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Dubai Airport: is it safe for a woman traveling alone?

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Apr 1st, 2014, 08:09 PM
  #1
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Dubai Airport: is it safe for a woman traveling alone?

I'm considering booking a trip that would require me to have a 8 hour layover in Dubai. I'm 51 years old and am a relatively independent person. My husband is concerned about whether or not I would be safe there alone. I've read a little bit here in the forums about how it is a very busy airport, etc; Should I be concerned about my personal safety more than in country that has more progressive views about women? (I assure you, I'm not meaning to come off as racist or bigoted; it is a sincere question from someone who has not ever traveled to that part of the world.)

Thank you!
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Apr 1st, 2014, 08:58 PM
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It is really truely safe Mariam. IMO it is safer than most other airports. The crime rate in Dubai is low. It is a modern, thriving city.
With an 8-hour layover you can easily get a visa, get a taxi and visit one or two interesting places in Dubai ... ask me on this forum if you would like more info.
I know when you think 'Middle East' certain images from news reports come to mind. Just forget about that when you come to Dubai. I have been living here for more than a year now, and neither me nor my 20-year old daughter had ever felt even remotely threatened. On the contrary!
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Apr 2nd, 2014, 10:31 AM
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Oh, that's so good to know. Yes, I'd love some info on what I could do there with a 8 to 12-hour layover. I'm quite certain I'm going to be sleep-deprived, but maybe it's worth it. the reason we're thinking of using this option is that we could use air miles for the trip, which would save us significant dollars - but I wouldn't do it if safety was a major concern.
I would like to know what I could do in this layover period and NOT stress out about missing my connecting flight - so I would want to be not far (time-wise) from the airport. I could even stay in the airport the whole time, for that matter. However, seeing the area might be a really neat bonus! Thanks in advance for your help.
Miriam
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Apr 2nd, 2014, 04:54 PM
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OK, Now I really need your help, kovsie! I booked the trip, and added an extra day to see parts of Dubai. I'll be by myself, so I'll need to know what are the best (and safest) places to see. I'll be staying at a hotel near the airport.
Thank you!
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Apr 2nd, 2014, 05:51 PM
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Miriam - good for you!

Questions: when are you coming to Dubai? Important to know because of the weather.
What are you interested in? Shopping, history???

Take time to read about Dubai ... see what resonates with you. Page through at least one guidebook.

To know: nothing in Dubai is really far from the airport. The Dubai Mall, for instance, is a 20 minute taxi drive away.
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Apr 2nd, 2014, 09:54 PM
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Allow plenty of time to get back to the airport, as there can be quite a lot of traffic.
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Apr 2nd, 2014, 11:19 PM
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YES agree with Odin. I assume you will go to the airport from the hotel. Check with the hotel, they will know you how much time you need at the specific time of the day.
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Apr 3rd, 2014, 07:04 AM
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My one full day there will be on May 31st. As far as things I'd be interested in doing, I think it would be interesting to go to the top of the world's tallest building, or just explore the mall, or take a city tour.
Yes, I'll allow plenty of time to get to the airport. My hotel is very close to the airport, according to their website - and I will definitely check with the staff. Thank you for the 'heads up' on that.
Question: Do I need to wear long sleeves & dress or slacks? I don't dress provocatively at all, but I want to make sure that I'm respecting their culture. Thank you!
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Apr 3rd, 2014, 10:05 AM
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Everything indoors has a/c, so slacks/skirt and a loose fitting but with sleeves covering upper arm are fine. Also comfy shoes for walking about. The airport itself is very modern with whatever you might need and indoors here there are lounge chairs most everywhere so if you do (and you should allow sufficient time on return for ongoing flight) find one take sometime before boarding to relax.
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Apr 3rd, 2014, 04:15 PM
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I totally agree with Sandi -- Dubai Airport, like Dubai Mall, are great places for people watching. Allow ample time for sitting down and absorbing the variety of dress and culture moving past you. I still find it amazing. Browse through the bookstores at the airport. In the beginning I took photos of the Arabic newspapers and magazines - with the 'front page' at what is (for my western eyes) the back.

