A local’s guide to Dubai
- By Rachel McArthur
- Photos by Katarina Premfors
Dubai, like the Middle East writ large, is a stretch of Earth that’s often misunderstood.
Lots of people tend to think that the largest city in the United Arab Emirates is either an ultraconservative place where women must cover up from head to toe, or that it’s all shiny skyscrapers and no personality.
The truth? Peel back the big-money newsmakers — yes, we have the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, along with the “seven-star” Burj Al Arab hotel — and you’ll find a diverse, inclusive city that’s home to people of over 200 nationalities. You’ll find, as a result, possibly the only place on the planet where you can sample authentic Aussie barbecue, sushi made by Japanese chefs, Bosnian kebabs and Lebanese mezze all within a 10-minute drive of each other. And you’ll find, if you dismiss the misconceptions, a singularly friendly home away from home.
Meet Rachel McArthur
After living around the world as a child, British-born Rachel has lived in Dubai for over a decade. A journalist who has covered beats including travel and business, she launched her own media company in 2015. To her, the ultimate appeal of her city — home to over 200 nationalities — is its people. You learn something about a new culture every day.
Want to get in touch?Email email@example.com
Explore more of Dubai
- We don’t tend to find places by street names, since a lot of areas in Dubai don’t have them. With taxis, the best way to navigate is to give your driver a district and a specific building — or even the establishment itself. If you don’t have data roaming, download an offline Google Map in advance.
- The weekend here is different than in the States: Most residents are off Friday and Saturday, while Sunday is a school/workday.
- No cash? No problem. Dubai is quite advanced in terms of digital services. Most places accept credit/debit cards and/or contactless payment.