Solo Travel in Dubai
Dubai is a fascinating destination to visit. Below is our guide on solo travel Dubai including practical information such as what to do in Dubai alone, where to stay, which tour company to use and how to get around. Find out how to get from the airport and what to do in Dubai. All companies included have been recommended by solo female travellers and come with our Solo Female Friendly endorsement. Just choose the relevant section or read the full article.
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- About Dubai
- Dubai Tours
- Where To Stay in Dubai
- Getting Around Dubai
- Itinerary for Dubai
- Travel Guide To Dubai
- What To Pack For Dubai
- Best Time To Go To Dubai
- Travel Insurance For Dubai
- Airports in Dubai
- Travelling Onwards
- Questions about Dubai
- Map of Dubai
- Plan a Trip to Dubai
Solo Travel in Dubai
Travelling solo in Dubai is relatively easy but this glitzy city is more suited for a holiday than as part of a travelling route. That's why we've given it 3 out of 5 stars. Is Dubai safe for a woman travelling alone? Yes, Dubai is a cosmopolitan country with many nationalities, but you should respect the Islamic culture and cover up when you’re not on the beach.
As a traveller to Dubai, the laws here are very strict and public displays of affection are banned in public but generally anything goes within the hotels where you can drink alcohol and party until dawn. In the city itself it’s a different story as women only account for a quarter of the population so acting like a lady in public is essential.
Travel to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, and you'll discover gorgeous beaches, futuristic skyscrapers and year-round sunshine. Since the discovery of oil here in the 1960’s, Dubai has barely stopped building. Anything the rest of the world can do, Dubai tries to do it better; from the world’s tallest building to man-made islands shaped like the world, this millionaire's playground has everything and is scattered with pyramids, giant aquariums, a palm island, and the first indoor ski resort in the Middle East (Ski Dubai is found in the Mall of Emirates). It literally has all the tourist places you could ever need.
A ticket to this destination does not come without a hefty price tag. Dubai is not a usual destination that you’ll see on any round the world tickets. This Emirate is unique and brimming with first-class hotels but there is accommodation to be found for those on a more modest budget.
TIP – If you are planning things to do alone in Dubai, consider purchasing a Dubai Explorer Pass. Save up to 47% at 3, 4, 5 or 7 top attractions including the hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus. * Buy the Dubai Explorer Pass here
This Emirate state oozes opulence, even the airport has sparkling diamond columns). One of the top things to do in Dubai is shop. The shopping is amazing and you could spend a week just browsing the high street and designer stores. Many malls offer free shuttles to the larger hotels, or you can use the hop on hop off bus but you have to book a day ticket first.
Dubai is mainly known for its gold, and gold souks can be found in the malls or the Deira district. Discover the best place to shop in Dubai here. It's not just fashion shops that you'll find in the malls. Inside the Dubai Mall is the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, one of the world's largest suspended aquariums with sharks and rays. It's a Dubai must see.
One of the relaxing things to do in Dubai is spend time on the beach. No trip here is complete without a dip in the warm waters of the sea. Most hotels have their own section of private beach which you can pay to enter. Laze at the public beach of Jumeriah where you can watch the locals in their white robes playing volleyball.
The Burj Khalifa in Downtown Dubai is one of the best places to visit in Dubai. The Khalifa is the world’s tallest building and one of Dubai’s most iconic sights. Needless to say that you can get an amazing view of the city from the observation deck which stands at 555 metres.
If you’re looking for a classy venue to enjoy a cocktail, you can’t get better than the Sky Bar at the world’s most famous 7 star hotel – the Burj Al Arab. Designed as a sail, this unique hotel has a stunning lobby full of reds, golds and royal blues that will make you feel like a princess. Cocktails are expensive and there is a minimum spend but it is definitely worth the visit (and you get free dates thrown in!) Because of its exclusivity we recommend taking company with you.