What to do with your one precious day? Are you a fan of HOHO buses (hop on hop off)? It is one way to get an overview of the city and see the great architecture. I don't like it much but that is just personal opinion. Keep in mind that taxi's in Dubai are affordable and plentiful.

You can buy tickets for the Burj Khalifa online before you come - you buy for a specific date and time.
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Apr 4th, 2014, 04:33 PM
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Go down to the creek and ride a water taxi.

Visit the historic area on the west side of the creek as well.
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May 19th, 2014, 11:57 AM
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Thank you so much! I had no idea that taxi's were affordable there. What a relief! And do many people speak English? (sorry for my naivete')

Thank you!
Miriam
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May 21st, 2014, 02:33 AM
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Yes everyone speaks english.
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May 25th, 2014, 03:37 AM
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(Almost) everyone speaks English, but you will get an interesting variety of accents!
About the taxis: When you exit the airport building, look for signs that say 'taxi pick-up'. When you get there, a smartly dressed man in a suit may try to show you to big black cars. This is - of course - more expensive. Go there if you want to indulge. Otherwise, just say no, you want 'normal taxi'.

Taxis have a minimum fare of AED10, so if you want to go just down the road, you will still pay 10. I usually tip them a bit, except if they scare me with their driving! Some taxi drivers are wonderful people, and I have become good friends with a few of them. Feel free to tell a driver to go slower if you think it is necessary. Taxis are under strict supervision, you will not easily find a driver that deliberately tries to con you. A customer complaint can cost a driver a fine of up to AED500, which is a huge fine for these people who work 12 hours a day, 7 days a week for +-AED6000 per month. It may happen that the driver is new to Dubai and not sure where something is. Usually he will tell you this. If you want to go to a well known place like Dubai Mall they will know.

You will need Dirhams to pay the driver - find an ATM at the airport.

The aquarium in Dubai Mall: you do not see much more from the inside than you see from outside, and outside is free.

Hope you have a GREAT day here!
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May 25th, 2014, 08:43 AM
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Miriam - for some reason you are in my thoughts today. Hope you check in here before you leave.

Keep in mind that it is now very hot and humid in Dubai. Plan most of your activities for indoors.

If you have specific questions or 'things' while you are in Dubai, please ask us here - I will check now and then.

In the mean time: happy travels!
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Jun 22nd, 2014, 11:08 PM
  #16
 
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You no need to worry while in Dubai - rules and regulation is strict there, enjoy your Dubai trip.
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Jul 1st, 2014, 01:13 PM
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Oh, how well I remember the heat/humidity when visiting this time of year. And I live in NYC so familiar with 'ugly' weather between May-Aug at minimum. So unbearable that when it came to boarding our ongoing flight the agents allowed only 10/pax at a time off the a/c bus to climb the stairs at a time. Guess they didn't want anyone passing out while doing so.

Believe Dec-Mar are the nicest months when it comes to weather.
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Aug 14th, 2014, 07:35 PM
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Hi, I am also planning to stay in Dubai for 2-3 days, on my way from Singapore to US. I will most probably fly through Emirates. I am a 24 yr old Indian woman, and can you tell me how safe are hotels, desert safaris, and is it to travel alone in Dubai? Thanks!
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Sep 5th, 2014, 07:21 PM
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There's a tv show on Dubai Airport. Very multicultural and modern. You should check it out.

I can only equate it to my time at Doha Airport and Cairo Airport. At either I was not worried by anything. Many middle easter women acknowledged me with eye contact and a smile, especially if I was looking at how cute their kids were.
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Sep 7th, 2014, 02:27 AM
  #20
 
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Dubai one of the most safest cities in middle east, i really enjoyed being there even if it was only for few hours, the city is growing so fast and the all the services you are looking for you will find it easily. i've been in Dubai international airport and people were very kind and helpful i wanted to spend the layover hours discovering the city and there was someone he told me that there's a place can provide me a fast tour around the city: http://www.amigodubaitours.ae/transit-dubai-city-tour/ and i visited a Burj Khalifa, The Dubai Mall, Burj el Arab and the amazing palm island all in 6 hours it was really a great experience to visit Dubai city alone and having fun in the same time..
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