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THE DUBAI EXPERIENCE

Ever since Etihad Airlines had the major airline "error" fare break on Christmas day, everyone has been asking suggestions on things to do in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Where to eat, what to see, where to hang out, etc.

Friend of Soul Society 101, Mr. Vagabond, was kind enough to share with us some of his must-see/do list for Dubai. Being a former expact in Dubai and in general, an amazing traveler and story teller, I would absolutely take his word for it. And to be honest, these are some of the best photos I've seen of Dubai which makes me very jealous! Can't wait to visit. Read On below!

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GENERAL OVERVIEW

Dubai has quickly become a traveler’s paradise for many reasons. With a dynamic infrastructure, its growing commercial hub, and the stark contrast between the serene desert and rising skyscrapers, Dubai is a destination not to be missed! Over the past two decades, Dubai has transformed its landscape from vast desert land to a vibrant metropolis. The diverse district of Jumeirah, the hip and trendy lifestyle along the Dubai Marina to the architectural design of downtown, Dubai is one of very few cities to offer such an impressive transformation. Amid the plethora of activities to choose from, amazing late night fun, great shopping, and an unmatched hospitality sector, Dubai succeeds as the “spot” for both holiday and leisure!

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Weather: Dubai experiences two seasons, winter and summer. During the winter season (peak), October through April, you can expect blue skies and tolerable weather. The winter season attracts a large tourist crowd due to desirable beach conditions. During the summer months, May through September, the humidity increases and temperatures in the triple digits are quite the norm. Many outdoor activities, particularly the beach, can become unbearable for some.

Currency: Dirham (Dh or AED). Click here for currency converter

Visa: Visa requirements for entry into Dubai varies greatly depending on your nationality. For more information on visa requirements, please click here.

Time Zone: Gulf Standard Time (GST)

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Language: Arabic

Transportation: The Dubai Metro operates from 6am to 11pm, Saturday to Thursday, and from 2pm to midnight on Fridays. During Ramadan, train times are from 6am to midnight, Saturday to Thursday, and 2pm to midnight on Fridays. Fares range from a minimum of 1.80 AED to a maximum of 6.50 AED. For more information on Dubai’s metro, click here.

Dubai taxis are relatively cheap. Taxis are meter-operated, with a minimum fare of 10 AED. During the day, meters start at 3 AED. After 10PM, 3.50 AED. From Dubai International airport, meters start at 20 AED.

Religion: Official religion is Islam. However, Dubai is known for its tolerance for all religion.

Key Events: Camel Racing (Oct – Apr), Islamic New Year (Nov), Dubai International Film Festival (Dec), Dubai Shopping Festival (Jan – Feb), Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship (Feb – Mar), Dubai World Cup (Mar), Dubai Summer Surprises (Jun – Aug), Ramadan (Jul – Aug).

Accommodation: I rented a flat in the Jumeirah Lake Towers, commonly referred to as JLT. JLT is a mixture of commercial and residential towers boasting contemporary style apartments, restaurants, hotels, offices, and more.

Area Recommendations: JLT, Media City, Downtown Dubai, Dubai Marina, Business Bay, Jumeirah.

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ACTIVITIES

Desert Safari: The Desert Safari is typically the highlight for most while visiting Dubai. The highlights of this fun-filled adventure includes: Desert Dune Bashing, Adventure Dune Driving, Sunset Photography, Photographs wearing UAE’s National Clothing, Camel Riding, Drawing Henna Designs, Outdoor Shisha Bar, Sandboarding, Arabic Coffee and Dates for light refreshments at Tea, The Tanoura Dance, A Barbeque Dinner with Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian Dish and Belly Dancing. For more information and bookings, contact Dubai Private Tours.

Dubai Mall: The Dubai Mall is one of the world’s largest shopping centers – everyone must see! From top brands from around the world and amazing restaurants to a host of world class attractions including an ice skating rink, aquarium, and underwater zoo, there is something for everyone!

Be sure to stick around for the Dancing Water Fountain, beginning at 6PM everyday!

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Sky Dive Dubai: Visualize free falling for 60 seconds at 130 MPH as your adrenaline increases, your heartbeat thumps out of control, and your only visual is the luxurious manmade island, The Palm Jumeirah. Priceless! Sky Dive Dubai is one of the best ways to experience Dubai.

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Burj Al Arab: Known as the world’s only 7-Star hotel and undoubtedly the most luxurious, the Burj Al Arab dominates not only Dubai’s hospitality sector, but also the imaginations of all those who encounter it. There’s a fleet of white Rolls Royce dotted along the hotel’s forecourt, a dancing water fountain in the lobby, and an atrium filled with gold. The only way to enter the Burj Al Arab, without a room reservation, is to dine at one of their lavishing restaurants.

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Friday Brunch: No visit to Dubai is complete without indulging at brunch. Dubai is well-known for their extravagant, mouthwatering Friday Champagne Brunch. With many to choose from, my personal favorite, and most expensive, is the Al Qsar at Madinat Jumeirah. Incredible!

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While you’re at it, be sure to take a stroll through the Madinat Jumeirah!

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Jumeirah Beach Residence “The Walk” (JBR): The Walk is a bustling beachfront promenade boasting beautiful hotels, restaurants, cafes, bars, and a variety of shops to satisfy the needs of all shopaholics. The beach is not to be missed. Bring your own chairs and towels if you plan on spending the entire day here.

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UGH! I'm so sick of it already! haha. I've never been more eager to go to Dubai than at right this moment. Check out more on Vagabonding Heights - like where to eat, nightlife, gokart racing, mosque experiences and more.

#middleeast #internationaltravel

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