Things to know and ideas for your own excursion in the city of superlatives
- Regular berth: Port Rashid Cruise Terminal
- Regular berth: Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal
- Port shuttle: free of charge to some shopping centres
- Taxis: available in large numbers at the cruise terminal
- Public transport: very well developed network of bus, tram and metro lines
- Car hire*: Hertz, at Dubai Int. airport (DXB) and 43 25th Street, Dubai-Umm Ramool.
- Car hire*: Avis, at both airports and Murjan 1, Office Number G09, The Walk At Jumeirah Beach Res.
- Car hire*: Europcar, at Dubai Int. airport (DXB) and Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Sheikh Zayed Road.
- Car hire*: Budget, at Dubai Int. Airport (DXB) and at Cascades Building, Opp 2nd Marina metro station, Dubai Marina.
- Post Office: Emirates Post - Dubai Central Post Office, Zaa'beel St - Al Karama
- Tourist Information: at the Cruise Terminal
- Banks and ATMs: numerous throughout the city
- Cruise ship berths 1
Most of the cruises in the Orient start and end in one of Dubai's two cruise ports. In the north of the metropolis is the "old" port of Port Rashid with its two modern cruise terminals. Here you will find a tourist information office, some shops, cafes, ATMs and free Wi-Fi. In front of the building, numerous taxi drivers are usually waiting for their potential guests. In addition, there are usually some free shuttle buses from the major shopping centers (such as Dubai Mall, Mercator Mall) for departure. The distance to Dubai International Airport (DXB) is about 20 kilometers, for which you can plan a taxi to about 30 to 35 minutes of travel time. With 66 kilometers much further away is the airport Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central (DWC). For this route you need 55 to 60 minutes by car.
- Cruise ship berths 2
AIDAprima and AIDAvita were the first cruise ships to dock at the newly opened Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal on 16 March 2021 . Located in the south of Dubai, the berths were created in collaboration with Carnival Corporation and also have two modern cruise terminals with a tourist information office, shopping, cafes, ATMs and free Wi-Fi. There are also numerous taxis for the excursion on your own, as well as mostly free shuttle buses to the large malls (for example Dubai Mall, Mercator Mall) for use. The distance to Dubai International Airport (DXB) from here is about 38 kilometers, for which you can plan a taxi to about 40 to 45 minutes of travel time. Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central (DWC) Airport is similarly far away. Here it is about 41 kilometers of distance, which also takes 40 to 45 minutes by car.
- Dress code
The dress code for tourists is seen quite calmly in modern and cosmopolitan Dubai and much is tolerated. Out of respect for the locals and the Arab culture, you should still dress appropriately and refrain from revealing and tight outfits. In most cases, it is sufficient if at least the shoulders and knees are covered. Exposed bellies and open rear views should generally be avoided. This applies equally to men and women. However, stricter rules apply when entering a mosque, especially for women. Here the wearing of headscarves is mandatory. In addition to wide, loose-fitting clothing, covering the arms and legs is also strictly prescribed. Men have it a little easier with at least a T-shirt and long pants. Tattoos are always and in any case to cover.
On beaches and in water parks, wide swimming shorts* are recommended for men and women should rather leave thongs in the cabin of the cruise ship. Being "topless" or even completely unclothed is strictly forbidden. In the case of couples, holding hands and distributing kisses is also extremely reluctant to be seen in public, and should therefore be avoided. When choosing clothes, you should also keep in mind that the interior areas of the publicly accessible buildings are always and also quite coolly air-conditioned. If you stay during the winter months of November to April, it can also get a little fresher in the early evening. From this point of view, wearing longer things is not necessarily a disadvantage.
- Harbour shuttle
The shipping companies do not usually provide shuttle buses for excursionists. However, excursions are often offered as transfers with a stay of 4 hours, for example, and individual free time. The Burj Khalifa is usually included as a destination and a fixed time for the return journey is included. You can travel more flexibly with the free shuttle buses of some dedicated shopping temples, such as the Dubai Mall. If buses are available, they usually run between 09:00 and 19:30 and at least every hour. At peak times, more often. As this is the cheapest way to get into the city centre, the rush is usually quite big, especially right after a cruise ship docks.
Taxis in Dubai are cream-coloured and have a taxi sign on the roof. The majority of vehicles have a red roof and thus belong to the Dubai Taxi Corporation (DTC). The roofs of vehicles belonging to licensees have different colours, but the fare is the same everywhere when using the installed taximeter. You should insist on this, as fixed-price fares are usually more expensive. Please note that taxis with pink roofs may only be used by women and children. Only women sit at the wheel in these vehicles.
From 06:00-22:00 the basic fare per trip is AED 7 and during the rest of the night it is AED 8, i.e. around 1.90 euros. Additional fees are charged for journeys from the cruise port and from the airport. In these cases, the basic fare rises to AED 25, which is equivalent to about 6 euros, depending on the current exchange rate. In principle, a journey in Dubai is charged according to distance travelled, i.e. per kilometre, which costs AED 1.75 each. Any waiting times of one hour are charged at AED 30 each. Payment by credit card is possible at the destination. The drivers are obliged to issue a receipt and are happy to receive a small tip.
