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
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.
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)