Before we start – our exchange rate was around 4.8 UAE Dirhams to the pound.
If you're not in the mood for reading detail then below are my quick read tips and thoughts on holidaying in Dubai! For more info then read on...
Dubai is not a cheap holiday!
Amazing reliable weather and beautifully warm sea! Too hot in the summer though!
Buy alcohol at the duty free!
Try and find a half board deal as hotel prices for food are expensive when you get there
Revolut/travel card is a must to save on foreign transaction fees
Taxis were easy and cheap – there was also Uber available
Visit the water park at Atlantis The Palm! Check out my pics and video below!
- I would advise spending a bit more on the hotel as you are likely to spend quite a bit of time hanging out at the hotel pool
Dubai Mall is definitely worth a visit – there is so much going on there! Check out my fountain light video below!
The UAE is one of the cheapest places in the world to buy Apple products
BE AWARE! FaceTime on Iphones and Ipads is blocked in the UAE and can’t be unblocked. It is fine and not blocked on a Mac computer though
Having got back from Dubai a couple of weeks ago, I wanted to write a short blog to share some tips and ideas I picked up. I wish I had known some of these things before I went!
Heading to Dubai was incredibly exciting! I’d been briefly to Abu Dhabi, sailing for a week in 2015 and I loved it. I loved the sun and warm water! Plus there was lots to do. I’m the type of person who researches and researches whilst never actually committing to a holiday, partly because it always seems like such a lot of money to spend! It was great to finally have a sunny holiday booked, something I’d been trying to do since the Rio Olympics in 2016.
November turned out to be a great time to go away. You can generally get a bit of a bargain as it’s fairly quiet for holidaying. Dubai was the perfect choice for us. The weather was incredible, 33 degrees and we didn’t see a cloud in the sky throughout the whole trip!. The city was busy, but not overly crowded with holidaymakers. Flights were around 6.5-7 hrs and jet lag was 4 hours, which was really manageable, so it felt like Dubai would be an option as a shorter get away as well.
Tips and pitfalls!
Get a Revolut card! It’s the cheapest way to pay for things abroad. You have an app on your phone, which tells you how much money you have on the card and you can top it up easily via your normal bank card being linked to the app. Transactions abroad are free – a usual debit/credit card will charge around 3% PER transaction abroad. You get the same exchange rate the banks use with each other and you can keep a good eye on what you’re spending via the app! The only downside is it costs around £5 to get it posted out to you and the max you can take out at an ATM is £200pm – a 2% fee is incurred above this.
Check out https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/credit-cards/prepaid-travel-cards for other details and options.
Buy alcohol in the duty free shopping - before you leave the airport! Alcohol is pretty expensive in Dubai and you can’t buy it at the supermarkets. The only place we could get it was in licensed restaurants and bars, where prices were around £10-14 a pint…
Taxis were very reasonable - a 30 minute journey was about £12-15. There was Uber in Dubai, but taxis actually seemed more convenient and the price difference was minimal. I guess the only difference is that for a taxi, you need to pay in cash! however you will be charged foreign transaction fees through Uber – unless you register your Revolut card to the app!
It did get dark quite early – around 6pm, which meant the best tanning time was 11-2pm! I would also highly recommend the waterpark at Atlantis The Palm, but get there earlier rather than later. We got there around 12pm and I did get a little cold later on around 4pm, when the sun was going down! Especially on the lazy river where there was lots of shade by this point! The slides were awesome and I’ve certainly never felt more scared on a waterslide than I did here! There is also an awesome, massive water play area for kids.
One of the best things for me about Dubai is the service. It was incredible, everywhere you go people are polite, attentive and genuinely want to help you have a good holiday. Particularly in our hotel, I have never experienced service quite like it.
Overall an awesome holiday, and I would truly recommend Dubai for a sunny getaway where you can keep super busy (spend some cash!) or just chill by the hotel pool without worrying about the weather!
Please share your tips and advice below if you've been lucky enough to visit Dubai :)