Arguably the most famous holiday destination in the Middle East, Dubai is an icon in itself. The uber-luxurious city teems with skyscrapers and upscale malls (souks), inviting shoppers and business travellers alike. Owing to this city’s popularity, we must first know – where is Dubai located?
Most people assume that Dubai is all about desserts and dry land. However, you will be surprised to know the extent of water that the city dwellers enjoy. This emirate is not only home to the tallest building in the world but also a hub of culture and trade.
Where is Dubai Situated?
Dubai is located in the Arabian Peninsula. One of the emirates of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), this Middle Eastern city sits on the coast of the Persian Gulf. Spread over 1,610 square kilometres or 620 square miles, Dubai is a monarchy made up of various villages and towns.
Bordered by Sharjah in the northeast, Abu Dhabi in the south and Oman in the southeast, Dubai also has an exclave – Hatta. Located in the Arabian Desert, the geographical coordinates of this emirate are 25 degrees 15 minutes 47 seconds North and 55 degrees 17 minutes 50 seconds East.
Sitting in the northern hemisphere, Dubai follows the UAE Standard Time or the Gulf Standard Time, which is 4 hours ahead of the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+4).
Dubai Map from India
Dubai is located to the west of India. It is about 2,475 km away from mainland India if you consider the aerial distance. The sea route from India to Dubai is 1,335 nautical miles long when measured from the Port of Mumbai to Port Dubai (Mina Rashid) across the Indian Ocean.
When it comes to the roadways, it is not possible to drive to Dubai from India even though they are connected by land. This is because of border restrictions between India and Pakistan. However, if you manage to cross over to Pakistan, you can theoretically drive to the UAE via Iran, Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
How to Reach Dubai from India
The most convenient mode of transportation from any Indian city to Dubai is by air. The shortest flight takes 2 hours and 50 minutes (operated by SpiceJet from Ahmedabad). Fares begin at INR 6,900 for a single journey in economy class.
There are two international airports in Dubai – Al Maktoum International and Dubai International Airport. Dubai International Airport is the busiest airport in the world if you consider international passenger traffic.
Airlines that connect India and Dubai are Air India – the national carrier of India, IndiGo, Emirates and Etihad – the flag carriers of the United Arab Emirates, SpiceJet, Air-India Express, Gulf Air, Vistara, Oman Air, Saudia, Jazeera, Kuwait Airways, Ethiopian, EgyptAir, Qatar Airways, flydubai, SriLankan Airlines, Nepal Airlines, Turkish Airlines and Flynas.
There are also some Dubai vacation packages from India that let you cruise across the seas. Jalesh Cruises offers a 4 days 3 nights cruise on one of their luxurious cruise ships. The fare begins at INR 27,000 per head for an inside cabin without a view and goes on increasing for rooms with views and suites.
Aboard the cruise liner, you will find a swimming pool, a gym, a big-screen theatre, casinos, multiple restaurants serving cuisines from India, China, the Far East and even international fare. You will also find a spa onboard.
The Best Time to Visit Dubai from India
Dubai has hot and dry weather almost all round the year. However, the temperatures drop a little bit in the months of November to February, making the winters the best time to visit this Emirati city.
Apart from the mild weather, this time of the year is also when this emirate hosts a lot of festivals, expos and other events. December and January are the most popular months for tourists as this is when the annual Dubai Shopping Festival is held – a time when stores offer deep discounts and there are lucky draws and fireworks on display.
The peak season is also a time when air tickets and hotel rates are at an all-time high. For the cheapest deals, September is the month you should pick. However, the weather will be sultry around this time, with temperatures always being over 30 degrees Celsius.
Is Dubai Good for Honeymoon?
Dubai is famous for its flashy lifestyle and relative proximity to India. While this city is not a traditional honeymoon destination, the affordable flights make it a smart choice for newlyweds who are on a budget.Honeymooning or not, there are plenty of activities to do in Dubai. Shopaholics can make purchases to their heart’s content at the countless souks that sell gold, gemstones, fabrics, high-end perfumes and attar (traditional Middle Eastern fragrance with an oil base), branded clothes and accessories, tapestries and other handicrafts.
Activities and Things to do in Dubai
If you are travelling with one of the Dubai tour packages, you will often have inclusions such as a dinner cruise along the marina in a dhow – traditional Emirati boat. Another popular activity in this desert city is the desert safari.
If the thought of riding through undulating sand dunes in a modified SUV excites you, this is certainly for you! You will be glad you wore your seatbelts as you go on a rollercoaster through the Arabian Desert in a car driven by an expert.
Usually part of this desert experience is a tanoura performance which is a traditional dance form. Generally performed by males, this involves the dancer whirling at various speeds to make his ethnic flared skirt rise up and go down as the lights on the fabric glow along with the rhythm.
Accompanying the tanoura performance is a belly dance show during which women showcase the flexibility of their waist and stomach as they grove to Arabic music. The entire cultural performance is held in the middle of the desert, under a shamiana.
As you enjoy your dinner in a low-seating setup on the floor, you can also take a few whiffs of flavoured shisha that is optionally served with the local fare and alcohol or non-alcoholic drinks. The desert experience sometimes includes the chance to ride a four-by-four off-roader, either by yourself or with your partner seated behind you.
Adrenaline junkies can also try sandboarding. Similar to snowboarding, sandboarding involves sliding down a sand hill on a board which can glide over the dunes. The sand here is fine, and will not stain your clothes.
When you are tired of the heat, visit Ski Dubai for a surreal experience of artificial snow, replete with mountains and sub-zero temperatures which require you to wear extra layers (which can be rented). You can even try skiing and ice skating here.
For a dash of history and architecture, visit the Dubai Museum which brings the past to life through models, interactive displays and live exhibits. Located in Old Dubai or Deira, the museum is quite close to the Deira Creek which you may cross through a short boat ride.
All-inclusive Dubai tour packages from India
Dubai vacation packages from India will also let you go on a camel safari in the desert. The camels here are single humped and the experience of climbing, riding and getting off one of these dromedaries is an adventure in itself. You will always have a guide with you, so there is nothing to worry about though.
When it comes to sightseeing in Dubai, one cannot go without mentioning Burj Khalifa – the tallest building in the world as of today. With 160 storeys, this skyscraper is a must-visit. You will have a panorama of the entire city and beyond when you reach the observation deck at the top.
For a luxurious lunch date, dine at one of the upscale restaurants of Burj Al Arab – the iconic seafront hotel. If you desire some change from the desert and sea routine, you can always pop into the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo for a breath-taking display of marine life.
Dubai may be home to various international restaurants that serve cuisines from around the globe, but it is worth tasting the traditional dishes of the UAE. Begin your meal with some igeimat – fritters that are flavoured with saffron. Tuck into a platter of ouzi for a taste of whole-roasted lamb served with fragrant hazelnuts, rice and veggies.
You can even bite into tomato-flavoured chicken with a piece of khubz (Emirati bread). The use of camel milk is quite popular in Dubai and you will have a few options to taste chocolate made with camel milk or even camel milk ice-cream. For a more traditional dessert, try basbousa – a cake made of semolina and sweetened with rose water. Finish your meal with some dates and black tea.
Dubai is perhaps the first destination that most Indians aim to visit on their maiden overseas trip. Its location only adds to bolster their decision. If you have also harboured a wish to explore this one out of the other six emirates, book your tickets without further delay. The blend of Arabic culture and modern charms will only keep you coming back for more.