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Few questions...travelling first time to Dubai?

Bengaluru, India
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Few questions...travelling first time to Dubai?

Hi...I am visiting Dubai first time in September (we are 2 families with 3 year old kids) & needed suggestions to better plan my trip.

Few questions:

a. For city tours, is Red bus trip better than taking a cab? Are all Red buses air conditioned? In case of Red bus, is it better to take 24hr or 48hr ticket?

b. For desert safari, is Arabian Adventures a good option or organising thru hotel be a better option?

c. Is Atlantis/Dolphin Bay a good place for kids (all of us are non-swimmers) or Dubai underwater zoo? Any other places good for kids entertainment?

d. Which malls/ areas are prominent for shopping gold (apart from gold souk) & electronics/ clothes etc (for good bargain deals)?

e. Any places at short distance from main city worth for half day tour?

f. Key attractions/ places which remain closed on Friday?

Regards,

Aditya

Dublin, Ireland
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1. Re: Few questions...travelling first time to Dubai?

I've only experienced c.

I can't swim and I did dolphin encounter which is in shallow water for non swimmers. There was a couple in our group with a 3-6 month old baby and it was no problem.

I also enjoyed the waterpark. I like fast rides once I don't end up in water above 6ft (my height). A lot if rides are on inflatables and the ones that are not land in shallow water.

Dubai, United Arab...
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2. Re: Few questions...travelling first time to Dubai?

a) The city bus tour is an overview of Dubai highlights, runs from about 9 am to 5 pm for the day trip; similar one for the night trip. These are hop-on-off type, within the time range. You have not mentioned how many days you are planning. If it is like at least 4-5 days, you do not need this Bus trip, since most places you can go direct by yourself. It is felt the Bus Tour is not worth the cost paid.

b) Arabian Adventures are one of the more reputed Tour operators, and their offer of Desert Safari would be above average. That said, D/S is something you can purchase at competitive rates even after you arrive, and not necessary to book through hotels. You can choose per your budget.

c) No need to know swimming to enjoy the water parks at Atlantis. Are you referring also to the Underwater Zoo, part of Dubai Aquarium at Dubai Mall? No need swimming here. Other suggested fun areas for kids - Dolphinarium in Dubai Creek Park; Wild Wadi waterpark (right next to Burj Al Arab); Kidzania (Dubai Mall). And many malls have kids play areas.

d) Malls are not the best place for gold bargains, only the souk. In any case, gold price is standard everywhere on a given day (or even hour), just the making charge varies. Deals for electronics are available at various places in the souks or malls (standard electronic shops are Sharaf DG, EMax, Plugin, Jumbo, Jackeys, and so on. you can check out the websites). A word of caution regarding smart phones, or Tabs - you may not always get a better deal in Dubai than in India. You need to really compare this yourself. Clothes - you have the option of getting international products at reasonable prices. You can go to Textile souk or malls or many other places in Satwa, or Karama. Choice is limitless.

e) Dubai is not a large city, most places are easily reachable by taxi. If you read through many posts to the right of your screen, you can pick up short tours. A few that come to mind for half day are - Bur Dubai Museum, Creek and Souks; or Deira Spice and Gold souks combined with an Abra ride; Jumeira beach or beach park; Mamzar beach park; Creek Park, Zabeel Park, Mushrif Park (suggesting several parks because of your kids especially; they would love a picnic there); Souk Madinat Jumeira; Ski Dubai at Mall of Emirates;

f) Museum and some of the traditional souks would remain closed for the morning, but everything is up and running after 4 pm. Other attractions are open from 10 am all days. All Malls and bigger supermarkets are open all days.

If you mention where you stay, and number of days, the forum can provide more suggestions.

Bengaluru, India
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3. Re: Few questions...travelling first time to Dubai?

Thanks Vasu8. We are visiting for 6 nights & staying at Grand Hyatt. Please suggest best way to plan sight seeing which covers most of key places to visit? Is taxi more expensive way of sight seeing or not?

Bengaluru, India
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4. Re: Few questions...travelling first time to Dubai?

Does following Itinerary look doable for 6N/D trip. Any suggestions to improve this itinerary would be much appreciated?

Day 1: Arrive at Dubai at 1 pm. Visit Madinat Jumeirah beach, JBR in the evening.

Day 2: Atlantis water park

Day 3: Dubai Mall, Dhow cruise

Day 4: Mall of Emirates, Desert Safari

Day 5: Burj Khalifa & Dolphinarium in Dubai Creek Park

Day 6: Gold souk/ Textile/ Spice souk & Burj al Arab evening tea

Day 7: Checkout hotel (not sure what we can do after checkout till evening)

Thanks.

5. Re: Few questions...travelling first time to Dubai?

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Dubai, United Arab...
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6. Re: Few questions...travelling first time to Dubai?

@Aditya1978 - Yes doable. Madinat Jumeira is a shopping centre of sorts with a waterfront, not a beach area. Of course there is a beach right along Burj Al Arab and this MJ, but you cannot access it from here unless you stay in one of the hotels in this area. From Grand Hyatt the best way is to take cabs, and you may need two because of the size of your group - note only 4 passengers max in a standard cab. Other option is to hire a minivan for each day so you can all travel together.

Dubai Mall has Burj Khalifa within, so you can consider doing these in one day - but splitting in two days also gives you the opportunity to visit the mall twice.

Try to squeeze in a walk through Meena Bazaar/Al Fahidi Street and a visit to Dubai Museum. The museum is good and highly recommended for visitors.

7. Re: Few questions...travelling first time to Dubai?

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