Are you going to travel to Dubai? Here we bring you a price list, a 7-day itinerary and tips to make your trip to this city a success.
At last we were able to visit Dubai, a city full of extremes: the tallest building in the world, an intensely hot climate, where the distances are very great, the shopping malls are huge. In this article we bring the details of activities, itinerary, prices and the necessary tips to travel to Dubai on your own.
- Visa for the United Arab Emirates?
- Time difference
- Tips to travel to Dubai: pick your Dubai hotel in advance
- Tips to travel to Dubai: be always connected
- Tips to travel to Dubai: what suitcase do I bring?
- Itinerary in Dubai
- How much does a trip to Dubai cost?
Without further ado, here we leave you with the practical data of the trip:
Visa for the United Arab Emirates?
Can Mexicans travel to the United Arab Emirates without a visa? Can Europeans travel to the United Arab Emirates without a visa? For both questions the answer is YES. You just have to present your passport, they stamp it and that’s it.
If you are going to fly with Emirates to travel to Dubai, you can check here if you need a visa (there are times when flying with this airline you do not need a visa, but if you fly with another one, yes).
Another reliable source is the website of the Emirate of Dubai, where you can check the visa requirements for each country. If it is the case and you need a visa, you can quote here the price of this procedure.
After paying we receive a stamp and that’s it: welcome to Dubai. (You have to take into account that to move to the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, there may be extra requirements).
Requirements due to Covid-19
To travel to Dubai, we were asked to present a PCR test whose date was less than 72 hours from the outbound flight. Travel insurance is highly recommended, they did not ask us when passing by. But, especially in these times, better to have it. Here, we present you some travel insurance in which you can have a discount for being a reader of Charcotrip.
When traveling to Dubai, take into account that with France/Spain the time difference is 2:00 hours. In other words, no jetlag. From Mexico (Baja California time) the difference is 11:00 hours.
Remember: wherever you come from, the advice is to try to adjust as soon as possible to the schedule of the country of arrival.
The official currency is the Dirham (AED).
To give you an idea, here are some exchange rates:
1 mexican peso = 0.18 AED
1 euro = 4.34 AED
You always have to bring an app that does currency conversion with you, to avoid being caught on a curve, as happened to me when I bought the photos of the Burj Khalifa.
Something that must be taken into account: on one side of the ticket you can see the numbers in Arabic, on the other side in numbers that we know. And the ٥ bill is not zero XD in Arabic the ٥ is a 5.
To get to Dubai: we travelled by plane arriving at the Dubai airport (with the Emirates airline), in Economy class. We will dedicate a separate article to it, so that you can see how it went with this airline. We left from Nice and paid 1300 euros for the two of us. Something that made the price high, apart from the airline, is the fact that it was a direct flight.
The price could have been reduced by taking airlines such as Air France or KLM, making a stopover. Do not miss the article where we give you the tips to fly cheap. This time due to the fact that we wanted to put Emirates to the test (we had never flown with them before), we had to pay the price for it. Here we show you how was the service flying with Emirates.
Within the city: during our stay we had several means of transport.
- City bus: a basic rate is paid and then an extra depending on the distance.
- Taxi: you have to be careful and always take the official taxis, they have a meter. The base fare is 5 dirhams and then you pay what the meter says, no scams.
- Metro: a new and clean metro system, here we tell you everything (in Spanish).
- Abra: it is a small boat that takes us from one side of the Dubai Creek to the other.
We will dedicate a separate article to it, to tell you all the details of the public transport options in Dubai.
To move from the airport, you can take a taxi right there, or if you wish you can book it in advance (there will be someone waiting with a sign bearing the name of the passenger).
Tips to travel to Dubai: pick your Dubai hotel in advance
During our trip to Dubai we stayed at the hotel LEVA. It was excellently located, close to the Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall metro station, we could walk to the mall and the tower. In addition, in the room we had a mini-kitchen, which allowed us to save money, since we could have breakfast and make some lunch/dinner there.
We dedicate an entire article to it here (in Spanish), so you can see how our stay was.
Tips to travel to Dubai: be always connected
In large shopping centers and in many places, you can have free WiFi, although they almost always ask to register with a phone number.
