Destination Articles

Timeless Beauty of Dubai

Dubai CamelFrom the timeless tranquility of the desert to the lively bustle of the souk, Dubai offers a kaleidoscope of attractions for visitors. The emirate embraces a wide variety of scenery in a very small area. In a single day, you can experience everything from rugged mountains and awe-inspiring sand dunes to sandy beaches and lush green parks, from dusty villages to luxurious residential districts and from ancient houses with wind towers to ultra-modern shopping malls.

Dubai is both a dynamic international business centre and a laid-back tourist escape; a city where the sophistication of the 21st century walks hand in hand with the simplicity of a bygone era; a cosmopolitan society with an international lifestyle combining the comfort and convenience of the Western world with the unique charm and hospitality of Arabia.

"If you are looking for a unique destination that is both a dynamic business centre and a tourist paradise, offering more attractions, shopping, fine dining and quality hotels, it's definitely Dubai".

The heritage and culture of Dubai is at the heart of its appeal.

From its original as a pearl fishing port to today’s pioneering city which is home to the world’s most iconic skyline. It is a true land of contrasts.

While in Dubai you should embrace all that is has to offer. The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU) introduces visitors to the traditional, values and culture of the United Arab Emirates.
A range of fascinating activities are available to you including guided tours of Jumeirah Mosque with opportunities to ask questions about Islam; traditional meals prepared and hosted by local Emiratis; walking tours of the historic Bastakiya district; Arabic classed and even Iftar feasts during Ramadan.

Dubai MuseumThe capivating Dubai Museum provides you with a look at how Dubai has developed over the decades. Or wander through the authentic gold and spice souks for a spot of haggling and to see where Dubai started out. For only about 20 pence you can get there by taking a traditional abra (wooden water taxi) through the hustle and bustle of the traders on the Creek.

Dubai is so much more than a city break destination. Make the most of your trip by seeing all four corners of the emirate, including the expansive desert which is home to traditional nomadic communities. Experience a desert safaris showcasing local food and entertainment alongside the adrenaline fuelled sand-sports or relax and absorb the stunning coastline which offers a while host of refreshing watersports and views of the breathtaking Palm Jumeriah.

While in Dubai, Do respect local customs and traditional

Dubai GoldDubai is one of the world’s most pioneering destinations a cosmopolitan home to over 150 nationalies. However it also has a rich Arabian heritage. The Emiratis are friendly, welcoming people who demonstrate an open-minder and tolerant approach to over 8 million international visitors annually. But their interesting culture and value should always be understood and respected to ensure that you get the most out of your visit and enjoy a trouble-free, experience rich holiday, along with the vast majority of other visitors.

Do enjoy a drink and a dance in licensed facilities

Dubai has hundreds of licensed restaurants, pubs and clubs where drinking and dancing are enjoyed. It is home to some of the world’s most recognizable names in dining and entertainment, as well as, other authentic, local ventures.

Remember that your need to be 21 years of age or older to drink legally in Dubai and alcohol is only permitted in licensed areas. Being drunk in public is not tolerated.

Do check you medication before your trip. Like most countries, narcotic drugs are illegal in Dubai.

The emirate has a clear policy helping it retain an unrivalled reputation with one of the world’s lowest crime rates. Guidelines exist to ensure visitors’ and residents’ safety. Some medicines do appear on the Government of the United Arab Emirates, Ministry of Health’s list of restricted controlling medicines. This includes various over the counter medicines such as those containing Codeine. For a trouble-free visit, if you are traveling with any of the listed medications, carry a doctor’s note or prescription, keep medicines in original packaging and only take an appropriate quantity for the duration of your trip. For more detailed information visit www.

Do behave yourself in public

Dubai wants every visitor to enjoy their stay. Of the millions of people who visit each year and the vast majority has a trouble-free stay and thoroughly enjoy themselves. Dubai’s laws and culture promote Dubai Lanternmodesty and respect so offensive language; spitting, offensive behavior and public display of affection such as holding hands or kissing won’t be tolerated.

Unfortunately the actions of a few can may the experience of others, so please make sure you treat the destination with the respect it deserves. Similarly you will din the streets are safe and pleasantly free of litter and graffiti.

Dubai offers a genuine year round cultural getaway. Do make the most of Dubai during the Holy Month of Ramadan

During Ramadan while Muslims are fasting from dawn to dusk, the majority of activities run normally during the day with slightly shorter opening hours.

Non-Muslims can easily eat and drink in many hotels and restaurants and often by the pool or on the beach. Out of respect for those who are fasting, these areas are screened off during the day.

Alcohol can be purchased after sunset and there is also a host of culturally interesting activities for visitor to participate in and enjoy, including the magnificent Ifter feasts at sunset to celebrate the daily braking of the fast. Ramadan is a great opportunity to sample Dubai’s rush and authentic cultural offering, which is still to be discovered by many visitors to the region. Clothing should be kept considerately more modest at this time of year.

Do wear respectful clothing

DubaiAwareness that you are visiting an Islamic country means that you will feel more comfortable in this very tolerant environment appropriate clothing.  While swimwear is entirely appropriate by the pool or on the beach, this world be frowned on by the conservatively dressed local population in more public locations such as in the streets or malls, where more modest clothing is more suitable.

You can travel to the emirate safe in the knowledge that you do not require any specific vaccines, jabs or health checks.

Advice your hotel in advance if you are travelling as an unmarried couple and they will make the necessary arrangements to ensure you have an enjoyable stay.

Travel a new road and discover the beauty that is Dubai. Contact a professional ASTA travel agent to start planning the perfect holiday.