Fun Facts about Dubai: In my eyes as a tourist

I am fortunate to have visited Dubai for 4 times since 2014. Ever we since discovered Emirates airline, it has been our top airline choice to visit my homeland, the Philippines. And, as a side trip, to visit the modern and beautiful city of Dubai. My aunt, one of my mother´s younger sisters, and her family are always generous and gracious to accommodate us in their home. Yes, Dubai is expensive and if we can save on lodging to continue to appreciate and experience its beauty and magic, we will gladly do so. Plus, it´s always a blessing to connect and spend time with our loved ones. I have previously shared some fun facts about Dubai on my blog where I described our 4th visit to Dubai.

We have visited Dubai on December 2014 (winter), April 2019 (spring), July 2022 (summer and post covid pandemic). The most recent one, November 2023 (autumn). I can say that our trips have covered the 4 seasons and we have seen the continuous transformation in Dubai.

In this post, I would like to share with you some fun facts about Dubai, in my eyes as a tourist.

Fun Facts about Dubai In my eyes as a tourist | Multicultural Kid Blogs
1. Dubai is an emirate in the United Arab Emirates and is known for high end lifestyle and luxury shopping.

That is a typical outsider point of view. As someone who has visited Dubai for 4 times and who has family/relatives living in it, I can tell you that there is more to Dubai than its high end shopping complexes.

2. Dubai is a melting pot, an equal opportunity employer and a haven for expatriates, foreigners and migrants.

English is the primary language which facilitates communication and understanding among its habitants. Even if Dubai is primarily a Muslim country, other religious groups can freely practice their beliefs. Ramadan is religiously observed and practiced and is respected by all people, the same way that Christmas is celebrated and observed. For migrants and expatriates living there, there are a lot of international schools where the children can enroll and gain access to education. As a general practice and as respect to the Muslim tradition and culture, alcoholic drinks are served and are available in registered, select hotels/areas. Dubai serves as a second home to many of my countrymen, who have flown to Dubai for greener pastures. Many Filipinos are employed in Dubai. Thank you Dubai for the professional opportunities that you give to my countrymen!

3. The rich fusion of culture and races living in Dubai is evident in the gastronomic experiences that you can access.

The choices are very varied, from the affordable and budget friendly food court concessionaires and to the upscale, high-end restaurants. Nobu, access to the variety of Asian, Mediterranean, American and European dishes are at the palm of our hands. And yes, but it depends on your budget. 😊

4. Dubai is continuously transforming.

Every tme I am awed with the continuous transformation of its vast land and the continuous beautiful, one of a kind, skyscrapers and contemporary architectures of its buildings. Dubai is home to the Burj Al Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. It is also the place where you can find the Burj Al Arab, the only 7-star hotel in the world. Just recently, it added new feathers to its cap with the launch of the Dubai Frame and the Museum of the Future, 2 iconic buildings, structures with eye catching and breathtaking designs! The office buildings construction and improvements are non-stop. When you go to Dubai, in some buildings, you will see prominent names such as EMAAR and DAMAC. They are some of the top contractors in the city.

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5. Fantastic shopping malls.

Dubai also boasts of its spacious shopping malls. Aside from their beautiful architecture they display all types of local and global brands. Some of these malls include the most famous Dubai Mall, the Dubai Marina Mall and Ibn Batuta Mall. The Atlantis Royal is a luxury resort hotel, shopping mall and tourist attraction rolled into one. The Atlantis has an indoor, big aquarium which serves as an attraction for the guests and the shoppers who are in the lobby for a quick drink!

The Dubai Mall gives you access to the Burj Al Khalifa and the enchanting dancing fountain! The dancing fountain is a scheduled spectacle which takes place every 15 minutes. It showcases the choreography of the fountain with famous music on the background. The water literally forms structures and dances to the beat of the background music. It is an eye-catching spectacle that literally keeps on your feet and takes your breath away! You must see it to appreciate it!

