dubai trip - learning points

1. Food is expensive. Very expensive. A plate of fried rice at the food court costs AED 30 (RM 27)! And that’s about the cheapest meal you can get. So unless you cook or starve, bring lots of cash for food.

2. Dubai Metro is not fully operational yet. Best is to take a taxi everywhere. Don’t worry, taxis are safe, plenty and comfy. They use meter with a minimum charge of AED 10 (RM 9). One trip is about AED 30 (RM 27) or so, depending on the distance. So bring lots of cash for taxi.

3. Most taxi drivers are foreigners, mostly from India, Pakistan or Egypt. In fact I didn’t come across any local taxi driver at all. Because of that, the drivers are normally unfamiliar with new or unpopular places. Don’t be surprised if they end up asking you for directions! Therefore, it’s a good idea to have some info on the place you wish to go to i.e. in which part of the city it’s located, major landmarks surrounding it and even the roads leading to it if you can get the details.

4. Hotels charge 10% service charge and 10% tourist tax on top of room charges. That’s 20% extra, which is a lot! By the way, only tourists have to pay tax. Local people never heard of that word.

5. Desert sand is incredibly fine. The particles get into camera’s tiny corners easily, but hard to get out. So no matter how excited you are to get a good shot of the dunes, try not to put your camera on the sand. Trust me, I almost spoilt my red baby!

6. Dune bashing causes similar motion sickness like riding a roller coaster. Almost as scary too. So if you plan to do it, have an early meal on the day of activity and keep your tummy empty until you finish the thrill ride. Once you reach the campsite you can eat all you want.

7. Yes, Dubai is a safe place to go to. Those who think otherwise have never been there, clearly. It’s also a modern, affluent and clean city. Imagine Singapore, but hotter and less crowded.

8. Halal food is everywhere. Let me rephrase that, non-halal food is almost impossible to find! It’s illegal to sell alcohol in public, the only place you can find it is in hotel bars or something like that. Non-muslims are permitted to keep some for personal consumption, but only up to their monthly alcohol allowance limit, which is closely monitored by the authorities.

9. There are plenty of fancy restaurants and food joints that you won’t be able find halal ones anywhere else but Dubai. So take the opportunity to try them all!

10. Summer sale makes going to the mall a dangerous activity, especially if you are into designer items. Imagine this, even luxury boutiques like Gucci and Burberry have sale! Totally unheard of anywhere else, not in KL for sure!

11. Souks generally don’t accept credit card so bring lots of cash there, with the exception of large modern souks like Souk Madinat Jumeirah.

12. Textile items are cheap and really beautiful. The area at Bur Dubai near the abra station is where you can get fabrics on wholesale, the stores only sell them in rolls. For personal purchases, go to the shops at Meena Bazaar which is also at Bur Dubai, somewhere near Dubai Museum.

13. Taxi drivers and store operators are always delighted to see fellow Muslims. Though my friends and I wear headscarves, they often ask us “Are you girls Muslims?” just to be sure. There’s a reason to that - they usually charge much cheaper prices to fellow Muslims as compared to other customers. Many times the store operator would whisper the discounted price into our ears and ask us to make the payment quietly behind the counter. No wonder Allah bless them with so much rezeki *touched*. May they receive even more in return!

Untaku lari gagah berani!

Pic was taken by Arabian Adventures crew. The original photo actually has far better quality, so I’m blaming the scanner for the color distortion :-p

P.S.: As always, I’ve put up quick links to entries on my adventure in Dubai on the right hand panel. Happy reading!


JaJa'Z said...

akak rasa kan..dieya elok keja kat jabatan pelancongan je lah..ur tips memang bagus...hehhe

dieya said...

thanks! hahaha idea yg bagus gak bleh jadi pelancong sepenuh masa :-D

knitfreak-to-be said...

dieya, if you ever kerja kat jabatan pelancongan, tarik i sekali...nak ikut..!!!!

am a bit slow updating mine + lesson learnt pon bnyk, so sabar ye ;)

dieya said...

hahaha ok.. tunggu i jadi menteri pelancongan, i'll make u my timbalan menteri :-D
ok no worries, i'll be waiting!
p.s. i' left a comment on your waka waka entry, tapi tak appear.. blogger sudah kembali pening?!

k jaja,
kat blok k jaja pun sama, my comment didn't appear.. haiyaaa ini blogspot..

