The best time to visit is October to February when temperatures average 75°F (24°C). If you do decide to brave the heat in the summer months, to can be an average of 105°F (40°C) in July and August.
2. Packing Tips
Pack a light jacket, sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat for the glaring sun. Also remember the insides of Malls can sometimes be freezing, whereas the outdoors may be blazing heat, so prepare appropriately. Carry comfortable walking shoes for all the footwork in Malls and across the city. Also, there are beautiful beaches in Dubai so your beachwear should go in that travel bag too!
3. City commute
Dubai is not a city that you can manage by foot. If you plan to rent a car, keep in mind that the driving is on right side of the road. Dubai doesn't require tourists to have an international driver's license.
The better option that worked for me was taxis, that are easy to find and extremely affordable. Every mall has a taxi booth, and it’s easy to catch them on the streets too. It is a good practice to tip, although not compulsory.
Then there is the Dubai Metro which has stations at several of the big malls – including Mall of the Emirates, Dubai Mall, BurJuman and Deira City Centre. I would not say it can take you everywhere in the city, but good to know for at least Mall visits.
4. Cultural Sensitivity – Clothes, PDA and Behavior
It is not as strict as it is made out to be (like Saudi), but it is good to keep in mind Dubai’s dress code guidelines. Dress modestly when in public areas such as malls and restaurants, with shoulders and knees covered for women, and no bare chests or short shorts for men. Beachwear is acceptable only in beach areas and not in restaurants or inside the city. The majority of locals here are tolerant but in case they feel uncomfortable with skimpy clothing, they can report you to authorities.
Also, PDA such as kissing or holding hands is not very well received. Swearing and making rude gestures, drunkenness are also punishable offences. Taking pictures of local people, particularly women, without permission is also not recommended. So while you’re there, respect their cultural and religious sensitivities.
A quote from the Dubai laws and guidelines website “Dubai and the UAE do not have religious police with the job of checking on public morality. The job of the police is to uphold the law, and if someone makes a complaint, then the police will usually feel obliged to act.”
Although a Muslim state, but alcohol can be served within the confines of a hotel to guests over 21 years. It is a punishable offence to drink, or to be under the influence of alcohol, in public. One cannot buy alcohol in UAE unless they have a liquor license.
6. Religious Occasions
The UAE is an Islamic country, so Fridays are weekly days of rest and prayer, and you might find some smaller shops closed. Malls would be open, and you would hear the prayer call periodically.
During Ramadan, the special month in the Islamic calendar, Muslims fast during the day. Therefore, as a sign of respect, all eating and drinking in public is banned. So you might not find Malls/Eateries serving food, but hotels might have options for non-Muslim guests. Eateries open after sunset and all service resumes.
Two major celebrations- Eid Al-Fitr marks the end of the holy month, then Eid Al-Adha falls a few months later. You can find special deals and food dishes to mark the celebrations and Malls/Stores are open till late in the night.
Hope this list is helpful and I wish you good luck for your travel to Dubai and Abu Dhabi or anywhere else in UAE.