- Water taxi and water bus
On Dubai Creek and in Dubai Marina, numerous modern as well as traditional water taxis/buses run between fixed moorings. The latter are made of wood and are also called Abras, which can carry up to 20 people at a time. A single crossing rarely takes longer than 5 minutes and always costs 1 AED per person, which is equivalent to about 0.25 euros, and can only be paid in local currency on the spot. On the other hand, twice the price is charged in the more modern and air-conditioned water boat. In addition to the regular ferry service, some boats are also available for private and longer crossings and round trips. This usually costs AED 120 per hour.
- Public transport
Dubai's public transport is very well developed and structured. Around the clock and on various lines, more than 1500 modern city buses are on the road here, which depart every 10 to 30 minutes from the often air-conditioned waiting houses, and penetrate into the outskirts of the metropolis. In 2014, Dubai's first tram line joined, with 11 stops, running along Dubai Marina and connecting from Jumeirah Beach Residences to Al Sufouh.
However, the city's main mode of transport is the local metro, with the two routes of the Red Line and the Green Line. It operates Saturday to Wednesday from 05:00-24:00, Thursday one hour longer and on Fridays from 10:00 to 01:00 at night. On the long routes with a total of 49 stations, only the stations Union and Bur Juman are served by the fully automatic and driverless trains of both lines. It is therefore only possible to change trains there.
The trains, which are mostly above ground, run every 4 to 7 minutes and consist of 5 carriages, half of which are designated as 1st class compartments (Gold Class) and the other half may only be used by women and children. In the mornings from 06:00 to 08:30 and in the evenings from 17:00 to 19:00 it can get quite crowded at the stations and on the trains. Eating, drinking and chewing gum is not allowed and further expansion of the route network is already being planned.
- Public Transport Tickets
The Metro, Dubai Tram and buses are operated by the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority and share a uniform fare system. For this purpose, the city has been divided into 7 zones. To use them, a valid ticket is required, which can be purchased at the metro stations, bus stops or authorised sales points such as supermarkets before starting the journey. It is not possible to buy tickets in the vehicles and trains. The required tickets are available in the form of a reloadable Nol card. This prepaid card is in turn available in different versions and is interesting for cruise passengers in the Silver Card and Red Card variants.
In order to be able to use the purchased Nol card at all, it must be loaded with at least 7.50 AED. For correct billing, it is necessary to always hold the respective card against the corresponding readers in the vehicles or at the turnstiles before and after the journey. A signal tone and/or a green light will be emitted as feedback. The current credit balance can be seen there as well as at the ticket machines. The fare is automatically calculated with the check-in and check-out and debited from the card. Children under 5 years of age or under 90 centimetres tall are carried free of charge.
- RTA Silver Card
The Silver Nol Chip Card is made of plastic and can be used for any RTA rides on bus, water bus, metro and tram. Provided that sufficient credit is loaded, which can be increased at the numerous ticket machines. In addition, since 2019 it is possible to pay in most taxis as well as in numerous shops in the city. From the time of purchase, the card can be used for 5 years, costs AED 25, already has a starting balance of AED 19 and can be topped up with a maximum of AED 1,000. If registered, up to AED 5,000 is possible.
When using the Silver Card, a journey within one zone costs AED 3, when crossing two zones it costs AED 5 and from three zones it is AED 7.50 (1.76 euros). It is possible and permitted to change to another RTA means of transport. If the change is made within 30 minutes (check-out - check-in), both journeys are counted together as a single journey. However, the maximum duration of a journey may not exceed 180 minutes.
- RTA Red Card
Alternatively, the Red Nol Chip Card for 2 AED is available for purchase. This rather sensitive card is made of thicker paper, has no credit, is not rechargeable and can be purchased with up to 10 single trips or 5 day tickets (not usable simultaneously with several people) at AED 20 each. The card can be used for a maximum of 90 days from the date of purchase, but loses its validity as soon as the deposited trips have been completed.
It should be noted that a change of RTA means of transport is not permitted/possible. It is valid for bus or metro or tram. If, for example, the card was used for the first time for a bus trip, further journeys also only work in the bus network and a journey by metro is then no longer possible. The use of the Red Card is slightly more expensive than that of the silver card. For example, a trip within one zone costs 4 AED each, 6 AED when crossing two zones and AED 8.50 (1.99 euros) from three zones.
The supplementary monorail route of the Palm Jumeirah is not integrated into the RTA tariff system. The monorail stretches over a length of 5.45 kilometers, has 4 stations and runs almost straight from the mainland to the tip of the island between the Hotel Atlantis - The Palm and the Aquaventure Waterpark.
