Most of us have been accustomed to “things do to list” while travelling. We often find ourselves gravitating towards “things to do” blog posts, articles or guide books while planning for a trip. When I travelled to Dubai last year, I made so many mistakes that I thought I’d share my “things not do to list” based on my experience.
I hope that these tips shed some light when planning your trip and hopefully saves you time for more activities.
- Never fly a red-eye flight and count the following day for activities
I always pride myself in being a strong girl 🙂 or at least hope to be. This led to overestimating my abilities and stretching my physical limits. So I decided to book a Qatar Airways flight from Nairobi to Dubai that departed JKIA at 1:30AM in the night. BIG MISTAKE!!! Not only had I not slept well during the day, I was over ambitious believing that I would recoup my sleep during the night and feel well-rested enough to do the desert safari the following day upon arrival. This plan went south almost immediately, I got Dubai after a short transit in Doha, the flight left feeling exhausted and ended up sleeping whole of my first day. I only woke up late afternoon, took a shower and headed to Dubai Mall for some food and window shopping.
- Never underestimate the heat and the sun’s rays in the Middle East
We all know Nairobi as the city under the sun. Somehow my brain manipulated me into thinking that I was capable of mastering and taming Dubai’s sun and heat. After all, I am African and the sun is my friend, RIGHT?….WRONG? That sun is on another level, I intially thought I would walk from one site to another in Downtown Dubai, my usual cost saving tactics for travel. I soon realised that this was not a feasible plan. My tip for countering this would be to plan your activities for the afternoon, anyway most places close late evening.
- Always visit the important sites first
I started with the less important sites, funny when I think about it now because looking back, this seems to be out of character for me. I almost think I was bewitched or something hehehe!
- Book hotels close to transport networks in Dubai
I stayed at Ibis Hotel in Al Barsha, an absolutely beautiful and stunning hotel. The only downside was being 10 minutes walk from the train station. It was a struggle to walk to the train station every morning because of the heat, I had to shelter myself on the casted shadows of tall buildings.
- Reserve shopping for the last night
I started my shopping almost immediately the first evening I was there, with proper time management I would have gone to see the dancing fountains instead or done something much more useful to be honest.
- Budget wisely Dubai is expensive
Make sure you have your finances in check otherwise, you may not have such a great time in Dubai, most activities are capital intensive.
- Walking to sites is not a viable option in Dubai
This boilings down to the weather conditions in Dubai, I have previously shared that walking from site to site is a cost saving measure while travelling. Well, in Dubai this is not a feasible plan at all. When planning make sure you budget for cabs, paid tours or alternative transport like renting a car because walking won’t cut it.
- Travel to Dubai during their “winter” season
Dubai experiences two seasons, that is hot and hotter; as you can imagine I travelled there during the hotter season and it proved to be quite a challenge since I was there only for four days. Its often been subjected that the best times to travel to Dubai are between the months of November and March when they have their “winter” season (hot) and the weather is bearable. The problem with travelling during this time is that it’s their peak season and the prices are usually high at this particular time.
Thanks for stopping by and may adventure be with you :).
I do hope that you have learnt a thing or two from my experience. Kindly share some mistakes that you have made while travelling by leaving a comment.