Best Things to Do During a Layover in Dubai

Best Things to Do During a Layover in Dubai

A few decades ago, no one in the tourism industry had heard of Dubai. It was an obscure city; but today, it is one of our world’s most glamorous metropolis with an incomparable futuristic skyline. Nearly 20 million tourists travel to the city every year, whether it is for shopping for some of the best global brands or for business or for sheer entertainment. Dubai is home to some of the best airlines in the world. The Dubai Airport is a class apart, worthy of exploring by itself. People travel through this giant hub every day, and layovers in Dubai offer the perfect chance to explore the city. Here’s what you can do in Dubai if you’re there on a layover.

 

The Grand Mosque: Total Time: 1 Hour

The Grand Mosque of Dubai is located very close to the airport. The building is a magnificent piece of artwork. It can contain about 1200 worshippers at a time. If you are not a Muslim, you won’t be allowed within the mosque, but you can explore the outer section of the mosque and take pictures of the incredible design.

 

Burj Khalifa: Total Time – 4 Hours

The Burj Khalifa should be your first stop. It makes no sense to have a layover in Dubai and not visit the Khalifa. You’re your tickets in advance so that you don’t waste time in the queues. Best to take a taxi straight from the airport to the Khalifa. Be sure to take in the view of the building from the bottom and from the observatory deck on the 124th floor. The views from up there are simply amazing.

Dubai Fountains: Check out the Dubai Fountains, just below the Burj Khalifa, from the observatory deck. The fountains leap up to a height of 152 meters and are very clearly visible from the observatory deck. If you have time, take a walk around the Burj Khalifa to admire the Dubai Mall, the Dubai Fountains and the Burj Khalifa from the ground.

Dubai Mall: No point in visiting the Burj Khalifa is you don’t check out the Dubai Mall as well. It’s after all the world’s largest shopping mall by area, with more than 1,200 shops. Even if you’re not a great shopper, the sheer grandeur of the Dubai Mall is just not to be missed. The lobby with the fabulous waterfall with its sculptures of divers suspended in their dives is fascinating. There’s an Ice Rink, the VR Park, a 22-theatre multiplex, and the fabulous Underwater Zoo and Aquarium that beg to be explored.

 

Dubai’s Souqs: Total Time – 2 Hours

After admiring the Burj Khalifa, be sure to take a taxi to Dubai’s Souqs. The two main souqs are in Bur Dubai and Deira, which are separated by the Dubai Creek.

Dubai Creek: If you want to enjoy Dubai’s majestic skyline in a completely different way, cross the Dubai Creek. You can do this cheaply on a wooden vessel called the abra. Or, if time permits, you can take a dhow cruise along the Creek, passing under the many bridges and past supertall towers that overlook the water beside beautiful gardens. The creek bustles with locals and tourists and is seamed with a number of eateries, souqs, and vibrant people. If you want to feel the soul of Dubai, visit the Dubai Creek.

Dubai Souqs: The most popular market is the Gold Souk, which is a covered part of the bazaar with many shops selling gold jewelry. You can see the shine of gold from a distance. There’s more gold here than you’ve seen at any one place in your lifetime. If you want to pick up some exotic spices on the cheap, visit the Al Sabkha Souk. You’ll see baskets and baskets of fragrant saffron, cinnamon, mace, nutmeg and a horde of other spices. You’ll also find many baskets piled up with the finest nuts. You are allowed to haggle at these souqs. Some of the merchants will quote outlandish prices the moment they realize you’re a foreigner. Be sure to check with a few stalls before you commit to purchasing from one. Enjoy the colors and smells that are sure to take you back to Old Arabia.

 

The Dubai Museum: Total Time – 2 Hours

If you want to understand how Dubai has transformed from being a pearl-diving and fishing village, visit the Dubai Museum. Dubai was once a small Bedouin village but today it is this magnificent entertainment hub that everyone wants to visit. The Dubai Museum is located at the Al-Fahidi Fort that was built during the 17th century. Explore the beautiful gallery of the museum which houses a wide range of military artifacts, a number of clothing and other local antiques of the Arabic culture plus old weaponry. Some of the exhibits are outside, and it is best to visit this museum from August to April, as it can be incredibly hot during other months.