On another note, it is important to note that the water closet/WC, toilets for people with special needs are described as People with Determination. These are toilet cubicles with signages for people with special needs and is to be taken seriously. People who do not fall into this category are encouraged to not use this cubicle. I witnessed a custodian and a mall personnel reprimand a client who used this cubicle intended for People with Determination. So, when you are in Dubai, please take this into account.

6. The Desert Safari, the Dubai Marina Yacht/Cruise and the Visit to the Gold Souq.

I would like to share with you some tourist experiences which are best lived in Dubai. These are the Desert Safari, the Dubai Marina Yacht/Cruise and the Visit to the Gold Souq.

It is a fact that a considerable land area of Dubai is desert. Thus it´s but just fitting that the desert is maximized to offer one-of-a-kind experience to its tourists, thus the Desert Safari! There are many companies organizing desert safari trips and mostly, they are reliable. I had the pleasure to enjoy the desert experience on my last visit, November 2023 and yes, it was worth the wait! It is a 3-hour experience comprised of pick-up from your place to the actual desert where you can experience the sand dunes, camel ride, desert show which includes traditional dance, fire dance and the belly dance, a traditional Mediterranean dinner and a drop-off to the point of origin. Other available desert experience services but with an extra cost are sand boarding, falcon interaction, quad driving and the purchase of accessories.

If you want to see and experience the skyscrapers of Dubai, one of the best ways to do it is through the Dubai Marina Cruise/Yacht. This is 90-minute cruise ride and is high demand, so it pays to schedule in advance. The choices range from a small speed boat to accommodate 3 guests and to yachts which can accommodate a maximum of 30 guests. The payment includes 90-minute cruise ride, music, drinks and crew service (3 people) including the driver. This is a calming experience as you get a beautiful view of the Dubai skyline.

If you think you´ve seen gold in your life, wait until you visit the Gold Souq. Souq is a term which means market. Dubai is known to have its a gold market and gold industry which is very regulated. So the sellers are trustworthy and the gold items are of good quality. Prices are competitive compared to the American and European gold.

7. Living the Dubai life.

I mentioned earlier that in all our 4 trips to Dubai, my aunt´s family has hosted us. From them, we see the day-to-day life of a typical expat family in Dubai. They are happy and contented with the safety and opportunities that Dubai gives them. My uncle is a professional Doctor and my cousin is a store manager in an international luxury brand. Even if Dubai has sophisticated metro/subway system and accessible bus/public transportation system, it is practical to drive and own a car in Dubai so you have more liberty to move around.

Taxis are also available and are affordable, as well. Salary is competitive and cost of living is reasonable. They are informed if there are sandstorms and during the scorching summer heat, houses, apartments are equipped with centralized air conditioning units and workers dedicated in the construction are asked to pause from 10h until 17h so they can be protected from lethal summer heat which can reach to 50º. The cabins of the onsite construction workers are also airconditioned.

8. Weekend in Dubai.

Friday is observed as a weekend in Dubai, so it’s a no school day and rest day and people enjoy a quiet family time in the mall, or if the weather is good, a family picnic in the park or a swim in the common pool of the residential buildings, apartments or a quick side trip in the nearby cities such as Abu Dhabi. The scenic spots, the security and opportunities that Dubai offers and the wide variety of things to do make up for the homesickness. Thus, it is a home away from home. And I am happy to share with your fun facts about Dubai from my own perspective.

I hope I was able to make you smile as much as I did recall my beautiful Dubai experiences while writing this short piece. Thank you and until the next time, Dubai!

We hope you enjoyed Fun Facts about Dubai! This post is a part of our Fun Facts Series!
Here are some more posts on the United Arab Emirates:
10 Facts about the United Arab Emirates
7 Tips for Learning to Love the New Place You Move To

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Isay Cabugon is a proud mom to her only son. She was born and raised in the Philippines and is now residing in Madrid, Spain with her family. She supports bilingual upbringing, co-sleeping and spoiling kids with so much love and attention, as part of her motherhood journey. On the side, she enjoys her corporate life as a PMO/project and programme management expert.

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