Just along from the Burj is the Souk Madinat Jumeriah: Dubai’s own little Venice, where you can take a boat ride through the Dubai water canal and narrow waterways to the Arabian Market. A unique way to get here from the hotel is via beach buggy cruising along the sandy beach. Dubai Marina has great restaurants and bars and is vibrant at night. During the day you can go jet-skiing here or just admire the yachts before a spot of window shopping.
If all the modernity gets too much then take a trip back in time with a visit to the old part of the city. The museum is a refreshing escape from the modern skyscrapers on Sheikh Zayed Road and teaches you about the first Persian settlers and Dubai's pearl diving history. Browse the Dubai spice souk (market) for nose-tingling sensations then take a cruise on a traditional Dhow along Dubai Creek for a contrast of new and old.
The Emiratis love their camel racing and the Nad Al Sheba Camel Track can be found just outside the city but as betting is forbidden, it’s all about the taking part. If you want to try it for yourself, you can have your own ride on these galloping animals at the local camel farm.
When you want to escape the city, the Dubai desert is only a stone’s throw away. One of the best things to do in Dubai if you love adventure is to take an exhilarating 4WD drive desert safari, racing up and down the sandy dunes. If you're a cultural Girl about the Globe, one of the cultural things to do in Dubai is visit a Bedouin village for a glimpse of traditional nomadic life.
Other places to see in Dubai are: Dubai Zoo, the oldest zoo in the Arabian peninsula (skip the zoological gardens if you’re short on time:, Wild Wadi Water Park, one of the top tourist attractions for those seeking adventure, IMG Worlds of Adventure, the world's largest indoor theme park: and the impressive Jumeriah Mosque and Sheik Sied Palace.
With plans in the pipeline for a Universal style theme park and the world’s biggest shopping mall, who knows what tourist attractions in Dubai is coming next.
Visit Dubai during October to April for camel racing.
Although the sea looks calm be careful of the strong currents.
Dubai isn't a destination for overland adventure tour groups such as G Adventures or Intrepid but there are plenty of tours here. Here are our recommended tour companies for solo females:
- Big Bus Tours – This hop-on, hop-off bus is an easy way to get around Dubai. It includes a free cruise on a dhow, and free entry into the Atlantis Aquarium (which is amazing!) They also offer a night tour which is perfect for those wanting to explore the city safely at night.
- Dubai Private Tour– This company has 16 years experience and can arrange a city tour, desert safari or even a dinner cruise for your stay.
Get Your Guide– Get Your Guide helps you to find top-rated Dubai activities and Dubai attractions. Choose from Burj Khalifa tickets, a camel safari or a Dubai city tour visiting the Dubai Museum, a trip to Dubai Creek or a dhow dinner cruise. There are several to choose from and it’s really simple to use. Just check the reviews, price and availability then book online.
Where To Stay in Dubai
Known for its luxurious Dubai hotels such as the Burj Al Arab – classed as a 6 star hotel in Dubai, you may think that accommodation here will cost a small fortune but you can find reasonable accommodation if you are on a budget. There are hostels within the city and although they may not be close to the beach, they are easy access to some of the city’s sightseeing.
Dubai has so many hotels to choose from. Most of the accommodation here are hotels, from 1 star cheap hotel apartments in Dubai to 3 star ratings in the Deira district, or the luxurious 5 star hotels in Dubai along Jumeriah beach including the Raffles Dubai in Wafi Mall. You’ll also find apartments within the city.
Airbnb Dubai connects you to locals in Dubai which can be cheaper than staying in hotels and gives you the opportunity to meet locals too. You can save $20 off your first stay with this Airbnb link.
Homestay is an alternative to Airbnb. They connect you to hosts in over 160 countries and give a real homestay experience instead of just handing over keys. You can even video call your host family before you go to find the perfect host. Check homestays and prices here
All of the accommodation below have been recommended by solo female travellers from our Girls about the Globe community and come with a Solo Female Friendly endorsement.