 

Jumeirah Beach: Total Time – 2 Hours

Get to the Jumeirah beach next, from where you can enjoy the most magnificent views of the Burj al Arab hotel in the background. This is the world’s tallest and the only seven-star hotel. You cannot go inside the Burj al Arab unless you are a hotel guest or you have booked a table in one of the restaurants. If you are able to do that in advance, nothing like it. For now, enjoy the terrific views and be sure to take pictures of yourself against the backdrop of the Burj al Arab. The Jumeirah beach is best relegated to the last part of your day, so you can enjoy the sunset with the Burj al Arab in the background, before returning to the airport. Also check out the nearby Jumeirah Beach Hotel, with its iconic wave-like design.

 

Some Tips

  • It takes about an hour and a half to be done with immigration and customs, so take this delay into consideration.
  • We suggest you use the taxi system and forget the Metro, in the interest of saving time.
  • For a short layover, you don’t need to book into a hotel. Just store your luggage at the Dubai airport luggage storage facility for up to 12 hours at terminal 1 & 3.
  • At the airport, be sure to obtain your transit visa for Dubai so that you are able to sightsee.

 

Conclusion

If you are a frequent traveler who’s passing through Dubai on business or pleasure, be sure to factor in layover time whenever possible. This will allow you to formulate itineraries that’ll help you see a bit more of Dubai each time you travel. It’s a great way to see everything this grand city has to offer, in bits and pieces.

About the Author

An avid trekker, explorer and a true foodie; Neha finds happiness in small endeavors of life and loves to pen them down as a cherished memory. A firm believer that “we have just one life to live and so much to do”, Neha lives every moment to the fullest.

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8 Photo Spots in Dubai – My Favorite Places For Awesome Pictures

8 Photo Spots in Dubai – My Favorite Places For Awesome Pictures

Photo spots in Dubai

When I was house sitting in Dubai, I wanted to find some great locations for photos. Unfortunately, when I did some research I couldn’t really find any. I found awesome photos with breathtaking views… But nobody wrote about where the photo was taken. That’s why it was important to me to write about my 8 favorite photo spots in Dubai, that you will be able to find easily!

 

#1 Il Faro

Il Faro* is a quite new restaurant with a lounge in the very beginning of The Palm. Not only the food is amazing here (try the seafood!), but the view is simply incredible. If you’re lucky (which I wasn’t) and the weather is fine, you will even see the Burj Khalifa.

Photo Spots in Dubai – From Il Faro Restaurant and Lounge

Photo Spots in Dubai – From Il Faro Restaurant and Lounge

Photo Spots in Dubai – From Il Faro Restaurant and Lounge

 

#2 Dubai Fountains

One of my favorite places were the Dubai Fountains* with an unbelievable view on the tallest building in the world  – Burji Khalifa*. They have a fountain show every day between 6 PM and 10 PM playing every 30 minutes for 3 minutes.

Photo Spots in Dubai – From Dubai Fountains

 

#3 The Skyline From The Palm

To get this amazing view of the skyline you have to drive up the entire Palm and take a left. Drive to the end of the road and you will find yourself at the same point where I took this photo. It will take you between 15 and 20 minutes to get there. Take a taxi or an uber. The best way though is to rent a car in Dubai!

Photo Spots in Dubai – Dubai Skyline from The Palm

 

#4 Hotel La Ville

The Hotel La Ville* is located directly behind the City Walk of Dubai and has a rooftop with a stunning view over the Burj Khalifa*. YOu should definitely put on your to do list to get a drink up there and enjoy the view!

