Solo Travel in Dubai
Dubai is a fascinating destination to visit. If you are planning a trip to Dubai, 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, things to do in Dubai alone, and a suggested Dubai tour itinerary for a 5 day trip to Dubai.
All companies included have been recommended by another solo traveller Dubai, and come with our Solo Female Friendly endorsement. Just choose the relevant section or read the full article for solo female travel Dubai.
* Before you travel, check what paperwork or visas are required for Dubai.
N.b. By booking through this page for your solo Dubai trip, you are helping to improve the lives of vulnerable girls about the globe. Thanks for helping.
- 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
- Related Posts
Solo Travel To 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, including no holding hands within the malls (which isn't a problem if you're solo). 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 when going to Dubai alone.
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. Discover our recommended places to go alone in Dubai below.
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
Places To Go in Dubai
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. From Dubai Festival Mall to Mall of the Emirates, or Ibn Battuta Mall (the largest themed mall in Dubai), discover the best place to shop in Dubai. 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 on your own 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 Dubai where you can watch the locals in their white robes playing volleyball.
The Dubai 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 (a must see in Dubai). * Check prices, dates and availability
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 at the Dubai marina mall.
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. Or visit the Al Fahidi historical district, one of the Emirate’s oldest areas that provides a glimpse of life back in Dubai before the ninety seventies, with traditional buildings and a labyrinth of lanes to lose yourself in.
One of the must do things in Dubai is browse the Dubai spice souk (market) for nose-tingling sensations then take a traditional Dhow cruise along Dubai Creek for a contrast of new and old Dubai.
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, the local camel farm is the place to visit in Dubai to have your own camel ride on these galloping animals.
When you want to escape the city, the Dubai desert is only a stone’s throw away. Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve is a protected nature reserve covering an area of 225 sq kms. See mammals, reptiles and more than 100 birds within its location.
One of the best things to do in Dubai if you love adventure is to take an exhilarating 4WD drive Dubai desert safari, racing up and down the sandy red dunes. Excursions in Dubai also include driving a quad bike for some dune bashing too.
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. Visit between November and May and you’ll see Dubai Miracle Garden in full bloom. From a floral clock to a floral castle, experience famous buildings made up of flowers in this 72,000 sqm park.
If you want to indulge your inner child and explore Dubai from a childlike perspective, visit the Dinosaur Park, the largest dinosaur park in the world. Or if dinosaurs aren’t really your thing, Dubai Garden Glow (on the same tour Dubai ticket) is a theme park with illuminated colourful displays, laser light shows and even a Burj Khalifa replica made from recycled items.
Or delve into Bollywood blockbusters at Bollywood Parks Dubai, one of the Dubai Parks and Resorts, where you can can transport yourself to India, and enjoy rides and vibrant performances from Mumbai.
Other places to see in Dubai are: Wild Wadi Waterpark, 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 activities in Dubai and Dubai excursions that you can do here. Here are our recommended companies for tours in Dubai:
Big Bus Tours – These hop-on, hop-off Dubai sightseeing tours are an easy way to get around Dubai. It includes a guided sightseeing boat cruise on a traditional 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 private touring in Dubai such as a city tour, desert safari or even a dinner cruise for your stay. Their Dubai tour packages also include a desert bbq dinner and belly dance performance, as well excursions from Dubai such as a full day Abu Dhabi tour from Dubai.
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 to choose from including a Dubai half-day city tour, and it’s really simple to use. Just check the reviews for your day sightseeing tour and price. Then check 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.
When you are planning your trips to Dubai, Dubai has so many hotels to choose from. Most of the accommodation Dubai 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.
If you are searching for the best accommodation in Dubai for solo travellers, all of the Dubai accommodation below have been recommended by solo female travellers from our Girls about the Globe community and come with a Solo Female Friendly endorsement.
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. Choose from a studio or executive studio.
- Prices from £80 / $110 per night for an executive studio.
- Check prices, dates and availability: Savoy Central Hotel Apartments
Gorgeous and chic with friendly staff, the standard of Shangri-La Hotel Dubai is excellent for the price. With stunning rooms and views to match and a great breakfast included, you’re guaranteed a good stay. Choose from a deluxe twin or king with a sea view, a deluxe king or twin with a view of the Burj Khalifa or upgrade to a Horizon king club room and more with lounge access.
- Prices from £196 / $269 for a deluxe twin room with a sea view
- Check prices, dates. and availability: Shangri-La Hotel
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. Choose from a classic twin or king room with sea view, a Club Rotana or premium king room with sea view or a classic suite.
- Prices from £230 / $315 per night for a classic twin room with a sea view
- Check prices, dates and availability: Amwaj Rotana
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 Palm Jumeirah Dubai, 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 4 to 5 days in Dubai. If you are unsure what to do alone in Dubai, whether you can only do Dubai in a day, or Dubai in 5 days, below are recommendations for things to do in Dubai for 5 days. To create your best Dubai itinerary 3 days or for 4, just customise the days that you prefer for your Dubai trip itinerary.
Day One – Start the morning shopping in one of Dubai’s giant malls. Explore the aquarium or even go skiing inside one at Ski Dubai! (one of the Dubai top attractions). 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 show, another of the tourist attractions in Dubai which puts on a display in the evening. It's also one of the places to visit in Dubai for free.
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. * Check prices, dates and availability
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. * Check prices, dates and availability
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. The summer months can get hot. In August temperatures can rise to 40 degrees Celsius making it too hot to sightsee. For any Dubai trips, avoid 12pm until 3pm when the days are at their hottest and choose to browse souks and shopping malls instead.
When are travelling to Dubai alone, spending the days inside and the evenings outside is the best way to survive the hot months and the hottest times of the day before getting back on the beach or a swimming 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. Or visit between mid December and January for the annual Dubai shopping festival. 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 Nomads for U.S. and worldwide citizens for Dubai solo female travel. 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
Dubai’s main airport is the Dubai International Airport which is one of the world’s busiest international airports. The airport is known to work as a hub for all major airlines and is the hub for Emirates Airlines.
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 Dubai solo travel with other Emirate states, plus you only need one visa for the whole of the UAE.
To Oman: If you are planning a solo trip from Dubai 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? The right-hand side.
- Good for vegetarians? Yes, you'll find several places in Dubai for vegetarians and vegans.
- 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, below are useful links such as airlines that fly there, currency used, and visa and vaccinations to help you plan your Dubai visit.
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
- Things To Do in Dubai
- Places To Visit in UAE
- 5 Best Places to Shop in Dubai
- Best Places For Shopping
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