Rooftop Pool

Planning Your Trip

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From towering skyscrapers and exceptional luxury shopping to adrenaline-pumping outdoor adventure and fascinating historic sites, there is so much to do in Dubai. Whether you’re visiting for business or pleasure, here’s what to pack to make the most of your visit.

View of the city?s skyscrapers from the white sand beach
View of the city?s skyscrapers from the white sand beach
Planning Your Trip
What To Pack

While temperatures are high, particularly in summer, air conditioning is plentiful. Bring a lightweight layer to ward off any chill when you come in from the heat outdoors.

Business Travel

As the Middle East’s global business hub, Dubai is at the epicenter of the world market. If it’s work that’s bringing you to the United Arab Emirates’ biggest city, pack the following essentials.


  • Even in the sweltering summer heat, men are expected to wear formal business suits and a tie.

  • Women should dress conservatively — jackets and trousers are fail-safes and short skirts or low necklines should be avoided.

  • Your business cards should be a part of your uniform. Always carry them with you whenever you go to a meeting.
Exploring the City

There is such a wide range of activities to enjoy in Dubai that packing for everything can be a bit of a puzzle. Here are a few must-have items.


  • Jeans are worn around the city, but with the high temperatures, it is generally more comfortable to wear trousers that are lighter in weight.

  • Thinking of heading to the beach? Bring a pair of flip-flops. They also wouldn’t be out of place if you chose to wear them while wandering the city.

  • Dubai is famous for its vibrant nightlife scene with plenty of restaurants and clubs, so consider packing a few dressier outfits — think smart slacks and dressier shirts for men and Western-style attire for women. Note that when getting to and from the club, women should consider wearing a pashmina to cover exposed shoulders or lower necklines.
Cultural Considerations

Dubai has a dress code based on respect for the culture and religion of the UAE. Everything from shoulders to knees should be covered in public areas such as malls, markets, cinemas or walking around outside.


  • Women should wear modest clothing like trousers or longer skirts and shirts that cover the shoulders and upper arms. Avoid anything low-cut or midriff-bearing.

  • At the pool or beach, it is appropriate to wear a swimsuit or bikini, but women will need to put on a cover-up when going to and from their destination.

  • A lightweight shawl is a good versatile item to have, particularly if you decide to visit one of the mosques, as women will be required to cover their heads.
Ritz Carlton Hotel image
Ritz Carlton Hotel image
Planning Your Trip
What To Reserve

The Ritz-Carlton, DIFC is ideally situated in Dubai’s most vibrant district for dining, nightlife, shopping and the arts, as well as close to some incredible outdoor excursions. Though for those looking to relax without ever leaving the property, there are ample opportunities for enjoyment at the fantastic restaurants and the spa. Make a few arrangements in advance to make the most of your visit.

Connect with the concierge to assist in arranging some special adventures like a show cruise to explore the city from the sea; or stay for a romantic dinner on the water. Book a round at the Middle East’s first all-grass championship golf course and consider playing after the sun goes down — it’s the only course to offer night golf. For something a bit more active, dune bashing or going on a desert safari is an exciting way to spend an afternoon. If the desert is calling you, consider spending the night stargazing from a sand dune. If you’re looking for a truly unique way to beat the heat, head to the Mall of the Emirates, where you can go skiing indoors and meet little penguins.  

There’s quite a vibrant dining and clubbing scene in Dubai, with DJs flocking to the city from around the globe to perform. But in addition, art lovers should make a point of taking advantage of the wide variety of performing arts in the city. La Perle by Dragone is a performance featuring 65 artists acting and performing acrobatics as well as aquatic and aerial stunts. For more traditional offerings, the stunning, modern Dubai Opera offers opera, musicals, ballets and theater throughout the year. 

Escape the bustle of the city with a rejuvenating experience at the spa. Book one of the signature treatments like the Maroc Maroc Massage, which includes a black soap full-body exfoliation, application of body balm, massage and a scalp massage using argan oil. Or try the Desert Reviver, a full-body sand exfoliation followed by a hot stone massage and concluded with a cooling body moisturizer. Arrange to arrive early at the spa to take advantage of the steam rooms and, after your appointment, linger in the sumptuous relaxation room. 

