400px|thumb|Dubai Skyline Dubai (??? Dubayy) is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates. It is rather like an independent city-state and is the most modern and progressive emirate in the UAE, developing at an unbelievable pace in the tourist and trade sectors especially.
A relatively new tourist destination, Dubai was gaining popularity in recent years until the global economic crash of 2008.
Dubai is essentially a desert city with superb infrastructure, liberal policies (by regional standards), that became popular for its excellent tourist amenities. Just 5 h from Europe and 3 h from most parts of the Middle East, the Near East, and the subcontinent of India, Dubai makes a great short break for shopping, partying, sunbathing, fine dining, sporting events, and even a few sinful pleasures. It is a city of superlatives: for the fastest, biggest, tallest, largest and highest, Dubai is the destination. It has the largest immigrant population in the world.
The weekly day off is on Friday. Note that, since September 2006, a harmonised weekend of Friday and Saturday has been adopted for the public sector and schools. Government departments, multinational companies, and most schools and universities are now off on Friday and Saturday (after years of a mixed bag of Friday/Saturday and Thursday/Friday weekends). Some local companies still work half a day on Thursday with a full day on Saturday, but larger companies tend to permit relaxation and time off work for their employees on Friday and Saturday.
Dubai is divided into multiple districts or municipalities: Jumeirah — A diverse district whose residents are the Europeans to the Filipinos to the Pakistanis; a mixed Little Europe, Karachi and Manila. Jumeirah is much favoured by Europeans due to the ease of access of the beach, Beautiful villas are seen here. Jumeirah Beach, Jumeirah Beach Residence's the Walk and Jumeirah Mosque are the top attractions. Downtown Dubai — While Bur Dubai and Deira are traditionally considered "Downtown", the Downtown Dubai development is smack in the center of the "New Dubai," between Dubai Marina on the south end and the border with the city of Sharjah to the north. It includes the Burj Khalifa (tallest building in the world), the Dubai Mall (world's biggest), Dubai Fountain, and lots of other skyscrapers and hotels.
Dubai Marina — is a mega-development that borders Jebel Ali (the world's largest man-made port). It is full of skyscrapers and hosts the "Jumeirah Beach Walk" with a number of restaurants, hotels an open-air market when the weather permits, and frequent shows. Dubai Marina houses one of the highest concentrations of Westerns in Dubai.
Satwa — One of Dubai's Little India and ''Little Manila'', due to the presence of Filipinos and Indians, a rise in Filipino and Indian restaurants, shops, supermarkets are seen here. Gold and textiles is what people come here for, Gold Souk might be your top destination but Satwa too has gold shops and is hassle free, not so crowded. Karama — More of like a mixed commercial residential district, one of Dubai's Little Indias and ''Little Manila''s, cheap eats and cheap buys are the top things here. Bur Dubai — A historical district and Bur Dubai is usual term for the area from Jumeirah to the creek, the creek separates Bur Dubai from Deira. Tourist attractions from abras to souks to floating restaurants to the famous creek are found here. Deira — Dubai's old Financial centre, today Deira is a bustling commercial-residential district with some old souks, including one specializing in spices.
Arabian Ranches and Emirates Hills — These are two separate places, residential rents here are expensive due to the land value, just like the whole of Dubai, these two are Man-made.
Mirdiff/Mirdif — A commercial-residential district which is somewhat newly built and lies directly under the flight path to Dubai International Airport. Mirdif City Center is one of the attractions. This is another residence for the well-to-do.
International City — Just a simple residential area in the middle of the desert, what's special about it is its architectural design, the residential rents here are cheap and is somewhat the next Chinatown as many Chinese businessmen and women reside here.
Dubai has an arid climate with very hot, humid summer weather averaging 42 degrees (108F) in the daytime and 28 (84F) at night. Falls and Springs are still rather hot, with daytime temperatures between 25 and 40 degrees (80sF) and nights around 20 degrees (65-75F), with less humidity. Winter weather is pleasant and dry, with daytime highs of 25 (75F) and nighttime lows of 10 degrees (55F). Dubai is known for its beaches, with water temperature in summer getting as hot as 37 degrees (99F). The water temperature tends to be around 20-25 degrees (75F) in winter, and 30 (85F) in spring and fall as outside temperatures rise.
December to April generally produces the highest precipitation, which at 10 cm (5 in), still is little. Some years yield no more than a few minutes of shower in Dubai. November 2006 brought record rains up to 50 cm (25 in) of rain, with temperatures at record lows.
