I think Dubai is one of those places that people have pretty strong opinions about. You either love it or you… don’t. It’s not for everyone and I can say from personal experience that I very much grew to like it. I am currently on my fourth trip and unlike the first or second time here I can honestly say that I now appreciate Dubai in a way I didn’t think I could when I first came here some 10 years ago.
On one of those past trips I shared with you my
Here we go, some of my best insights on Dubai coming right up:
1. Hotels, hotels, hotels
This may be a personal preference, but to me, one of the best parts of being in Dubai is staying in amazing, yet affordable 5-star hotels. I’ve been trying different stays every time I came here but on this trip I am zeroing in on the
Our party of 3 (I went with my 7-year-old and my friend) have unanimously agreed that our two days at the Obelisk were actually our favorite part of the trip. It’s so modern and impressive as well as new that I felt like it stands for everything I appreciate about Dubai. Having stayed at more than 10 hotels in Dubai I can definitely say that this one is not only my favorite one, it also has the best bang for your buck.
Possibly the best part of the Obelisk is actually its 3 phenomenal restaurants. Even if you don’t end up staying here – do yourself a great service and try out one or all of their three restaurants.
My favorite one must have been
Last but not least there
2. Save your cash
On none of my 4 trips have I ever needed any Cash to get around Dubai as credit is accepted virtually anywhere. That said, sometimes it’s nice to have some pocket money handy for tips. A final tip for card payments – whenever you are asked whether you’d like to pay in AED or your local currency, always favor AED since your bank is more likely to give you a good exchange rate.
3. Check for discounts
Dubai can get expensive very easily because most things you can do here will absolutely cost money and sometimes quite a bit of that. A while before I even arrived I found myself checking out deals on groupon and a site called
4. Choose taxis over any other transport option
The bad news about Dubai is that walking places is almost never an option. More often than not there are simply no sidewalks, this city is built for cars. What is however a positive is that taxis are quite affordable and there are a couple of freeways built right into the city making travel quick and efficient, at least outside of main traffic hours.
Before I knew better I ordered cars on Uber, thinking I would be saving money that way. Turns out actual taxis are actually around 20-40% cheaper than Uber! Also watch out for any drivers at supposed taxi stands trying to get you to drive to your destination in their car just to charge you 4 times the normal rate. Always stick to taxis!
5. Wifi everywhere
Our arrival in Dubai was off to a good start when we were gifted free sim cards at the airport! OK, maybe it was only free for on day, but that’s still better than nothing, right? We had 10 days on our trip here and a few times I wondered whether I should get a sim but then I quickly realised that fast Wifi was pretty much everywhere and the only time I missed it was just on cab rides from one place to another. Save your sim card money and just roll with publish wifi.
6. Do the Desert
I first did a desert safari when I came to Dubai in 2013 and had so much fun! Desert safaris are a fun bundle that typically comes with dune bashing in 4×4 trucks, followed by camel rides, quad bike rides and a bbq buffet in a desert camp where you can eat and drink while watching fire-breathers and belly-dancers perform.
It’s worth shopping around for different pricing and we opted for a cheap tour costing less than 18€ per person (including pickup and drop-off) but overall these safaris are extremely good value for money.
7. Get your amusement park fill
Manmade fun, that’s what Dubai is all about. Rarely have I seen so many single dads and their children at an airport as I have in Dubai, it really is a great place for adventure and kids (both adult and actual kids).
We headed to
The biggest learning has once again been that Dubai is a great place to travel to if all you have is a week but you want to go somewhere that’s guaranteed to be warm and full of fun stuff to do. It’s adventurous, fun and a bit weird, which I consider a positive through and through. It’s very much the Las Vegas of the Middle East but there really isn’t anything wrong with that. Check it out and form your own opinion!