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Dubai newbie questions - like what to wear?

Dubai newbie questions - like what to wear?

Old Nov 7, 12, 12:34 pm
  #1  
dtc
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Dubai newbie questions - like what to wear?

Hey folks,

I'm going to be in Dubai for a part of week at the end of this month. It's my first time, and I'm going for a wedding. I plan to try and fit in as much sight seeing and malls as I can.

Transfer from DXB to Kempinski Hotel @ Palm Jumeirah:
1. Will they take credit cards, or should I get some local currency asap?

2. About how much will this cost?

3. Do taxi drivers speak English? How can I best communicate this address to them?

4. Will this be safe? Anything I should be aware of? (More like London or more like Bangkok?)

Daily stuff
1. What's appropriate attire? Shorts ok? I know it's going to be super hot, but at the same time I'm guessing that we'll be spending a lot of time indoors/in cars.

2. Do I need to carry my passport at all times? Would a photocopy suffice? (Context: I'm an Chinese American male.)

3. What are things that you think a typical person might not realize they should bring? (For example, I've heard that sunblock there is reaaaally expensive.)

Thanks!
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Old Nov 7, 12, 1:59 pm
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You might as well get some local cash from the airport ATM after you clear customs. I'm not sure if the taxis take credit cards. My sense for cab rates is that they are similar to what you see in NYC or SF. Perhaps others here will give you a more informed estimate for your cost from DXB to your hotel. My wild guess: the equivalent of US$55. The driver might not speak much English, but it will be enough for your purposes.

Yes, this will be safe. I would imagine that Dubai has one of the lowest crime rates in the world.

As for attire, it's all over the map in Dubai. In the same restaurant you might see a conservative Muslim woman wearing a burqa and a Russian tourist dressed almost like a hooker. I recommend no shorts except to swim/exercise. In the evenings, dress like you're going to a cocktail party in SF. It's probably not going to be crazy hot when you're there.

Passport: no need to carry it with you when you're out and about. I kept mine locked in my hotel safe.
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Old Nov 7, 12, 5:22 pm
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Originally Posted by dhuey View Post
As for attire, it's all over the map in Dubai. In the same restaurant you might see a conservative Muslim woman wearing a burqa and a Russian tourist dressed almost like a hooker. I recommend no shorts except to swim/exercise. In the evenings, dress like you're going to a cocktail party in SF. It's probably not going to be crazy hot when you're there.
Thanks! Are credit cards there common?

What's a typical daily cash burn like? More like spending a day hanging out in Berkeley, SF, NY, or London?

I'm trying to figure out how much cash to get.
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Old Nov 7, 12, 5:27 pm
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1. It's always worth carrying some Dirhams with you for incidentals. You can change some at the airport on arrival or use one of multiple ATMs. Duty free is also available on arrival.

2. 60-70Dhs ??

3. Yes, although you may need to speak more slowly. And be sure the driver has understood your destination correctly, especially if a hotel chain with multiple locations in the city

4. Absolutely safe. Taxis are very well regulated. All cabs show the drivers ID and there are instructions posted inside the cab for contacting the regulating authority

1. In the mall/street/hotel/public beach: shorts below the knee, short-sleeved shirt
Bars/clubs/restaurants: dress to impress
At the hotel pool/private beach: regular beachwear
Please don't think of this just as a legal thing; it's about showing respect too

2. No. Keep your valuables in your room safe.

3. Always carry a bottle of water. Mind the sun. Don't get too drunk (respect again), but given the price of alcohol that isn't too difficult Don't talk to the Russian girls ... they're not on vacation

I and others have posted lists of things to do in this forum previously. Feel free to ask any other questions.

hth
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Old Nov 7, 12, 5:32 pm
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Originally Posted by dtc View Post
Thanks! Are credit cards there common?

What's a typical daily cash burn like? More like spending a day hanging out in Berkeley, SF, NY, or London?

I'm trying to figure out how much cash to get.
Cards are very common and you can pay for most things. Obviously you can charge to your room when in your hotel to minimise transaction charges.

