UAE is one of the hottest destinations for most travelers today. It is considered the land of extremes; after all, it has rolling desert dunes on certain parts and cosmopolitan cities on other areas. You will definitely see and do a lot of fun, exciting things here. It’s no wonder that UAE is now one of the world’s leading places for family getaways.
If it’s your first time to visit the UAE, here is a guide to help you have a great and unforgettable family vacation in this country:
1. Stay in a Family-Friendly Hotel
Families will need flexibility and a good location near the things they want to do in the UAE. A number of the best beachfront hotels in Dubai are amazing options for families. They are near the beach and have their own pools which are always the main attractions for both kids and adults.
In such hotels, you can stay in one of the spacious family room that is equipped with lounge, dining area, kitchen, and complimentary housekeeping. You and your family can also enjoy the pool deck, onsite supermarket, and the public beach.
2. The Best Time to Visit
UAE is a desert so expect that it will be hot. Late October to the end of March is the best time for your family to visit the emirate so you can maximize your time outdoors. If you choose to visit during the hot months, you’ll be restricted to indoor activities.
Keep in mind that the temperature during the peak of summer can reach as high as 50 degrees Celsius. Whenever you are outside, do not forget to use sunscreen and drink plenty of fluids.
3. Dress Code
For UAE visitors, ladies don’t need to be fully covered but should not wear anything revealing and too tight. When visiting religious buildings like the Grand Mosque, you’ll be provided with an “abaya” so you’ll be fully covered. For men, they may wear shorts but when visiting the mosques or in the evening, they should wear long trousers.
For your kids, they can wear anything they please. But expect to see plenty of Arab children in long sleeves and pants year round as a sign of modesty.
Take note that wearing beachwear is only allowed in private beaches, pools, resorts, and hotels. Furthermore, do not be shocked or surprised if you see women wearing the full face covering and assume that they are oppressed. Most importantly, don’t photograph them without asking permission.
4. Other Behavior Standards
No matter how mad you are, you should never swear or give a rude gesture. Or else, you’ll end up in a jail. Overt displays of affection are not allowed as well – only a peck on your husband’s cheek is acceptable. Whenever you are in public, you should be modest.
Take note that religious respect is a two-way street. So if you are traveling to the UAE, always respect the Islamic culture – you are expected to behave and dress respectfully.
5. The Call to Prayer
A prayer five times a day is one of the five pillars of Islam. You’ll see mosques all over the countryside and cities. Hearing the Adhan, which is like a melodic chanting sound, might startle you but you shouldn’t be surprised. During these times, non-Muslims don’t need to do anything but expect to see people going into mosques or pulling up their mats to perform the prayer ritual.
And if you’re wondering about the arrow you see on top of your hotel room, this is pointing to the Mecca.
6. Caring for an Infant
If you need some infant supplies, there are plenty of shopping establishments offering global clothing brands. Some retail stores can even deliver pregnancy and maternity supplies to your hotel.
However, it is best to bring specific infant supplies since they may not be available in the UAE. In case of emergencies, know that there are reputable hospitals with knowledgeable and skilled doctors so you should be in safe hands.
Breastfeeding is acceptable and legal. But you won’t see plenty of women breastfeeding their babies in public. A place you can go to if you do not want to breastfeed your baby in public is in a female prayer room – moms who have done so report that they were welcomed there.
If you know these crucial pieces of information, you can get the most out of your family vacation in the UAE. Book the right hotel, pack the right clothes and supplies, be aware of the dress code and other behavior standards, and learn how to navigate around!
Thomas Grundner is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for JA Resorts & Hotels. He has more than 20 years of expertise in the hospitality and leisure industry – across international markets including Germany, Egypt and Spain. Grundner oversees all sales, marketing and revenue efforts as the company continues to build on its key growth and development strategies and further cultivates its unique blend of “Heartfelt Hospitality” and “Casual Luxury.”