top of page

Dubai Travel: What You Need to Know Before You Go

Dubai, with its futuristic skyline, luxurious lifestyle, and a blend of tradition and modernity, has become a sought-after travel destination. Before you embark on your journey to this dazzling city, it's crucial to be well-prepared. Here's a comprehensive guide on things to know before you travel to Dubai.

Cultural Sensitivity:

Dubai is rooted in Islamic traditions, so it's essential to be mindful of local customs. Dress modestly, particularly when visiting religious sites. Public displays of affection are frowned upon, and it's important to respect local traditions and values.

Visa Requirements:

Check the visa requirements before you travel to Dubai. Depending on your nationality, you may be eligible for a visa on arrival or need to apply in advance. Ensure your passport has at least six months' validity from your intended date of departure.

For Travelers from Barbados:

Barbadian passport holders generally enjoy the privilege of obtaining a 30-day visa on arrival at Dubai International Airport. Ensure your passport has sufficient validity, and if you plan to extend your stay, be aware of the process and associated fees.

Best Time to Visit:

Dubai experiences extreme temperatures, with scorching summers. The best time to visit is during the cooler months from November to March when the weather is more pleasant for outdoor activities.


Arabic is the official language, but English is widely spoken, making communication relatively easy for travelers. Learning a few Arabic phrases, however, is always appreciated by locals.

Currency and Cashless Payments:

The official currency is the UAE Dirham (AED). While cash is widely accepted, Dubai is highly modernized, and credit/debit cards are commonly used. Make sure to inform your bank about your travel plans to avoid any issues with card transactions.


Dubai has an excellent public transportation system, including the metro, buses, and taxis. Familiarize yourself with the public transport options, as they are convenient and cost-effective ways to explore the city.

Shopping Etiquette:

Dubai is a shopping paradise, known for its grand malls and traditional souks. Bargaining is common in the local markets, but it's not customary in larger retail stores.

Respect for Laws and Regulations:

Dubai has strict laws, and it's essential to be aware of and respect them. For example, public intoxication and the use of drugs are illegal, and fines can be substantial. Familiarize yourself with local regulations to ensure a trouble-free visit.

Friday is the Holy Day - Plan Accordingly:

In Dubai, Friday is a significant day for Muslims as it's the holy day of Jumu'ah (Friday prayers). Many businesses and government offices may have reduced hours or close during this time. Plan your activities accordingly, and be aware that some attractions may open later in the day. It's an excellent opportunity to experience the local culture, attend Friday prayers, and explore the city at a more relaxed pace. Check the timings of attractions and services in advance to make the most of your visit.

Health Precautions:

Ensure your vaccinations are up-to-date before traveling. The tap water in Dubai is generally safe to drink, but it's advisable to stick to bottled water to avoid any potential stomach issues.

Fusion of Tradition and Innovation Cuisine:

Dubai's culinary scene is a dynamic fusion of tradition and innovation. While the city celebrates its rich heritage through traditional Emirati dishes like Al Harees and Al Machboos, it also embraces a wave of culinary innovation. Renowned chefs are pushing boundaries, creating modern interpretations of classic recipes. Experience the best of both worlds as Dubai's chefs artfully blend age-old traditions with contemporary techniques, delivering a dining experience that reflects the city's forward-thinking spirit. Whether you're dining in a Michelin-starred restaurant or a local eatery, expect a culinary adventure that captures the essence of Dubai's gastronomic evolution.

Dubai's allure lies in its unique blend of tradition and modernity, offering visitors a taste of both worlds. By understanding and respecting the local culture, adhering to laws, and being well-prepared, your trip to Dubai can be a memorable and enjoyable experience.

Ready to plan your trip to Dubai? We are Dubai destination experts.

Click here to plan your Dubai trip today

Click here for Dubai Excursions