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Dubai Travel Tips

Travelling with Children

Travelling with Children

The UAE prides itself as a family-friendly destination and small children are welcome and adored everywhere. The hotels offer kids' meals and babysitting services. Toddlers do not normally eat out at night but are welcome at eateries, with many places providing booster seats.

Dubai offers many activities for children in and around the hotels, amusement parks and many green spaces with playgrounds. Children under 12 usually qualify for discounts on admission fees to museums, amusement parks, swimming pools and entertainment centres.

Women Travellers

The UAE is exceptionally safe for women travellers. Nevertheless, women travelling alone are a rare sight, and you may find yourself the focus of unwanted attention at beaches or nightclubs. You will probably have a smoother trip if you stay in one of the four or five-star hotels, especially if you can use the hotel's private beach facilities.

Women in the UAE have a much more liberal lifestyle than many of their Middle Eastern counterparts (i.e. women are permitted to drive, work etc.). However, women travellers should be aware that they are visiting a society with strong traditional roots based on Islamic law. If you wish to avoid hassle or risk of offending, wear loose-fitting, longer clothes away from the beach clubs and resorts.

While socialising with the locals may be considered impolite for a handshake, as some devout Muslims prefer not to shake hands with a woman. It is advisable to wait for the other person to initiate a handshake.

Remember that one advantage of being a woman in the UAE is that women usually get preferential treatment. They are served first at banks, post offices, police stations and other government offices.

Disabled Travellers

Several five-star hotels have specially-adapted rooms and other facilities for disabled people. Many hotels have used the 'Americans with Disabilities Act' as a guide during construction; these hotels have roll-in showers, grab bars and other accessibility features. Also, the airport and shopping malls offer facilities for disabled people. Dubai's Transport Taxis are fitted to accommodate wheelchairs.

In June 2001, Emirates Airlines designated a particular handling area at departures and arrivals for passengers with special needs. As a result, wheelchair passengers will receive a more personalised service.


Vaccination: No particular immunisations are required; however, it would be wise to check beforehand if you travel from a health-risk area. Tetanus vaccinations are usually recommended if you are considering a long trip. Polio has been virtually eradicated in the UAE, and hepatitis is sporadic and can be avoided by taking precautions.

Malaria: Malaria tablets are rarely prescribed for travel in the UAE. However, mosquitoes will find you if you are camping near the mountains or exploring wadis or date groves in the evening, so cover up and use a suitable insect repellent.

Sunburn: The sun can be fierce throughout the year, so heat stroke and heat exhaustion are always risks. Good sunglasses, hats and sunscreens are essential, especially for children.

Health Insurance: Public hospitals, where the medical facilities are excellent, deal with emergencies free of charge; however, it would be wise to take out medical insurance to cover all eventualities, especially if you need to attend a private hospital or clinic where treatment can be expensive.

Doctors: If you need a doctor, ask at the hotel desk or the General Medical Centre and call your embassy for recommendations. Also, good dentists are readily available, including orthodontists.

Ambulance service: 998 or 999



The telephone network operated by the ETISALAT and Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company ("du") is superb. Local calls are free and direct dialling is available to 150 countries. The international dial code for UAE is +971. The regulator, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, mandates filtering websites for religious, political and sexual content.

5G wireless services were installed nationwide in 2019 through a partnership with Huawei.

The General Postal Authority runs an efficient postal system with red post collection boxes throughout the cities and towns. The main post office in Dubai is on Zaïsabeel Road, Bur Dubai.

Opening hours and holidays

Many malls and shops stay open all day. Most shopping centres are open from 10:00 am - 10:00 pm. Some supermarkets are open 24 hours.

Offices: Government offices open at 7.30 am and close at 3:00 pm. All government offices close for the weekend at mid-day on Thursday and open again on Saturday morning.

Public holidays: Since Muslim festivals are timed according to local sightings of moon phases, the dates for Islamic religious holidays can be changed. If a public holiday falls on a weekend, the holiday is usually taken at the beginning of the next working week. A three-day mourning period is usually announced when a member of the ruling families, a government minister, or the head of a neighbouring state dies.

  • New Year's Day – 1 January
  • National Day - 2 December
  • Al-Hijra (Islamic New Year)
  • Mouloud (Birth of the Prophet)
  • Leilat al-Meiraj (Ascension of the Prophet)
  • Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan)
  • Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice)

Recommended Activities

4x4 Dubai Desert Safari

Duration: 6 hours (approx.)
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