In use daily from 09:00-22:00, the train runs every 15 minutes, takes about 10 minutes in each direction for a complete route, and has been fully automatic since its opening in 2009. A trip costs 20 AED each, and for round trip 30 AED per person are charged, which corresponds to about 7.50 euros. The final stop of the Dubai Tram is about 450 meters from the Palm Gateway monorail station. Tickets are available on site at the counter or at Tiquets *.
- Hop On Hop Off Buses
The typical Hop On Hop Off city tours are available in Dubai from the cruise port with the two operators City Sightseeing* and Big Bus Tours*. On the various, sometimes intersecting tours of the respective operators, you can easily pass the most important sights of the city. During the journey, interesting information is available via headphones on the multilingual audio guide, which also speaks German and English.
In possession of a valid ticket, you can then get on and off as often as you like at the numerous stops. The double-decker buses are open at the top and run daily from 09:00-16:00, as well as approximately every 30 to 60 minutes. The main departure points are set up at the Dubai Mall, to which feeder routes are usually set up from the cruise terminals for cruise guests. Depending on the season and the provider, the rates for the day tickets start at the equivalent of around 50 euros per person.
- Dubai Mall
Individual markets, souks and, above all, the city's large shopping centres invite visitors to take long walks and go shopping. The Dubai Mall at the foot of the world's tallest building is very popular. How could it be otherwise? The huge shopping mall is one of the largest of its kind in the world and houses over 1200 shops, numerous restaurants, cinemas, the Dubai Aquarium, an ice skating rink, a 155-million-year-old dinosaur skeleton, the interactive KidZania city for children, a virtual reality park, a go-kart track with e-karts and the Emirates A380 Experience flight simulator. Free Wi-Fi is also available throughout the building for internet access.
The Dubai Mall is open daily from 10:00-24:00, and until 1:00 a.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. From the berths at Port Rashid, the mall is about 16 kilometres away, which can take 20 to 25 minutes by taxi. From Dubai Harbour, the route is considerably longer at 25 to 29 kilometres, but can still be done in almost the same time. Alternatively, those travelling by metro should ideally get off at the Burj Khalifa/The Dubai Mall station. In addition, from the cruise ports and at regular intervals, the free shuttle buses of the Dubai Mall can also be used for the transfer. A taxi for this route costs around AED 65, i.e. around 16 euros.
- Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
Inside the sprawling Dubai Mall is one of the largest aquariums in the world. The main tank of the Dubai Aquarium alone has a capacity of 10 million litres of water. The 48-metre-long glass tunnel, which allows a special view into the underwater world, is impressive. The entire area extends over 3 floors and houses over 33,000 animals from around 140 species. It is open Monday to Friday from 10:00-22:00, and on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00-24:00. There are various ticket options and packages available for admission, starting at AED 120, or around 30 euros per person, and entitling the holder to a regular visit to the aquarium and underwater zoo. More extensive tours and experiences can be booked as upgrades. Children under 2 years of age do not pay admission.
- Burj Khalifa
In the immediate vicinity of the Dubai Mall is the world's tallest building at 828 metres. The Burj Khalifa was opened in January 2010 after 6 years of construction and extends to the top at exactly 829.8 metres. The building is home to the world's first Armani Hotel. It is joined by a colourful mix of offices, flats, suites and restaurants. A total of 57 lifts have been installed in the impressive skyscraper, reaching up to the 189th floor at 638 metres. Two of the lifts are double-deck lifts and take visitors to a height of 456 metres within a maximum of 55 seconds to the 360° viewing platform "At the Top", with its outdoor terrace on the 124th/125th floor. With the help of another lift, it is possible to reach the 99-metre higher viewing platform "At the Top, Burj Khalifa SKY" on the 148th floor.
The entrance is located on the ground floor of the Dubai Mall and is only passable in the booked time slot with a valid ticket. However, due to the high demand, tickets* are hardly available on site. It is therefore advisable to book well in advance. Various combined tours, some with pick-up at the cruise port, are also available. Particularly high visitor numbers are to be expected at sunset, as well as in the evenings directly before and during the water games taking place at the foot of the tower. To enjoy the unique view at all, you have to pay the equivalent of at least 37 euros. Per person, of course. Some combination offers* offer attractive activities at particularly favourable conditions.
- Dubai Fountain
Surrounding the tower are the green spaces of Burj Park, which is also bordered by the man-made 30-hectare Burj Khalifa Lake. Illuminated water fountains have been installed in the middle of the lake, which awaken particularly impressively in the evening hours and present fantastic choreographies to the beat of various pieces of music. The water is shot up to 150 metres into the air. From Saturday to Thursday, three shows are presented in the afternoon at 13:00, 13:30 and 14:00. On Friday, half an hour later in each case. Coupled with atmospheric lighting effects, the shows continue every 30 minutes between 18:00 and 23:00 every day. An excellent view can be had from the Dubai Fountain Boardwalk, a jetty or floating platform that can be entered after paying AED 20. Alternatively, 30-minute boat rides are offered for a front-row seat. The so-called Lake Ride* takes place on a traditional abra and is charged at AED 65 per person.
