Dubai Favorite Tips by Robin020
Dubai Favorites: 135 reviews and 241 photos
Favorite thing: Nol Red Ticket
For the Occasional Traveller
Nol Red Ticket is a paper-based ticket that can be bought from any ticket vending machine at any time for only AED 2. It can be loaded with up to 10 Single Trips. Currently, this ticket can only be used on one mode of transport at a time (e.g. on Metro only, Bus only).
Low ticket price
Can be bought from any ticket vending machine at any time
Allows you to pay for the exact trip only
Nol Silver Card
The perfect starter card
Nol Silver Card is a smart card with an e-purse that can be loaded with up to AED 500. Enjoy the ease of getting this card immediately from any ticket office for only AED 20 (includes AED 14 e-purse value) and enjoy the convenience of using one card on all modes of transport.
Automatically calculates the cost of your trip and deduct it from your e-purse
Valid on all modes of transport
You can get it for a low price and use it immediately
Valid for 5 years
silver card goldcars bluecard red card
Daily Fare Cap 14.00 14.00 1 14.00 n/a
Short Trip (< 3km) 1.80 3.60 1.80 2.00
Within 1 Zone 2.30 4.60 2.30 2.50
2 Adjacent Zones 4.10 8.20 4.10 4.50
More than 2 Zones 5.80 11.60 5.80 6.50
Student, senior citizen 2,3 N/A N/A 50% N/A
Disabled 4 N/A N/A Free N/A
Children 5 Free Free Free Free
Read more: http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Middle_East/United_Arab_Emirates/Dubai/Dubai-1857296/Transportation-Dubai-MISC-BR-1.html#tip=2206305#ixzz1kYaTzLsw
Favorite thing: Wasta is a word often heard in Dubai in the UAE. It is Arabic and translates as something like authority, influence, political (or other) power, connections, or a combination of those terms. In practical terms it means that some rules can become more flexible if you have wasta, or know someone who has wasta. Also, a bit of wasta can smooth or speed up business transactions, bureaucratic issues, and other official procedures. At its best (or worst, depending on your point of view), a good dose of wasta could keep you out of jail or save you from other unpleasant consequences of dubious activities.
The common English expression "it's not what you know but who you know ... " is a rough equivalent of wasta.
On the wasta scale (not that there is an official one), things that can make a difference in the UAE are your nationality, your profession, who you work for, who you know, your political position in the country, your connections to people in positions of authority. Money and how long you have lived in the UAE don't usually directly affect your wasta level but indirectly they do since longer term residents may have built up a larger network of high-wasta friends, and rich people often associate with other rich people who may be high-wasta individuals.
Many expat residents learn about wasta through a driving experience. In simple terms, the more wasta someone has, the less likely they are to cop a fine and/or be blamed if there's an accident. Wasta can result in some unusual situations for example, green lights were actually red when you went through them because the person who crashed into you had enough wasta to change the color retroactively. Indications of higher levels of wasta on the road are dark tinted or mirror tinted windows (30% maximum is the law so anything more than that means it's likely they have enough wasta to get around this rule), number plates with fewer than 5 digits (but anyone can buy them now if they have enough cash so it's not as good an indication as in the past).
Wasta is something that many expats, especially westerners, find difficult to come to terms with but you'll find it easier to enjoy Dubai if you get used to that rather than try to fight it. And of course it helps if you can elevate your own wasta level somehow.
Wasta and Bribes
Don't confuse wasta with bribery. If you try to bribe a government official, for example a police officer who has just pulled you up for driving though somebody's garden, you should expect to be punished fairly harshly for trying to bribe them. And if the owner of the garden that you drove through has some wasta, then you'll probably be even worse off. In the business world, things may operate a little differently. Just as anywhere else in the world, the negotiation of business transactions and contracts is not always done on a level playing field, and bribes ... er gifts ... might be part of your discussions with interested parties.
Favorite thing: Dubai's nightlife scene has come along in leaps and bounds since the mid 90s. Although Dubai is not quite Ibiza, Berlin, New York, etc, it certainly has enough noise and laser beams in the various watering holes to keep most boys and girls looking for a party satisfied now.
