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Dubai travel tips

  1. Check before you leave whether the Holy month of Ramadan has started, as it changes annually. If it has, drinking or eating in public (that includes places like cars and malls) will be forbidden.
  2. The weekend here is a Friday and Saturday, so restaurants and bars are at their busiest on Thursday and Friday nights. If you want a table, make sure to book in advance.
  3. Taxis here are relatively cheap so round your fare up to the nearest Dhs5 to tip your driver. Taxis only take cash and try to carry small denominations if possible as getting rid of a Dhs100 note is harder than it looks. The metro and tram are even cheaper and air-conditioned all year round.
  4. The most common brands of local bottled water are Masafi, Arwa and Aquafina. They cost around Dhs3 and are perfectly drinkable. Make sure you drink a lot of it, especially in summer. Ask for it in restaurants too, as many places will automatically serve you the more expensive imported water.
  5. It’s important to respect local rules when travelling in Dubai. The main rules to regard are no public displays of affection, no taking photographs of locals unless permission is granted, and covering shoulders in public spaces where you may run into locals, like malls, mosques and the souks. It’s worth carrying a pashmina to throw on if you’re unsure.