Dubai is a large city and to most tourists, it stretches from the Deira side of the Creek area at one end to Jebel Ali at the other. On a good day with free-flowing traffic, it can take over 30 minutes at 60mph on the major highway Sheikh Zayed Road to get from one end to the other. The city also spreads out the other way from the Creek towards the stricter Emirate of Sharjah, but this is not thought of as a main tourist area.
There seem to be two main ways of arranging holidays in Dubai.
Booking a combined flight and hotel accommodation in which the price is quoted per person.
Booking flights and accommodation separately, in which case the accommodation is usually priced by the room allowing for (say) 2 occupants. Check out our much more detailed sub-menu on the right. It’ll help you decide what to look for and where to find it. We suggest you start by looking at Hotels in Dubai for background information on hotels and then move on to the actual Choosing Your Hotel and Furnished Apartments in Dubai sections
However, let’s initially help you avoid the biggest mistake by telling you which areas to avoid. At this stage, it may be useful to have a good up-to-date map of Dubai and the surrounding emirates. This is not as easy as it seems because the useful, up-to-date, scale, maps are hard to find and street maps can change overnight.
Personal favorites are two-fold:
Lonely Planet’s ‘Best of Dubai’ has useable maps and lots of good information, and The Big Bus Tour leaflet (and website) has a useful map that gives a good, albeit not to scale, an overview of Dubai and its attractions and will help you get a feel for the layout of the place.
These areas are all too far away from Dubai to be convenient for a Dubai-based holiday!
Pick one of these and you’ll probably be spending over an hour just getting to and from Dubai City every day. There’ll be no buses or trains so it’ll mean hiring a car, and as you’ll read elsewhere on this website, that’s not something you want to be doing.
However, that’s not to say these places may not be worth a visit, some of them most certainly are. Al Ain, for example, is different from Dubai in that it has no high-rise buildings, is a very green ‘garden’ city, and also has more road roundabouts than you’ll find in many a British city.