Solo Favourite – Savoy Central Hotel Apartments
Situated in Dubai’s downtown these apartments are great value and come complete with a kitchen, health centre and a gym. Plus there’s room service too. Prices from just £52 p/n. Find Out More
Solo Favourite – Shangri-La Hotel
Gorgeous and chic with friendly staff, you can never go wrong with a Shangri-La Hotel. Prices from £111 p/n. Find Out More
Solo Favourite – Amwaj Rotana, Jumeirah Beach
If it’s beach, shopping and cuisine that you’re looking for Anwaj Rotana fits the bill. With 6 restaurants onsite and near the beach, this Dubai hotel is perfect. Prices from £120 p/n. Find Out More
Getting Around Dubai
Travelling in Dubai is easy with good public transportation. Buses run frequently from the airport to Deira bus station. The hop on hop off bus takes you to the old town and back to the new city and is a good way of getting your bearings.
Some hotels offer free Dubai transportation to the shopping district but there is also an extensive bus network. To see some of the tourist sights, Line 8 is a good route to take, or you can take the Dubai Tram that runs to Jumeirah Beach. The other bus lines may not be as frequent.
The Dubai metro is also easy to use. Most stations are above ground so it’s also a good way of seeing the city. The red line takes you to Deira City Centre. Dubai transportation costs from AED4 and tickets must be the Nol card which are also used on the tram and bus.
Most people take taxis here and you can hail a metered Dubai taxi anywhere. There is also Uber in Dubai, a popular taxi app where you request your journey through your mobile phone and pay through the app. If you visit the Palm Jumeirah, take the Palm monorail.
Plan for your journey around Dubai using the Wojhati travel planner app.
To hire a car we recommend pre-booking car hire with Avis so you can collect your car when you arrive at the airport.
Itinerary For Dubai
Dubai can be visited on a long weekend city break but as the flying time is 6 hours from the UK, it’s definitely worth staying at least four to five days. Below is a five day plan for things to do in Dubai alone.
Day One – Start the morning shopping in one of Dubai’s giant malls. Explore the aquarium or even go skiing inside one! Then head to the Burj Khalifa when you are all shopped out. Stroll around the grounds of the Burj Park then watch the Dubai Fountain, another of the tourist attractions in Dubai which puts on an show in the evening.
Day Two – Take a hop on hop us bus city tour and see the city to get your bearings then climb aboard a dhow for a river cruise along the creek, stopping at the old souks and pearl museum. Then relax in the afternoon on the beach. If your accommodation doesn’t have a beach, relax at Jumeriah Beach (the public beach).
Day Three – Continue the sightseeing in Dubai and discover Dubai’s Little Venice. Take a boat ride then spend some time at the Arabian Market before taking a buggy to the Burj Al Arab for a drink and some dates (of the cuisine kind) at the Sky Bar.
Day Four – Venture to Dubai’s man-made palm island. You can easily spend a day here at the Atlantis Palm, a gorgeous 5 star hotel with shops and first-class restaurants. Explore the Aquaventure Waterpark and take the ‘Leap of Faith,’ a 9-story tall mega-slide on a Mayan Temple. If you prefer to stay dry, wander around the Lost Chambers Aquarium (where you can also snorkel inside) and the Atlantis Room displaying artefacts from the fantasy world of Atlantis before having a drink at Nasimi Beach.
Day Five – Explore the desert landscape and take a 4WD desert safari through the sand dunes. Visit a Bedouin village to see their traditional nomadic life. In the afternoon visit the Sheik Sied Palace and Jumeriah Mosque.
Travel Guide To Dubai
If you need a guide book for your travels we recommend Rough Guides. Covering where to go and when to go, things not to miss, itineraries, getting around, festivals and events, history, and maps, they are amongst the most comprehensive guides on the market. If you prefer Lonely Planet Dubai click here for all Check prices on Amazon
If you are planning on travelling a solo trip to Dubai, the Rough Guide to Dubai covers topics such as: book your trip, accommodation, getting there, getting around, food and drink, and travel essentials. They also include Dubai tourist attractions, shopping, eating and entertainment so you can maximise your time and know exactly where to go.
