Visas: Entry requirements to the UAE changes frequently, so do double-check all information by checking the official tourism website. Nearly all of Western Europe plus Australia, Brunei, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the USA, will receive free on-the-spot visas on arrival in the UAE. Visas are valid for 30 days, with an additional grace period of 10 days. f you’re a citizen of a country not included in the list above, a visit visa must be arranged through a sponsor – such as your Dubai hotel or tour operator – prior to your arrival in the UAE.
Local transportation: Dubai's public transport system is probably the best in the Middle East, but it's still a very car-oriented city and most visitors end up taking taxis quite often. To take the public transportation, you will need to purchase a rechargeable pass (Nol card) from ticket offices or vending machines.
The high-tech Red and Green Metro Lines link all major sights and neighbourhoods between 5.30am and midnight Saturday to Wednesday, and to 2am Thursday and Friday. While the line does not serve the old city center, it's handy for zipping along Dubai's Sheikh Zayed Road and includes stops at the airport, Burj Khalifa and the Mall of the Emirates.
The Dubai Tram links Dubai Marina with the Burj Al Arab and JBR. The tram has a fixed fare of AED 3 per ride regardless of the distance travelled.
Dubai has an extensive public bus network, which is slower but cheaper and useful for going places not served by the metro. The bus system is most useful for getting between different areas of central Dubai, or between the various suburbs, rather than general transport.
Taxis ply the streets of Dubai and are relatively easy to spot. The easiest place to find them is at the taxi queue at one of the malls or outside a hotel. Taxis are metered at 1.75 dhs/km, so no haggling is necessary.
An easier way to cross the Dubai Creek is by abra, essentially a small ferry. Abra stations are located along the Creek on both the Bur Dubai and Deira sides, and the system of filling the boats is remarkably efficient.
Where to buy a SIM card: Du and Etisalat have shops in the arrival halls at Dubai airport where you can buy the SIM card right away. If you are in the city, you can buy the SIM card at any of the telco shops in major shopping malls.
Popular areas: The Creek, Downtown Dubai, The Marina, Jumeirah, Deira, Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Quoz, Old Dubai
Popular food: Shawarma, Dishes with camel meat, Kunafa (Emirati version of a cheese danish)
Things not to do: When taking a taxi, don't get in the front if you are traveling alone as it might be seen as a sexual invitation. Avoid wearing shorts and miniskirts, low cut and transparent clothing, and avoid baring your midriff. Regular drinking should be done discretely. Alcohol can only really be found in hotel bars anyway, due to the strict Islamic laws in place. Don’t venture out and about drunk though, as being drunk in a public place is illegal. Be even more conservative in dress code and eating or drinking in public spaces during the month of Ramadan.
The most modern and progressive emirate in the UAE, Dubai is a city constantly in flux and is growing at a rapid pace. Cultures and people from all over the world gather in Dubai, which is expressed through the culinary scene, fashion, music and shopping. While the city embraces modernism, it is still rooted in Islamic tradition and values. Dubai turns into a vibrant party after dark, with most of the nightlife centering around fancy hotels.
Women digital nomads should know that you won't be required to wear a buka, headscard or veil in Dubai. It is relatively safe to walk around solo in most areas and take taxis. You might, however, receive unwanted male attention and stares on public beaches. This is partly due to the fact that Emirati women are expected to be virgins when they marry, and in the eyes of some Arab men, foreign women are a chance to get around these norms without consequences. Even though you’ll see plenty of female tourists wearing skimpy shorts and tank tops in shopping malls and other public places (especially in Dubai), you should not assume that it’s acceptable to do so. On public transport, sit in the women’s section towards the front, and if you need help for any reason (directions etc), ask a woman first.
Dubai is not a digital nomad hotspot for many reasons: high cost of living, and a hot and humid weather.
The best period is November to March, when temperatures are in the low 30°Cs. From June to September, temperatures average 43°C with 95% humidity.
Coworking Spaces in Dubai
Cafes with wifi
Don't want to work at a coworking space? Check out these cafes with wifi instead.