Dubai for first-time visitors

Dubai for first-time visitors

Last Updated on February 23, 2023

Wondering how to explore Dubai for first-time visitors? Dubai is the perfect destination for a romantic getaway, family vacation, or solo adventure. This Emirati city offers sun, sand, and non-stop excitement that will leave you with a lasting impression. From towering skyscrapers to flavorful dishes, Dubai has it all. Here you will find some great tips for Dubai first-time visitors.

As a first-time visitor, the city’s sheer number of things to see and do might feel overwhelming. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with these vacation tips to help you make the most of your trip.

1. Book a hotel with a view


Dubai is a city of skyscrapers, and there’s no better way to experience this than by staying in a hotel with a view.

From the luxurious Burj Al Arab to the budget-friendly hotels, there’s a range of options to suit all budgets. Consider booking a room with a view of the famous Burj Khalifa or the Dubai Fountain for a truly unforgettable experience.

And if you’re planning to stay longer or visit more frequently, check out apartments in Dubai in neighbourhoods like Dubai Festival City.

2.  Go on a desert safari

Immerse yourself in Emirati culture and experience the unique beauty of the Arabian Desert with a desert safari. The desert landscape offers an escape from the crowds and a chance to witness authentic Arabian culture. You can choose from various options, including a traditional Bedouin camping experience, dune bashing in a 4×4 vehicle, or a camel ride through the sand dunes.

The adventure typically begins with a drive through the desert, where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the rolling dunes and witness rare appearances of desert wildlife, such as camels, gazelles, and falcons. The highlight of this adventure is dune bashing: a thrilling and bumpy ride through the desert dunes. And to complete your experience, visit a traditional Bedouin camp, where you can try Arabic coffee, smoke shisha, and watch belly dancing performances.

You may also like: Your Guide to Desert Safari in Dubai

3.  Take a dhow cruise tour

Experience the rich history and culture of Dubai with a dhow cruise along Dubai Creek. Dhows are traditional wooden boats that were once used for fishing and trading along the creek. Today, they offer visitors a unique and romantic way to explore the creek and take in the sights and sounds of old Dubai.

The dhow cruise typically begins in the evening, allowing visitors to see the city’s stunning skyline as the sun sets. With comfortable seating and traditional Arabic decor, the boats offer a relaxing and intimate atmosphere perfect for couples and solo travelers. During the cruise, you can also savor a delicious dinner, with options ranging from traditional Arabic dishes to international cuisine.

You may also like: Five Must-Visit Attractions in Dubai  

4.  Shop ‘til you drop.

ubai is a shopping haven with options to suit every taste and budget. Whether you’re looking for luxury goods or unique souvenirs, you’ll find them in Dubai. Dubai Festival City Mall offers a vast selection of international and local brands, with roughly 400 shops and a wide range of dining options, a cinema, an IMAX theater, and an evening fountain show called IMAGINE Dubai.

For a more traditional shopping experience, consider visiting Dubai’s souks. These narrow, winding alleys offer shops selling everything from spices and textiles to gold and silver jewelry for the most authentic shopping experience.

You may also like:

Insider Guide to Luxury Travel in Dubai

5.  Try traditional Arabian cuisine

Dubai is a melting pot of cultures, and its food scene reflects this. From traditional Arabian dishes to international cuisine, there’s something to suit every taste bud.

For instance, Dubai Festival City restaurants offer dishes like shawarma, kebabs, and biryani for those who want a taste of traditional Arabian cuisine. You can also sample international fare like Italian pasta, Indian curry, and Chinese stir-fry.

Want to try “residing” in Dubai like a local? Make sure you sample the famous Arabian sweets luqaimat and balaleet. And don’t forget to visit local food establishments that offer one of the following local dishes:

  • Machboos: A flavourful rice dish made with saffron, spices, and chicken or lamb.
  • Shawarma: Thinly sliced meat, such as chicken or beef, grilled and served on pita bread with vegetables and sauces.
  • Falafel: Fried balls of ground chickpeas served on pita bread with vegetables and sauces.
  • Kefta: Minced meatballs made with lamb or beef and seasoned with spices and herbs.

You may also like: 6 Unique Dining Experiences in Dubai

With its stunning skyline, world-class attractions, and unique local experiences, Dubai offers something for everyone. With proper planning and smart choices, you can have an awesome staycation in the Emirati city that may even convince you to live there.

About Maria Kennedy

Maria Kennedy is the managing editor at Travel for Food Hub. Maria is on a full-tilt mission to share local food and travel inspiration. When she is not writing about food and travel, startups or social media, she is enjoying her time with her boys in sunny Spain.

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