Getting Out to the Gulf: Dubai & Beyond

One of the newest and most popular travel destinations in the world is Dubai. It’s relatively new to the travel scene, but it feels like it has been around forever, because of it’s pretty high popularity with people from around the globe. In fact, the Gulf area itself, to the east of the Middle East is gaining extreme levels of popularity. With destinations such as the UAE (which contains Dubai), Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Iran – there is plenty to see, do, taste and enjoy while out in the Gulf with a focus on the great city of Dubai.

But how do you get in? On a plane! Check the visa requirements of each nation before you visit, of course. You can get into Dubai via Dubai international airport, or even from nearby airports like Sharjah or Abu Dhabi. From there – the gulf is your oyster. You could head to nearby Emirates like Abu Dhabi or Sharjah. Again, check the travel restrictions and visa requirements. The United Arab Emirates can be strict, you might find Oman and Iran difficult to enter as well. It pays to check, check and check again to ensure you are eligible for entry and meet the requirements.

How do you get around Dubai? It’s got a fantastic 52km metro transit system, but usually – you’ll take a taxi. Now, be warned – driving standards in Dubai can range from slow and steady to Mad Max: Fury Road, so don’t be too startled if you’re suddenly in what seems to be a car chase! As always, be aware of unmarked taxis – and always stick to one with a meter.

Sleeping in the Gulf is a much of a muchness situation – with luxury resorts all over – but if you want something special – head to the Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa, which offers a chance to live out a modern Bedouin fantasy by sleeping under the stars, but with your creature comforts, of course.

Things to do? Dubai has it all – and the Gulf emulates Dubai quite well. For example, the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix is a standout event in November, and this street race underpins the luxury of the UAE. Shopping and the high life are the names of the game in Dubai, with the Dubai Mall being one of the most expansive and luxurious malls in the world. There are plenty of things to do in Dubai and the Gulf at large. For instance, if you wanted to ski – you can certainly indulge if you head up to Iran and the Dizin resort in the Alborz mountain range. The Gulf has it all.

There’s a lot of history on display as well – if you head to Al Ahmadiya School in Deira, you’ll see the reeds, pens and scrolls of Dubai’s first school. More history can be found in Bur Dubai – one of the last remnants of ‘old Dubai’ and classic Gulf culture. As for food, you’ll find shawarma all around, and plenty of the Western food joints. It’s a home away from home. Pars Iranian Kitchen is a highlight of Dubai – and it’s an open air restaurant that pays homage to Iranian dining traditions with food served over hot coals. It has to be experienced to be believed!