Photo Spots in Dubai – Burj Khalifa from the Hotel La Ville

 

#5 Burji al Arab

Burj al Arab* is one of the most expensive buildings in the world. And with its shape of a sail one of the most beautiful ones, as well. It’s located on a small island right in front of Dubais coastal line. Unfortunately, it’s not allowed anymore to get in without a booking. But still: For me this building is a symbol of adventures and discovering new places. Can you relate to this feeling? I took this photo from the street. Most people go straight to the entrance to the island – as far as it’s allowed to go. But for me, the palms were much nicer than the street… So, sometimes you have to take a step back. If you want to read more tips for travel photography, just click here.

Photo Spots in Dubai – Burj Al Arab

 

#6 CityWalk

The City Walk is a mall very close to Burj Khalifa. It’s a great place, not only to do some shopping in Dubai, but as well to take stunning photos! Buildings made of glass, huge palm trees and graffitis will reward you. A perfect photo spot in Dubai, if you want to take a picture of something else than skyscrapers.

Photo Spots in Dubai – City Walk

Photo Spots in Dubai – City Walk

Photo Spots in Dubai – City Walk

 

#7 Monorail

I love every kind of funicular or small trains that have panorama windows with a great view. That’s why the Monorail of Dubai was very high on my list of things to do. But, I have to say that I was a bit disappointed. It’s not really worth 15 AED (4 Euro). The windows are colored and super small, you can’t get off in between the first and the last stop, and there is not really a possibility to get an awesome shot. Still I got one photo that I like! To get it you have to go to the front of the Monorail (or when returning, to the back), because that’s the only place with bigger windows. Then you will have this frontal view of the Hotel Atlantis The Palm*.

Photo Spots in Dubai – Hotel Atlantis from the Monorail

#8 Dubai Marina

Water, yachts and skyscrapers… What else are you searching for to take a breathtaking photo? That’s way this place needs to be part of my list of my favorite 8 photo spots in Dubai: the Dubai Marina!  If you want to get exactly this shot: This is right on the other side of the street of the Marriott Hotel (which has a bar quite high that technically offers a view over The Palm – unfortunately my photos were not really good, so I decided to not add it to the list).

Photo Spots in Dubai – Dubai Marina

Those were my favorite spots to take amazing photos in Dubai! Actually, I heard that the Madinat Souk is another place with many photo spots, but I didn’t find the time to go there!

Which one of my favorite photo spots in Dubai did you like most?

PS: All links marked with an asterisk (*) are Affiliate Links.

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Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque: A Day Trip From Dubai to Abu Dhabi

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque: A Day Trip From Dubai to Abu Dhabi

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi was my must see #1 in the UAE, when I did house sitting* in Dubai last april. If you want to read more about the capital of the Emirates have look at this blog post about Abu Dhabi!

 

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque: How to Get There?

If you’re in Dubai you have four ways to get to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque:

  1. With public transport (which is the most time consuming way)
  2. With the taxi (which is kind of cheap in the UAE, but, of course, more expensive than public transport)
  3. With a tour form your hotel
  4. With a rental car

I decided to get a rental car in Dubai and drove to the capital of the country. There are two highways and a huge parking lot in front of the mosque, so I don’t think you will have a problem with traffic or parking.

Scheich-Zayid-Moschee

 

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque: Guided Tours

Opening Hours are from Saturday to Thursday from 9 AM to 10 PM and on Fridays from 4:30 PM to 10 PM. Every day they offer free guided tours:

DaysHours
Sunday to Thirsday 10 AM , 11 AM and 5 PM
Friday5 PM and 7P M
Saturday10 AM, 11 AM, 2 PM, 5 PM and 7 PM

You can find more information here.

Scheich-Zayid-Moschee

I arrived just in time to participate in the last guided tour of that day. It was perfect to see the sun just over the mosque.

Scheich-Zayid-Moschee

Scheich-Zayid-Moschee

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the biggest mosque of the country and the eigth biggest in the world. The space offers around 40,000 people the possibility to come together to worship.