Most, if not all, of the clubs listed are open until 3 am. At which point the music stops and the lights come on. Abruptly. There are apparently large fines levied on the establishment if music continues even seconds after the gong. During Ramadan check to see if they are open. Many will be closed, and the ones that are open will be very subdued - no live music or dancing is allowed then.
The rest of the year, many Dubai nightclubs have a lively atmosphere with some world class DJs appearing on a regular basis in recent years. For example Hed Kandi and Groove Armada (at Trilogy), Paul van Dyke, DJ Tiesto (at Madinat Arena - not a nightclub), DJ Krafty Kuts (at IBO), Eric Morillo (at Trilogy), Ferry Corsten and Schiller at Peppermint Club, and more.
From December 2007 to February 2008, outdoor venues were ordered by the DTCM (Dubai Department of Tourism, Commerce, Marketing) to turn the music down, to a level where you'd look like a bit of a muppet if you were dancing. Which seemed to confirm the rumour that the DTCM is not actually an organisation that wants to promote tourism in Dubai. Nevertheless, as of mid-February 2008 this restriction seemed to have been lifted - check with club first. The fish in the vicinity of 360 will just have to stop their whining and go and sleep somewhere else.
Cover Charges to enter nightclubs in Dubai
Until the early 2000s, it was rare to have to pay a cover charge for a bar or nightclub in Dubai. But with more people, more sophisticated clubs and more well-known DJs playing more regularly, the number of places trying to squeeze a few extra dirhams out of the punters is on the rise. Expect to pay 50-100 dhs for normal entry which sometimes includes a drink or two. And 100-200 dhs for top DJs. It's not all bad though, many places still have free entry, especially on weeknights. Sometimes women will get in free and men have to pay. Market forces overrule equality of the sexes ...
Thursday is the biggest night with Fridays not far behind. Friday nights may become more popular since the Dubai weekend changed from Thu/Fri to Fri/Sat in September 2006, but there are still large numbers of people who work on Saturdays so Thursday night is expected to remain popular.
Door Policies at Dubai nightclubs
Like most countries, women and couples will have an easier time getting in to a night club in Dubai than men (solo or in groups). If you're a bloke or a couple of blokes on your own, you may be able to persuade some friendly females in the nightclub queue that you head in together as "couples".
A few clubs in Dubai will have big angry looking chaps looking important with wires in their ears and clipboards to which they'll refer and then say you're not on the list if you don't look right. There may well genuinely be a list - you could always try booking ahead and getting your name on it. In some of the swankier Dubai night clubs you may have to book a table and a bottle (allow a few hundred dirhams for the bottle).
Some clubs in Dubai don't bother with the clipboard and just permit or deny entry in accordance with random, erm, house rules. Officially, there's no racism and several press articles have investigated accusations of racist door policies at Dubai nightclubs. Reports of different entry fees for different nationalities are of course denied. Unofficially? Um, no comment.
Men wearing local dress (dishdashas, kandooras) will usually be denied entry. Not because of nationality but because it is apparently against the law to wear local dress in bars and nightclubs in Dubai. Presumably the same applies to women in abayas.
During Ramadan you may be asked what religion you are. Muslims will be requested not to enter Dubai nightclubs and bars.
List of nightclubs in Dubai (and Lounge Bars)
360° - rooftop of the building at the end of the groyne jutting out from Jumeirah Beach Hotel. Very chilled or cool (in more than one sense of those words in mid-winter). Fishing rods not allowed.
400 Club - Fairmont Hotel, scheduled opening was December 2005. If you stood in the queue then, you'd have waited a year before the doors opened. UK club music, french decor. Worth the wait? Probably. Exclusive/expensive, tel +971-4-3324900
Abaya Nightclub - Dubai Park Hotel, SZR (Tel +971-4-3992222). Curiously named Arabic nightclub (the Abaya is what Emirati women wear). Live music and belly dancers.
African Star - Marco Polo Hotel, Deira (Tel +971-4-2720000). African nightclub.
Al Zumorrod - Carlton Tower Hotel, Deira. Iranian nightclub. You probably won't see the Ayatollah there though.
Alpha Club - Meridian Village / Le Meridien Dubai Hotel, opened 22 May 2008, prides itself on a massive sound system. Go on, go and give your ears an acoustic enema. Open 2100-0300, from 2000 on Thursdays, and 1600 on Fridays. Tel +971-4-7022640.
