When your flight to Dubai arrives, you’ll be in the second-largest emirate in the seven United Arab Emirates. It has significantly grown from its modest beginnings as a seaport city to one of the world’s biggest financial centers and high-trafficked luxury beach resorts. Dubai offers visitors a little sass and sophistication in Southeast Asia, while at the same time holding firm to its Muslim roots.
Once an unassuming port town content on pearl diving as its main form of financing, Dubai has grown into one of the glitziest tourist destinations on the planet. Today’s travelers book flights to Dubai for a little excessiveness in the lap of luxury. From world-class boat races to breathtaking air shows, Dubai continues to attract millions of visitors every year. But the true traveler booking flights to Dubai knows a thing or two about doing it right. A cheap flight to Dubai means a lot of extra money to spend in this first-rate shopping destination. Everything in Dubai is duty-free, and for many travelers this translates into “guilt-free.”
Dubai is scorching hot and sunny, as you would expect from the desert. Summer days average 11 hours of sunshine a day with temperatures over 100 degrees (Fahrenheit). On the hottest days the temperature can reach 120 degrees. Evening temperatures drop to the 70s and low 80s, but the humidity rises to an uncomfortable level.Between December and March, daytime temperatures range from the upper 70s to upper 90s, with evenings cooling down to the 50s. Rainfall is limited, but what Dubai does get falls mostly from January to March.
Best Time to Fly to Dubai
Winter is the peak season in Dubai, from December through March. This is when most travelers book flights to Dubai for a little retreat on one of the island's luxury beach resorts.
Ramadan is a Muslim month of fasting and is strictly adhered to throughout the UAE. During this time it illegal to eat, drink, or smoke in public from sunrise to sunset. Ramadan takes place between mid-October and mid-November. It's easy to find cheap flights to Dubai and discounted hotel accommodations during this time.
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Getting around Dubai
Tourists usually choose to make their way through Dubai by taxi. The privately owned taxis are the only ones allowed at the airport and are not metered, so you will have to agree on a fare before departing. Metered taxis can be found everywhere else and will be beige-colored with uniformed drivers. You can also get around by bus or the new metro system. Buses crisscross the city and routes are easy to decipher. Routes are printed in both Arabic and English and discounted tickets offer unlimited travel on one or both sides of Dubai Creek. Walking is the best way to see the older parts of Dubai, where you can visit the souqs and museums. If you need to cross the creek, abras (water taxis) are convenient and provide a nice view of the waterfront. Pay your fare once you’re afloat.
Dubai Travel Information
- Spend a day exploring Dubai’s ubiquitous souks. Start in the Bur Dubai souk where you’ll discover lots of different textile, clothing, and antique stores housed under arabesque arcades and wind-towers. Then head to Deira’s Gold Souk, a crucial stop for anyone visiting Dubai. Its wooden archways give way to a treasure-trove filled with the most ornate Indian and Arabian jewelry. After spending much more than you intended, take a short walk to the Deira Spice Souq and pick up some aromatic frankincense and spices.
- Built to resemble a traditional Arabian marketplace, Souk Madinat Jumeirah is well worth a visit. Take a ride in its waterways and admire the stunning hotels, then explore the numerous shops and pop into one of the many cafes for some mint tea.
- Escape the chaos of the city and take a short drive to the desert where the real action takes place. If you’re feeling adventurous then there’s nowhere better than Dubai to go dune bashing. Strap yourself into the 4x4 jeep, take a deep breath, and off you go over the sand dunes.
- If you get tired of shopping and eating (which you will do a lot of) then spend a tranquil afternoon in XVA, an old courtyard residence that’s been restored and turned into a contemporary art gallery, cafe and boutique hotel.