Dubai's main airport is the Dubai International Airport. You can also enter Dubai by using Sharjah International Airport (SHJ) in the nearby emirate of Sharjah and Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) in nearby Abu Dhabi. Frequent visitors from countries granted automatic visa on entry may wish to purchase an e-gate card to speed up immigration formalities and save passport pages. The e-gate card office is situated in the upstairs foodcourt area of the terminal 1 departures concourse. The card will cost AED 200. Note: If you intend to buy an e-gate card in Dubai, you must have entered UAE via Dubai airport.
Airlines are often having price wars to glamorous destinations like Dubai and this can work to your advantage by careful planning and comparison of the various airlines serving Dubai. Emirates See Online is Dubai's official airline carrier which connects Dubai to over 100 destinations while FlyDubai See Online is Dubai's low-cost carrier. Etihad See Online has shuttle services from their exclusive check in facility in Sheikh Zayed Rd or Central Business District of Dubai to and from Abu Dhabi Int'l Airport, you can also fly with Sharjah's low-cost carrier; Air Arabia See Online which flies to over 46 destinations within the Middle East.
Dubai International Airport
Dubai International Airport(IATA:DXB)See Online is the largest hub in the Middle East and the home base of Dubai's flag carrier Emirates See Online and its low-cost wing FlyDubai See Online . In fact, it has grown at such a furious pace that the present terminals are bursting at the seams, especially during the peak hours around midnight.
The Dubai International Airport has three terminals and another one in the making as of end 2010. Terminal 1 is the main terminal, used by most major airlines and long-haul flights. Terminal 2 serves regional and low-cost flights, including all FlyDubai flights. Terminal 3 is used exclusively by Emirates.
Terminals 1 and 3 are directly connected to each other via the airside (no immigration needed for transfer), while Terminal 2 is located at the other end of the airport. Terminals 1 and 3 are models of modern airport design, but Terminal 2, despite the recent renovations, is still reminiscent of developing world airports, with long check-in lines, queue-jumping and every other passenger checking in 70 kg of luggage. Shuttle buses between the three run every 20-30 min. However shuttles to Terminal 2 are sporadic at best, so a 30 min taxi ride may be your only option. A low-cost option for traveling to Terminal 2 is to catch the metro to a nearby station, such as GGICO metro station, and from there catch a taxi to Terminal 2.
The airport is famous for its duty-free shopping See Online . However, prices in the airport's duty-free stores are equal or higher than what you can find in the many malls of the city. Alcohol here is very cheap, though. Alcohol is also available at an inbound duty free store situated in the baggage reclaim area. The amount of alcoholic beverages and beers should not exceed 4 liters of alcohol beverages, or 2 cartons of beer (each consisting of 24 cans, not exceeding 355 ml for each can or its equivalent).
Taxi: Most visitors will opt for public taxis from the airport, which are readily available just outside arrivals, which use the meter and start at Dhs 25. Taxis are on the left when you come out of terminal 1.
Public transport: Terminals 1 and 3 are served by the Dubai Metro. There are also buses just steps from the baggage claim, the most useful for visitors being lines 401 and 402 (Dhs 3), which go to the Al Sabkha and Al Ghubaiba bus terminals respectively.
Apart from the Dubai International Airport, Dubai is also developing the massive Al Maktoum International Airport located close to Jabel Ali within the Dubai World Central project. As of end 2010 only a few freighters are operating through this airport but commercial flights are expected to operate from this airport once completed, making this airport one of the busiest air hub for both cargo and passenger transportation.
Sharjah International Airport
Sharjah International Airport(IATA:SHJ)See Online is located in the emirate of Sharjah. It is only 30 min by road from Dubai and takes an increasing number of international flights as Dubai airport struggles to keep up with demand. Be aware that during morning rush hour from Sharjah and afternoon rush hour into Sharjah, travel times to cross the border between the two emirates normally run more than one hour and can run over two hours. Traffic can be bad between Sharjah and Dubai 24 hours per day, so plan accordingly. The principal carrier here is Air Arabia See Online , a low-cost carrier serving the Middle East and South Asia. The airport is fairly basic but is being expanded. A taxi ride to Dubai will typically cost Dhs 50. A Bus service by Air Arabia also runs from the Airport to the Rashidiya Metro Station in Dubai. Rashidiya metro station is located close to the Dubai International Airport.