Now that Dubai is a dream come true, we have checked with the assistance of an Israeli who have visited this intriguing city, the see& do including an important tip for a smart visit at the Burj Khalifa, the tallest tower in the world.
Moreover, how much will it cost you to fly there via Europe, at least till the Emirates starts flying from Tel Aviv. Dubai for the novice traveler.
The Persian Gulf sounds like a distant dream to Israelis who have not been blessed with a foreign passport. Like a place they might get to enter maybe in their next incarnation. But now, ahead of normalizing relations and a peace agreement with the UAE, the dream is about to become a reality. With the dream also arises curiosity and questions: what does Dubai have to offer – the central, most popular, and intriguing city in the UAE? Why you should not miss a jeep trip in the dunes and at what time is it best to visit the Burj Khalifa, the tallest tower in the world? And more.
We asked David Schur, an Israeli who traveled in Dubai, to share his experiences from the trip to this exciting destination as he experienced long before the outbreak of the COVID19 plague. It is important to emphasize and clarify that at this stage Israelis, who do not also hold a foreign passport, are not yet allowed to enter the country.
How do you fly to the UAE as of today?
Schur: “The most convenient and shortest way to get there is of course via Jordan, but the flights are really expensive. Another option is through Turkey.
Another option is via Turkey. I chose the cheapest route as of the day I booked the flight ticket – with the Hungarian low-cost carrier Wizz Air. The flight there was via Sofia and the return flight was via Bucharest. Of course, it took longer to get there, but there was a significant difference in the price compared with the other options. “
Please note, Wizz Air flies to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE and not to Dubai as it used to be before. The flight line to Abu Dhabi, which has been stopped due to the COVID19, will resume with 2 weekly flights from Budapest, starting in September at a cost of about $ 35 per one-way ticket. Starting in September, it will also be possible to reach Abu Dhabi with Wizz Air on a direct flight from Bucharest, Sofia, Katowice, and Cluj-Napoca.
You can also get to Dubai with Lufthansa, which operates 5 weekly flights from Frankfurt at a price of $ 494 with checked luggage or $ 649 without checked luggage. The flight lasts about 6 hours. Lufthansa has a code share with Emirates which operates a daily flight from Munich and a daily flight from Frankfurt directly to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, for a total cost of $ 685 including checked luggage.
“Summer is not the proper season to travel in this hot country. The heat is heavy, hovering around 44˚C during the day and around 30˚C at night. “Those who are bothered by heat should come in January-March when the temperatures are around 22˚C. But then you need to consider that the hotels are much more expensive, and the attractions are much crowded.”
Burj Khalifa – the tallest tower in the world
“There is a sort of feeling that Dubai’s people are trying to be the best in everything and in every way: the most expensive, the most luxurious, the tallest. Therefore, in Dubai you will find the tallest tower in the world – Burj Khalifa, which rises to a height of 828 meters. There are two options to visit the tower: either pay $ 100 and go straight to the 148th floor including a guide who will come up with you and give explanations, and then go down to the 125th and 124th floor where you can look out over all of Dubai through a panorama of 360 degrees. A real spectacular sight. This is the most popular option. I went for the second option. I bought an online ticket for 29 euros – much cheaper than buying it on spot. The best time to arrive is about 40 minutes before sunset, so you can experience Dubai both day and night. Under the tower you will find Dubai Fountain – the largest fountains in the world. There is an amazing musical water show every 30 minutes. Not to be missed”.
Next to the fountains is the largest mall in the world – the Dubai Mall. You will find there absolutely everything, famous luxury brands, a huge aquarium with sharks, a huge playground for children and youth and if you feel like it you can also skate on ice. In this mall there are also robots to assist you with any question or assistance you may need. If you find it hard to walk there is also a taxi service inside the mall. Inside the Emirates Shopping Mall, you will find the Dubai Ski – a ski resort which offers the option of skiing in a minus 6 degrees complex when the temperature outside is really hot. The site includes slides, personal meeting with penguins etc. the prices are not expensive, and the ski infrastructure is of high quality.
“In Dubai you will also find interesting markets such as the Dubai Gold Souk. You will see lots and lots of gold jewelry in all shapes and sizes. Right next door is the spice market which is also fascinating. I bought 5 grams of saffron for about NIS 50. Really cheap compared to Israel. In Dubai you can also find the Textile Market that I haven’t visited yet”.
A jeep tour in the dunes outside the city is a must , including the famous Arab hospitality , excellent tea , camels etc. As for special performances in the middle of the desert, unfortunately I did not have the time to watch it.
Dubai is a Muslim country; hence you will not find alcoholic beverages in stores. “Hotels in Dubai (not all of them) have really good bars that do not embarrass the European bars and you can find nightclubs in some of the hotels.”
“Dubai has amazing beaches but be careful not to enter an only women’s beach. “Dubai has mixed beaches and some beaches are for women only.”
A sense of security
“many ask me about the feeling of security. In this regard I will say that I felt safe. Everyone does what one pleases. I personally never felt insecure, quite the contrary. I travelled there alone and felt very safe. I told some of the locals that I was from Israel and they were really excited because they had never met an Israeli before. “
Travelling in Dubai
“Wherever you are, you meet ushers and policemen who really try to help you with any question or help you may need.”
Mobility in Dubai
“Dubai has uber and Careem Taxi app. Through this application, If you order an economy taxi you will get a luxurious Lexus cab. There are also regular taxis. In my opinion the cheapest are regular taxis and then Careem’s. In general, taxis are not expensive at all. A 25-minute ride costs about NIS 50. Dubai also has an excellent metro. There are great buses, just note that the front seats are reserved for women only.”
In restaurants you will find all kinds of food you already know. I personally keep kosher, so I got along with food I brought and also bought some kosher food there. Yes, yes, Dubai do have kosher food. In the large supermarkets you can find canned salmon and tuna, breakfast cereals and kosher cakes. The reason is that they import a lot of food from the US, so you can also find kosher things.”
“my insurance was issued with Harel. The only difference is that the policy doesn’t cover rescue and evacuation.”
Please note, considering COVID19 virus, the prices of travel insurance policies are likely to change and become more expensive. We recommend you check and get an update of all the small print of the different travel insurance policies which are offered nowadays.