I'd compare prices with London/Manhattan for e.g. Starbucks, etc. Alcohol is expensive; think USD10+ for a beer/cocktail. Only hotels bars and restaurants serve alcohol.
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Old Nov 7, 12, 7:55 pm
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I would guess that a taxi from the airport to The Palm would be about AED 75 (USD 20). Taxi drivers all speak English, and will certainly know major destinations like your hotel. Dubai is one of the easiest places in the world to catch a taxi. They are cheap and efficient in general.

You can get around (food, transport, local shopping) cheaply in Dubai. As others have mentioned, alcohol is expensive, and western restaurants have similar prices to the west. But in general I don't think that you would spend London- or New York-level money on a typical day in Dubai.

Dubai is also one of the safest places in the world. There may technically be a requirement to carry your passport, but you won't need it. I always leave mine at the hotel. Shorts are fine for any type of place that they would be in the U.S. or U.K.; you would be slightly out-of-place in the lobby of a five-star hotel in shorts, but it's not that big of a deal.
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Old Nov 8, 12, 11:26 am
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Originally Posted by dunk View Post
Don't talk to the Russian girls ... they're not on vacation
That made me laugh.
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Old Nov 8, 12, 11:31 am
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Originally Posted by mecabq View Post
Shorts are fine for any type of place that they would be in the U.S. or U.K.; you would be slightly out-of-place in the lobby of a five-star hotel in shorts, but it's not that big of a deal.
I recommended not wearing shorts when out and about for much the same reason I give the same advice to someone going to Paris. You can do that in Dubai and you'll see lots of other tourists wearing shorts. Still, it doesn't fit well with the local culture.
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Old Nov 9, 12, 1:42 pm
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Originally Posted by dhuey View Post
I recommended not wearing shorts when out and about for much the same reason I give the same advice to someone going to Paris. You can do that in Dubai and you'll see lots of other tourists wearing shorts. Still, it doesn't fit well with the local culture.
+1
I wore shorts during my first visit, longer cargo shorts on my second visit, and now I only wear long pants when I'm in Dubai. It's not because I have to, it's just respecting the local culture seems a better idea than symboliclly saying, "look at me; I can do what I want and I don't care what you think"
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Old Nov 9, 12, 1:45 pm
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Originally Posted by FC ORD View Post
+1
I wore shorts during my first visit, longer cargo shorts on my second visit, and now I only wear long pants when I'm in Dubai. It's not because I have to, it's just respecting the local culture seems a better idea than symboliclly saying, "look at me; I can do what I want and I don't care what you think"
Believe me I totally get it. I've seen some cliche "ugly american" dressing in LHR, HKG, and... uh... Manhattan.

I just hope not to pass out from wearing jeans in 93F temperature. I barely survived a Christmas in BKK. Hot and humid are not my friends.
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Old Nov 15, 12, 3:47 pm
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Originally Posted by dtc View Post
Believe me I totally get it. I've seen some cliche "ugly american" dressing in LHR, HKG, and... uh... Manhattan.

I just hope not to pass out from wearing jeans in 93F temperature. I barely survived a Christmas in BKK. Hot and humid are not my friends.
The 10-day forecast for Dubai has the highs in the mid-80s and lows around 70. That's not too bad with a light-weight shirt and pants.
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Old Nov 15, 12, 4:55 pm
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Indeed, but it's the humidity that's the 'killer' if you're not used to it. Loose (rather than necessarily less) clothing recommended.

Much nicer in the desert (30% vs 60%)
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Old Nov 21, 12, 6:14 pm
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Most of your questions have been accurately answered already.
I liked the advice given on style. Yes, you can get away wearing shorts and tank tops but whether that is a good idea is another question.
A lot of the bar scene is around the large international hotels - it all has to do with the liquor licence. A lot of them are of the upscale nature with dress codes enforced, so especially as a guy, you will not risk being sent away.
Ask the hosts if they'd appreciate booze from the duty free. There is a huge duty free at the airport with an ok selection at reasonable prices. The allowance for duty free on arrival is 4 liters. That can be 5 bottles of wine or also 4 liter bottles of vodka.
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