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6 Business Travel Tips: Dubai
28 February 2022 |  Destination Tips
Following a recent business trip to Dubai, I thought it would be great to share my personal experience, and give you some business travel tips when it comes to travelling to Dubai ‘post covid’.
As you know Dubai is blessed with sunshine pretty much all year round, but now really is the perfect time to go, with comfortable temperatures of 24°C. I’ve heard Dubai can be unbearably hot in July and August and hit 45°C.
Dubai is a popular stopover destination as it’s a halfway stop between Asia, Australia, India and South Africa. So no wonder it’s labeled the world’s busiest international airport. My return flight was filled with people returning from the Maldives, Sri Lanka, and Australia.
If you get the chance to stop over for a couple of nights, I’d take the opportunity. Anyway, enough of that.
Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and talk about my first serious encounter with flightmares.
Travel Tip #1 Combat your flightmares
Having a very early flight doesnt help the flightmares. You’re literally laying in bed counting down the hours until you have to get up. I set multiple armas and checked them about twenty times.
My Dubai travel tips to help me relax:
- Pack the night before
- Set out what i’m wearing to the airport
- Passport and documents in a separate bag so they are easily accessible
- Download any online documents as a PDF and save in my files on your phone
- Write a checklist
- Drink lots of water
- Charge up your electricals
- Get to the airport early
Getting through check in and bag drop took a little longer than usual due to additional COVID related checks. So I would advise getting to the airport early to avoid feeling rushed.
Travel Tip #2 Travelling solo
Traveling alone as a woman can be a little nerve racking, but there are steps you can take to calm your nerves and help you to feel safe.
- Dress respectfully (big travel tip for Dubai)
- Don’t tell strangers that you’re traveling alone
- Know the emergency number for that country – in the UAE call 999 for police
- Tell a trusted family member your flight details
- Keep in regular contact with friends/family
- Turn on your phone data – you might save £7 having your data off, but I think it’s worth having it on, especially when alone
- Only use a trusted taxi service – download the Careem, Uber or S’hail app or get advice from your hotels reception
- Trust your instincts
Travel Tip #3 Accomodation
Although it may seem more logical to stay nearer to the airport, that may not be the best idea as you can end up spending more on taxis than you think. Quite the opposite to what you’d expect by staying close to the airport.
I was in Dubai for an event held in the Dubai World Trade Centre (10 minutes away from the airport), and nearly everyone I spoke to who booked accommodation in that area, regretted it.
The area is more built up, and with that comes a lack of views, and a lack of eateries and nightlife. People I spoke with ended up getting taxis each night to Jumeirah Beach for evening entertainment.
Jumeirah Beach Residence is a residential community area in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Most networking events are also held in this area, so it actually makes sense to book your hotel in JBR or in the marina. Rather than focusing on the area of your conference center, office, or airport.
As for hotels, expect to find all of the traditional brands such as Hilton and IHG, but also a number of luxury brands that can really allow you to live the dubai lifestyle.
Hotel price examples
I’ve looked at some of the post popular hotels in the JBR area, and put together a average price list per night for 1 room, 2 guests in March/April 2022
JA Ocean View Hotel: £344
Le Royal Meridian: £450
Grosvenor House: £344
Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Resort: £360
Crowne Plaza Dubai Marina, an IHG Hotel: £270
Atlantis The Palm: £580
And here’s a wild card for those who got a bonus this year
Burj Al Arab Jumeirah: £1,570
JA Ocean View Hotel
We stayed at JA Ocean View Hotel which was perfect.
- Hotel pool
- Ocean View
- Beach is seconds away
- Great bar across the road called Blah Blah
- Nice hints of luxury throughout the building and within the service
- Family friendly (if you’ve been roped into taking them along)
- Fantastic food
The lobster tempura sushi from the poolside lounge, LVL BLU was absolutely unreal and worth every penny!
The hotel’s restaurants are open to the public, so even if you’re not staying at JA Ocean View, it’s worth checking out just for the sushi alone. If my memory serves me right, they have a sushi deal on a Friday.
Sorry, have I said sushi enough?
The pool at JA Ocean View gets sun from about 2pm onwards.
We also experienced Le Royal Meridian Hotel and have heard great things about Grosvenor House. Le Royal Meridian was very grand and very beautiful, with a slightly heftier price tag. Great choice of restaurants within the complex overlooking the Arabian Gulf.
Travel Tip #4 The Flights
The big question is… Emirates or British Airways?
Both fly direct, but British Airways Premium Economy is often more expensive than a Business Class ticket on Emirates. If you can get a business class ticket on an A380, then this creates a seriously special experience, especially as you have the infamous bar on board. BA don’t currently have any A380’s operating that route.
By booking with Emirates, you could get a lot more for your money.
Travel Tip #5 Food and Entertainment
Dubai is a playground for foodies. I’ve already mentioned LVL BLU, and we also dined at STK Dubai Marina and Maya Bar and Grill.
Maya is a Mexican restaurant within Le Royal Meridian which serves mouthwatering tacos and hands down the best espresso martini. The service was outstanding.
Blah Blah is a bouji beach club. I went here for a few glasses of wine on my last night. There was a great atmosphere and the music was on point. I’ve heard from friends that it gets a little crazy as the night goes on. If I were to return to Dubai I would 100% return to Blah Blah and arrange a brunch around the poolside.
Other bars I’ve heard great things about include Studio Club & Rooftop, WHITE Beach, The Scene at Pier 7, and Zero Gravity.
Travel Tip #6 If you have time
As I now know for myself, business trips are a little hectic and there’s not often much time for yourself. However if you do get half a day why not try one of the following.
- A photo outside the Burj Khalifa and a trip to the observation deck
- A spot of shopping in the second largest mall in the world
- A trip to the desert: Sandboarding, Buggy adventures, or even spend a night camping on the dunes
- Visiting Expo 2020 Dubai in the Dubai Exhibition Centre – about a 20-minute drive from Dubai Marina
- Hire a paddle board from Water Adventure, if you’re into SUP they have some good Starboard hard boards for hire
Getting around is easy in Dubai as taxis and car hires are plentiful. Taxis can be booked by phone or via your hotel reception. But the simplest way is to download the Careem, Uber or S’hail app. Through the Careem app, you can also book ‘Hala Taxi’, which is Dubai’s most affordable taxi.
United Arab Emirates ask that you download the COVID19 – DXB Smart App. However I must say, not once was I asked to show this at any point of my trip.
Things are changing quickly in business travel
As of this week, masks outdoors are no longer required, and fully vaccinated visitors no longer need to provide evidence of a negative Covid PCR test to gain entry. Typically these rules come into place a few days after I leave.
The Passenger locator form has now been dropped! When I flew last month I forgot the PLF, and it caused a whole lot of unnecessary hassle trying to fill it in at check in.
If you have a trip to Dubai coming up, feel free to get in touch for advice. I hope this article has given you some reassurance, and some ideas of places to go.
The beauty of booking through a travel manager means you get all the necessary and up to date advice. I don’t know what I would have done if it wasn’t for Chris.
I for one, can’t wait to return.
Thank you for reading, if you’d like to learn more about Dubai, check out our blog: The Return of Business Travel 2022 which includes more about our personal experience attending events in Dubai. We also discuss the impact of networking, talk about why it’s important to 𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘸 𝘶𝘱, and give you a bit of an MROME event round up.
Thank you for reading,
India | Marketing Executive | echo.bravo