- Dubai Tour
Dorrabay is a residential tower in which Club Paradiso has floors 15 & 16 available for its Members. There is no reception/hotel service, but a multilingual concierge team is there for you with an office based on the ground floor.
There are certain restrictions on alcohol in the United Arab Emirates. However, it is a tolerant place provided you follow a few simple rules. You will not be able to buy alcohol in liquor shops or supermarkets in Dubai – an alcohol licence is required, and these are only issued to resident non-Muslims.
Alcohol can be purchased from the duty free shop in the airport on arrival, which you are free to consume in the comfort of your apartment. The allowance per person is four litres.
Restaurant guests are expected to give a tip of 10%, if this is not already included in the bill. For taxi drivers and bell boys, a few Dirhams are fine.
Tipping in Dubai is a sign of good manners, and can go a long way for service staff who are often only paid a very basic minimum wage.
Although rules about clothing are relatively lenient in Dubai, it is strongly advised to keep beach wear for the beach. Unlike in neighbouring states, there are no specific dress codes to be followed but visitors are expected to respect general traditional sentiments and wear appropriate clothing when seen in public.
A general rule of thumb is to avoid showing too much skin. Men – don’t walk around without a shirt. Ladies – in the malls, don’t wear anything too short and take something to cover your shoulders. Avoid low-cut tops, short skirts and bare arms. If you’re lucky enough to go inside a mosque, dress conservatively – cover your knees, stomach and upper torso well.
Courtesy and hospitality are highly prized virtues in the Arab world and Dubai is very strict on correct conduct. Drunk or unruly behaviour, including swearing and road rage, will not be tolerated in public and can lead to heavy penalties. It’s OK to hold hands or to give a chaste kiss on the cheek in public, but leave any other public displays of affection for behind closed doors. The law is very strict on this issue.
Avoid showing the soles of your feet, or pointing your foot at anyone. Do not beckon or ask someone to come to you with your finger. If you wish to use a hand gesture, use the whole palm and fingers.
Avoid taking photographs of mosques, military institutions or other people, especially Arab women. Also, don’t take pictures of locals in national dress without their consent.
The ninth month In the Islamic calendar (27/05/17 – 25/06/17, 16/05/18 – 14/06/18) is a religious period of fasting. This holy month is a time for reflection and meditation, when Muslims abstain from all food and drink from dawn to dusk, and spend more time at prayer. It is believed that fasting will teach a Muslim modesty and sympathy for those less fortunate and it is a very spiritual experience for them.
Non-Muslims are not expected to fast, but it is illegal to eat, drink or smoke in public during daylight hours and a more conservative dress code is recommended. Bars and restaurants are usually open to serve drinks from 7pm during Ramadan.
Often the locals do not shake hands between opposite sexes. When greeting another person, it is best to wait and see if they extend their hand. Most men shake hands to greet and bid farewell to each other.
Some Arab men even hold hands and walk – a sign of great brotherly love.
At markets and souks, haggling is the norm. Not only will you be spoilt for choice (everything from quality leather goods to gold) but you should be able to bag yourself a bargain in the process. Haggling is expected, although British tourists often feel uneasy about the idea. The key is not to be intimidated, and enjoy the experience – it’s supposed to be fun!
A handy tip for your trip to the souk is to dress down for the occasion. A seller might be less inclined to lower his price for a customer wearing a smart suit and expensive watch, so don’t be too conspicuous.
Facial expressions and well-timed hesitations also play a role in the haggling process – theatrical, shocked reactions can help you on your way to a bargain.
Although haggling is accepted in souks, be prepared to pay fixed prices in supermarkets, malls and restaurants.
The Big Bus Tour, a hop-on-hop-off tourist bus with onboard guide, takes you to all the tourist sites. Don’t rely on it for regular transport, but use it to get an idea of where things are.
Tickets include entrance to the Dubai museum and a short Dhow Creek Cruise. Both a day tour and a night tour are available, and you can buy either a 24-hour or a 48-hour ticket.
There are plenty of currency exchange agencies, including one in front of Dorrabay. Steer clear of people in the street offering to exchange your money.
The official weekend in Dubai is Friday and Saturday.
Passports must be valid for at least six months from time of entry to Dubai.