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How do I get from the airport to my hotel?

The primary airport servicing Dubai is the Dubai International Airport, located in the Al Garhoud district about 3 miles east of Dubai city center. If you have not booked a private transfer through us you have a few options. Visitors can find taxis, metro, buses and rental cars to get from the airport to their hotel.

Dubai is also serviced by Al Maktoum International Airport which opened in 2013 for passenger transportation but as of December 2014, the airport only handles a handful of airlines.

What types of transportation can I find at the airport?

There are several options for transportation at the Dubai International Airport including several rental car companies if you are renting a car for your stay in Dubai, you can find the rental car desk in the arrivals hall.

Taxis are the most popular option when traveling from the airport to downtown Dubai, the taxi ranks can be found at each terminal (just follow the signs for taxis), the taxi ranks are well organized and taxis run 24 hours a day, 7 days week. Taxis are metered and a taxi from the airport to the center of Dubai will start around AED 25 and approximately AED 100 to furthest parts of the city.

The Dubai Metro can be found at terminals 1 and 3 in the airport and travels to many major destinations in the city, the metro runs every 10 minutes daily from 5:50 am until midnight (1:00 am on Thursday and Friday evenings). On Friday mornings the metro does not begin until 1:00 pm. The metro features two lines with most of the stations offer bus and taxis for onward travel. Tickets can be purchased at the airport metro station and prices vary depending on the distance traveled. The Nol card is available, a re-loadable fare card that gives you discounts.

Buses are a low-cost option but can be complicated for travelers due to their extensive network. The bus stops can be found opposite Terminal 1, 2 and 3

Please note: you need to buy a Nol card in advance; you can’t pay cash to the driver. Bus F55 travels to the Ibn Battuta Metro Station from the airport and leaves every hour from 6:00 am until 10:00 pm, the journey takes about 45 minutes. Bus F55A travels to the Satwa Bus Station via Ibn Battuta (Bur Dubai) and operates as the night bus when the metro is not running from 11:00 pm until 6:00 am every hour. Bus drivers do not sell tickets, you must purchase a Nol card or a bus ticket at the airport or station before you board.

Buses 401 and 402 run from the airport to Al Sabkha and Al Ghubaiba bus terminals and the bus stops are located just out front of the baggage claim area.

How do I get from the train station to my hotel?

Every metro station in Dubai offers travelers a bus connection and taxi stands, there is generally a metro station located about every mile on average.

How do I get around the city using public transportation?

There is an extensive taxi system set up in Dubai which is the most popular form of public transportation. Taxis are metered and rates begin around AED12 when you order a taxi by phone, and AED5 when you take a taxi from a taxi stand or on the street. Taxis can generally be found at taxi ranks, hailing a taxi from the street and outside major attractions including malls and hotels.

The Dubai Metro offers two lines, red and green with future lines planned to be added. The trains run underground in the city center and along elevated railways elsewhere in the city. The trains offer and extensive network that connects to buses and taxis at the metro stations. The Red Line consist of 60 trains and 29 stations, trains run every 7 minutes in off-peak hours and every 3 minutes 45 seconds during peak hours. The train runs from Rashidiya Station to UAE Exchange Station. The Green Line consists of 60 trains and 18 stations and runs from Etisalat Station to Union Station and Burjuman Station. A single ticket costs approximately AED2 - 8.50, trains operate from 5:50 am until midnight, and Friday services do not begin until 1:00 pm. On Thursday and Friday nights the trains run until 1:00 am.

The bus system in Dubai is large with 193 routes and featuring around 1,500 bus stops in the city. The main bus stations can be found at Gold Souq Market in Deira and Al Ghubaiba bus station in Bur Dubai. The most useful bus for tourists is the Line 8 starting at the Gold Souq stations, it travels down Jumeirah Road behind the beach past the hotels and malls, to the Burj Al Arab and Wild Wadi Water Park. It ends near the Internet City, Line 8A travels the same route and travels further down to the Mall of Emirates.

The best way to pay for travel on the bus and metro is by purchasing a Nol stored value card, a day pass valid for unlimited rides on the bus and metro. It costs around AED25 and provides you with a 10% discount. These can be purchased at the stations.

The Downtown Burj Dubai Tram System and the Dubai Tram are two tram systems featured in Dubai. The Downtown Burj Dubai system has two lines, the first runs from the Burj Khalifa metro station to the Dubai Mall making one stop at The Address Dubai Mall with trams that run in both directions. The second line only runs in one direction and serves 10 stations, traveling clockwise in a loop, making the entire journey in about 8 minutes. The Dubai Tram runs along Al Sufouh Road linking the Dubai Marina with the Burj Al Arab and the Mall of Emirates, it connects to two red line metro stations and features 11 trains and 13 stations. The trams run from 6:30 am to 1:30 am, but on Fridays, the service does not start until 9:00 am. Ticket prices are approximately AED 3 per ride, A Nol card can be used.