- Works of art and sculptures
Around Burj Khalifa Lake, a number of artists have left behind works that are well worth seeing. For example, the angel wings called "Wings of Mexico" at the southern tip of the lake. Jorge Martin created the sweeping, sculptural sculpture, which is ideal for portraits with the Burj Khalifa in the background. In the form of more angel wings, artist Colette Miller's work is applied to some of the window panes on the 124th/125th floor observation deck of the Burj Khalifa, which also fit in well. Directly at the Dubai Mall, the Dubai Steel Heart by Richard Hudson can be found. This is a highly polished and five-metre high steel sculpture called "Love Me". A true colossus weighing 7 tonnes. Opposite it on the western side of the Dubai Fountain, next to the large three-finger statue, are the huge dandelions, also made of steel, which are impressively illuminated in the dark.
- Souk Al Bahar
Located on the southern part of the Dubai Mall, this is a traditional market in a modern guise. In Souk Al Bahar, the market of the seafarers, you will find about 130 shops and an extensive gastronomic offer on two levels. The numerous traders mainly offer jewellery, clothing, perfume and Arabic handicrafts. Among the various goods, you can often discover a souvenir or two while browsing. The Souk Al Bahar is open daily except Fridays from 10:00-22:00. On Fridays it is open from 14:00-22:00.
- Museum der Zukunft
Just two metro stops away from Burj Khalifa, you come across a very unusual building, with a steel and glass façade perched on a green hill. The entire outer skin is inscribed in Arabic with the words of Dubai's ruler Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
We may not live hundreds of years, but the result of our creativity can leave a legacy long after we have died. The future belongs to those who can imagine it, design it and make it happen. The future does not wait. But the future can be designed and created today.
It conceals the Museum of the Future, which opened on 02.02.2022, with an exhibition area of 30,000 square metres spread out over 7 floors. The museum is mainly concerned with modern and innovative technical projects, as well as delightful glimpses of the future. The latest inventions and the most up-to-date technologies are always presented here. It is open daily from 10:00-18:00 and admission is charged at AED 145 per person from the age of 3.
- Palm Jumeirah
The Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal is located directly on the man-made island of Palm Jumeirah, which was opened in 2008. More precisely, the 560-hectare palm island is divided into three parts: the trunk, the palm frond and the outer, almost completely surrounded ring. The latter is about 12 kilometres long, has a protective function and houses numerous hotel complexes. On the trunk, which is about 4 kilometres long, one finds apartment buildings, hotels and public sections of beach with associated promenades. From the mainland, the Palm Monorail runs to the middle of the ring, and at the tip of the palm tree is The Pointe entertainment district. The palm fronds themselves have been developed primarily with luxury villas and are not open to the public.
- Nakheel Mall
Centrally located on the Palm Jumeirah, the Nakheel Mall opened at the end of 2019. The rather large and modern shopping centre extends over 5 floors, has its own monorail station and is open daily from 10:00-22:00, as well as from Friday to Sunday two hours longer until 24:00. Besides numerous shops, restaurants and cafés, it also houses a trampoline park, an indoor play centre for children and a Vox cinema complex with a total of 14 screens.
- Viewing platform
From Nakheel Mall, there is direct access to the 360-degree observation deck, The View at The Palm. This was opened in 2020 and is located at a height of 240 metres on the 52nd floor of the highly visible Palm Tower. From here, you get an excellent view of the impressive Palm Island and the Dubai skyline. Also accessible are a small exhibition on the development of the island, a café and a souvenir shop. Costs vary depending on the time of day and start at AED 100 for adults and AED 69 for children. Admission is free for children up to the age of four.
- Pool with a view
For a longer stay, the AURA Skypool areas below the observation deck are ideal. The facility occupies the entire 50th floor of the Palm Tower at a height of 200 metres. The Skypool is a 750-square-metre 360-degree infinity pool, with a lounge, a bar and also the best view of Palm Jumeirah and Dubai's skyline. Three time slots at different prices are available for a stay during the day. The cheapest rate starts at AED 200 per person and is valid daily from 10:00-14:00. From 15:00-19:00 there is an additional charge of AED 25 per person, and for the whole day AED 425 is charged. Included is access to the lounge and use of the sun loungers. The gastronomic offer is not included in the entrance fee.
- Palm West Beach
South of the Nakheel Mall, you will find the approximately 1.6-kilometre-long beach promenade of Palm West Beach. There is a separate running track for joggers and over 300 palm trees spread out along the entire length, which are also beautifully illuminated in the evening. However, the quiet, fine-sand beach, which is mostly open to the public, also has beach clubs for which a fee is charged, as well as areas that each belong to one of the resident five-star hotels. Food and drinks from the on-site bars and restaurants are available daily from 10:00 in the morning and often until midnight. You can usually also try out numerous water sports at Palm West Beach, such as kayaking and stand up-paddling.