Amnesia - next to Hard Rock Cafe on SZ Rd. Used to be popular when it was called the Atlantis (back in the days that the only other choices were The Lodge and The Diamond Club). Closed June 2007?
Apartment, The - in Jumeirah Beach Hotel, getting a good reputation.
Arbat Club, The - Carlton Tower Hotel, Bur Dubai. Russian nightclub.
Bang nightclub Dubai - open end October 2008 in Old Town Burj Dubai, run by Boudoir so expect a fussy entrance policy. Tel +971-4-4397444 to get on the entry list (or expect to be bounced). Modelled on the Crystal Club in London? Website www.clubbang.ae (not available). Update: maybe ClubBang were too fussy. Opened with a bang (lots of loud press releases), closed in early 2009 with a fizzle. Last update on Club Bang Facebook page was December 2008.
Bar Zar - Madinat Jumeirah, used to be a very pleasant relaxed bar with a large outdoor area overlooking the water, not really a night club but open late with good music. The "Come As You Are" slogan literally meant that, until they got fussy with dress code in 2008, attempting to move into the more pretentious prestigious league of bars in Dubai. Go to Barasti instead if you're looking for somewhere casual.
Barasti Bar downstairs - indoor/outdoor sort of lounge club. Excellent venue, relaxed dress code.
Beach Club - Palm Beach Hotel in Bur Dubai, nowhere near a beach. African band, small, different, tel +971-4-3931999.
Billabong - Holiday Inn, Deira. Australian nightclub (if you can have such a thing).
Blush - club night rather than a club, no longer operating?
Bollywood - Regency Palace Hotel, Bur Dubai (Tel +971-4-3556633). Indian nightclub with live music and dancers.
Boudoir - they like to make a big thing of their bouncers with clipboards (you don't get in if you're not on the list). Has a snobby reputation.
Buddha Bar - Grosvenor House Hotel, Dubai Marina (+971-4-3998888), more of a lounge bar. Chilled, worth a visit. The first time you visit, make sure you walk up the staircase shortly after (
Fondest memory: Diamond Club, The - like The Lodge, a great place in its heyday but has not reopened since being shut down in 2001 after promoting a "Miss MoneyPennys" night. Shame.
Double Deckers - similar to JD and RB. Bouncers have a reputation for being a bit heavy-handed.
Downtown Africa - President Hotel, Bur Dubai (Tel +971-4-3346565). African nightclub where the soft drinks are firstname.lastname@example.org, tel +971-4-3477793, website www.thefridgedubai.com.
Geri Halliwell nightclub Dubai (rumoured) - the "Ginger Spice" chick reportedly wants to open a s
Favorite thing: Alcohol Licence - obtaining one and why you should have one
An Alcohol Licence (or License) gives expats in Dubai and the UAE permission to drink alcohol - they need a residence visa before applying for an alcohol license. It is shown at off-licences or liquor stores in Dubai when making purchases. In theory it could be asked for at a bar or club but in practice it almost never is. Apparently the law says that only hotel guests may drink at hotel bars but it's unheard of for that to be enforced.
14 Nov 2006 news. A court case acquitted a resident for drinking in a bar because he did have an alcohol license, although the police arrested him because they claimed the license only allowed residents to drink alcohol at home.
Tourists do not need an alcohol licence since they are not in Dubai on a resident's visa.
Muslims are not permitted to have an alcohol licence (the application form asks what religion the applicant is).
Alcohol licenses are a legal requirement when buying alcohol from bottle shops like MMI, and A&E, and Spinneys in Abu Dhabi. How often it is asked for varies depending on emirate. Almost always in Dubai, sometimes not in Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah, and rarely, if ever, in Umm Al Quwain and Ajman.
Alcohol purchases can be made without a licence (illegally) at several establishments in Ajman and Umm Al Quwain. Or you can present your license and buy alcohol legally. Where you're likely to get into trouble is if you have an accident between shop and home, and the alcohol is found in your car. Sharjah especially would be more risky as it is a dry emirate. Checkpoints with car searches are a possibility but very rare. If you do have a license then you are permitted to transport alcohol for personal use between shop and home. However, for those living in Dubai, you would be expected to buy alcohol in Dubai.