There is a trolley that runs in Downtown Dubai using double decker, old style trams, providing passengers with transport to top tourist attractions. The track forms a loop around the downtown area.

Dubai has two large Ports, Rashid and Jebel Ali, both are international cruise terminals where the ships dock. The Dubai Creek and Port Saeed are where traditional dhows and abras ferry passengers across the Dubai Creek. Stations for water travel are situated along the Creek on the Bur Dubai and Deira sides; a river trip costs approximately AED 1 per passenger. Sunset cruises and dinner cruises are popular in this area.

How do I call/hail a taxi?

Taxis are available all over the city, they are a fast, efficient way to get around the city and prices are reasonable. You can be hail a taxi from the street, at taxi stands or call an order one by phone. Taxis are metered in the city with rates starting at around AED3.50, and charging around AED1.60 per mile. Prices can differ during daytime and evening hours and are different if you hail a taxi on the street versus by phone. Taxis can be impossible to find during rush hour and it is advised to avoid getting a taxi at these times with the standstill traffic that occurs during these hours.

Uber and Careem are two optional taxi services available in the city, which are booked on an app via your smart phone. Exact pickup and drop off destinations are entered into the app and you are notified when your driver has arrived, pricing is handled directly through the app with your credit card on file.

Should I rent a car in Dubai?

It really is not necessary to rent a car while in Dubai due to the many forms of public transportation offered. If you do decide to rent a car you will need an international drivers license, your passport and third party insurance is required. There are areas outside of Dubai in the mountain town of Hatta and the desert which you might want your own car to visit. Driving during rush hour can be impossible, with standstill traffic and short trips taking up to an hour to go a very short distance.

Is Dubai a walking city?

Walking around certain areas in Dubai is popular with more and more pedestrian paths being added and park areas and beaches being a great place to take a stroll. The temperatures in Dubai can be stifling, to say the least, with very high temps in the summertime and unbearable humidity, which make taking a walk outside a pretty hot experience. Some of the popular places for walking are City Walk, Dubai Marina, Jumeirah Beach, Downtown Bur Dubai, Bastaki, Burj Park, Dubai Creek Park and Mamzar Beach Park.

Can I ride a bike around Dubai?

Taking a bike ride in the city is a perfect way to get around the city provides around 528 miles of bikeways in the CBD and certain neighborhoods. Here are a few popular cycling paths featured in the City, Nad Al Sheba, Al Qudra, Dubai Autodrome, Al Barsha Park, Mushrif Park. The City has several places where visitors can rent a bike such as Wolfi`s Bike Shop, Trek Bikes, Revolution Cycles and Cycle Bistro. Along with short-term rental stations scattered around the city, Bike-sharing facility Byky gives visitors the option to rent a bike for up to 24 hours offering family fun bikes, tricycles and even go-karts, 85 rental stations are located in areas across Dubai from downtown to the Marina and Palm Jumeirah.

How do I get around Dubai by boat?

Dubai is a great place to take a jaunt along the waterways, travel back in time onboard an Abra, jump on a waterbus, water taxi or ferry and travel the waters such as the Dubai Canal and Dubai Creek providing spectacular views of the breathtaking city. Rides on the Dubai ferry cost around AED15, the ferry will take you on a ride starting at Business Bay all the way to Dubai Marina through the Dubai Canal, a ferry ride provides great views of the skyline and coast. Ferries depart from Al Jaddaf station daily at 10:00 am, 12:00 noon and 5:30 pm. Dinner cruises on board a traditional dhow boat along Dubai`s historical waterways is a nice way to enjoy an evening in Dubai.

Is Dubai a dangerous city, is there anything I should be aware of?

Crime in the UAE is much less than other parts of the world although Dubai is not a crime free city it is generally very safe and visitors should use common sense and caution. Dubai does have a strict interpretation of Islamic law and this should be respected by all travelers. Laws, in general, are very different from most Western countries and are strictly enforced.

What are some popular areas for shopping?

Dubai offers a wide array of shopping variations offering some of the largest most spectacular malls in the world, including the Dubai Mall and The Mall of Emirates which also offer some pretty surreal attractions including an indoor theme park, ice rink, and a huge indoor waterfall, an indoor ski slope, The Dubai Aquarium, the Dubai Fountains and Burj Khalifa. Some may consider the shopping in Dubai to be average but the overall experience is pretty outstanding. Traditional souks (Arab marketplaces) are plentiful in the city where shoppers are advised to `haggle` with the shop keeper for the best prices. Dubai is well known for its gold and textiles along with some electronics.