- The Pointe
At the top of the man-made palm tree trunk of the Palm Jumeirah, the area of The Pointe was officially opened in 2018. Here, along with a small beach where sun loungers and umbrellas are available, you will also find a few shops on a beautifully landscaped promenade that invites you to take a stroll. The numerous bars and restaurants offer their guests a wide range of gastronomic delights, from traditional fast food to special and upscale cuisine. Most restaurants are open daily from 10:00-24:00. Shops and boutiques usually close a little earlier at 22:00.
- Palm Fountain
In the evening hours, you can watch the world's largest fountain right on the promenade of The Pointe. The Palm Fountain was inaugurated in 2020 and offers a similarly impressive spectacle as the water games of the Dubai Fountain at the Burj Khalifa. Here, however, on a total area of around 14,000 square metres. The colourfully illuminated fountains shoot up to 105 metres in the air to the beat of various pieces of music with a length of around 3 minutes. Around 3,000 LED spotlights ensure the right colour tone. The free shows take place daily and every 30 minutes from 18:00-22:30. Saturday and Sunday until 24:00.
- Atlantis, The Palm
One of the famous buildings on the Palm Island is definitely the luxury hotel Atlantis - The Palm*. It is located at the tip of the semicircle and was opened in 2008. The building, which is around 100 metres high, has 22 floors and provides its guests with over 1500 rooms and suites. With an area of 924 square metres, the bridge suite on the 22nd floor is the largest and also the most expensive accommodation in the building. There are 29 restaurants, bars and lounges to satisfy both small and large appetites. The hotel grounds, which also include the Aquaventure Aquapark and the Lost Chambers Aquarium, cover a total area of around 50 hectares. Hotel guests receive free day passes for access to both attractions.
- The Lost Chambers Aquarium
Supposed traces and ruins of the sunken city of Atlantis can be discovered in Dubai's largest aquarium. The lovingly designed Lost Chambers Aquarium, which is integrated into the Atlantis The Palm hotel, occupies large parts of the hotel resort and is home to around 65,000 marine creatures from around 250 species. With a capacity of 11 million litres of water, the so-called Ambassador Lagoon is the largest of the 21 aquariums. Here you can see rays and sharks, among other things. It is open daily from 10:00-21:00. Admission costs AED 115 for persons aged 8 and over. Admission is free for hotel guests. Parts of the aquarium can already be seen from the lobby, the hotel's shopping arcade, restaurants and some special suites.
Also part of the Atlantis The Palm hotel is the Aquaventure Waterpark next door, which is considered the world's largest water park and has several highlights to offer. A charming tropical landscape with numerous slides and other attractions has been created on a 22-hectare area. For example, the Trident Tower with a height of 48 metres and 12 slides, the 2.3-kilometre-long Lazy River, the 449-metre-long Schockwave family water slide, the world's highest vertical body slide and a 500-metre-long, fine-sand beach.
The Aquaventure Waterpark is open daily from 09:45-18:00. The cost of a day ticket starts at AED 299 per person, which is around 75 euros. Available lockers are from AED 35 and towels from AED 55. Admission to the water park is also free for hotel guests. Likewise, birthday children also receive free entry, but must register online in advance. Most of the slides are open for people with a height of at least 1.20 metres.
- Dubai Marina
South of the artificially created Palm Jumeirah is the modern and popular Dubai Marina district. The first work on the then completely new district began in 2003 with the construction of the approximately 4-kilometre-long canal, which is now home to the Marina Walk promenade with numerous shops, bars and restaurants. Additional shopping opportunities are offered by the shops in the Marina Mall. In addition to the new Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal, where mainly the ships of Carnival, AIDA Cruises* and Costa Cruises* moor, there are also numerous hotels and the extensive sandy beach JBR Beach, with a wide range of water sports. On the southern side of Dubai Marina, the world's largest Ferris wheel, the Ain Dubai, is located on the small offshore island of Bluewaters Island.
- JBR Beach
A wide, fine sandy and also popular section of beach stretches along Dubai Marina. JBR Beach, also known as Marina Beach, slopes gently into the Arabian Sea, lies at the foot of the Jumeirah Beach Residences (JBR) and has a beautiful beach promenade with cafés, restaurants and shops. There are also water sports facilities, showers, toilets and sun loungers and umbrellas available from AED 110 per day. JBR Beach is about 3.5 kilometres from the Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal. It takes about 40 to 45 minutes each way to walk this distance along the marina. By taxi, it is only a short drive.
- Ain Dubai
The world's largest Ferris wheel is currently located in front of the Dubai Marina on Bluewater Island. Opening for the first time on 21 October 2021, it offers visitors an impressive view from a height of 260 metres, with a view of the Palm Jumeirah island and cruise terminal and the skyline of the adjacent district. On a clear day, the view from the Ain Dubai extends all the way downtown to the Burj Khalifa. The enormous wheel has a diameter of 250 metres and rotates its air-conditioned cabins continuously. A total of 1750 people can be transported at the same time.