To be able to have Internet all the time, before traveling to Dubai we bought SIM cards, and they also brought a few minutes of phonecalls with them (luckily we didn’t need to use them).
Having the purchase receipt for the cards, we picked them up at the airport, in the area just after passing customs (where the car rental companies are also located). If you haven’t bought it in advance, don’t worry, there are several companies offering the chips.
Tips to travel to Dubai: what suitcase do I bring?
We were going in the summer season, in terms of weather the most popular tips dictate it is not the best time to travel to Dubai, since it means: intense heat. So you have to wear light clothes, but at the same time that cover the body, preferably for being a Muslim country, although we saw people wearing all kinds of clothes. It was enough for us with two cabin format suitcases (one for each one). I brought a change for each day, since I didn’t want to wash clothes there.
Itinerary in Dubai
We left on August 29 (in the afternoon), to return on September 5. Total: 7 days. We didn’t get to see everything we wanted. The heat and the great distances made us move slowly. But in a week we were able to see several important points and we were quite satisfied with the itinerary.
0 – arrival to Dubai with Emirates
1 – Dubai Mall
2 – Burj Khalifa, Mall of Emirates, sunset beach (next to Burj Al Arab)
3 – Desert Tour and Oryx Spotting, Ras al Khor and Flamingos, Dubai Frame
4 – Jumeirah Mosque, Al Fahidi Area, Bur Dubai Souk, Spice Souk, Gold Souk
5 – Madinat Jumeirah, supermarket in Dubai
6 – Wings of Mexico, Dubai creek
How much does a trip to Dubai cost?
I normally don’t include something like this, since the costs depend a lot on the personal preferences of each one. Here are some prices to give you an idea:
- Flight: in our case we took a Nice – Dubai, direct, with Emirates and it cost us 650 euros per person. If you fly from Mexico City, for example, this CDMX – Barcelona – Dubai flight costs about 900 euros.
- Hotel: At the Leva Hotel, located near the Burj Khalifa metro, we paid 68 euros per night. Keep in mind that there are other cheaper areas of Dubai (such as Deira or Bur Dubai), but we wanted to be close to the “Downtown” area. Soon we will bring an article detailing the best areas to stay in Dubai.
- Food: the most expensive restaurant we went to was Al Khayma, located in the Al Fahadi sector, there we paid 254 AED for two people (about 58 euros), we could have ordered less food to save since the dishes were very assorted. At the other extreme, we paid 26 euros for a food purchase at the supermarket that served us for breakfast for 6 days, and three dinners/lunches.
- Drinks: some prices to give an idea
- Cappuccino in Dubai Mall of medium size (which is more than enough), it cost about 18 AED, approximately 4 euros.
- Bottle of water in a store: 1 AED, about .23 euro cents, in the gold souk a man would bring the bottles and sell them to passers-by, in that case they cost twice as much, but then there was no need to search.
- Attractions: some prices, later we will detail them in the articles dedicated to each place. On the subject of attractions, it will depend on personal preferences, there are some tours or activities that we could not take, to invest more in some activity, as you can see:
- Mezquita Jumeirah: 35 AED per person, about 8 euros.
- Burj Khalifa: 152 AED per person, about 35 euros.
- Dubai Frame: about 12.40 euros.
- Desert tour: 150 euros per person, it is not the cheapest tour of all, there are much cheaper options, but in our case the content was exactly what we were looking for in terms of animal sightings and not so much activities in the dunes, it all depends on what you are looking for and there is something for everyone.
- Metro nol silver cards: 25 AED per person, about 5.75 euros.
- Travel by metro: 3 AED + zone change surcharge, the surcharge is explained in the article about the Dubai metro.
- Taxi ride: base cost of 5 AED (1.15 euros) + surcharge per kilometer. For example: to go from the Mall of Emirates to the beach next to the Burj Al Arab (about 3.5 km) the price was 17 AED for the trip, that is equivalent to about 3.90 euros.
- Abra ride (boat taxi): 1 AED, about .23 euro cents.
- Telephone and Internet: SIM card with airtime and Internet for 30 days 11.50 euros each.