The city of Dubai, UAE has become a destination of choice for Nigerian tourists and investors. It is a beehive of travellers, tourists, and migrants who travel to bask in its incredible shopping opportunities, world record landmarks, and business opportunities.
Dubai is a futuristic city with exquisite sights and attractions, and several entertainment and business events hosted in the city every year.
Recently, Dubai made history by hosting the World EXPO for the first time in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia region. This global event which aims at educating the public, sharing innovation, promoting progress, and nation branding recorded more than 24 million visits. If you missed this remarkable event, watch a video of my experience here.
1. The Best Time To Visit Dubai:
Dubai has a hot desert climate with high temperatures all year round. The best time to visit is between September to April when the weather is not too hot.
May to August experiences extreme heat and humidity. However, if you are on a budget, you will travel cheaper if you visit during these times when the city experiences fewer crowds due to the humidity.
2. How To Obtain A Visa To Dubai:
The following documents are required for all United Arab Emirates (UAE) visa types:
- A valid Nigerian passport; must be valid for at least six months.
- A visa application form that has been completed in block letters and duly signed by the applicant.
- A copy of the Passport Date Page.
- A coloured passport photograph.
- A copy of a confirmed itinerary; please note that visitors without a return ticket may be refused entry upon arrival in Dubai.
- Proof of hotel reservation. Visitors visiting either friends or relatives require a letter of invitation from their host. This letter should include the contact information of the host, address, signature, and a copy of the UAE passport data page or Residence Permit.
Dubai Visa Types:
- 96-Hour Visa: With this visa, you are only eligible to stay in the UAE for a maximum of 96 hours. This visa is best suited for travellers who plan to stay for a period of fewer than 4 days in the country.
- Tourist short-term visa (single entry, and multiple-entry) valid for 30 days from the date of arrival in the UAE.
- Tourist long-term visa (single entry, and multiple-entry) valid for 30 days from the date of arrival in the UAE.
- The processing time for a Dubai visa is between two and eight days, depending on the type of visa you are applying for.
- A Dubai Tourist visa is only valid for tourist purposes and persons with a tourist visa must not take up paid jobs during their stay in Dubai.
3. Where To Stay In Dubai:
To book your hotels, use booking.com and narrow your search to your budget.
Depending on what you plan to do in Dubai, there are neighborhoods designed for specific needs. If you are a first-time visitor and want to be around the major landmarks, then stay in Downtown Dubai. Dubai Creek, Bur Dubai, and Bur Juman are affordable areas to stay in. Stay in Palm Jumeirah Island, Jumeirah beach residence, and Dubai Marina for a luxury staycation.
Notwithstanding, you can stay anywhere in Dubai with connections to the metro line if you plan to save on transportation. Connecting the city is very easy. Dubai taxis are available and also affordable. You can download the Careem App to access the local taxi. Uber is also available however, it is more expensive compared to the local app.
4. Cheap flights to Dubai
Emirates Airlines, Air Peace, Qatar Airways, Kenya Airways, and Ethiopian Airlines all provide affordable flight tickets from Nigeria (Lagos/Abuja) to Dubai.
5. Fun Things To Do In Dubai:
As you plan a trip to Dubai, note that the city has it all. There is always one new thing to explore on every trip to Dubai. Some of the notable attractions you should not miss include;
- Go on the Dubai Desert Safari
- Visit the remarkable Burj Khalifa (the tallest building in the world) and watch the Dubai Fountain show from the top.
- Experience Dinner in the Sky Dubai, a unique dining experience designed for adventurous souls.
- Visit Dubai Miracle Garden
- Take a yacht tour with breakfast or barbecue
- Visit Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark
- Visit the Global Village for a unique cultural experience
- Shop at Dubai Mall, the largest shopping Mall in the world
- Visit Dubai Gold, Textile, and Spice Souk
- Spend time at the beach in Jumeirah (JBR)
6. Other Things To Do When In Dubai
Don’t just spend time in Dubai. There are 6 other Emirates of the UAE namely, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al-Quwain, Fujairah, and Ras Al Khaimah.
- If you are travelling with kids, visit Dreamland Aqua Park in Umm Al-Quwain. It is the largest waterpark in the UAE and is located just 40 minutes drive from Dubai.
- Abu Dhabi has a lot more to offer, therefore spend a night or 2 in the city and explore the amazing sites.
- Escape to Ras Al Khaimah for an amazing beach holiday.
7. How Much Should You Budget When You Plan A Trip To Dubai?
Your budget will depend on the period you are travelling (i.e high or low seasons), duration of stay, accommodation preference – taste, and style.
For travellers on a slim budget:
Economy class tickets in low seasons for a direct flight to Dubai would cost between 300k-400k on Emirates Airlines. Other airlines such as Kenya Airways, RwandAir, and Ethiopian Airlines may offer cheaper options, however, you must note that these airlines will transit in their home country first before connecting you to Dubai. E.g Kenya Airways will take you to Nairobi first before you join another connecting flight to Dubai.
You can find accommodation as low as $50-$100 depending on what inconvenience you can handle. If you plan a trip to Dubai and book your accommodation on time, you will find affordable deals on 3 to 4-star rated hotels or apartments.