Tips, deals, and advice on traveling the continent on a budget.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Flying To Dubai - Airport And Travel Guide

There are direct flights to Dubai from most European and Asian cities, however if you are flying from North America or Canada then you will need to fly via Europe or Asia. However, looking on the bright side, this makes the flight cheaper and also gives you the opportunity to explore Europe with typical stop overs in either Paris, Amsterdam or London.

The main airlines for Dubai are Emirates airlines (www.emirates.com), Gulf Air (www.gulfair.com) and Air Arabia flies out of neighbouring Sharjah. if you are looking to keep the costs of airfare to a minimum then a good option is to fly Gulf air via via bahrain, or even Qatar airways via Doha. However bear in mind that connecting flights although usually much cheaper can be inconvenient - you may find yourself hanging around airport lounges for many hours doing that airport "game" of endless waiting followed by endless queueing, is it really woth it to save a few £'s?

it tends to be more expensive flying to Dubai in the June - August period and also over Christmas (in fact from the beginning of Dec right through to end Jan). So try and avoid flying at these times if at all possible - remember prices in the UAE are regulated, there are no bargain bucket shops nor last minute deals so book your flight as early as you possibly can to get best price.

On a side note Emirates airlines to date have a PERFECT safety record, they are not the cheapest airline but they are regarded as having superior service and that safety record is something worth taking into consideration!

Dubai international airport is the busiest airport in the Middle East, almost 25 million passengers in 2005 ( as a comparison Seattle airport handled 29 million passengers in 2005 and is listed in the top 30 busiest airports worldwide). Apparently the government are investing a further $2,5 billion in expansion of the airport due to rapid growth of tourist traffic. We should see Dubai international being listed as one of the worlds busiest airports in 2007.

getting to/from the airport is easy and inexpensive. You can choose from Municipality buses, airport buses, taxi's or limo's. Additionally most of the reputable hotels, particularly those on Jumeirah beach, will offer free transfers to and from the airport. Costs for are approx Dh1.50, a taxi will cost around Dh 60 to the Jumeirah beach area. ( The Emirates currecy Dh Dirham is pegged to the Dollar, so 1Dh = $1, simple!).

Other points you should note before planning a trip to Dubai - technically if you have evidence of travel to Israel in your passport you will be denied entry, also you must have at least 6 months validity from your date of arrival. Assuming you meet these requirements a 60 day visa is available on entry from the airport. There is no charge for a standard 60 day visa.

Lastly, as with most foreign travel, a little bit of effort in terms of learning the language can go a long way. Here are some simple everday words you may find helpful - "Marhaba" hello, "al-salaam alaykum" Peace be upon you (typical arab greeting), "shukran" thank you.

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