On 03 July 2006 there was a report in the Gulf News of alcohol purchasers being followed from Ajman into Sharjah by conmen, made to pull over and threatened with being reported to the police unless a ransom was paid. Figures were reported as being 2000 dhs to 10,000 dhs. An Ajman police official apparently told the reporter that non-Muslims were allowed to transport legally purchased alcohol through any emirate to their home. Note that you need to present your alcohol license in these 'hole-in-the-wall' establishments in Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, etc to become a legal alcohol purchaser.
The licence shows a monthly limit for purchases which depends on the applicants salary. Usually the limit is somewhere between 500 dhs and 1500 dhs per month.
Tax on Alcohol
There is a 30% tax added to all alcohol purchases made when presenting an alcohol licence (last confirmed June 2006).
Your company obtains one for you. There'll be fees of around 200 dhs per year to pay, and you'll need the usual paperwork (passport with residence visa, photos).
You apply for one yourself. The easiest way to do this is through one of the alcohol shops in Dubai - A & E or MMI. They have the forms and will obtain the license for you (about 200 dhs per year).
More Reviews (21)
- See All Facts about Dubai metro
- See All Facts about Dubai metro
- See All Blocked websites
- Some bars and clubs
Robin020's Related Pages
Dubai Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
- "Not all that glitters is gold..."
- "Nothing is Too Impossible in Dubai"
- "DESERT ROSE MONOLOGUES - A DUBAI AFFAIR"
- "DUBAI - The Pearl of Arabia"
- "Developing Dubai"
- "Dubai - a city growing before your eyes!"
- See All...
- Things to Do in Dubai
- Hotels in Dubai
- Transportation in Dubai
- Nightlife in Dubai
- Restaurants in Dubai
- Shopping in Dubai
- Warnings and Dangers in Dubai
- See All...
Explore the World
- Zinapécuaro Hotels
- Tung Lo Wan Hotels
- Middelharnis Hotels
- Besalú Hotels
Badges & Stats in Dubai
- 25 Reviews
- 88 Photos
- 0 Forum posts
- 0 Comments
- See All Stats
- See All Badges (2)
Have you been to Dubai?Share Your Travels
Latest Activity in Dubai
Photos in DubaiSee All Photos (88)
Videos in DubaiSee All Videos (11)
Top 10 Pages
- Aleppo Intro, 94 reviews, 232 photos
- Damascus Intro, 58 reviews, 130 photos
- Fes Intro, 25 reviews, 104 photos
- `Afrin Intro, 55 reviews, 68 photos
- Thessaloniki Intro, 25 reviews, 97 photos
- Dubai Intro, 25 reviews, 88 photos
- Toronto 30 reviews, 65 photos
- Amman Intro, 30 reviews, 65 photos
- London Intro, 36 reviews, 25 photos
- Casablanca Intro, 13 reviews, 48 photos
FriendsSee All Friends (11)
Latest Dubai hotel reviews
- Dunes Hotel Apartments - Barsha
- 26 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: May 13, 2013
- Holiday Inn Express Dubai Jumeirah
- 170 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: May 17, 2013
- Rainbow Hotel
- 25 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: May 5, 2013
- Dusit Residence Dubai Marina
- 84 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: May 21, 2013
- 30 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: May 2, 2013
- Al Sharq Hotel
- 17 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Feb 20, 2013
- Richmond Hotel Apartments
- 33 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: May 19, 2013
- Star Metro Al Barsha
- 40 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 5, 2013
- Dubai Marina - Marina Heights
- 4 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 6, 2012
- Coral Al Khoory Hotel Apartments
- 63 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 17, 2013
- Xclusive Hotel Apartments
- 141 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: May 19, 2013
- La Maison d'Hotes
- 8 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jun 8, 2010
- Souqs- 53 Reviews, 105 Photos
- Burj Al Arab- 33 Reviews, 98 Photos
- Desert Safari- 40 Reviews, 96 Photos
- Burj Khalifa- 22 Reviews, 91 Photos
- Jumeirah Beach Park- 21 Reviews, 47 Photos
- Gold Souq- 16 Reviews, 26 Photos
- Dubai Creek- 27 Reviews, 69 Photos
- Dubai Museum- 35 Reviews, 91 Photos
- Shopping- 35 Reviews, 75 Photos
- Wild Wadi Waterpark- 14 Reviews, 26 Photos
See All Dubai Things to Do