One of the fastest growing cities in the world, the independent city-state of Dubai is the most progressive and modern emirate within the United Arab Emirates. Dubai is home to some 2.1 million residents, but only an estimated 17% of those individuals are native Emirati. With its immense diversity, Dubai is home to the largest immigrant population in the world. The city is home to hundreds of thousands of foreign nationals living and working in one of the largest trade hubs on the globe, with Indian and Pakistani immigrants (53% and 13.3% respectively) representing the largest foreign groups.
When to visit
Given its location in the Middle East, there is no bad time to visit Dubai. In the 21st century, no city in the world has seen the massive growth, physically and economically, that Dubai has experienced. Skyrocketing oil prices bankrolled massive growth in the most progressive city in the UAE. Much like Las Vegas, Dubai has a stunning skyline that stands out among the barren landscape of a desert environment. If there was a time of year to avoid in Dubai, it would be the summer months.
In reality, there are only two seasons in Dubai: hot and hotter. As a coastal city in the Middle East, Dubai experiences extremely hot summers with high humidity. Between June and September, the average high temperature on any given day can rise well into the triple digits Fahrenheit. The average high in June is 101.8 F (38.8 C), with July and August experiencing the highest average temperatures of the year at 105.1 F (40.6 C) and 104.7 F (40.4 C), respectively.
However, if you visit between October and April you will find Dubai's sweet spot in terms of weather. The winter months offer you the best chance to catch clear blue skies and excellent beach weather. The average high temperature in winter ranges from a top of 95.2 F (35.1 C) in October to a low of 75.2 F (24 C) in January. With more temperate weather come more tourists, so you can expect to see higher hotel rates and more people at the beach if you visit during winter.
Like many other coastal destinations, Dubai has a wide range of water activities to offer you. Jumeirah Beach is the most popular destination for a day of relaxation, but there are numerous options for you to consider when you travel to Dubai. The emirate is home to some of the whitest, sandiest beaches in the world, and boasts some of the warmest ocean temperatures as well.
Diving, snorkeling, and parasailing are popular activities at local beaches, but there are also a number of excursions available for those willing to leave the comfort of shore behind. If you are so inclined, options include a Dubai Creek Cruise, fishing adventures, and even private or charter yachts to explore the Arabian Sea.
Shopping is also a major lure in Dubai. The Dubai Mall, located downtown near the world's tallest skyscraper (Burj Khalifa), is the largest mall in the world by square footage and is home to more than 1,000 shops. If you want to escape the heat of the desert, the Dubai Mall has something for everyone in your travel party.
As previously mentioned, Dubai is home to the world's tallest skyscraper. The Burj Khalifa towers above the city at 160 stories (2,716.5 feet or .83 km) tall. Not only is the building the tallest in the world, it is also the tallest freestanding structure and home to the highest outdoor observation deck.
Other must-see attractions in Dubai include the Dubai Marina, the Palm Islands (still under construction), the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, and the Dubai Zoo are great for people of all ages. Before you leave, don't forget to visit Old Dubai's Bastakiya District, Shindagha District, and Souks for a taste of the city's history.
Tips & Recommendations
• Be respectful of Dubai's stance on religion. Islamic sharia laws are strictly enforced and should be respected by travelers.
• Petty crime is a problem in certain areas, so keep a close eye on your wallet near Nasser Square and Deira in particular.
• Public displays of affection are considered unacceptable, so save intimate emotions for the privacy of your hotel.
• The city's real-estate boom has led to a number of fraudulent developers conning visitors.
• If you want help adjusting, visit the Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding for a crash course on cultural barriers.
Hilton Dubai The Walk gives you lots of choices, thanks to the extensive selection of rooms. The comfortable rooms are 4-star rated. This lodging is a good choice if you are interested in visiting Dubai Marina. Wild Wadi Water Theme Park is an entertaining option for your Dubai visit.
The large Jumeirah Dar Al Masyaf - Madinat Jumeirah offers plenty of rooms. 5 stars guarantees excellence during your Dubai visit. Nearby Madinat Theater might be the high point of your vacation. This lodging is not far from Wild Wadi Water Theme Park.
At the popular Sharjah Heritage Youth Hostel rooms go quickly thanks to its small size. Here, great value for the money means you'll have more to spend on sightseeing, dining and other travel priorities.