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7 Must-Know Things Before Travelling to Dubai

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7 Must-Know Things Before Travelling to Dubai

Dubai is a city that is talked about quite often, but unless you’ve visited before it’s hard to know what to expect. The day-to-day life is not totally unexpected, but there are a few cultural norms that should be addressed. These are some things to take into consideration before traveling to Dubai.

How to Dress

Dubai is nestled in a Muslim country, therefore it is wildly important to consider bringing some clothes that will allow you to dress modestly in specific areas. In public areas such as malls, airports, cafes, and public transportation, it is expected of men and women to dress in a modest manner. Shoulders covered and not too much leg, butt, or boob should be out. While you will not get arrested for showing too much skin, it’s much better to let people see you respecting the local culture.

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Hotels are known as “international zones” where beach, holiday, and hot weather dress is appropriate. The lobby of the hotel wouldn’t be the best place for this, but it is absolutely okay by the pool and beach. A great travel tip is for women to keep a kaftan or cover up with them for the hotel, and a pashmina for public areas.

Booking Restaurants

It is not easy to be spontaneous in Dubai, so when thinking about grabbing a bite to eat out for dinner, make a reservation. It is also not easy to walk into an eating place and get seated without a reservation, especially in the more upscale restaurants. The restaurants are the hottest places to visit in Dubai, so it is likely that reservations are made weeks in advance.

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Alcohol

None of the restaurants in Dubai have a license to serve alcohol, but almost all of the hotels with restaurants do. Alcohol is permitted in these international zones, and many of the well-known restaurants inside of hotels are serving alcohol. You don’t even need to be staying at one of the hotels to be able to eat at the restaurants located within. It is not uncommon for visitors to walk into a hotel and ask for directions to a club, bar, or restaurant—so go for it!

Taxis

Similarly to London, taxi rides are very affordable. This makes it easy to use a taxi to get around the city. The city is full of taxis that are waiting for passengers, so it will not take more than a few minutes to track one down. The meter starts at 5 dirhams ($1.36), and always make sure that your driver restarts the meter and knows exactly where you are headed.

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The Call to Prayer

The Call to Prayer can be heard from almost anywhere in the city of Dubai, and all of the mosques in the city are hooked up to a public speaker system. It is heard from the minaret a total of 5 times per day.

Depending on your proximity to a mosque, it is possible to hear the call through the night as well.

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Tipping

This is custom in Dubai, but it is not expected and is not near as obligatory as the United States. Do think about the quality of the service that was provided, and do not feel obligated to tip if it was bad. Approach tipping as a case-by-case basis.

Nightlife

There are so many trendy bars and clubs in Dubai that it would be impossible to visit them all. They are all located inside of hotels, making them feel like sort of a secret hideaway. There is no main area of the city for nightclubs, so when planning a night out, you’ll need to know where you are going and where it is located. More than likely it will be either at the top of a skyscraper or hidden through the lobby of a hotel.

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Last Updated on January 13, 2022

10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

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10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

A honeymoon is important.  The wedding is over.  The months, or even years, of stress and planning are finally over.  It’s time for the two of you to relax, settle in, and start enjoying your time together as you embark on your first journey as a family.

To make the most of this time for the least amount of money, it’s important to focus on what you want out of a honeymoon.  This isn’t your typical list of touristy honeymoon locations everyone goes to.  Rather, it’s a list of cheap honeymoon experiences a couple can enjoy together, regardless of where it’s at.

1. Camping

A week long camping trip is a fantastic way to see how you mesh together as a couple.  You’re put in a low impact “survival” situation where it’s just the 2 of you and nature.  You have a chance to see how your new spouse handles themselves when left with the basics of life.  There are amazing national parks all over the United States where you can camp for a week for $20-30, disconnect from technology, and enjoy some of the natural wonders our nation has to offer.

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2. Staycation

You don’t have to go anywhere for a honeymoon.  In fact, the tradition of taking a honeymoon vacation is a relatively new one.  Prior to the 19th century, a honeymoon involved staying home together for a month to get to know each other physically.  Think of how blissful it could be to take a full month off work, disconnect from the outside world, and focus entirely on projects together.  You may not be wowing your friends and family with pictures of some exotic location, but they’ll be envious of your escape from the rat race nonetheless.

3. Island Getaway

People tend to overspend on their honeymoon vacations to Hawaii, Tahiti, etc.  Going to these places doesn’t have to be expensive.  You don’t need to stay in a 5 star resort when you’re on a Best Western budget.  You’re there to be in the atmosphere of the island, not a hotel room. Book a cheap flight and sleep in a hotel alternative, on the beach or in your car.  It’s the view in paradise that really matters.

4. Fancy Resort

Book an expensive resort, spa, or retreat in the city you live in.  While this may seem counterintuitive as a cheap destination, when you consider your savings on airfare and other travel costs, you can afford to be treated like royalty within your own city limits.  If you book a honeymoon package, you’ll end up with a lot of free amenities and extra attention.  There’s no need to fly halfway across the world to live the good life.

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5. Road Trip

The journey is often more fulfilling than the actual destination.  If you fly out to some exotic locale, you’ll be stuck on a plane for 8-30 hours.  Rent a luxury car, pick a handful of places you each have always wanted to visit, and go on an adventure.  You can keep food costs down by packing your own snacks, but it’s always a good idea to sample the local delicacies wherever you go, even if it’s only a few states over.

6. Charter a Boat

If the ocean is your thing, a week-long cruise can cost you $1500-$3000 per person, depending on the destination.  You also have to factor in travel costs to and from the cruise, alcohol, souvenirs, and on-shore excursions.  You’ll also be surrounded by people.  For the same price (and often much cheaper), you can charter your own boat and enjoy the experience in private.

7. Las Vegas/Atlantic City

If gambling is your thing, these are the places to do it.  Which one you choose depends on your preference, budget, and proximity.  The way to make this vacation cheaper is to gamble smart.  Stay away from low odd tables (i.e craps, roulette) and read up on the MIT blackjack strategies to beat the house.  If you do it right, you can win enough for a free trip (and gain a valuable team skill in the process).

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8. Themed Retreats

There are weeklong retreats all over the world where you can fully immerse yourselves as a couple into a hobby you’re both passionate about.  Go on a yoga/meditation retreat, a ranch, a vineyard/farm, a backpacking adventure, treasure hunt, or whatever you’re into.

9. Working Honeymoon

Your honeymoon doesn’t have to be a vacation.  For a truly memorable experience, dedicate a week to a charity or volunteer organization.  You can drive out to a campground to help restore it in the offseason.  Maybe you’ve always wanted to volunteer to help out your local animal shelter, plant trees, help the homeless, etc.  Use the time to do something together as a couple that will fulfill you spiritually while contributing to the community.  Just because you’re on a honeymoon doesn’t mean you can’t be productive.

10. Festivals, Fairs & Special Events

Every city, state, and country has festivals, fairs, and special events.  Find one you’re interested in.  If you time your wedding right, your honeymoon can be a trip to one of these festivals.  Burning Man, SXSW, Bonnaroo, the Renaissance Fair, regional harvest festivals, Mardi Gras, New Years Eve in Times Square, a movie premiere, or whatever you’re into.  If you plan your honeymoon at the right time in the right place, the possibilities are endless.

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Featured photo credit: Josue Michel via unsplash.com

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