Aida Rezuan said...


Seems like memang kena bawak banyak cash la kan.

TQ for the tips, I'm mega into Dubai now, you know :D

And yup, we should rush Azita for her stories. Si? :D

JaJa'Z said...

dia tak appear brapa msg..tapi bila klik..ada kuar...akak baca dah..

Liza said...

wow, dubai sounds like a good place to live in...hhmmmm....

dieya said...

cash is kind over there especially for food and taxi. branded goods are quite cheap and have lots of varieties. so kita compensated laa kan ;-)
absolutamente! azita, más historias por favor!

k jaja,
owh ok, ingatkan dah hilang terus tadi.. hihihi.. apa2 je laa blogspot nih

k liza,
yeah! no tax, kids get free education till high school, minimal hospital fees, salary increment when you get married, even further increment when you have kids.. i get really envious when mona and her hubby (the arab couple i met on the plane) told me all these!

Erin said...

Mate, great tips. Ye, Oprah pernah buat feature pasal UAE, no tax, free education etc. But women cant vote. Who cares about voting when you get all other perks! But you know how mat saleh are with voting rights...haha

Aida Amin said...

i like the unta's picture... Hehehe.. Looks like you gals have a lot of fun there.. Good! Shopping like crazy eh?! Kak Long pun shopping sakan nampak from the FB pics... :)

dieya said...

yeah mate, who cares about voting when you are well taken care of! they only reason people vote is because they think they are unfairly treated. when you live such luxurious life, nobody bothers. better think of when next season's gucci collection is coming out ;-)

hahaha i like it too! yeah we did have tons of fun! i wished you were in doha while we were there, boleh jumpa. shopping was AWESOME! anyway how was your europe summer vacay?

ZuNas77 said...

no wonder my hsb hari tu mcm beria nak minta transfer ke Dubai. best yer? kwn dia kat sana pun mcm dah tak nak balik Msia jer. nanti la kena travel sana harus i masuk beg ikut skali. hahaha..

good review, good notes, good entries!. tak sabar tgu you next vacation, if any. (confirm ada punyalah!!)

dieya said...

yeah dubai mmg best! kata negara kaya kan, banyak laa incentives bleh dapat. and banyak expats kat dubai city tu, like i said rasa macam kat singapore jek but hotter. and their ppl are very friendly and open tak mcm certain negara arab lain. selamba je expats pakai spaghetti strap takde pun cover2 bagai, so setakat kita pakai jeans and t-shirt ni confirm takde hal.
thanks! glad u enjoy reading them. next vacay kena tunggu dulu for now, perlu kembali ke sekolah. sem break nanti inshaAllah! :-)

Aida Amin said...

my holiday was ok. Best jugak. Paris not enuf time to cover the whole attraction. Only main one like EIffel Tower & Museum Louvre. Sacre Coure tak sempat naik. The weather is too hot actually. Plus, we're on a slow pace coz i brought my son. So, banyak pit stop. Wud like to go there again with hubby only. You are right, the food was expensive compare to London. For the same price in Paris I can eat twice in London. Dah ler susah nak cari halal food sebab i duduk betul2 kat centre of tourist attraction (near Opera).
Anyway, totally agree with you that Dubai memang best kalau bab shopping. I gi Dubai mall first time, 2 hari baru habis pusing. Besar gila kan.. And yes, food sana memang mahal but a lot of variety there sebab banyak franchise from all over the world yg tak der kat Mesia. Memang Dubai tak macam typical Arab's country. It's very open. Doha pun still behind. Rasa macam kat negara Mat Salleh sebab memang ramai gila westerners kat sana.
Anyway, i'll be back during Raya. Let's get together!

dieya said...

yeah you so definitely have to go there again just with your hubby so you can enjoy everything to the max! kesian laa pulak having to leave your son behind, but sometimes mummy and daddy gotta spend some alone time, kan?
sure thing! just leave me a FB message when you get home ok :-)

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