Dear fellow travelers,
It’s Barbara here and I would like to tell you about my trip to the United Arab Emirates. I traveled there during the Christmas holidays with my family and spent 6 days in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
I would like to share with you some information if you are planning to visit the region!
When to go, how to get there and where to stay
The climate in the Emirates is extremely hot and sunny, so it’s preferable to visit during winter to avoid the very high temperatures of summer (in July and August they can exceed 50°C!). We’ve decided to go visit Dubai during the Christmas holidays mainly because of the days off we all had, even though it’s the high season and the most expensive moment to go there. If you have the opportunity to go between November and March, you’ll see it’s a lot less expensive than during the winter holidays.
We spent 6 days in Dubai (counting the journey) and planned a day trip to Abu Dhabi, as well as a tour in the desert nearby. We privileged the visit of the city to the beach life, but if you are a beach lover, you should probably add two more days to relax and sunbathe.
We flew with Emirates with a comfortable direct fly from Milan (I was visiting my family there 😊) and stayed at Dubai Marina, in the Elite Residence tower, in a wonderful apartment we booked on Airbnb. I would definitely recommend it since it was spacious, well located, with a beautiful view on the Marina and included several services (24h reception, swimming pool, gym 😍, a supermarket just next door) without being expensive. It was really the perfect place to stay because it was well served by a tram and several buses and just 5 minutes walk to Dubai Marina. Dubai Marina is a nice area with many shops, restaurants and hotels that is perfect for a good stroll during the day or at night.
Day trips from Dubai
We planned a day trip to Abu Dhabi to visit the city and in particular the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the biggest mosque of the Emirates. We booked this tour with Viator for a reasonable price and we were happy about it. I’ll talk more about it in a new post soon 😉
We really wanted to experience the Arab desert as well, so we booked a Desert Safari for the afternoon, with a dinner by the campfire and an Arabian show with bellydance and a whirling dervish. There are several companies that offer this kind of experience and we chose Viator again, because of the nice program, the price and all the good reviews. You can have a look here at the different options proposed.
What to pack
In winter the temperatures are warm and mild. It was quite hot when we visited, around 26/28°C during the day but you needed a sweat or jumper for the evening, especially in the desert. So I would recommend you to bring summer clothes, sunglasses, sandals, sunscreen cream and a swimsuit.
For the ladies: even though in the Emirates Western customs are widely tolerated, because of the many expats living there, I would still suggest you not to go around with very short skirts if you are visiting the city centre. Keep a scarf always with you if planning to enter a mosque. For the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi bring with you a long dress with a light cotton long sleeves shirt and a scarf to be well covered without suffering from the heat. Some long robes are provided there but they are black and synthetic, not the best option if you are visiting with midday sun!
UAE Dirham (AED) is the national currency in the Emirates. You can find ATM and currency exchange offices very easily, even though credit cards can be used in most of the restaurants, shops and malls.
I hope this post will be useful if you are planning to visit the UAE soon. Stay tuned for the next posts about my trip!
And go Eat The Road 😃