Dubai it is known worldwide for its grandiose buildings, its luxurious hotels and the urban landscapes that appear like a mirage in the middle of the desert. Gisela, from the profile @giselacarvalho stayed 5 days in the most important commercial and tourist center in the Gulf region, and reports his experience in the city.

When I heard about Dubai, the first thought that came to me was the famous skyscrapers, and they are indeed a major attraction of the city, but Dubai goes far beyond that.

Photo: @giselacarvalho

How to get to Dubai

Read too " Os 100 lugares mais lindos para viajar no Brasil

There are several airlines flying to Dubai. We opted for Emirates to take advantage of the opportunity and fly the largest commercial aircraft in the world, the A380, on a direct flight from Guarulhos. But there are infinitely cheaper options.

The tip is: choose your seat in a window on the right side of the plane. Day or night, arriving in the city is a true city tour, and it already makes you excited about what lies ahead, even before you land. The plane passes very close to the big Burj Khalifa and also over the Palm tree (maybe your only opportunity to see it from above), it's fantastic!

When to go to Dubai

Undoubtedly the best time is “winter” (which is not cold at all), from December to March. December and January are the busiest months, so we decided on March and made the right choice. Beautiful sunny days and very pleasant temperature, blue sky and fresh wind, with an average temperature of 23°C. In summer it is said to be unbearable, it often exceeds 40°C.

Note: It is important to check the time of Ramadan and avoid it.

Where to stay in Dubai

The hotel options are endless, and for all budgets and tastes. I particularly believe that it is worth investing in a nice hotel, they are an attraction in their own right in Dubai. I chose the brand new Central Channel, opened less than 1 year ago. A 5 star hotel with an excellent location, very central, and overlooking the tallest building in the world. It is good to remember that Dubai is a VERY expensive city, so even a simple hotel will cost much more than a simple hotel in Brazil.

Photo: @giselacarvalho

Photo: @giselacarvalho

Photo: @giselacarvalho

Photo: @giselacarvalho


Brazilians can enter, leave and move freely through their respective territories for a period of up to 90 days every 12 months, without bureaucracy or payment of fees.

 how to get around

Taxi in Dubai is cheap and easy to get from the street, so it was our choice. We were a family, in a group of 7 people, and we always took a minivan-style taxi that accommodated all of us. It came out great.


The local currency is DIRHAM (AED), but the dollar is accepted in many establishments. We took everything in dollars and exchanged it to dirham there.

*It is good to research the dollar exchange rate at the exchange offices there before going.

What to do in Dubai

Dubai, contrary to what I thought, has numerous attractions. We stayed 5 full days and maybe it would have been worth staying 1 more.

Jump with a parachute

The very first and which I consider unmissable for the most courageous is the parachute jump over the palm tree. One of the most fantastic experiences in life! What a view! How exciting! we did it with SkyDive Dubai and cost 2,200 dirhams per person (about R$ 2,356.00), with photos and video included. Trust me, it's worth every penny! In addition to the experience itself, the company is extremely organized and punctual, I was impressed with the structure of the place. It is important to book in advance through their website (half of the payment is made at the time of booking).

Schedule the jump for the first few days of your trip, because if it gets canceled due to bad weather (and this happens often) you still have a few days left to try to reschedule.

In summer they are closed for about 3 months due to the unfavorable weather conditions for jumping. One more reason not to go to Dubai in the summer. LOL.

Photo: @giselacarvalho

Miracle Garden

a beautiful and huge garden with Disney characters, bears, and even an airplane all made of flowers and leaves, so beautiful! Value: 50 dirhams per person.

Photo: @giselacarvalho

Dubai Mall

The biggest mall in the world. As much as you don't intend to spend your time at the mall, trust me, you will end up there a few times. LOL. Many of the attractions have entrance inside it and others are located in its surroundings. We went about 4 or 5 times and still didn't know the whole mall, it's so out of this world! There you will find the main stores from all over the world, but make no mistake, the prices are not at all attractive.

Dubai Aquarium

The largest aquarium in the world is located inside the Dubai Mall and most of it can be seen for free from the outside. If you've never visited an aquarium before, it's definitely worth a visit. Otherwise, the outside is enough. Value: 170 dirhams per person.

Dubai Fountain

It is located in Burj Park (access through Dubai Mall as well). The dancing water show takes place every 30 minutes every day, starting at 6pm. We watched it a few times, as each performance is with a different song, but the most impactful was the first one, with Adele's Skyfall playing. I got emotional how beautiful it was!

Photo: @giselacarvalho

Dubai Marina

The place is very beautiful and pleasant to walk around. It has several restaurants and also a mall.

Photo: @giselacarvalho

Gold Souk

The gold market is located in Old Dubai, far from the city, and is well worth a visit. Leave to buy gold, scarves, souvenirs etc at this market. It's much cheaper than anywhere else in the city. Note: in this particular market, it is recommended for women to wear pants or long dresses and covered shoulders. I've heard several reports of women who felt embarrassed by male gazes because they were wearing shorts/skirts or off the shoulder.