The Dubai Shopping Festival starts in January and ends in February, it is the biggest shopping event featured in the Middle East, the festival features family fun entertainment, concerts with performances by international celebrities.

Where can I go golfing in Dubai?

Dubai offers some of the world`s most famous golf courses including the Emirates Gold Club, Tiger Woods Dubai and the Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club with some of the courses designed by Colin Montgomerie and Ernie Els.

What is the currency? Can I pay/tip in US dollars?

The official currency in Dubai is the Dirham also referred to as the prefix AED (Arab Emirate Dirham) or abbreviation Dhs which would follow the numeric amount. The dirham and the US dollar exchange rate is fixed at US$1 = Dhs 3.67.

There is a 10% service charged added to bills in hotels, restaurants, and bars, additional tips can be left in the amount of a few dirhams as most of the time the service charge goes to the restaurant and not the person who served you.

For more detailed information, consult our guide to tipping in the UAE by clicking here UAE

What is a popular time to visit?

The weather can be unbearably hot in Dubai especially during the months of July - September when it is very humid with almost no rain. At this time of year, it is almost impossible to partake in outdoor activities unless you are by a pool or the ocean, but the ocean will be as hot as a bath at this time of year. The winter months from November to March with temperatures in the mid to high 80`s with 95% humidity.

What are some popular festivals held in Dubai?

Dubai hosts many festivals and events throughout the year with some of the popular ones including the Dubai Shopping Festival, the Dubai Desert Classic, Dubai International Jazz Festival, Art Dubai, National Day Festival, Dubai Summer Surprises and Ramadan.

Is there a certain dress code when visiting temples or in public places in Dubai?

In Dubai when visiting a mosque woman are required to cover their hair, bodies and legs and men are required to wear long pants. And to be respectful of the UAE culture it is advised to cover up from the shoulders to the knees, no short shorts/skirts, crop tops, spaghetti strap tanks or low cut shirts and no offensive or obscene t-shirts as these types of clothing are considered offensive.

What is the food like?

The Emirati cuisine is a mixture of Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine; therefore there is not just one style of food offered in Dubai. It is considered to be one of the most exciting dining destinations in the world with five-star cuisine featuring restaurants by famous chefs Gary Rhodes and Gordon Ramsay. Sample some of the local favorites such as hummus, tabouleh, pita, baba ghanoush, Shawarma, and Fala-Fil. You can also find the standard American chains like McDonald`s, Pizza Hut, Starbucks, and KFC. Local street food is a cheap, tasty and popular option featuring food from Lebanon, Iran, and India. Camel is served in Dubai and is a very common dish; stuffed camel is a famous dish in the area. Lamb, beef, and chicken are other popular meats but you will not find pork due to Dubai`s Muslim religion.

What is the nightlife like?

Dubai offers a vibrant nightlife filled with bars, nightclubs and late night entertainment with DJ`s from around the world including David Guetta at some of the popular clubs such as Cavalli Club, White Dubai, VIP Room, Blue Marlin Ibiza and Cirque Le Soir which are normally very busy on Thursday and Friday nights. The end of the work week in Dubai is Thursday so Friday and Saturdays are the weekends for working people. Clubs are typically open until 3:00 am. Hotels in Dubai are one of the main locations that feature bars and nightclubs due to the strict alcohol laws in the city.

Licensed premises are the only places allowed to serve alcohol; these places are normally hotels with bars and nightclubs attached to them. They do not serve alcohol on religious holidays in Dubai or during daylight hours during Ramadan. Drinking in public places is illegal and they have a zero tolerance policy for drunk driving and public intoxication will lead to jail time or deportation.

I don’t speak Arabic will there be many people who speak English?

The official language spoken in Dubai (UAE) is Arabic; English is the most widely spoken language but may be the second language. We recommend you get a good English-Arabic guidebook and familiarize yourself with common phrases such as hello, goodbye, thank you, excuse me and the numbers 1 -10.

What should I do if I need medical assistance or need to go to the hospital?

In the case of emergencies dial 999 for policy (901 non-emergencies), 998 for an Ambulance, 997 for the Fire Department.

One of the top hospitals in the city is the American Hospital Dubai open 24 hours for emergencies. Tel. +971 4 377 5500

Dubai Hospital tel. +971 4 219 5000

Rashid Hospital tel. +971 4 219 2000