General Travel Experience:
Can you briefly describe your trip to Dubai, including the duration and purpose of your visit?
- I had planned my stay in Dubai for 8 days and 3 days in Abu Dhabi.
What motivated you to choose Dubai as your travel destination?
- Dubai is still a popular destination for many Indians, more like a synonym for the “FOREIGN” concept. This is one of the most affordable, cheapest, and vibrant cities while giving the most secure feeling for solo travelers.
Culture and Customs:
What cultural experiences or traditions did you find most interesting or different in Dubai?
- It is a perfect combination of diversified cultures. We can see right from Koreans to Indians - to Arabs - Europeans to US citizens at multiple layers of its social and cultural collaboration.
Did you experience any cultural norms or customs that you found surprising or unique?
- More than culture, the discipline that is followed irrespective of nationality or culture is truly commendable.
Sightseeing and Attractions:
What were the must-visit attractions or landmarks in Dubai that you explored?
- I covered almost all main attractions in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi except for fantasy/family parks as it was my solo trip. It starts from Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab, Global Village, Dubai Mall, Desert Safari, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Frame, Dubai Marina, Jumeirah Mosque, Kite beach, business bay, streets of Deira, gold-spice souks, dhow cruise, abra, speed boat, Dubai Aquarium, Underwater Zoo, view at the palm, lost chambers, Museum of the future, Dubai Fountain, Ain Dubai, Atlantis Palm hotel, Dubai Creek, Saeed Al Maktoum House, Dubai Museum, Ibn Battuta Mall, Dragon mall, Khorfakkan Waterfall, Sheeh park, Heart beach, Expo 2020, Sharjah mosque.
Do you have a favorite sightseeing experience from your trip?
- Future museum, mobility stall in Expo 2020.
What was your favorite Emirati or Middle Eastern dish that you tried in Dubai?
- Mandi biryani in Khorfakkan.
Did you try any street food or local specialties? If so, what was your favorite?
Where did you stay during your trip, and what was your overall impression of the accommodation?
- I stayed in an apartment with single occupancy. Extremely impressed as the property was a fully furnished apartment and perfect for solo travelers. With about INR 900 per day, it was apt for my choice.
Shopping and Souvenirs:
Did you do any shopping in Dubai? What are some unique items or souvenirs you bought?
- Loads of electronics, handbags, perfumes, collectibles, watches, gold, spices, etc.
Can you share your experiences with traditional markets like the souks?
- Wonderful experience just to be there to feel the vibe, let alone the shopping experience.
How did you get around in Dubai? What is the public transportation system like?
- 95% of it was all Public transport, especially the metro. Dubai is a linear city, and Metro has end-to-end connectivity like a straight line.
Did you have any interesting experiences with local transportation methods, such as traditional abra boats?
- Metros are very similar to any city in India, but buses with self-ticketing method and abra and dhow cruises from Marina to old Dubai are fantastic to experience every time than just looking at it as a mode of commuting.
Adventure and Outdoor Activities:
Did you participate in any adventurous or outdoor activities like desert safaris or water sports?
- Desert safari, is worth its hype.
What was the most exciting adventure you had during your trip?
- Both desert safari and quad bikes in between the desert.
Did you attend any cultural events, such as festivals, music performances, or art exhibitions?
- Belly dances and other shows which were part of the desert safari.
Were you able to interact with the local community in any meaningful way?
- Did not get a chance in that way.
Were there any cultural norms or etiquettes that you needed to be aware of as a traveler in Dubai?
- Not at all. Unlike an assumption about Middle East countries, UAE, particularly Dubai, is the most liberal city we can imagine and does feel so safe and free to roam across the city.
How did you find the local people’s attitudes towards tourists?
- Absolutely safe and warm. Most of the business men are either from India, Pakistan or Bangladesh. So, we feel homely and does combine the global touch at many places, including Dubai mall.
Weather and Season:
When did you visit Dubai, and how did the season affect your experience?
- I was lucky to be there at the right time. Just before the extreme summer; it was very pleasant throughout my trip duration.
Were there any weather-related considerations you had to keep in mind?
- Not at all during my time of travel since it was just the right weather to be there, like cities in Bangalore. I never had trouble throughout my walking distance of over 130kms in a week’s time.
Language and Communication:
What was your experience with the Arabic language in Dubai? Did you find it easy to communicate in English?
- Absolutely no problems with it at all. Hindi, English will do pretty much everything we would want to do in Dubai.
Any language tips for travelers who might not speak Arabic?
- Most of the people we meet and spend around will definitely know English and or Hindi. This being the global destination, knowing English will be more than sufficient to spend the days there.
Safety and Local Tips:
How safe did you feel during your trip, and do you have any safety tips for future travelers?
- Dubai is known as one of the safest places on the planet; don’t be surprised to witness yourself. Yet, basic care is suggested for your safety, provided we do not get into unnecessary hassles, especially in old Dubai area.
Are there any local tips or advice you wish you had known before your trip?
- Rural parts of Dubai and places in and around Sharjah.
Would you consider visiting Dubai again? What other places in the UAE or the region would you like to explore?
- Definitely yes; Fujairah, Sharjah, and Abu Dhabi.
Do you have any recommendations for someone planning a trip to Dubai?
- Dubai is a city that satisfies almost every type of tourist. Be flexible with lots of timelines to explore the entire city and make the best of it. Dubai deserves at least a week’s time to know the essence and be part of its vibrant culture. Based on your tastes, plan your itinerary and plan each of your days with ample free time. Never make the mistake of ticking the box with your visits. Spend your time and feel the vibes in each of the places you visit. You’ll fall in love with Dubai. Happy traveling!