Essential information for Dubai
When to go
Dubai has earned a fitting reputation for warmth – between June and September the average temperature rises to a sizzling 41°C. This summer heat means that the months between November and March are the most popular times to visit the city, as the temperature falls to a gentler 30°C. You might encounter some showers between January and February, but these are usually few and far between, and welcome to alleviate the heat.
As Dubai is an Islamic city, you may want to check whether your holiday will fall during Ramadan. If this is the case, many shops and almost all restaurants will be closed, although hotels will be serving as usual. Ramadan means you can’t eat or drink on the streets during the day, but this is an interesting time to take advantage of cheap Dubai holiday packages – many festivals occur, not to mention mall sales and pre-dawn feasts.
Health and safety
Although it’s safe to drink the tap water in Dubai, it’s usually recommended that tourists stick to bottled water as you might find the taste of tap water to be unpleasant. Bottled water is available from all supermarkets and hotels. Although no vaccinations are required for Dubai, it’s recommended that you ensure your routine jabs, such as MMR, DTP and polio, are all up to date.
As Dubai can get to a scorching average summer temperature of 41°C, visitors need to be careful to monitor their sun exposure. Avoid sitting directly in the sun for prolonged periods, and always apply sun cream whenever you’ll be heading out of your hotel room. Make sure you keep hydrated and ensure you take sunglasses and hats.
As with any holiday, you should take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance to cover yourself and family on your trip. If you’re visiting Dubai specifically to take part in sports or watersports, you should make sure your insurance covers this. See our holiday extras page for more information and for the latest health and safety information visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/united-arab-emirates/health.
Passports and visas
British citizens need a visitor’s visa to enter Dubai, which is provided on arrival and limits visits to 30 days. You must also hold a valid passport. By law, you must carry your passport with you and may need to show it when paying by credit card. For the most up-to-date passport and visa info, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/united-arab-emirates/entry-requirements.
Almost all visitors will arrive into Dubai International Airport. The popular resort of Jumeirah Beach is only 10 kilometres from the airport and Jebel Ali about twice that along the coast. Most tour operators include transfers as part of their Dubai holiday deals, so getting to your resort is easy.
Dubai has a well-organised and efficient public transport system which includes the relatively new metro, buses, a monorail and water buses. These are all operated by the same company – there is an affordable all day ticket if you plan on exploring the city for a while allowing you unlimited travel on all routes.
Advice for travellers with children
Dubai is a paradise for kids as well as grown-ups. There’s so much around the city that will keep little ones entertained – including theme parks and waterparks, not to mention the fascinating desert a short trip outside the city.
The huge influx of tourism means most menus cater towards western children, meaning even fussy eaters won’t go hungry. With ice cream parlours on almost every corner, there’s always a pick-me-up if any little feet start getting tired. Bearing in mind the sun is especially dangerous to young skin, there are many places to visit offering shade during the brightest hours.
If you want to take as much stress as possible out of travelling with kids, opt for All Inclusive holidays to Dubai to guarantee yourself family-friendly dining options and transfers taken care of.
Connector type: 3 pin plugs, same as the UK
Police and ambulance: 999
If you’re a victim of crime or affected by a crisis overseas, or if something happens to a relative or partner contact the British Consulate in Dubai.
Address: British Embassy Dubai, Al Seef Road, Bur Dubai, Near to Dubai Creekside, PO Box 65
Phone (from within Dubai): +971 4 309 4444 Phone (from the UK): 020 7008 1500
There are a number of large hospitals and smaller clinics in the city. Most hotels will have a doctor either on call or in residence. If they recommend a hospital visit they’ll let you know which will be most appropriate.
Dubai Hospital Address: Al Khaleeja Street, Al Baraha Tel: +971 4 219 5000
Medcare Hospital Address: Hadiqa Street, Al safa, Near Al Safa Park Tel: +971 800 6332273
American Hospital Address: Oud Metha Rd, Oud Metha, Near Movenpick Hotel Tel: +971 4 377 5500