It offers…

  • the world’s largest carpet (and with 47 tons probably the heaviest!)
  • the world’s biggest chandelier
  • the world’ biggest marble mosaic
  • the world’s biggest cupola on a mosque

Scheich-Zayid-Moschee von innen

Scheich-Zayid-Moschee im Innern

The guided tour lasted for about 45 minutes. Then we had to leave the prayer room, but we were allowed to go around outside.

Scheich-Zayid-Moschee geführte Tour

Scheich-Zayid-Moschee Gebetsräume

Scheich-Zayid-Moschee

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque: Sunset

In my opinion, sunset is a perfect timing to go to this mosque. It’s so beautiful how the atmosphere changes with the different lighting:

Scheich-Zayid-Moschee

Scheich-Zayid-Moschee

It got darker and darker and the Blue Hour started.

Scheich-Zayid-Moschee

Scheich-Zayid-Moschee

Scheich-Zayid-Moschee

Scheich-Zayid-Moschee

But suddenly, the sky was pitch-black.

Scheich-Zayid-Moschee

Scheich-Zayid-Moschee

Scheich-Zayid-Moschee

 

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque: Food

You don’t need to prepare a sandwich for your day trips to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Directly next to it, there is restaurant as well as a souvenir shop.

After three hours taking photos, I got myself a Coke and a pizza.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque: Accommodation in the UAE

During my stay in the UAE I did house sitting which is why I can’t really give recommendations on accommodation.

But you can check out the following platforms: Tripadvisor*, Airbnb* or Hostelworld*!

PS: All the links with an asterisk (*) are affiliate links. If you buy something, I will get a small commission on it.

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Ras al Khaimah – 8 Things to do in RAK

Ras al Khaimah – 8 Things to do in RAK

During my stay in Dubai, I was invited to go to the neighbor Emirate of Ras al Khaimah, or simply RAK. I had already read about this Emirate on a blog of a friend, which is why I was really happy about the invitation.

In my opinion, it’s a perfect place for a getaway for nomads based in Dubai or staying there for a few weeks.

How to get to Ras al Khaimah?

If you’re in the bigger Emirate Dubai – like I was – or in Abu Dhabi, it’s pretty difficult to get to Ras al Khaimah by public transport. There is no shuttle or such thing, not even from the airport. I heard of a bus, but it is not going often (like once a day) and people simply don’t take it. I couldn’t even get more information about it.

So, you have two options:

  1. Take a taxi (250 AED – a bit more than 60 Euro) or
  2. Get a rental car

I got a rental car and drove there from Dubai. The two Emirates are connected through the highway E311, which is an easy drive of just one hour as long as you don’t choose to go during rush hour. Then you have to calculate approximately 30 minutes more due to traffic jams.

 

About Ras al Khaimah

Ras al Khaimah is the northernmost Emirate and borders the Omani exclave Musandam. It’s one of the more traditional Emirates since it has a larger local population. Almost 40 percent of the people living here are Emirati. This is why you should be more aware of local traditions than in Dubai or Abu Dhabi where people are more easy-going with the Western lifestyle.

Ras al Khaimah Marina

 

What to do in Ras al Khaimah?

This Emirate is mostly known as a weekend getaway for people from Dubai or other Emirates. Foreigners coming here to enjoy the beach and the great weather in Ras al Khaimah. But since I’m not the kind of person spending the whole day on a sun bed, I went on a few trips. Here is my ranking: 8 things to do in Ras al Khaimah!

#1 Fun at the Via Ferrata Jebel Jais

Via Ferrata (Italian for “iron route”) is a cool concept that started in Switzerland in the Alps as a protected climbing route. It’s basically a steel cable that is fixed to the mountain to secure the climber.

Ras al Khaimah Via Ferrata Jebel Jais

Today, a Via Ferrata is a mix of climbing, canyoning, and zip-lining. And most of all it’s a lot of fun.

