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GUIDED GROUP TRAVEL

Dubai tours

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United Arab Emirates: Dubai & Abu Dhabi
10 days | 13 days with Oman extension

4.6 star rating

37
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$2,719*
 $2,569*
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Travel tips for Dubai trips

What type of currency is used in Dubai?

The currency used in Dubai is the United Arab Emirates Dirham, denoted by the symbol “AED” or “د.إ” (Arabic). It is also commonly abbreviated as Dhs or DH. When visiting Dubai, you’ll need some dirhams for transactions, as it is the widely accepted currency throughout the city.

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What language do they speak in Dubai?

Arabic is the official language of Dubai and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Arabic is spoken by the majority of the population and is used in government, media, and educational institutions.

English is widely used and understood in Dubai, especially in business, tourism, and as a lingua franca among the diverse expatriate community. Many signs, menus, and official documents are also available in English, making it relatively easy for English-speaking visitors to navigate and communicate in the city.

 

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How many days are ideal for a trip to Dubai?

We recommend you spend at least six days.

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What are the most popular activities to do in Dubai?

Dubai is a city of contrasts, with a rich history and culture. It is also a city of modern skyscrapers, luxury hotels, and endless entertainment options. Here are some of the most popular activities to do while on trips to Dubai

  • Visit the Burj Khalifa. The tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa offers breathtaking views of the city from the observation decks on the 124th and 148th floors. You can take a guided tour to the top of the tower, or you can dine at one of the restaurants with views.

  • Tour the Sharjah Heritage Museum. Housed in a restored 19th-century merchant’s house, the museum is divided into six galleries that explore different aspects of Emirati life, from traditional clothing and jewelry to Bedouin culture and pearl diving.

  • Go on a desert safari. A great way to experience the culture and traditions of the Bedouin people is on a desert safari. You’ll enjoy a barbecue dinner, participate in age-old activities, and more.

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What are the top attractions in Dubai?

Dubai is a city of superlatives with no shortage of amazing attractions. Some of the top sites to see on trips to Dubai include:

  • Dubai Creek. This popular tourist destination (and one of the city’s oldest and most important landmarks) is a natural saltwater inlet that divides the city of Dubai into two parts. The creek is home to a variety of marine life, including fish, dolphins, and turtles.

  • Sheikh Mohammed Centre. A great place to learn about Emirati culture and to meet other people from all over the world, The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding is a valuable resource for anyone who wants to understand the UAE and its people. The Centre offers language classes, cultural tours, and food tastings of traditional Emirati dishes.

  • Dubai Mall. The largest shopping mall in the world, the Dubai Mall has over 1,200 stores! You can find anything you want here, from designer clothes to souvenirs. The mall also has a number of attractions, including an aquarium, an ice rink, and a cinema complex.

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What are some unique experiences to have in Dubai?

Dubai offers a variety of unique experiences that you can’t find anywhere else in the world. Here are a few ideas to explore on Dubai tour packages:

  • Go on a desert safari. Explore the sands around Dubai, spotting exotic wildlife and learning about desert transportation as you travel over the dunes in a Land Rover 4x4. You can add a safari extension during a free day on our Dubai tours.

  • Visit a Bedouin camp. Make memories that will last a lifetime as you explore Bedouin culture in the desert. During an extension on our Dubai trip packages, you’ll taste Arabic coffee and dates; try activities like henna painting and hookah smoking; and sit down to a traditional barbecue dinner and belly dancing performance.

  • Ride a local water taxi. On our tours of Dubai, you’ll hop aboard an abra, a traditional water taxi, for a cruise along Dubai Creek. Water taxis offer a unique perspective of the city. You’ll see the city from a different angle and be able to appreciate its beauty from the water.

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What are some cultural customs and etiquette to be aware of in Dubai?

When visiting Dubai, it’s essential to be aware of and respect the local cultural customs and etiquette. The UAE has a rich cultural heritage, and the following are some key customs and etiquette to keep in mind:

  • Dress code. While Dubai is relatively liberal compared to some Middle Eastern countries, it is still important to dress modestly, especially in public places and when visiting religious sites. Both men and women should avoid wearing revealing or skimpy clothing, and women should cover their shoulders and knees in public.

  • Public displays of affection. Public displays of affection, such as hugging and kissing, should be avoided, as they are considered disrespectful in the local culture.

