dubai UAE with kids, safety, laws, criminal rate, people, culture
Asia, Destination & countries, Travelling with kids, UAE

Family Vacation in Dubai | Things you should know

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UAE & Dubai culture, laws, safety, and tips

Dubai is a very special place to visit. Rest assured this is a fantastic idea to spend family vacation in Dubai. As sceptical as I was questioning all these crowds and traffic there, I finally managed to find the answer to why Dubai holidays for families are beyond popular nowadays.

How would I describe this place in three words?

Clean. Safe. Friendly.

This is why, having toddlers and kids on a family vacation in Dubai is an absolutely brilliant idea and a total must! There are a countless number of activities in Dubai for kids too!

Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). There are seven states altogether, excluding Bahrain and Qatar who refused to form the colony but including Abu Dhabi which is the capital of UAE and the only city that produces around 3 million barrels per day of total oil liquids. Sadly, Dubai’s oil reserves came to an end and the city solely depends on tourism these days.

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Limited in time? Plan our one day tour and learn everything about Abu Dhabi below.

This is exactly why Dubai is filled with luxury shopping, ultramodern architecture and a lively nightlife scene. Here happens to be one of the best events, concerts, trade shows, and world exhibitions. Not only is spending a family vacation in Dubai is on trend, but also traders, merchants and tourists are attracted to this destination from all over the world.

Dubai nationalities, expatriates and diversity

According to the locals, there are 88% of expats living in Dubai. Among them 85% of the expatriate population come from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Philippines. The rest are Iranians with only 3% of European expats. The major reasons, of course, were zero value tax and free land back in the days.

There are more than 200 nationalities living in the entire UAE. No wonder, this is considered as one of the world’s largest immigrant hubs.

This is also one of the main reasons why, compared to other six states of UAE, Dubai is tolerant to many different practices, such as religion, traditions and customs, wearing apparel for females and males, drinking culture, et cetera. Obviously, it makes it all much easier for tourists and immigrants to adjust to a new culture in no time.

Interesting fact that the UAE government has a special system to reward newly married couples. As the marriage is officially registered, you will get a house, luxury car and AED 75.000 Dh into your bank account. Where is the catch? The only trick is that both of you should be 100% locals, which at the moment is estimated at 1.4 million people. This is why, no children of other nationals born in Dubai are granted local citizenship, but automatically assumed to get the nationality of their parents. Also, foreign children are automatically considered nationals, however the UAE does not permit dual nationality, so the decision to renounce the second passport must be made.

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Safety and crime rate in Dubai

I was surprised to know that it is an extremely safe city, which obviously makes it easier to plan a family trip to Dubai. Nothing is more important for the government of UAE than to show that their country is safe. Government palaces in Abu Dhabi have no security outside the building only to show how safe their country is. Isn’t it impressive?

Dubai is filled with CCTV literally on every corner. The crime rate in Dubai is less than 1%. It is absolutely safe to walk at night too.

General rules, laws and penalties of Dubai

Things you should know before planning a family vacation in Dubai

  • As a non-Muslim you are not allowed to enter the mosques in Dubai. However, all mosques have impressive architecture, it is worth observing the buildings from outside. The only mosque in Dubai that allows tourists with a guide only is Jumeirah mosque. The female garment must be loose and cover all parts of the body, including her head.
  • Metro in Dubai has a special compartment for females, they are called pink cabins mainly for their colour.
  • It is prohibited to sleep, eat or drink in the local transport in Dubai. The fine is AED 300 Dh. I was told by many people that the government copies the Singaporean system which I indeed find very similar.
  • Littering is prohibited in Dubai. Trust me, you will notice it straight away. This city is as clean as your house after spring-cleaning. Besides, Dubai municipality works towards city cleaning, there are lots of road sweeper trucks. The fine for littering ranges anything between AED 500 Dh up to AED 1.000 Dh.
  • Dubai has a zero-tolerance policy on drug possession and trafficking, with some offenses punishable by death or lifetime imprisonment.
  • Some prescription medicines that are legal in your country may be illegal in Dubai, so it’s worth checking on their status before packing them in your luggage.
  • Public affection, especially between non-married couples, is not well-tolerated in Dubai. Holding hands is fine but kissing or hugging in public is not acceptable. You can get into trouble with the local authorities.
  • There are no severe restrictions on wearing different types of clothes. In fact, you will notice that locals, including Muslim females, prefer not to cover their heads or faces. It is, however, a different story in other states of UAE.

Best time to visit Dubai with toddlers and kids

The best time to visit Dubai is in winter, the season starts in November and lasts up to April. The best months for your family vacation in Dubai would be December and January with the cheapest flights in January. Also, January and February generally attract the most amount of tourists due to the Dubai Shopping Festival, which makes the city come alive.

You would probably like to skip on a summer visit as the temperature may reach up to 40°C to 50°C, with August being the hottest month of the year. This is to exclude visits to the Arabian desert.

On the other hand, winter will welcome you with the mild warm temperatures ranging between 25°C to 30°C. Perfect time to visit Dubai with toddlers and kids, relax at the beach or swimming pool and get a lot of suntan.

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National animals of Dubai

Oryx

The Arabian oryx (also known as rim) has been used as a major source of food and leather by Bedouins back in the days. But it was also revered for its beauty in poetry.

When we were passing the desert, we could see a lot of Oryxes separated by fences, so they do not get lost and stay near baskets with food and access to water. In summer they are taken by the government to special air conditioning stables. Every day they get cleaned and taken care of better than a lot of people in the country, I believe.

Falcon

Falcons are extremely important birds in the UAE. Historically, falcons were widely used by Bedouin hunters which was crucial for their survival. So, nowadays, falcons are regarded as cultural icons in the UAE. These are the only birds that are eligible to have real passports and fly business class.

You can see falcons everywhere on the street signs, local currency and even the national emblem of the UAE.

Camel

Although the camel is a national animal of Saudi Arabia, people can’t survive here without them. Camels are considered to be one of the strongest animals. Unfortunately, I have seen quite a consumer attitude towards them. In UAE camels are split into different categories that are suitable for meat, meat and milk, clothes and racing. Of course, the last two types are the most expensive.

Fact time!

Did you know that the colours on the UAE flag have a significant meaning?

  • White means peace;
  • Green means prosperity;
  • Black means defeat of the enemies and oil;
  • Red means bravery.

Getting to Dubai with toddlers and kids

It is easy to get to Dubai by plane. There is only one international airport and it takes less than half an hour to get to the city centre.

Also, some tourists arrive in Dubai from the capital, Abu Dhabi. It is a 2-hour drive to Dubai. You can either take a bus or taxi, however, a taxi might cost you around AED 350.

Ready to plan your family trip to Dubai?

Click onto this article: Activities and things to do in Dubai with toddlers and kids

Enjoy the family vacation in Dubai!

IMPORTANT: We created the Family Store, especially for you. By clicking on the image below you can find anything from Newborn’s First Kit, Baby & Family Essentials, Kids Travel to Travel Gear. We hope you will find something valuable for your own adventures!

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