ranks outside the airport terminals. There is a flag charge of 25.00 AED from the airport, followed by 1.96 AED for each subsequent kilometer. Typically, a ride to Downtown Dubai will cost 52.00 AED – 55.00 AED and the trip will take about 15 minutes.
Most of the major car rental agencies have a presence at DXB. You could also consider booking ahead and get some great deals on car rentals with momondo.
Dubai is a large metropolis and you will need to rely on a set of wheels to get around from one place to another. The city offers a well-developed and efficient public transport network that includes metro, buses, trams, and boats.
Dubai Metro is a world-class, fully-automated, driverless railway system that operates mostly above ground. The Metro connects you to many of the popular tourist attractions such as Dubai Mall, Dubai Marina, the Gold Souks and Dubai’s Financial District (DIFC). Fares are based on number of zones travelled. A standard adult ticket price could range from 4.00 AED – 8.50 AED.
RTA operates 1500 buses in Dubai and the fares are usually combined with the Dubai Metro ticket prices. You can explore Dubai with the Big Bus, Dubai’s hop-on hop-off bus service that makes stops at all major landmarks throughout the city. A 1-day ticket costs approximately 225.00 AED.
Trams and monorail
Dubai Tram runs from Al Sufouh to Jumeirah Beach Residences in about 42 minutes, and connects directly to the Palm Monorail. The tram makes stops at attractions such as the Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Marina, Jumeirah Lake Towers, and more. The Palm Monorail runs from the trunk of the Palm to the Atlantis, The Palm. Monorail tickets are not integrated with the rest of the public transport. Single trip fares range from 10.00 AED – 20.00 AED based on distance traveled.
Boats and ferries
Explore Dubai in its traditional mode of transportation, the ‘abra’. Boats ride across Dubai Creek or through Souk Madinat Jumeirah and the fare is 1.00 AED per ride. Check out the larger dhow boats that offer dinner cruises in the Dubai Marina or the Dubai Water Canal. Tour packages start at approximately 150.00 AED. The RTA-operated Dubai Ferry offers 4 different hour-long round trips that start at the ferry station and tour around local areas of interest. Ticket prices range from 50.00 AED – 75.00 AED based on the class you choose to travel in.
Taxis are easily available and you can hail one directly from the streets at any time. If you prefer to pre-arrange your ride, you can call for a Dubai taxi pick-up at +971 4 208 0808. While taxis in Dubai are reasonably priced, you may experience surge in fares due to factors such as traffic, time of day, and road tolls.
Cycling around Dubai is becoming increasingly popular and a large number of cycle paths have also come up in the city. Nextbike is the official bike share program in Dubai. You can rent a bike at any BYKY station in the city and you are charged 15.00 AED for the first 30 minutes, 20.00 AED for an hour, and 25 AED for 2 hours. Staggered pricing continues upwards up to 80.00 AED for 24 hours.
U.S. nationals do not need to make any advance visa arrangements to enter Dubai. Once you disembark from your flight, you can proceed to immigration where your passport will be stamped with a 30-day visitor visa, free of charge. For foreign nationals, please check the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs – Dubai website.
One of the most unique cities in the world, Dubai is a traveler’s dream. The city offers several historic sights, contemporary, edgy architecture, trendy nightlife, and a bunch of over-the-top attractions. Dubai also boasts a thriving arts and culture ecosystem, and an ever-evolving culinary scene. There is so much to see and do, that it may be overwhelming to choose what to include in your itinerary, when you travel to Dubai. Here are a few suggestions.
Buy a Go Dubai Card
Invest in a Go Dubai Card for discounted entry to several top museums, tours, activities, and attractions. The all-inclusive card starts at 759.00 AED for an adult and 519.00 AED for a child (ages 3 – 12). Depending on your itinerary, you can buy a 3, 4, 5, or 7 calendar days’ card.
Go on a food journey
Dubai’s food landscape is a melting pot of over 200 nationalities and cultures. Indulge your taste buds in a wide range of cuisines to make the most of Dubai’s culinary offerings. You can sample several ethnic cuisines including Arabic, Persian, Moroccan and Lebanese. The Emirati food is known to be all about spice and flavor. Try Emirati specialties like al machboos (a flavorsome dish of meat cooked with spice blends and rice), chebabs (Emirati pancakes infused with saffron and date syrup), khameer (bread stuffed with sweet or savory fillings), kunafa (Middle Eastern version of a cheese Danish), and luqaimat (deep-fried dumplings served with local date syrup). Coffee lovers should taste the ‘Gahuwa Arabia’, a coffee that features lightly roasted beans mixed with saffron and cardamom.