Flight and Transfers
Direct flights from London to Dubai International Airport take approximately 6 hours and 45 minutes, while direct flights from Manchester take approximately 7 hours and 30 minutes. Indirect flights usually stopover in Doha or Muscat with varying stopover times.
Most of the resorts and hotels are less than an hour from the airport even at the busiest times. If you have pre-booked transfer arrangements with us you will be met at the airport by a Tropical Sky representative who will guide you to your transfer vehicle.
British citizens do not require a visa before their arrival in the UAE. You will receive a 60-day visit visa on arrival at the airport, seaport or land border.
British Citizens travelling to U.A.E require a full British passport which must be valid for 6 months after departure from this country. All children and infants must also have their own passports. Please check up to date visa requirements with the Foreign Office at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/united-arab-emirates/entry-requirements
The official language is Arabic though English is widely spoken by many, especially in tourist areas. English is the lingua franca; most people converse in English as the common language.
The holy month of Ramadan will be celebrated in the late summer (27 May 2017 - 25 June 2017 - subject to change). During Ramadan, Muslims all over the world abstain from food, drink, and other physical needs during daylight hours.
Non-Muslim holidaymakers do not have to follow these traditions, however, hotels in Dubai do impose certain restrictions on alcohol, food consumption and entertainment between sunrise and sunset.
During Eid Al Adha which falls approx 31 August 2017 for 3 days no alcohol will be served in Bars, Restaurants and Hotels.
Please ensure you are aware of these restrictions.
Dubai’s public transport system is arguably the best in the Middle East. That’s not to say that it has reached western standards; cars are still the primary means of getting around – tourists generally use taxis for most journeys if the hotel does not provide a shuttle bus.
At metro and bus stations you can pick up a day pass for unlimited rides on the metro or buses. Alternatively you can buy a rechargeable ticket that can be topped up whenever you need to travel – these should only be used on one type of transport.
Metro: There are currently two lines on Metro system. The Red Line runs from the airport to the old city centre and then moves west down the coast. The Green Line serves parts of the city centre, although it is far from comprehensive.
While this style of travelling should be experienced if you get the opportunity it will likely not be a truly convenient way to explore the city or get from place to place. As such you will probably have to look into other options for completing your travel.
Bus: Public buses in Dubai are clean, cheap and efficient but not especially comprehensive with regards to a tourist’s needs. It is most useful as a means of getting around the city centre of Dubai, but fairly infrequent and limited for exploring the outer areas.
The main bus stations are found near the Gold Souk in Deira and at Al Ghubaiba, either side of the Dubai creek. From here it’s easy to get maps of the routes and purchase bus tickets. It’s a cheap means of getting around, but not the best if you want to do so quickly.
Usefully, the routes and much of the information is found in English as well as Arabic. Seats at the front of the bus are reserved for women.
Self-Drive: If you’re happy to drive abroad, renting a car can be a good option. The prices are usually relatively cheap (if you’re doing a lot of travelling around they are usually far more cost effective than getting taxis). Some agencies offer a service of hiring out cars complete with a driver.
The transient nature of Dubai’s layout and the frequent road works make using a satnav a bit redundant. Far better are the printed maps that can be picked up around the city. The confusing road names can be a bit tiresome, and it’s always best to leave plenty of time to complete your journey.
Trying to drive at the morning and afternoon rush hours is a bad idea – traffic is ridiculous and the journeys will be heavily extended. There is a strictly-enforced zero-tolerance policy with regard to drink driving – do not do it.
Taxi: Taxis are one of the most popular ways to get around and are reasonable over short journeys. They are metred, meaning you don’t need to haggle a price or worry about being ripped off. The easiest way to get a taxi is queuing at lines outside a mall or hotel.
During the peak times (around the morning and afternoon rush hours) finding a taxi can be something of a challenge. If you want to travel during these times it is essential to plan ahead and book a metred taxi.
If you find a taxi that does not have a metre, do not get in. These are unlicenced taxis that are famously unscrupulous when it comes to over-charging or taking you in circles in order to extend the fare.
The local currency is the United Arab Emirates dirham (either abbreviated AED or dhs). Unsurprisingly credit cards are accepted in any of the large hotels, shops malls and attractions, although some small local restaurants may accept cash only.
220V, 50 Hz, 3 pin, UK standard plug
Vaccination and Health
Health requirements for visiting countries regularly changes and as such you should consult with your GP or visit a specialist travel clinic well in advance of your travel plans for specific information related to your travel and medical history.
The summer heat can reach temperatures as high as 50 Celsius – if you’re not used to this kind of heat it’s recommended that outdoor activity in the middle of the day should be limited. The water is completely safe to drink, and it’s a good idea to drink as often as possible as you can become dehydrated very quickly.
All guests staying at any accommodation in Dubai & Ras Al Khaimah will have to pay a local tax on check in - the fee will be levied per occupied room per night. Call us for further information.
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Dubai and the Emirates Travel Guides
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