A city of superlatives and contradictions, where you experience a mix of modern and traditional in one stunning package.

Dubai is best known for its skyscrapers, fast-paced lifestyle and superb shopping. The close proximity of traditional Arab culture and glittering skyscrapers make for an astounding experience, where you can shop in a traditional souk and ride a camel through the desert in the morning, and climb the tallest building in the world and go skiing indoors in the afternoon.

Things to know before you go

  • The official language is English, but it is always appreciated if you know ‘Hello’ (Marhaba) and ‘Thank you’ (Shukran) in Arabic.
  • It is polite to cover up. Try to avoid shorts and t-shirts in public places.
  • Once a year, Muslims celebrate the holy month of Ramadan, when access to food and drink during the day is limited.

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About the author

Ulrike Lemmin-Woolfrey

Melbourne, Australia

Ulrike Lemmin-Woolfrey is a freelance writer and author who lived for 6 years in the UAE. She regularly writes for international publications such as CNN Travel and The Telegraph.