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The Solo Traveler Blog

Solo Travel Destination: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

We are pleased to present a new Solo Travel Destination Post from Kathryn, a member of the Solo Travel Society on Facebook. Kathryn lives in the United States and submitted the following report about Dubai. Do you have a solo travel destination that you would like to recommend? Submit your description here, along with a few photos, and share it with fellow travelers!

Solo travel rating: 1.5 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult. Please see chart below)

Languages spoken: English, Arabic

photo, image, jumeiah mosque, dubai

Jumeirah Mosque

Reasons to go:  “Why Dubai?”

First, this has to be the most international population of people in a city, bar none. Around 80% of the city’s population are not UAE residents but from all over the world. People here seem to all get along and respect each other even though they are from diverse backgrounds, religions, and regions. This is the safest place I have ever visited, including the U.S. Women can walk alone at night almost anywhere in the city and feel quite safe. 

Many women do wear the abaya and it is the most natural thing to see here. It just looks and feels right to them and to those of us around them. I see them smiling and gathering at restaurants and hanging out at the malls. 

Even though this is a city of showing wealth and “one-upmanship” (think, the world’s highest building, the world’s only 7-star hotel, the world’s fastest elevator, the world’s largest mall, and so on), the city is a testament to human creativity and inventiveness. Imagining that this city was just sand dunes a few years ago, then seeing it now with all of its skyscrapers and man-made marinas and islands, is just mind-boggling. 

Even though Arabic is the national language, English is the unofficial language and spoken by most people, which made travel there even easier for me. 

There is a “women for women” or “family only” cab service called “Pink Taxis.’ These are special taxis and the women drivers all have pink headscarves. There are also female local guides who are helpful in explaining the culture of the area. 

In addition to the new amazing buildings there are also the older towns with souks to explore. You can also visit Jumeirah Mosque in Dubai which has tours for non-Muslims to help provide a better understanding between cultures. There are also outdoor desert adventures nearby.

photo, image, gold store, dubai

Merchant at Brides gold store in souk.

photo, image, burj khalifa

Burj Khalifa, sunrise.

photo, image, mall, dubai

Kids head for ski lift in mall while mom stands by.

Solo Travel Destination Rating System

Safety - 1 (1 very safe, 2 safe in most areas, 3 be cautious at all times.)

Language - 2 (1 English is first language, 2 English speakers easy to find, 3 English speakers rare)

Navigation – 1 (1 easy to navigate by transit or car, 2 poor transit, car necessary, 3 not easy to get around)

Culture – 2 (1 Similar to North America or Western Europe, 2 Different from above but relaxed and easy, 3 Challenging)

Average Rating – 2 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult)

 

Related posts:

  • Don jimmy

    one of the best place for travel all information
    evening Dubai desert safari

  • Helen Midgley

    It’s refreshing to find an article encouraging solo travel by women in
    the UAE. I’m a senior solist and spent a week in Dubai on my own in January 2014. Despite dire predictions from friends and family, I had a wonderful time. Among the many things that impressed me was the cleanliness – no litter, no gum on the sidewalks, no graffiti. Day excursions to Abu Dhabi and Sharjeh are worthwhile. Oh, and so is dune bashing!
    Tip: When taking a taxi, besides the address have the telephone number of your destination with you. I was amazed the first time I got into a taxi, told the driver where I wanted to go, and he asked me how to get there! As Kathryn pointed out, most of Dubai’s residents are not native Emerati and there’s a big turnover. My driver called the number I had (it happened to be for the Madinat theater), got directions, and drove me straight there.

  • Dubai Photo Story

    Absolutely well written!!!

  • Karisa Blake

    I’d LOVE to visit the UAE :) The pink women only taxis are a great idea.

About Janice Waugh and Tracey Nesbitt

Screen Shot 2014-07-30 at 8.52.44 PMI'm an author, blogger, speaker and traveler. I became a widow and empty-nester at about the same time. And then, I became Solo Traveler... Here's the full story. >>
Tracey NesbittI’m a writer, editor, food and wine fanatic, and traveler. On my very first trip abroad I learned that solo travel was for me. Here's the full story. >>

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