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Dubai – Departure 12/02/2019 – Message from Tour Manager
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My name is Caroline Godfrey and I am the Tour Manager for the “Dubai Tour” leaving on 12th February 2019.

I would like to say “Hello” to those of you travelling with me on this holiday.  With only a couple of weeks until we go, I am sure that you are all looking forward to your holiday in the sun.

This is a truly great holiday.  Dubai is an exciting destination with some amazing architecture and the itinerary is packed with lots of interesting sights.  I am sure you will return home having made new friends and with lots of memories.

I thought I would share some of my packing and travel tips for this holiday.  Please note that there are some updates (from my earlier posting in November 2018 for Dubai) included here.


Important Note

As you know you will be flying to Dubai overnight from the UK.  This means that you will arrive in Dubai in the morning of Day 2 (Wednesday), you will be unable to check in to your hotel room until much later in the day.  Please get as much rest on the plane as you can.  I would also suggest it might be a good idea (if you can) to have an easy day before you travel to Dubai.  

Once in Dubai we optimise our time there by heading out on an orientation tour soon after the arrival of the Heathrow flight, we will return to the hotel mid/late afternoon.  We have our Dhow Cruise and dinner in the evening of the same day.  Our first day in Dubai is long and can be tiring, but it is an interesting first day.

You may find it useful to pack some light clothing and shoes to change into on arrival at the hotel, prior to our orientation tour.

Airport

I will be flying from Heathrow.  For those of you flying from Heathrow I will see you either at Check-In or in the Club Aspire Lounge. On arrival in Dubai I will meet you at the baggage carousel, please wait for me there when you have collected your bag from the carousel. We will then move as a group for our transfer to the hotel.  Soon after arrival at the hotel we will go out on our orientation tour arriving back at the hotel mid/later afternoon.

Regional Flights For those of you who are flying from other airports including London Stanstead, Birmingham and Manchester.  These flights arrive in Dubai approximately one hour before the flight from Heathrow.  You will be met in arrivals by a local representative, look for someone holding a Just You sign. You will then be transferred to the hotel. I will meet you when I arrive at the hotel with the Heathrow flight.  We will then leave on our orientation tour arriving back at the hotel mid/later afternoon.

As our flights arrive in the morning you will be unable to check in to your hotel room until the afternoon.  Your luggage will be stored. Please keep valuables with you or ask the Front Desk to look after them for you. You will be able to use the hotel facilities whilst you wait for the main group to arrive, please stay close to the hotel reception so I can find you.

Clothing

As a Tour Manager I use packing cubes which I find very convenient in separating out types of clothing and keeping my suitcase in order!

Always try to keep your luggage weight a few kilos below your allowed limit in case you want to pick up some souvenirs whilst you are away.

When travelling to Dubai, dressing for the desert heat while respecting Islamic traditions can be challenging. Although Dubai is considered to be a little more liberal than some of the other Emirates, it is still an Islamic state that adheres to traditional values. 


It is best to ensure that your choice of clothes for Dubai would not offend local sensibilities. Modesty is key.

The general rule is that you should cover everything from your shoulders to your knees. Avoid showing cleavage, and watch clothing that is tight or see through. Women should not wear sleeveless garments.  For men, you should not show your bare chest in public. Avoid shorts, especially short ones, and don’t wear swimwear outside of the pool or beach area. Don’t unbutton your shirt to show chest hair. Men should not show their knees.

Signs at the entrance to malls remind visitors to dress modestly. Women are to be covered from their shoulders to their knees. No tight, revealing or see-through clothing should be worn. Midriff and cleavage should not be on show so no plunging necklines, low rise jeans or slit skirts. Three quarter trousers, long sleeve tops and short sleeve T-shirts are acceptable.

For the Traditional Souks and local food  markets, it is best to dress a little more modestly and avoid attracting attention. A good rule of thumb is to dress with the knees and elbows covered.

For visiting mosques, the dress code is strictly enforced. Women should wear long sleeve tops, loose clothing, and ensure their legs are covered, this includes your ankles. A head scarf should also be worn so it is best to bring one with you. If your dress code is not deemed suitable, you will be stopped from entering.  You should not wear tight fitting clothes that show your body shape and it is better to wear a dark colour for visits to mosque. Men should wear long trousers.  If you are doing the optional excursion to Abu Dhabi, you will need to ensure you dress accordingly.

You can lounge around your Dubai hotel swimming pool in a bikini, swimming costume or shorts but topless bathing is not allowed. If you need to walk through the hotel lobby to get the pool, it is best that you are suitably covered out of respect to other guests. Wrapping a towel around you is not enough.