Photo: @giselacarvalho

Atlantis The Palm

The famous and wonderful hotel is located in Palmeira and has its own water park and beach club. We chose to spend the day at the beach club, Nasimi Beach, and it was delicious! Green, calm and cold water. LOL. We ordered rosé wine (which can only be sold/served after noon) and spent the morning enjoying the beach. Value: 150 dirhams of consummation for men (women do not pay).

Photo: @giselacarvalho

Photo: @giselacarvalho

Burj Khalifa

Climbing the tallest building in the world (160 floors) is a must. The entrance is from inside the Dubai Mall and there is the option of going up to the observatory on the 124th and 125th floors (from 140 dirhams) or up to the 148th floor (from 370 dirhams). We chose the first option and I believe it was enough, it's so high that 20 more floors wouldn't make much difference. LOL. We went at dusk and waited to watch the sunset from up there, very beautiful. This is the busiest time (and also the most expensive – 205 dirhams), so it is important make a reservation through their website in advance, as places are limited. There is the option of having dinner in their restaurant also with the right to the observatory.

Photo: @giselacarvalho

Dubai Frame

A frame of 150 meters, incredibly beautiful! Entrance costs 50 dirhams and entitles you to go up and walk on its glass floor. From up there you can see Old Dubai on one side and New Dubai on the other, a very interesting contrast.

Photo: @giselacarvalho

Burj Al Arab

The only 7 star hotel in the world. To get to know it, just make a reservation at one of its restaurants. The cheapest would be a brunch, which would cost around 500 dirhams per person. Therefore, we chose to see it only from the outside, visiting its public beach.

Photo: @giselacarvalho

Arabian Tea House

THE Arabian Tea House very traditional local food restaurant, and beyond charming. Delicious food and outstanding service! The suggestion is to order several mini portions of different dishes, to taste a little bit of everything.

Photo: @giselacarvalho

Photo: @giselacarvalho

Desert Safari

This was the most anticipated tour of the trip. We went with Arabian Adventures and we love! You book through the website, choose the day and time and they pick you up at the hotel, in a 4×4, and take you to the desert. The tour starts with a very fun rally on the dunes, 2 stops are made to enjoy and photograph the desert (I thought this part was quite rushed, I wish I had more time) and then they take you to the Camp for dinner. A wonderful camp, with a mega-structure, all lit by torches, with huge Persian rugs spread across the sand, local music, delicious typical food and well served on low tables with lots of cushions, in a very cozy atmosphere. Some camels are outside the Camp for us to go for a ride (it doesn't even last 5 minutes. lol). After dinner we watched a belly dancing show and then all the Camp lights were turned off for 5 minutes so that we could enjoy the starry sky of the desert in absolute darkness. Fantastic! Price: 290 dirhams per person (with transport, dinner and non-alcoholic drinks included).

Photo: @giselacarvalho

Photo: @giselacarvalho

Photo: @giselacarvalho

Burj Park

We stroll around the Burj Khalifa, passing by the fountain, Dubai Opera and Souk Al-Bahar. A very nice place to take a walk.

Photo: @giselacarvalho

Photo: @giselacarvalho

Indoor Ski

We didn't go, but I believe it to be a nice experience for those who have never skied.

Balloon ride in the desert

We didn't do this tour either, due to lack of time, but I imagine it must be beautiful

Boat ride

We were invited on a boat trip through the Hero OdySea but unfortunately it was canceled due to strong wind on the day and we didn't have another day available to reschedule. We wanted to do it to see Dubai from the sea (piloting our own boat), I believe it is very cool and fun, but that will be for the next time.

Dubai surprised me a lot! The city is beautiful, organized, safe, clean and still manages to be charming, even with so many works everywhere (it's practically impossible to take a picture without a crane showing up. lol). The truth is that making Dubai just a 1 or 2 day stopover is a huge waste, the city has so much more to offer.

We took advantage of the trip and stretched until Abu Dhabi, where we spent 2 days. But I will talk about this other city, capital of the United Arab Emirates, in a next post.

extra tips

Alcoholic beverage: Drinks are not sold in supermarkets or other easily accessible places. You can find it in restaurants and hotels, but at exorbitant prices (in our hotel the cheapest bottle of wine was 250 dirhams). So, for those who like to drink, it might be worth taking a few bottles in your suitcase (there is a limit allowed, it's good to check with your airline).

costumes: in Dubai you can dress as you wish, but it is important to take into account the religion and local customs. Avoid clothes that are too short / low-cut / too tight to the body. For women, a pashmina in the bag always saves time to cover the shoulders.

Purchases: Dubai is an extremely expensive city, above average. With the exception of a few stores that were on sale, everything was much more expensive than in Brazil. What was worth it were the electronics, which were very attractively priced.

It is important to follow the taxi driver's route using your GPS (and this goes for any city). In general we had no problems, but one day we took 2 separate taxis to the same place and one of the drivers took a longer ride with my father. I was alerted by the taxi driver who took us, and when my father arrived we only paid the amount that had been charged to us in the other taxi.

» Dubai tourism tips
» Discover Dubai's Giant Zipline
» 7 beautiful places to visit in the United Arab Emirates
» Dubai opens the world's tallest lounge at 545 meters

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