Dubai is a city that needs no introduction. A flashy city with glamorous architecture and an amazing array of things to do, Dubai is a favourite holiday spot for people from all over the world. However, Dubai is not only about what you see at the surface. In reality, there are several things about Dubai that the world does not know.
If you are visiting Dubai for the first time, here are some of the things about the city that would not fail to surprise you.
Dubai is expensive, but budget holiday is possible
It is a known fact that Dubai is an expensive city. It is home to numerous high-end hotels, restaurants, boutiques, etc. The shopping malls of the city are filled with stores of designer labels from all over the world. However, unlike popular belief, you do not have to break your bank to holiday in this city. When it comes to accommodation, there are several budget friendly hotels in the city. Solo or budget travellers can also opt for hostels that are both comfortable and cheap. AirBnB options are also available for travellers.
Likewise, you can also save money on food by eating at small restaurants and food centres that serve delicious Lebanese, Mediterranean and Indian food at low costs.
However, the best of all is that it is also possible to indulge in some shopping during your low budget holiday. Instead of visiting the huge malls of the city, hit the traditional souks where you would be able to buy local stuff at great rates. You can even bargain here.
Dubai has an interesting history
Before you get lost in the glitter and shine of the city, it is important to know about the history of the city you are visiting. Yes, Dubai does have a history and an interesting one too.
Although all the development you see in the city happened in the last 4-5 decades, there is more to the city than this.
To know all about the history of the city, you should visit the Dubai Museum. The exhibits of the museum are a window to the world gone by.
Another place to visit to know and understand the history of the place is the Bastakiya Quarter, which is the oldest neighbourhood in the city.
You won’t see too many locals
Unlike other countries or cities in the world, Dubai is one city where you would not find too many locals. In fact, the Emiratis in Dubai are a minority. Only 15% of the entire population of Dubai are Emiratis, and the remaining 85% are expats from India, Pakistan, Philippines, etc. So, the only locals you would probably see in Dubai are the airport authorities.
Dubai is deeply rooted in its culture
Although the locals are a minority in Dubai, the city is deeply rooted in its religion, culture and traditions. Islam is not just a religion they follow but is ingrained in their way of life.
If the religion and culture of Dubai interests you, the SMCCU (Sheikh Mohammed Center of Cultural Understanding) is a place you must visit.
They conduct tours to mosques and other cultural and historically important places and also give you an insight into the food, attire and life of the Arabs.
The architecture of the city is simply amazing
Dubai is home to not just one or two but numerous unique, architectural wonders. In fact, the city has broken several world records and is nothing less than an architectural marvel.
The world’s tallest building (Burj Khalifa), the world’s only seven star hotel (the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab), the world’s largest manmade island (Palm Jumeirah), the world’s largest indoor ski park (Ski Dubai), the world’s largest elevators (located inside the Burj Khalifa) and the world’s largest shopping mall (Dubai Mall) are just a few examples of the architectural geniusness of the city.
The city offers a variety of experiences
Dubai is a delight for people who love sightseeing. However, this is not the only thing you can do here. Dubai, on the other hand, offers a whole lot of activities and experiences than you can imagine. This desert city is the perfect place to go skiing (Ski Dubai), skydiving, shark diving and camel riding.
You also get to indulge in different types of water sports, watch a concert at the Dubai Opera, enjoy art at the numerous art galleries and interact with smart dolphins at the Dubai Dolphinarium/Dolphin Bay.
The city also hosts the biggest shopping festival with the Dubai Shopping Festival.
Other than this, New Year celebrations in Dubai are nothing less than epic and hence visiting Dubai with a New Year package would also be a great idea.
Weekend in Dubai is not on Saturday and Sunday
One of the things that tourists find the most surprising is that the weekend does not fall on Saturday and Sunday in Dubai or UAE and in most Middle Eastern countries.
On the other hand, Friday and Saturday are considered as weekend here. So, Sunday is the first working day and Thursday is the last working day of the week.
One should keep this in mind while venturing out, as you would find the public and tourist places to be quite crowded on Fridays and Saturdays.These are just a few things would surprise a first time visitor holidaying in Dubai. Get a Dubai visit visa to unravel more interesting facts about the city.