Ras al Khaimah Via Ferrata Jebel Jais

Ras al Khaimah Via Ferrata Jebel Jais

Ras al Khaimah Via Ferrata Jebel Jais

The Via Ferrata Jebel Jais is approximately 90 minutes by car from the city of Ras al Khaimah.

 

#2 Visit the Dhayah Fort

The Dhayah Fort is located a little bit outside of the city of Ras al Khaimah. It’s the last remaining hilltop fort in the UAE. 242 steps lead to the top. But don’t be fooled: It can be pretty exhausting in the heat of the country!

Ras al Khaimah Dhayah Fort

Ras al Khaimah Dhayah Fort

 

#3 See Al Jazirat Al Hamra – the Ghost Town of Ras al Khaimah

The old fishing village Al Jazirat is now abandoned. It’s like an open air museum, but without entrance fees and audio guides. You can simply drive through this ghost town.

Ras al Khaimah Ghost Town Al Jazirat Al Hambra

Ras al Khaimah Ghost Town Al Jazirat Al Hambra

It was established in the 14th Century and abandoned in the 1960’s probably because people left for Abu Dhabi in search for a better life. If you want to read more about the ghost town, click here.

 

#4 Learn About Falconry

Falconry is an ancient tradition of the Bedouins and an indispensable tool for hunting in the tough conditions of the desert. When the falcons came on their migrations to the Emirates every Bedouin caught one falcon that would be his partner during the whole season. More than that: The falcons became part of the family.

When it got too hot in summer and the free-living falcons started to fly back to the North, the Bedouins let their falcon go. Every year, the Bedouins would do the same thing: Catching a falcon, taming him during a period of 4 to 6 weeks and then – once the bond was made – go hunting with him which was essential for the families to survive.

Ras al Khaimah Falconry

I went to a falcon show at the Al Wadi Desert hotel. The show is NOT about keeping animals in captivity for fun. You are not allowed to pet the raptors or play with them. They show you how the Bedouins caught the falcons in former times and they trained them.

 

#5 Go to the desert

When I was in Ras al Khaimah, it had been raining before. That’s why I saw something special: The desert was covered with green grass!

Ras al Khaimah Desert

Ras al Khaimah Desert

Ras al Khaimah Desert

If you’re keen on an adrenalin pumped desert adventure, you can go on a dune bashing trip. I did on in Dubai and had a lot of fun! You can read about this tour here: Dune Bashing and Sandboarding in Dubai.

 

#6 See One of the Oldest Mosques of the Emirates

In Ras al Khaimah you can see one of the oldest mosques of the countries. It doesn’t even have a minaret. The imam had to step on this platform that you can see on my photos and prey from up there to make people hear him.

Ras al Khaimah Mosque

Ras al Khaimah Mosque

#7 Eat a Typical Local Meal

I went to a place called Al Fanar. They offer typical Emirati cuisine. My personal highlight was the ice cream made of camel milk!

But it’s not only the food! The place itself is just spectacular and everywhere you can see how the Emirates looked like before they became a tourist place.

Ras al Khaimah Al Fanar

Ras al Khaimah Al Fanar

#8 Do What Everybody Does: Go to the Beach!

At the end of your stay, just enjoy the beach and relax with your feet in the sand.

Ras al Khaimah Beach

Where to Stay in Ras al Khaimah?

During my stay, I was accommodated at the Hilton Al Hamra. It was a great hotel although I don’t think it’s worth the five stars. I was pretty disappointed with the service. If you want to stay in an amazing resort in the heart of the desert, check out the blog post of my blogger friend Aneesha about Alma Retreat!

 

Do you want to see other places to stay?

Then check out Tripadvisor, Airbnb or Hostelworld!

Yours Barbara
PS: I got invited by RAKTA – the Ras al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority – but my opinion is my own.