  • Greetings. When meeting locals, a traditional Arabic greeting is “As-salamu alaykum,” which means “Peace be upon you.” Respond with “Wa alaykumu as-salam,” meaning “And peace be upon you, too.”

  • Ramadan. During the holy month of Ramadan, it is respectful to refrain from eating, drinking, or smoking in public during daylight hours. Many restaurants and cafes remain closed during the day, and some may have limited operating hours.

  • Right-hand greetings. In Arab culture, the right hand is considered clean, while the left hand is used for personal hygiene. When shaking hands or offering items, always use your right hand.

  • Photography. Always ask for permission before taking photos of locals, especially women. Photography may be restricted in certain religious or government buildings.

  • Tipping. Tipping is not mandatory but is appreciated in Dubai. Many restaurants and hotels include a service charge, but leaving a small tip for excellent service is common.

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What is the weather like in Dubai?

 Dubai has a desert climate characterized by hot and humid conditions for much of the year. The weather is influenced by Dubai’s location in the Arabian Desert and the surrounding Arabian Gulf. Here’s an overview of the weather in Dubai throughout the year:

  • Summer (May–September). The summer months are scorching and humid, with average temperatures ranging from 100°F to 113°F. The humidity can make it feel even hotter, and it is not uncommon for the heat index to reach 122°F.

  • Fall (October–November). The fall months are slightly cooler, with average temperatures ranging from 82°F to 95°F. The humidity is also lower, making it a more comfortable time to visit Dubai.

  • Winter (December–February). Expect pleasant temperatures, with daytime highs ranging from 68°F to 79°F. The evenings are cooler, providing a comfortable climate for outdoor activities.  

  • Spring (March–April). An excellent time to visit, with warm but not scorching temperatures. Daytime temperatures range from 77°F to 90°F, with humidity higher than in winter.

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When is the best time of year to take a Dubai tour?

The best time of year to take a Dubai tour largely depends on your preferences and tolerance for heat. However, the most popular time for Dubai trips is from late October to early April, when daytime highs range from 68°F to 79°F. All our Dubai tour packages are offered during these months.

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What food is popular in Dubai?

Dubai’s culinary scene reflects its diverse and multicultural population, offering a wide variety of dishes from all over the world. Traditional Arabic dishes are widely available and loved by locals and visitors alike. Some favorites include:

  • Hummus. A creamy dip made from chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, and garlic.

  • Shawarma. Marinated and roasted meat (usually chicken or beef) served in a flatbread with vegetables and tahini sauce.

  • Falafel. Deep-fried chickpea or fava bean patties, often served in pita bread with vegetables and tahini or yogurt sauce.

  • Grilled meats. Arabic-style grilled meats like shish taouk (chicken kebabs) and shish kebabs (beef or lamb skewers).

  • Arabic sweets. Delightful sweets include baklava (layers of filo pastry with nuts and honey) and kunafa.

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What to pack for a trip to Dubai?

Consider the city’s hot desert climate and mix of modern and traditional culture when packing for a trip to Dubai. Here’s a list of essential items to pack:

  • Lightweight and breathable clothing. Pack loose-fitting, lightweight clothing made from breathable fabrics like cotton or linen to stay comfortable in the heat. Modest dress is recommended, especially for visiting religious sites and public places.

  • Sun protection. Pack sunblock with high SPF, sunglasses with UV protection, and a wide-brimmed hat or cap to shield yourself from the intense sun.

  • Swimwear. Don’t forget to pack your swimwear to enjoy the beaches and pools in Dubai. However, keep local customs in mind: While it’s acceptable to wear swim trunks or bikinis at the pool or beach, it’s disrespectful to do so on the street. Bring a coverup to wear to and from your swim spot of choice.

  • Reusable water bottle. Staying hydrated is crucial, so bring a reusable water bottle to refill throughout your trip.

  • Sandals or comfortable shoes. You’ll want comfortable sandals or walking shoes to explore the city’s attractions and deal with the hot pavements.

  • Layers for indoor places. Some indoor areas in Dubai, such as shopping malls and hotels, can be heavily air-conditioned. Pack a light sweater or shawl to keep warm in these environments.

  • Modest clothing for religious sites. If you plan to visit mosques or other religious places, bring clothing that covers your shoulders, arms, and knees as a sign of respect.

Once you’ve reserved one of our guided tours to Dubai, we’ll send you detailed information about what to bring. Don’t forget to download the Go Ahead Tour Companion app before you take off, so you’ll have all the info you need about your trip right in your pocket.

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