Dubai - A Luxury Sandpit for Grown-Ups

Dubai - A Luxury Sandpit for Grown-Ups

When I tell people, that I used to live in Dubai for two years, they usually ask the same questions over and over again:

A Do you have to cover up?
A Can you buy alcohol in Dubai?
A Is Dubai expensive?
A How do you cope during Ramadan?

Dubai - A Luxury Sandpit for Grown-Ups

Do you have to cover up?

Certain dress codes apply in Dubai, but they are a lot less strict than people assume. The general dress code is to cover your knees and shoulders and don't show too much cleavage.

However, you will be surprised to see that hardly anyone follows this. Only once I was approached in a shopping mall about exposing my shoulders. I am not encouraging anyone to ignore the dress code or local customs, but I believe that Dubai is slowly accepting the way other cultures dress. Especially at night, women wear short cocktail dresses that sometimes reveal more than necessary. During the day and when visiting malls, you should dress moderately, but at nighttime, you will stand out if you still follow this dress code. On the beach, it is acceptable to wear a bikini. Going topless, however, is not accepted, neither on the beach nor at your hotel.

Can you buy alcohol in Dubai?

Alcohol is widely available at any restaurant, bar, and hotel. However, you cannot buy alcohol at the supermarket. There are few alcohol stores around, but you require a special alcohol license to buy it. This license is only available to people who live and work in Dubai, as you will need to provide proof of employment. It usually takes around two weeks to be processed. If you are only visiting Dubai you will have to stick to the alcohol that is served in restaurants, bars, and hotels. Most places offer happy hours, thus it is not that expensive to drink in Dubai than usually expected. Nightlife in Dubai is a very big thing and there is an abundance of bars and clubs to choose from. Some have a cover charge, others don't.

Is Dubai expensive?                      

The answer to that question is yes and no. If you are visiting Dubai and you have to pay for your accommodation, meals, drinks, tours, etc. it can become quite an expensive holiday. The most expensive part of your stay will be the cost of accommodation. Dubai has thousands of amazing hotels, however, you will have to pay anywhere from $150 -1000 for a decent room in a nice hotel. Budget options in Dubai are scarce. There are hardly any, if none, backpacker hostels around. Transport, however, is very cheap. Taxis are the most convenient way to get around Dubai and they are not overly expensive. Most supermarkets deliver food to your doorstep without any extra charge. That makes it convenient and cost-effective if you don't like to spend too much money on eating out. Restaurant prices can vary dramatically, however, even the most exclusive looking venues usually have very reasonably priced menus.

How do you cope during Ramadan?

Many expats leave Dubai during Ramadan, as it is an inconvenient time for anyone who isn't practicing Islam. You cannot drink (and this includes water), eat or smoke in public. Even chewing gum is considered rude. You should also dress more moderately during Ramadan. Muslims in Dubai take these rules very seriously and you will get into serious trouble if you don't abide by these rules. I was being followed in my car once because I smoked whilst driving. A devoted citizen decided to follow and stop me in order to teach me a lesson.

Restaurants are closed during the day, however, some fast food chains still deliver food. Alternatively, you can order room service. Most bars and clubs stay closed during the Ramadan season, others may serve alcohol, but there won't be any loud music played.

Nevertheless, it is a great experience to visit Dubai during Ramadan. At night most hotels and restaurants offer all-you-can-eat Iftar buffets, some are served in traditional tents. This is the time when the Muslims break their daily fast.

I hope this article cleared up some of the common questions about Dubai.
It is a great place to visit, to live and to work and I can highly recommend visiting Dubai at least once.

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1 Response to "Dubai - A Luxury Sandpit for Grown-Ups"

  1. A luxury Dubai trip has been a dream for the tourists and ever year, we see many international tourists to enjoy their Dubai trips. Nice post.
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