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Dune Bashing and Sandboarding in Dubai: The Thrill in the UAE

Dune Bashing and Sandboarding in Dubai: The Thrill in the UAE

Dune Bashing and Sandboarding in Dubai

Dune Bashing and Sandboarding in Dubai were very high on my to-do list. Dubai is fast and thrilling Emirate. Of course, sometimes you have to do something that is pumping up your adrenalin. So I decided to do this trip to the desert with GetYourGuide. They don’t have partners only for dune bashing und sandboarding in Dubai, but also other kinds of trips and tickets. I would have loved to do a tour with camel through the desert, but unfortunately there was no time for that before I left for Bali.

They came to pick me up around 8 AM with a light blue and white jeep. It took us almost an hour to get to the area in the desert, where they do dune bashing and sandboarding.

Dune Bashing – What is that?

During the so-called “dune bashing” you are driving up and down the dunes pretty high-speed. Sometimes you are sliding along the sand in the 4×4 car. The windows must remain closed, because sand flies just around the vehicle.

When we arrived to the meeting points where other guides were already waiting, the guides had to let pressure off the tires. Otherwise, the cars get stuck in the sand. After 10 minutes we started!

Dune Bashing in Dubai

Tire prints in and around the dunes indicate that this area is quite often chosen for dune bashing. We made our way up the dunes when another German guy suddenly said, “I thought that was more exciting!” Since I had already experienced dune bashing in Jericoacoara, Brazil, I told him to wait. We followed the tire tracks until we were suddenly high up on a dune and it was like we could see the whole desert.

Dune Bashing und Sandboarding in Dubai – Nervenkitzel in den Emiraten

However, we did not have a lot of time to enjoy the sight. In the next moment, we were speeding into the depths. A rapid ride up and down began and for 20 minutes I could hardly say a word, because my breath stopped. All those beautiful sights of the desert, every time we arrived at the peak of a dune, will always stay in my memory.

At some point we stopped at a place where two cars were already waiting.

Sandboarding in Dubai

Our guide first wrapped a scarf around his head to protect against the burning sun. I did the same – in Dubai you should always have a scarf with you as a woman anyway! Then he took two boards out of the trunk and we went to the other tourists who had already started the fun: On the boards (looking like snowboards) they slid down the dune – either sitting or standing.

They put some wax on the board to make it glide on the sand. The other guys from my car were too shy and did not dare to try it. Since I had already done sandboarding in the Atacama desert, I wasn’t afraid.

Dune Bashing und Sandboarding in Dubai – Nervenkitzel in den Emiraten

They tightened the straps and one of the guides went in position to take photos and off I went: With my GoPro in the right hand I slid down the dune!

Dune Bashing und Sandboarding in Dubai – Nervenkitzel in den Emiraten

The dunes in the Chilean Valle de la Muerte were much higher and the descent much longer. But here was the advantage that the way up was shorter. I drove down a few times and walked up the dune again – sweating in the heat.

Then we did a photo session, because we couldn’t leave without having some beautiful picutres to remember this morning.

Dune Bashing und Sandboarding in Dubai – Nervenkitzel in den Emiraten

After about half an hour in the burning sun and the dry heat of the desert, we packed the boards back into the trunk and had another round of dune bashing on the way back.

Another stop was used to put the pressure back on the tires – and to get rid of all the sand. On the way back to Dubai the guide told us that people have to get a special license to become a driver for dune bashing. There are no lessons though. They have to practice privately. It definitely sounds like an exciting job!

Have you ever done dune bashing and sandboarding in Dubai or somewhere else? Tell me about it in the comments!

PS: This blog post has been supported by GetYourGuide. I got the tour for free, but didn’t get any monetary compensation. My opinion is my own.