A circumnavigation takes 38 minutes and a ride is available from AED 130 per person. Due to the high demand, however, tickets are rarely available at short notice. You should plan and book in advance. The Ferris wheel is open Tuesday and Wednesday from 10:00-21:00, and from Thursday to Sunday from 12:00-21:00. Mondays are usually closed. At the foot of the Ain Dubai there are numerous restaurants, cafés and a wide variety of shops. Among other things, a waxwork exhibition by Madame Tussauds can be visited here.
- Barasti Beach
Not far from the new cruise port is the small Barasti Beach, which is very popular with young people. It belongs to the beach bar of the same name, has a beautiful pool area and is usually well filled from dusk onwards. Sports events are shown here on a big screen and live music is played. If you like, you can enjoy a cocktail and/or a good meal. Barasti Beach is free of charge, open daily from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and about 1.8 kilometres from the Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal, a 25-minute walk.
- Sufouh Beach
The shallow Sufouh Beach, also known as Black Palace Beach or Secret Beach, stretches over a length of around 2.5 kilometres. Supervised by lifeguards, it is located almost centrally between the Palm Jumeirah and the luxury hotel Burj al Arab. Sanitary facilities, sun loungers, parasols, water sports activities, bars and restaurants are not to be found on the largely natural beach, which is up to 150 metres wide. But there is always enough space to spread out your own beach towel*. If you are running with a rental car*, you can park it in the large adjacent car park.
- Burj al Arab
Near Sufouh Beach, the world-famous luxury hotel Burj al Arab stands on a small island off the coast. With a total height of 321 metres and an impressive 180-metre-high atrium, it was ceremoniously opened in 1999. The hotel has 202 suites ranging in size from 169 to 780 square metres, spread out over a total of 60 floors. In addition to the sail-shaped construction, the strikingly protruding restaurant at a height of 200 metres also catches the eye, from which one has a super view of the Persian Gulf and Dubai's coastline. Access to the Burj al Arab is only possible by booking a suite or a table reservation in one of the restaurants or the Sky View Bar.
- Wild Wadi Water Park
Located on the mainland and almost next to the Burj Al Arab is the Wild Wadi Waterpark. It covers an area of around 50,000 square metres and offers its visitors over 30 attractions in 23 water pools. Among other things, there are partly interconnected slides, a wave pool and, for the little ones, the children's area Juha's Dhow and Lagoon. The catering facilities in the water park offer guests a wide selection of food and drinks for which there is an extra charge.
Entrance fees are AED 299 for people over 1.10 metres tall. Smaller people pay AED 249 and are not allowed to use all the slides. Towels can be rented for AED 39 and lockers as well. These cost between AED 39 and AED 69, depending on the size. Wild Wadi Water Park is open Wednesday to Monday from 10:00-18:00. Tuesday is a day of rest and therefore closed. Hotel guests of the Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Burj Al Arab may enter the water park free of charge.
- Mall of the Emirates
Located in the middle of the city on Sheikh Zayed Road, this is currently the second largest shopping mall in the city. The Mall of the Emirates has a sales area of around 223,000 square metres, spread out over 400 shops, boutiques and restaurants. Here you will find shops of all kinds, from local suppliers to internationally operating designer brands. The shopping temple worth seeing has a metro station of the same name and is open daily from 10:00-01:00.
- Ski Dubai
As part of the Mall of the Emirates, an 85-metre-high indoor ski slope with a total capacity for up to 1,500 people was opened in 2005. Ski Dubai covers an area of 22,500 square metres and offers its visitors five slopes with a total length of 1500 metres all year round. The longest run is over 400 metres. There are also 3 ski lifts, a ski school and a 3,000 square metre snow park for sledding.
The air temperatures in the hall are just below freezing. At night, when new snow is produced, they go down to -7 degrees Celsius. Open Monday to Friday from 10:00-24:00, and on Saturday and Sunday from 09:00-24:00. During the high season, adults pay 305 AED for a day ticket and children 280 AED each. If a two-hour stay is enough for you, you have to pay AED 220.
- More beaches
Along the coastline between the Burj al Arab and the Dubai Water Canal, there is a string of other publicly accessible and popular beaches. Among them are Umm Suqeim Beach (also Sunset Beach), the extensive Kite Beach and Jumeirah Beach. As a rule, a wide variety of water sports activities are offered there, sunbeds with parasols can sometimes be rented and restaurants are often not far away.
- Dubai Frame
About 7 kilometres north of the Burj Khalifa, or after a 10-minute taxi ride, is the spacious Zabeel Park. There, at the edge of the well-kept park grounds, you will come across the impressive Dubai Frame at the Stargate Formation. The eye-catching, gold-coloured picture frame was opened in January 2018 and rises a full 150 metres into the sky with its two towers. In between sits a 93-metre-long bridge with huge window fronts and a 25-square-metre milky glass floor runs down the middle. The interesting thing is that when you step onto the glass, the veil disappears and you get a crystal-clear view downwards.