What To Pack For Dubai
If you’re unsure what to pack for Dubai, we have created a guide of our favourite solo travel products to help you decide what to pack. One of our favourite travel products for Dubai is P20 suntan lotion. Dubai gets really hot so P20 is perfect if you are planning to be out all day as you only need to apply it once. Find out why we love this below and click on the link to discover all of our favourite travel products:
Riemann P20 Suntan Lotion
P20 is great for active Girls about the Globe. Whether you’re exploring the city or just sunbathing, you apply it to your body before you go out and it lasts all day. It comes in factor 15 to factor 50, and covers all skin types for up to 10 hours. You still get a great tan if you’re in the sun all day and you only need to apply it once. It’s water resistant too. * Buy P20 from Amazon
Best Time To Go To Dubai
Dubai can get extremely hot but thankfully most places are air-conditioned. In August temperatures can rise to 40 degrees Celsius making it too hot to sightsee. Avoid 12pm until 3pm when the days are at their hottest and choose to browse souks and shopping malls instead. Spending the days inside and the evenings outside is the best way to survive the hot months. Then hop back on the beach or pool in the late afternoon. The heat can cause a fog over the city too.
The best time to go to Dubai is between November to March. This chart shows the average maximum day temperatures for Dubai (from January to December).
Travel Insurance For Dubai
If you are visiting Dubai as a solo female traveller, travel insurance is always recommended especially if you are planning on adventure tours to the desert.
I recommend True Traveller for UK and European residents, and World Nomadsfor U.S. and worldwide citizens. Both companies allow you to buy insurance when you are already on the road, and offer different plans depending on your needs including additional baggage cover.
Airports in Dubai
The Dubai International Airport is one of the world’s busiest international airports. A taxi is the quickest way from the airport into the city and costs approximately £20 for the 30 minute journey. Taxis are available 24 hours from the terminal.
The metro is the cheapest way and costs £2. From Terminal 3 it departs every 10 minutes and takes 42 minutes.Find schedules here.
Line 10 Skybus costs £3 and takes nearly 1.5 hours. Bus stations are opposite both terminals and leave every 10 minutes between 6am and 10pm.
If you are traveling to Dubai alone, feel more confident with someone waiting for you at the airport when you pre-book your transfer with Hoppa Dubai, a reliable and safe service for solo females.
Travelling Onwards (check visas before you travel)
Because of the short distances it’s easy to combine other Emirate states in your trip plus you only need one visa for the whole of the UAE.
To Oman: Al Darah border is two hours from Dubai (make sure you get an entry and exit stamp and have Omani currency). If you choose to drive the Musandam Peninsula is a dramatic drive.
To Saudi: Currently women are not allowed to drive in Saudi so you can’t take a hire car here. Visas need to be applied for before you travel.
Where can I go from here?
Oman 1 hour
Iran 1.5 hrs
Questions About Dubai
- Can I drink the water? It is safer to drink bottled water or you can take your own water filter with you.
- Is tipping expected? Yes.
- Any ATM’s? Yes.
- Fixed price or barter? Fixed price in the malls, bartering in the souks.
- Which side of the road do they drive? Right.
- Good for vegetarians? Yes.
- Any seven wonders of the world? No.
Map of Dubai
Plan a Trip to Dubai
If you are ready to plan your Dubai solo trip, here are some useful links to help you plan your travels including airlines which fly there, vaccinations and currency.
Budget: How much does a Dubai solo trip cost? Budget £80+ a day to stay in cheap accommodation.
Current Time in Dubai
Capital of the UAE – Abu Dhabi
Population – 2.1 million
Language spoken – Arabic, English
Avoid Ramadan where you are not permitted to eat or drink after dawn. This usually takes place in June/July but check dates before you travel.
Did you know? Less than 20% of Dubai’s population are actually locals.
Mind Body & Soul
- Solo Travel in The Middle East
- Places To Visit in UAE
- 5 Best Places to Shop in Dubai
- My Favourite Things to do in Dubai
- Best Places For Shopping
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