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Rental Car in Dubai – Rent a Car And Move From One Emirate to Another

Rental Car in Dubai – Rent a Car And Move From One Emirate to Another

A rental car in Dubai is essential if you want to explore Dubai as well as other Emirates on your own. Public transport within the city works quite well. You often need a long time to get from one place to another, but it is possible. But if you want to do excursions, you only have two options:

  1. Rent a car in Dubai
  2. Make a tour with pickup from Dubai

 

A Rental Car in Dubai

In Dubai there are, of course, all classic car rental companies and smaller, local ones. It is extremely time-consuming to search all these websites to find the best. Which provider should you choose from this jungle of possibilities so you can explore Abu Dhabi, Ras al Kaimah or Fujeirah (unfortunately, it’s not allowed to drive to Oman) with your rental car?

To get a rental car in Dubai you don’t need an international driving license. I was only asked for a scan of my normal driving license and had to put a deposit on my credit card. The company didn’t know the European driving license and they did not want to believe me in the first place that it does not expire. Since it looks like it’s normal in Dubai that the driver’s license is renewed after 10 years, they thought my license had expired two years before.

Final Rentals

Final rentals took care of the problem of the many providers. They compare all car rental companies and you get the car for the best price. So I simply booked my rental car and for a small surcharge, the car was even brought right in front of my door and in the end again picked up. What a service!

The car arrived at the agreed time, I checked it with the driver for scratches, signed the contract and deposited my credit card with 1,500 AED (which were about 375 euro). Be careful: It will probably take a month until you get the deposit back! Then the car was mine for a week!

Rental Car in Dubai

I did not really use it to drive in the city. This seemed too stressful to me and I did not feel like I want to search for car parking in the big city. Instead, I drove to the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi. They have a huge parking lot! Driving was absolutely no problem. Fortunately, I did not have any traffic jam.

The next day I went with my rental car to Ras Al Kaimah, the neighbors’ council in the north of the UAE. Also there I had neither problems with traffic jams or with other cars. To go there also in the Emirate was all right.

Nevertheless, I would like to give you a few tips, which you should keep in mind:

Tips on driving in Dubai

# 1 Speed

Sounds dull, but speed violations are severely punished in the UAE. Accidents are happening every day, so this is a big issue. At the same time, the wealthy inhabitants of the Emirates are very little interested in those punishments. If you do not have a bank account looking like you own an oil company, I advise you to follow the rules. maximum speed is 120 km/h. In the Emirates, they have speed cameras every few kilometers.

# 2 Distance

It’s important to keep the right distance. On the highways sometimes there are signs on the street, with which it’s easier to estimate the distance to the car in front.

# 3 Tolls

In Dubai, there is a motorway toll called Salik. Via a sticker in the windshield, Salik is debited directly when you pass under the portals (4 AED each).

# 4 Swearing

Cursing is taken seriously in Dubai and severely punished. So try to avoid making gestures with your hands and using words that you could regret afterward. In the worst case it can lead to a night in prison …

# 5 Hard Shoulder

Many use the hard shoulder to avoid traffic jams. Therefore, there are many accidents. Even if the traffic jam is annoying: Avoid using the hard shoulder. If you have to actually use it because of a flat tire or so, wait on the other side of the safety barrier.

# 6 Visibility

Remember that many cars in the UAE have completely dark windows. Thus, the visibility is particularly limited at night. So be prepared that other drivers don’t see you. Another problem is headlights: Actually, it can happen that drivers do not turn on headlights here. Since they can see the street themselves, they think they do not need them. So beware of cars that drive without light.

# 7 Indicating

If someone indicates, that does not mean that he also wants to go in that direction. And the other way round, if someone does not blink, does not mean he does not want to turn. So be cautious when driving with the rental car in Dubai.

Conclusion

I think it all sounds much more dramatic than it really is. Yes, you should be more careful here than in other countries. But the experience of being able to move freely and, for example, driving for a day to the Sheikh Zayed Mosque to Abu Dhabi is incredible!
I would do it again.

Have you ever been to the UAE? Did you have a rental car in Dubai?

PS: This blog post has been supported by finalrentals. I got the rental car for free, but didn’t get any monetary compensation. My opinion is my own.

The Dubai Guide for Digital Nomads

Dubai Guide for Digital Nomads

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