For restaurants in Dubai, you may be dressed in evening wear that bares your shoulders. Take a pashmina with you to cover your shoulders until you arrive at the restaurant. It will also keep you warm as many establishments have their air conditioning set to low temperatures.

If you’re planning to go on the Desert Safari optional excursion, you can wear shorts and sleeveless tops. The safari trip begins in the middle of the afternoon to combat the heat and lasts into the evening. Temperatures can drop a little in the desert but nothing that necessitates a cardigan. For footwear, it is best to wear open sandals instead of trainers as you’ll be walking on fine sand.

Electrical

The electrical current in Dubai is 220/240 V, 50 Hz AC. British-style 3-pin electrical plugs are used (Type G or 13 amp plug). Socket adaptors are readily available in local stores. In fact, most electrical goods sold in Dubai have European 2-pin plugs.


Excursions

To help you get the most out of your trip to Dubai Just You holiday offers two amazing optional excursions:


·        Abu Dhabi (pre-bookable and available to book in resort)

·        Optional Afternoon Safari with BBQ dinner (book in resort only)

These excursions must be paid for in cash, this can be in either EAD (Dirham), US$ or £Sterling.

Food and Drink

I always drink bottled water (even when cleaning my teeth) and avoid ice in my drinks. Although tap water in hotels is usually safe to drink it doesn’t suit everyone.  Most of the water in Dubai is processed through desalination plants.


Breakfast is included.

One dinner is included on the Dhow Cruise.

Dinner is also included on the optional excursion afternoon safari.

On the other evenings you can choose where you want to eat or join me.

Hotel

The JW Marriott Marquis Hotel is a 72-storey twin tower skyscraper located in Business Bay.  It is located beside the Dubai Water Canal extension. Facilities include 14 restaurants, bars, an outdoor swimming pool, health club and spa. Guest rooms have private facilities, air-conditioning, TV, floor-to ceiling windows, mini-bar, tea/coffee-making facilities and hairdryer.


We will not be able to check in on arrival in the morning.  Check in will be in the afternoon after our orientation tour.


Medication

Please ensure that you bring enough medication for your stay, along with a doctor’s prescription for the medication.  

The United Arab Emirates has a very strict, zero-tolerance anti-drugs policy and conducts thorough searches at its airports, using highly sensitive equipment. Possession of even tiny amounts of illegal drugs has resulted in severe punishments to travellers entering or transiting the UAE.

Please ensure that your medicine does not contain a banned or restricted substance.

For more information on medicine in Dubai please click on the attached links

 https://www.emirates.com/uk/english/before-you-fly/travel/banned-substances-in-the-uae.aspx

 http://dubai.ae/en/Lists/HowToGuide/DispForm.aspx?ID=6

Money

The foreign exchange rate for the £ to the Emirati Dirham (EAD) is approximately £1 = 4.75 EAD.  The exchange rate that you got for your currency may have varied up or down from this a little bit.  Coins are in 1, 5, 10 and 50 fils with notes of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 Dirhams. 

The EAD is pegged to the United States Dollar $1 = 3.6725 EAD. 

Money can be exchanged in Malls.  Money Exchanges typically offer better rates than the banks.  Exchange rates given by hotels are generally poor.

Photography

You may find yourself wanting to photograph the locals. Please do not do so without asking for permission and avoid asking women who are covered (it would be best to approach a family member).

You should avoid taking photographs of government organisations, political buildings, and military sites; they cannot be photographed for security reasons.

Look for signs prohibiting photography. When there is no sign, taking photos is probably permitted.

Staying Healthy

The importance of suntan lotion cannot be stressed enough. Bring a lot, apply it before you leave your hotel in the morning, and keep reapplying throughout the day. A lip balm with SPF is a great idea as well. If you do happen to get burned, after sun lotion will help soothe and heal.


Drink plenty of water and bring a hat.

Other Tips

It is always a good idea to keep a copy of your Passport.  Bring copies of your travel insurance.  If you're bringing prescription medications with you, remember to pack the prescription slip or a note from your doctor, in the event customs officials question you about the nature of the medicine.

To make a telephone call from Dubai to United Kingdom, dial  + 44, followed by the phone number (excluding the leading 0). Calls can be expensive.  Check with your mobile provider to see if they offer any special packages.

I look forward to meeting you at Check-In or in the Club Aspire Lounge at Heathrow, or in the hotel if you are flying from other regional airports.


I wish you all a wonderful holiday to remember.

Best wishes

Caroline
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Post: #2
Thanks Caroline.

All very useful hints and tips.  I look forward to meeting you and a wonderful experience in Dubai

Regards

Chris
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