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Stopping over in Dubai? Make the most of it and hit up these top ten hot spots.
I recently stopped over in Dubai for 4 days on my way from New Zealand to Europe and had the most incredible time! I've put together a list of 10 Must Do Things that you can't miss if you make your way over there.
Before we get into the fun stuff, there are, however, a few things you should be aware of when traveling to the United Arab Emirates. As a Muslim nation, the UAE derives some elements of its code of conduct from Sharia Law. There are certain rules to follow as a visitor. With that being said, this country is comparatively relaxed to other Gulf nations.
Anywhere apart from the beaches or swimming pools, it can be considered indecent if a woman wears clothing that is tight, transparent, above the knee or showing her stomach, shoulders or back. However, everywhere in the malls, hotels and around the city you can see foreigners wearing casual, short, summer attire, men just as much as women. We were told that the locals don’t find it offensive unless you are visiting religious institutions and monuments but I always carried a scarf or cardigan with me when being out and about just in case so I could cover my shoulders and back, and wore dresses and skirts below the knee.
Public displays of affection, such as holding hands and kissing, are socially unacceptable in the United Arab Emirates. Holding hands is accepted between married couples but there have been arrests for public displays of affection for unmarried couples so it's safer to keep your distance when out in public. Traveling alone as a single female is pretty safe as it is illegal to harass women in the UAE. This includes everything from unwanted conversation to staring.
Do note that the the UAE observes Ramadan which prohibits eating in public during daylight hours.
Swearing or offensive gestures in public (like showing someone the middle finger) are considered criminal acts in the UAE and can result in significant penalties.
It is illegal to take photos of local people (in particular women) without asking them for their permission and can also result in significant penalties or arrest.
Drugs & Medication
Similar to Thailand, the UAE has a zero-tolerance policy towards drugs and involvement in drug trafficking is penalised with life in jail or the death penalty.
Women are allowed to purchase, rent and drive cars on their own in the UAE.
Within the city as well as at the airport, taxis are generally very safe to take for women on their own. In remote areas or at night, it is, however, safer to look out for taxis with pink roofs which are driven by female drivers. This is of course also an option during the day and in central areas if you prefer to have a female driver.
I personally felt very safe and comfortable during my visit and I had an absolutely incredible time visiting these top sights. So, without further adieu, here they are.
TOP TEN THINGS TO DO IN DUBAI