City guide: Dubai

Get to know the UAE’s largest and most-Instagrammable city-state.

Dubai is the largest of the United Arab Emirates’ city-states. Its location on the Persian Gulf has aided its development as a center of innovation, trade and tourism. Expatriates from around the globe boost Dubai’s population; only a fraction of residents are natives.

Easy accessibility and state-of-the-art infrastructure have made this modern city a popular destination for business travelers and tourists. Key industry sectors include trade, real estate, construction, hospitality and tourism.

Know before you go

Time zone – Gulf Standard Time
Currency – Emirati dirham (AED) (US$1=AED3.67)
Languages spoken – Arabic and English

Airport: Dubai International Airport is the third-busiest airport in the world by passenger traffic. It’s about 5 kilometers (roughly 3 miles) from the city center.

Getting around: Taxis depart from each terminal and are available 24 hours a day. This is your fastest option to get downtown—a ride of about 15 minutes.

The Red Line on the Dubai Metro goes from the airport to downtown. Trains run daily with a later start on Friday mornings. Get a prepaid Nol Card that suits your transit needs.

Careem and Uber offer ride-hailing options. Download the apps before your visit.

Accommodations

Park Hyatt Dubai, P.O. Box 2822; Ph: +971 4 602 1234

The hotel, located in the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, is in an area where historic dwellings coexist with art galleries and shops. Park Hyatt Dubai offers award-winning restaurants and a spa.

vocoTM Dubai, Plot 49, Sheikh Zayed Road, Trade Center District; Ph: +971 4 308 0000

Panoramic views and a location in the heart of the city add to the appeal of the Voco Dubai. Amenities include fast Wi-Fi, indoor and outdoor pools, a spa, gym and business center.

Hyatt Regency Dubai, Deira, P.O. Box 5588; Ph: +971 4 209 1234

This five-star hotel on the Corniche waterfront promenade is walking distance from the Gold Souk and near many other attractions. Take in the view from revolving rooftop restaurant Al Dawaar.

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Workspaces

NEST is a unique co-working space. For AED99, you can get a day pass that includes Wi-Fi, sound-proof booths for calls, comfortable work areas and coffee.

The bustling atmosphere at Urban Bistro will energize you for work. You’ll find free Wi-Fi, a great view and outdoor seating.

Just need reliable Wi-Fi and a quick bite? Costa Coffee has a few locations throughout the city.

Top things to see

Towering over the city of Dubai is Burj Khalifa—the world’s tallest building. It stands at 868 meters (2,717 feet). Observation decks on the 124th floor and above offer panoramic views of the city and the Dubai Fountain show below. Tickets start at AED141.

The Dubai Mall is not your average shopping experience. Not only are there over 1,200 stores and more than 200 food and beverage vendors, the mall also houses the Dubai Aquarium, an Olympic-size ice rink, and a movie theater.

Get a glimpse of Old Dubai with a visit to the Al Fahidi historical neighborhood. Meander the narrow streets, admire wind-tower houses and pop in and out of the many art galleries and cafés. Take time to check out the Al Fahidi Fort, which now houses the Dubai Museum.

Food & drink

Salt started as a food truck, but it has found a permanent home on Kite Beach. The beach-hut restaurant offers both air-conditioned indoor seating and sun-soaked outdoor seating. It’s famous for sliders.

Industrial-style café Tom & Serg celebrates wholesome ingredients. Free Wi-Fi, good coffee and a variety of food make this a great spot to catch up on work or catch up with colleagues. You’ll find plenty of vegetarian and vegan options.

The Pakistani curries at Ravi Restaurant are a local favorite. Don’t be deterred by the basic atmosphere. It’s food at a great price, and Ravi’s is open late.

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