Palm Jumeirah

At a glance

  • Beach, desert, mountain and city breaks
  • Luxury accommodation
  • Huge shopping malls and impressive architecture

Dubai insider review

Language:

Arabic. English is widely understood.

Passport and Visas:

•  Make sure you have a full 10-year passport.
•  British and Irish passport holders don’t need a visa.

Events & Festivals:

January
Dubai Shopping Festival
Snap up cut-price items and enjoy entertainment including fashion shows, film festivals, firework and laser shows and lavish prize draws.

February
Dubai Jazz Festival
Listen to the rousing rhythms of jazz artists and bands from all over the world.

Dubai Tennis Championships
Top players from around the world head to the city for this $1million tournament.

March
Dubai World Cup
This is the world's richest horse race meeting as thoroughbreds compete in various races.

Desert Rock Festival
Rockers should head to Dubai Festival City for this musical extravaganza, as local and international artists entertain the crowd.

May
Vertical Marathon
Cheer your support for up to 200 runners as they race up the 52-floor Jumeirah Emirates Towers in Dubai. Proceeds go to the charity Medecins Sans Frontières.

June
Dubai Dance Festival
Watch student and professional shows, take part in workshops and show off your moves at parties.

June/July
Ramadan - the holy month
During this period there may be restrictions on alcohol consumption, restaurant facilities and entertainment.

December
Dubai International Film Festival
Watch features, short films and documentaries submitted from across the globe.

Beaches:

Lavish resort hotels line white sands lapped by warm azure waters.

Eating / Drinking:

•   Try mezze, a selection of starters that's as filling as a main course. It includes:
    o  Tabbouleh (a salad of chopped parsley, cracked wheat, tomatoes and mint)
    o  Hummus (chickpea and sesame seed dip)
    o  Moutabel (aubergine puree)
    o  Waraeinab (stuffed vine leaves with rice)
    o  Tahini (sesame seed paste, yoghurt and lemon dip)
    o  Arabic bread
•   Main dishes include:
    o  Machbous (spiced lamb with rice)
    o  Hareis (simmered wheat and tender lamb)
    o  Meshwi (a mixed grill of various types of meat and sausage)
    o  Locally caught fish or shellfish.
•   For a snack, try shawarma - slivers of grilled lamb carved from a vertical spit and served with salad in a pocket of Arab bread.
•   For desert try esh asaraya (cheesecake) and umm’ail (bread pudding with cinnamon and nutmeg).
•   The middle east is famous for its sweet pastries, although fruit is the usual dessert.

Shopping:

Dubai offers duty-free shopping. Browse mega-malls and traditional souks.

Good to know:

• A tourist tax applies to all hotels in Dubai and is only payable locally.

Tipping:

Expect a 15-18% service charge to be added to most bills.

Religion:

Islam