Enjoy some of the best cuisines Dubai has to offer by arranging for tables at some of the exclusive restaurants at the hotel. Center Cut offers the finest cuts of U.S. and Australian beef and a premium wine selection. Le Cirque Dubai — the Middle Eastern offshoot of the famed New York eatery — offers French cuisine with an Italian flair. Café Belge takes its inspiration from 1920s Brussels with dishes like moules served with frites and Belgian mayonnaise, chicken vol-au-vent and fresh oysters. To cap off the evening, reserve a table in the Sunken Garden for modern Arabic tapas, drinks and the best shisha in town with more than 30 flavors on offer.   

Bartender holds a cocktail in a martini glass over a bar set with multiple glass bottles
Bartender holds a cocktail in a martini glass over a bar set with multiple glass bottles
Planning Your Trip

A futuristic metropolis built within the Arabian Desert, Dubai is a city like no other. While the glittering skyscrapers, luxury shopping malls and endless options of world-class cuisine are the main attractions, there’s also another side of Dubai — one that embraces the region’s heritage, tradition and history. Whether it’s exploring the old-world gold and spice souks, zooming to the top of the world’s tallest building or discovering its burgeoning art scene, it’s well worth your time to explore all the sides to this city, so you can see where it came from and where it’s going.



Good Morning, Dubai. Breakfast at Social House is a decadent affair. Serving up familiar flavors with regional influences, pick from the restaurant’s offerings of shakshouka with labneh and za’atar pita bread to scrambled eggs with black truffle shavings.

A Bird’s-eye View. Zoom to the top of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. From the 148th-floor observation deck, revel in the views of this hyper-futuristic city — man-made islands, skyscrapers and all — and also take in the sights of the surrounding natural beauty, which includes the nearby Dubai desert and the Arabian Sea.




Brunch It Up. If you’re in Dubai on a Friday, it means it’s time for brunch, which isn’t just a meal, but an event. Join the well-dressed crowd at Baikingu Brunch at Zuma, a Japanese restaurant that serves up an impressive selection of everything from sushi and sashimi to gyoza and yakitori.




Quench Your Thirst. Dubai does nothing small, and Juice World is no exception. Choose from its 200 selections of fresh juices and smoothies, or make your own blend. For a sweet treat, try a falooda — a cold, rose-flavored dessert made with vermicelli and sweet basil seeds.

The Spice of Life. Let the scents of the Spice Souk lead you to its narrow alleyways. Beautifully arranged spices, incense, traditional medicine products and dried flowers line each vendor’s stalls. Situated in Deira — Dubai’s oldest neighborhood — the Spice Souk offers a peek into the city’s culture.




A Relaxing Apéritif. After a busy day, head back to The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre for a pre-dinner cocktail. Take a respite from the busy city to enjoy a cup of tea at the Lobby Lounge or a glass of wine at Café Belge, or head to the Sunken Garden, a lush oasis that offers 30 exotic shisha flavors.

A Meal to Remember. Enjoy classic French fare created with an Italian twist at Le Cirque, the classic New York City restaurant that has finally arrived in the Middle East.



Morning Jolt. Coffee has been a part of Middle Eastern culture since the 16th century, so it’s fitting that the Dubai Coffee Museum sits in one of the city’s most historic districts, Al Fahidi. This private museum displays antiques and artifacts from Ethiopia — where coffee originated — and also Egypt. Before leaving, have a cup of freshly brewed coffee from the museum’s custom bar.  

A Creek-Side Breakfast. Stroll through picturesque Old Dubai and stop for breakfast at the charming Creekside Café. Situated right alongside Dubai Creek, you can watch the passing abras (traditional wooden boats) while eating your Emirati-inspired food. Post-meal, explore the nearby textile souk for a shopping experience that’s more cultural than commercial.




