Get to Know Dubai Like a Local

Get to Know Dubai Like a Local

Though I have written much about what you can do in Dubai besides shopping, I can’t get enough of the city. During my stay there, I came across many adventures which are worth a try. To start with, if you are new to the city, don’t get desperate to see it all in one go. The city is there for you to enjoy at leisure. Give it some time and it will take you in.

If you are there for a short stay, you can read my blog at how to enjoy Dubai Offbeat way. But if you are there for a long haul, here is how you can start enjoying the city and make new friends –

  1. Join a Meet Up Group –

Whether your idea of meeting new people is to hunt for a date or have intellectual conversations, joining a meetup group makes sense. Though it does not propagate dating, It opens the opportunity for you to mix with a group of expats from across the world to make friends in the new city. Look for activities you are interested in and join to meet people with similar interests.

                                  Pic Credit – Trotwithme
  1. Dubai Museum –

Start with a tour of Dubai Museum to get a feel of the life before skyscrapers hit the city. You will be amazed to know some historical facts about Bedouin life and how they came to what they are today.

Pic Credit – TripAdvisor
  1. Souk Deira –

Engulf yourself in the golden era with gold all around you in the Gold Souk in Deira. It is massive and you can easily get lost without noticing. Along with the dangling jewellery everywhere, you will be spoilt for choices. Don’t forget to visit the spice souk and fish market nearby in Deira itself.

Pic Credit – Timeout
  1. Souk Madinat –

After you have visited the Museum, it’s a treat to visit the Souk Madinat. It represents the modern-day Dubai infused with the old Arab charm which can be seen in architecture, design and products sold there. With dim lit alleyways and numerous fine dining places, you can also take a ride in the boat all the way to Burj Al Arab.

Pic Credit – Wikipedia
  1. Desert camping –

This is one of my favourite way of spending a night with friends. Now that the weather is getting better, it is the best time to pack your boot with tents and sleeping bags along with some firewood and meat to grill. You can also read my post on Desert Camping here.

Pic Credit – Trotwithme
  1. Shisha –

When in Dubai, you cannot afford to miss Shisha. Along with Shisha or Hookah as you may want to call it, explore the Middle East’s cuisine which includes tempting mezze, succulent grills, and kebabs and Sulemani chai to round it off in the end. For eating joints in Dubai click here. You can head to Shisha Lounge after party which is open all night.

Pic Credit – Timeout
  1. Abra Ride –

The small boats that are used to transfer passengers from one end of the river to the other are called Abra. One sire is Bur Dubai and the other is Deira. The ride costs only 5 AED per person and is a treat in itself.

Pic Credit – Wikipedia
  1. Booze with transcending views –

Now that you have made some friends and it is time to relax, hit one the bars with jaw-dropping views. One of my personal favourites is Neos – on the 63rd floor in The Address. Another place to go is Q43 which is on the 43rd floor of Media One Tower in the Media City. If you are on a budget, you can also hit Estrellas in Mankhool. If you are not a night person, head straight to Niki Beach on Jumeirah Road for a fun-filled Friday afternoon with friends.

Pic Credit – Trotwithme
  1. Ibn Battuta Mall –

Inspired by the astounding journey of a 21-year-old traveller, this mall has creative architecture representing Tunisia, Persia, India, China, and Andalusia. Every country has a different setup and you end up visiting 5 countries under one roof with several eating joints offering the food of that particular country.

Pic Credit – Nakheel

     10. Perfumes –

Whether you leave the city after a while or decide to settle there forever, do not forget to buy Perfumes, Attar, Oud and Bakhoor. With unlimited varieties of all, you can never get enough of these when in Dubai. Try Bur Dubai Market for discounted perfumes. You can also buy from manufacturers like Ajmal, Rasasi, Nabeel and Swiss Arabian to name a few.


There is much more to Dubai than what I have listed here. However, once you start enjoying the city, you will explore something new every day. The best time to visit Dubai is from October to March. For any visa assistance, you can email us.

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