The glass panorama lifts take 75 seconds in each direction to go up and later back down. On the ground floor there is a small souvenir shop and the integrated museum provides interesting information about Dubai's past, present and future. The Dubai Frame is open daily from 09:00-21:00. For admission, people aged 12 and over pay AED 50 each and children aged 3 to 11 are included for a payment of AED 30. Younger children and adults over the age of 60 are admitted free of charge.
- Dubai Garden Glow
In the south of the Dubai Frame is another, albeit somewhat smaller, park. It is connected to Zabeel Park via a footbridge and houses the Dubai Garden Glow, which is a popular destination especially in the evening hours. The area is divided into 5 sections and includes the Glow Park with over 10 million installed LEDs, the Dino Park with over 120 replica and partly animated dinosaurs from the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, the Ice Park with numerous impressive ice sculptures, the Magic Park with 3D artworks and optical illusions, and the Art Park with artistically designed exhibits.
From 1 November to 31 May, the facility is open daily from 16:00-23:00. One hour longer on Saturday. Admission to the Dubai Garden Glow costs AED 65 per person. This includes the areas of the Dinosaur Park and the Art Park. However, there is an additional charge for entry to the Ice Park at AED 40 each and the Magic Park at AED 45 each. Children under 3 years of age are always free of charge.
- Dubai Creek and Old Town
Dubai's old town is divided by the natural and approximately 14-kilometre-long Dubai Creek into the two districts of Bur Dubai and Deira, which in turn exude the old charm of the former fishing village. Between the historic houses, there are partly narrow and winding alleys, where there is often a lively atmosphere. Here, the traditional souks open around 08:00 in the morning with a rich offer of gold jewellery, textiles, spices and perfume. You will also find a few restaurants and cafés. On the water, on the other hand, there are always numerous wooden water taxis. For just one AED, you can reach the other side of Dubai Creek with these so-called Abras. However, they usually only start when all available seats are taken. You should pay with cash and if possible in cash.
- Dubai Museum
There is an interesting museum about the history of Dubai's origins in the middle of the old town. The Dubai Museum is located in the historic Al Fahidi Fort, which dates back to 1787 and is the oldest building in the city. The exhibition shows quite clearly the development of the early settlement by the Bedouins who once lived here, up to today's vibrant metropolis. The exhibition is open daily from 09:00-18:00 and admission is AED 5 per person.
- Deep Dive Dubai
Around 11 kilometres, or 15-20 minutes by car south of the Burj Khalifa, is the NAS Sports Complex in the Nad Al Sheba district. In the 1500 square metre diving centre there, the world's deepest pool/diving tower was created with a depth of 60 metres. Deep Dive Dubai has thus made it into the Guinness Book of Records. The circular pool has a diameter of 10 metres and a capacity of 14 million litres of water, which are kept at a constant temperature of 30 degrees Celsius.
Divers can explore the replica of a sunken city on several levels and take a break at two underwater stations at a depth of 6 and 21 metres. For the safety of divers, the facility has been equipped with 56 cameras. There is also a souvenir shop and an 80-seat restaurant with large windows overlooking the pool. Diving, photo and film equipment can be rented on site.
The costs vary greatly. Snorkelling tours, for example, start at 400 AED and for diving courses you can budget 4000, 5000 or 6000 AED depending on the level of difficulty. For dives, you pay 1800, 2400 or 3000 AED including equipment and instruction, depending on the package you choose. For certified divers, guided dives up to 30 metres depth are available for 1200 AED, and up to 60 metres depth for 1500 AED. Open daily from 09:00-18:00. After a dive, you should wait up to 24 hours before reaching heights of over 300 metres, such as the viewing platforms of the Burj Khalifa, due to pressure differences.
- Global Village
Further south is the Global Village shopping and entertainment park. Although smaller, it is still somewhat similar to the World Expo, which takes place every 5 years, with over 75 countries presenting themselves in more than 30 pavilions. Culinary specialities from all over the world are on offer in more than 23 restaurants and cafés. In addition to the park entrance fee of AED 15 per person, there are other costs for using the attractions. For example, for the more than 170 rides, games and attractions of the internal Carnaval fair.
However, the live shows and events that take place are included in the admission price. For example, every Friday evening from 9 pm there is a free concert on the open-air main stage. Not infrequently with internationally known artists. Global Village is impressively illuminated after sunset and is open daily from 18:00-02:00 at night from the end of October until the beginning of May. Tuesdays are reserved exclusively for families and ladies.