Go Global. If you’re in Dubai between November and April, be sure to visit the Global Village. Every year, this event showcases different cultures from over 65 countries in a celebration of entertainment, shopping and, of course, food. From Egypt to Italy and Vietnam to Oman, you can sample the regional cuisines of each country for a smorgasbord of flavors.




Jumeirah Mosque. For all the modern glamour of Dubai, the city is still home to myriad locations that have an undercurrent of strong traditions and old-world ways — Jumeirah Mosque is one of those places. As the only mosque in Dubai that welcomes non-Muslim guests, it’s a worthwhile visit for a view into the culture and religion of the United Arab Emirates.  

A Lebanese Lunch. Pay a visit to the well-loved Al Nafoorah for authentic Lebanese cuisine. This highly regarded restaurant has perfected traditional dishes like grilled lamb and shawarma with mouthwatering results. With flawless service and generous portions, it’s the perfect place for a leisurely lunch.




A Sunset Stroll. Before dinner, take a walk along the shore of Palm Jumeirah, the world’s largest artificial island. Dip your toes in the Arabian Sea or explore the shops, cafés and restaurants that line the boardwalk. Stop long enough to admire the sunset, then hop on the monorail back to the mainland.

A Picture-perfect Meal. This is a special occasion meal, so don your finest threads and head to Pierchic for the best seafood in Dubai. The restaurant, at the end of its own wooden pier, serves up dishes like tuna carpaccio, fresh oysters and sea bass paired with stunning views of the Arabian Gulf.

If You Want to Relax

  • Stroll by the Sea. Before it gets too hot, wake up and enjoy the lower temperatures with a walk on one of Dubai’s beaches. Admire the glistening Arabian Sea, spot the skyscraping Burj Khalifa and sail-shaped Burj Al Arab and even witness a camel ambling by. After, stop by one of the many cafés or restaurants along the beach for coffee and a bite to eat.

  • Find Serenity. The treatment menu at The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Dubai International Financial Centre features massages, facials and body therapies with techniques and ingredients from around the world, but for a true sense of place, opt for a Dubai-inspired treatment, like the Desert Reviver, which includes a hot stone massage followed by a revitalizing cooling balm.

  • Start at the Sunken Garden. Stop by the Sunken Garden for an evening cocktail before heading out for the evening. Take the short walk to the largest mall in the world, Dubai Mall, and marvel at its 1.1 million square feet of retail space, then find a good spot to watch the choreographed water fountain show right outside.

  • Leave on a High. Zoom to the 122nd floor of the towering Burj Khalifa, for dinner at At.mosphere. Opt for the multi-course tasting menu or order a la carte from selections of seafood, pasta and Wagyu beef. Ask for a table by the window, because at 1,450 feet above the ground, the views are simply spectacular.
If You Want to Explore


  • Sail Around Palm Jumeirah. One of Dubai’s most well-known sights is the Palm Jumeirah, a man-made archipelago that adds 320 miles to the city’s shoreline. Choose your vehicle — speedboat, luxury yacht, catamaran — and glide around the palm-shaped coastline for spectacular views of the Dubai skyline.

  • Art Walk. Regain your land legs by spending a few hours exploring Dubai’s most artistic street. In the industrial district of Al Quoz, Alserkal Avenue is a cluster of art galleries, museums, workshops, cafés and shops. Housed in former warehouses, it may not look like much from the outside, but once you step inside, you’ll be greeted with a vibrant and energetic art scene. If you’re short on time, make sure to stop by the Salsali Private Museum and Carbon 12.

  • Cross Dubai Creek. Now that you’ve had a taste of modern Dubai, it’s time to explore Old Dubai. Hop on an abra, a traditional wooden boat, and cross the creek from Bur Dubai to Deira. Public abras are docked along the creek, but it’s more fun to hire a private one for a leisurely one-hour ride.

  • A Golden Opportunity. When you cross into Deira, head straight to the Gold Souk, a must-see for any visitor. Walk up and down its narrow alleyways and marvel at the more than 100 shops that offer wide selections of gold jewelry: necklaces, rings, bracelets and earrings. Choose from 18-karat gold from Italy or 21-karat gold from India and Singapore. The prices are already fair, but bargaining is expected.