I know what you're thinking..."Dubai? on a budget?" ...Well, yes. This amazing place was as much a surprise to me as it was finding its small little secrets. Dubai is not as expensive as it might seem, with its fast growing tourism and architecturally advanced hotels and resorts, it invites the adventurous and fun traveler.
You can get to Dubai many different ways, from Los Angeles or New York City and other major US cities there are a few direct flights on Emirates Airlines they have some great rates for direct coach flights, which by the way is pretty ample and comfortable compared to a lot of other carriers. However; if you prefer, there are other alternate ways of getting there. Because Dubai has become such a chic metropolitan place to be it is easily accessible from any major European city, Easyjet, RyanAIR to name a few budget airlines that fly you there for cheap from almost any point in Europe. Once in Dubai customs is just as easy (and actually better organized) as any other place in Europe.
THE CULTURE.........THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
Everything you are assuming about being in a middle eastern country is probably less intense in Dubai, because of its growing youth population things are changing fast and the tolerance and conservative ways are bending everyday. To keep it safe lets just set some ground rules shall we? During the day is when most of these restrictions should be observed...
Keep your mid-drifts covered and try not to sport the short skirts or low cut blouses as you might attract some unwanted attention from the extreme conservatives whom unfortunately are the ones that shout the loudest. Aside from your attire there are no other obstacles you will face, the government is also actively stepping up their game to attract more of the western tourism so you can feel safe as long as you don't look like a pussycat doll during the day.
Not much here to worry about; however, to my gays and their friendly counterparts, don't be fooled by the men walking down the street hand in hand... it's perfectly acceptable for male friends and family to walk hand in hand especially to and from the Mosque.
WHERE TO STAY
Dubai is probably the fastest growing tourist spot in the whole world at the moment, with hotels and resorts sprouting up almost monthly you can be sure to swing some crazy deal. The best way to do Dubai, or any city in my opinion is not to blow your cash on a room you will spend no time in right? that being said, comfort for me is very important as well, but I don't need slippers at the end of my bed or a chocolate on my pillow (i'm allergic).... these are my pics for a great stay at a low price, METROPOLITAN CITY HOTEL, HATTA FORT HOTEL, METROPOLITAN DEIRA HOTEL. The Hatta came highly recommended and well worth it and beautiful, you will find that the hospitality in Dubai is overly welcoming and sincerely caring no matter what your budget is.
Where ever you drop your bags there are a few GEMS you absolutely must visit. As afore mentioned these places are extremely welcoming to visitors so don't worry if you don't have a room they will treat you like you're staying in the presidential suite....
This amazing place is like an adult theme park, with a Venice type twist, surrounded by small creeks that are navigated by gondolas you can board at any time (for free) it seems to go on forever. Every turned corner reveals interesting shops, restaurants and bars and amazing pools you can park yourself at .......you may want to never leave. They have an amazing beach front and yes the water in Dubai is amazing! TIDBIT: Don't miss the boardwalk bar, you can't miss it, it is right on the beach with a 100yd board pier with a fantastic scenic bar at the end. Fromt the bar you will see the next must see
This hotel is Dubai's architectural signature and must not be missed. Both places have amazing restaurants and beach fronts and pools, your challenge will be dividing your time between these two great places, but don't worry you will probably find your self back here at night, their bars and nightclubs are some of the best in Dubai. Other places to see Emirate Towers Burj Halifa, the tallest building in the world.
The nightlife in Dubai is like no other I have ever experienced, first off all rules go out the window, the women dress like pussy cat dolls and the vibe is very relaxed and very very charged. I found myself bar hoping with these group of local Australians that took us around to all the clubs Boudoir, Irish Village, Apartment Lounge, Kasbar and some others of which most are in all of the resorts I mentioned above, taxi cabs are very readily available so don't bother renting a car.
OTHER THINGS YOU CAN"T MISS
Dessert Tour probably the most amazing thing I did while in Dubai, they pick you up at your hotel (wherever you stay) at around 3PM and you are out for the rest of the day/night... they take you on an exhilarating dune riding experience through the most beautiful sunset drenched sands...
We got lucky it was a full moon so you can imagine...they finish it up with a camel ride to a BBQ Oasis complete with fire breathers, snake charmers and a belly dancer, all for 99$ (give or take) totally worth it!!
The Souks are located downtown a quick cab ride from anywhere.... there is the spice souk and the world famous GOLD souks...haggle a good price for a nice piece of gold.
The Creek in Dubai day or night is also a site to take in, the creek runs from the souks up the town through the hotel district and the business district, you can take a cab ride to the souks or a boat both cheap but the boat more fun.
There are great museums, Aquariums, and of course the famous PALM and WORLD island developments that are truly inspiring.....
and if you thought ice skating at your local mall was fun...how about a good slalom down ski at an indoor mall ski slope?
Anything that is possible is done in Dubai at a grand scale....I left this place with a truly genuine idea of what man is capable of...with a lot of money ..lol...I hope you get the chance to visit this place at least once in your life, and remember, its not as far out as you may think, I mean they have a Starbucks for f***s sake