- IMG Worlds of Adventure
Not far from the Global Village is the site of IMG Worlds of Adventure. This is currently the largest indoor theme park in the world. The air-conditioned theme park with a large cinema, as well as its Marvel, Cartoon Network, Lost Valley - Dinosaur Adventure and IMG Boulevard themed areas, covers an area of 140,000 square metres and can accommodate 20,000 visitors. It is open daily from 12:00-22:00. From Friday to Sunday, the park closes one hour later at 23:00. For small luggage, lockers are available in three sizes, which can be used for AED 45, 55 and 60 daily rent. Admission is AED 335 per person. Children under 1.05 metres tall are admitted free of charge.
- Dubai Parks and Resorts
In the southwest of Dubai and a few kilometres from the second palm island Palm Jebel Ali, a huge theme park spreads out with a total of over 100 rides. Dubai Parks and Resorts is a cooperation between the three theme parks Motingate™ Dubai, BollywoodParks™ Dubai and Legoland Dubai, and as a fourth part the Legoland Waterpark. All 4 areas can be visited independently and individually for a payment of AED 330 each. A discount is available with a day pass for two parks, for which you then have to pay AED 395.
Please note, however, that the opening hours vary in some cases. The Motingate™ Dubai is open daily from 12:00-20:00 and until 21:00 on Friday and Saturday, and the BollywoodParks™ Dubai is open daily from 15:00-23:00. Legoland Dubai, on the other hand, opens daily from 10:00-18:00, with an additional hour of extended opening on Friday to Sunday until 19:00. Similarly, Legoland Water Park welcomes visitors from Thursday to Tuesday from 10:00-18:00. However, it is closed on Wednesday.
- Dubai Miracle Garden
Around 20 kilometres and about 20 minutes by car from the Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal, there is a 72,000 square metre flower garden. Between November and May, the Dubai Miracle Garden is in full bloom and presents over 150 million flowers from around 120 species. As a special feature, many of them are shaped into various sculptures or attached to various surfaces. For example, you can see a planted Airbus A380. During the winter season, the park is open daily from 09:00-21:00, and on Saturday and Sunday until 22:00. Admission is AED 55 per person. Children aged 3 to 12 pay AED 40 and children under 3 are admitted free of charge.
- Dubai Butterfly Garden
Almost directly next door, you come across a building complex with ten domes. This spreads over an area of around 6700 square metres and houses the Dubai Butterfly Garden, which is one of the largest covered butterfly gardens in the world. Around 15,000 butterflies of various sizes and colours live and move here, again from over 50 species. Visitors receive interesting information about the individual life stages here. The Dubai Butterfly Garden is open daily from 09:00-18:00 and the entrance fee is AED 55 per person.
- Excursion portals and excursion providers
Via the tour and excursion providers GetYourGuide*, Meine Landausflüge* and Viator*, you can book various excursions, activities, tours, tickets and entrance fees in Dubai, which are often offered at much lower prices than comparable excursions by the shipping companies. Thus, if you book in time, you can realise a variety of excursions on your own.
A small pre-selection of shipping company-independent excursion offers
for, in and around Dubai,
can be found under Excursions on your own.
- Cruises and offers
If you have not yet booked an Orient cruise, but would like to get to know Dubai personally and take excursions on your own, you will find great offers from the major cruise operators in the German-speaking world. Aida*, Costa* and Tui Cruises - Mein Schiff* offer charming itineraries with their modern cruise ships, along with other interesting destinations. Book your next dream holiday directly with your favourite cruise line at fair conditions.
All ocean and river cruises can also be booked conveniently and inexpensively online with the cruise specialist Kreuzfahrten-Zentrale Astoria*. You can choose from a wide range of daily offers from various shipping companies. These include AIDA Cruises, Carnival, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean and TUI Cruises. The popular special offers are also attractive, with which you can travel particularly cheaply and possibly also get a great bargain.
- Museum opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 10:00-18:00
- Post office opening hours: Monday to Thursday from 09:00-17:30, Friday from 09:00-12:15 and from 14:00-17:30.
- Bank opening hours: Saturday to Wednesday from 08:00-13:00. Thursday from 08:00-12:00.
- Tourist information opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 09:00-21:00.
- Shop opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 10:00-22:00 hrs.
- Country code: +971
- Taxi Dubai: Tel. +971 42 08 08 (Dubai Taxi Agency)
- Police: Tel. 999
- Emergency doctor: Tel. 998
- Fire brigade: Tel. 997
- Vaccination recommendation: Tropical Institute United Arab Emirates
- German Embassy: Consulate General, Street 14 A, Jumeirah I, Dubai
- Safety advice: United Arab Emirates Foreign Office
- Public transport: RTA Dubai
- Metro: RTA Dubai
- Tram: RTA Dubai
- Bus network: RTA network map
- City map: Dubai Map
- Map: Dubai Map
- Climate chart: Dubai Climate
- Port Occupancy: Cruise ships in Dubai
- Webcam: Dubai
- Travel guide: Dubai*
- Official language: Arabic
- Everyday language: English
- National currency: UAE Dirham, 1 AED = 100 Fils
- Exchange rate: 1 AED corresponds to around 0.25 EUR
More port information of popular cruise destinations in the Orient