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SOLO FEMALE TRAVEL IN DUBAI – THINGS TO DO + MORE

TRAVELING TO DUBAI AS A SOLO FEMALE TRAVELER

Are you planning to travel to Dubai as a solo female traveler? Then this post is for you!

When I started the blog, my intention wasn’t to focus strongly on travels to the United Arab Emirates. Still, somehow, Dubai has become one of the main focuses of my blog. After many visits and trying out a lot of different activities, I feel confident enough to write about my experiences as a solo female traveler in Dubai.

So, today I am happy to answer your questions in this “Solo Female Travel in Dubai guide.”

Some of the questions I get asked the most is: Is Dubai safe for solo female travelers? I also get asked a lot about the best things to do in Dubai solo.

Dinner in the Sky Dubai with Arzo Travels
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TIPS FOR SOLO TRAVELERS TO DUBAI

Dubai is, I think, one of the safest places that I can think of and the best place to travel solo as a female.

  • Are there security issues? Yes.
  • Can we trust all the security information we get from the government in the UAE? Surely not.

However, this post is not about the political situation in the UAE (in terms of women´s rights or human rights) but rather how it feels actually to be there (while neglecting the political situation) as a solo female traveler.

Security Aspects in Dubai

  • The crime rate in Dubai is extremely low, also because there are serious punishes for many crimes.
  • It seems that the police are capable of doing their jobs efficiently. Maybe it is better not to know by which means the police achieve that. However, this makes me feel more secure than in many other places. I have been told by a person who lives there that even if something gets stolen, they will find it very quickly and solve the crime. After a few days in Dubai, I felt safe enough to leave my bag (unattended) at the table while going to the buffet and getting food for several minutes. In Germany, it would be unbelievable to do so. I actually get very careless in Dubai because it seriously feels safe. This does not mean that you should be so careless, though.
  • Based on a woman´s traveler perspective, the country is totally safe. Although people might think Arab countries might not be the most secure places, I cannot second that for Dubai.
  • Actually, since alcohol is not drunk that much in public, I felt much more secure at night than in many parts of Western countries, where drunk people run around at the weekend and make me feel uncomfortable.
  • I feel totally fine strolling popular places like Dubai Marina or Downtown Dubai by night.
  • However, avoid Dubai Deira at night and exercise common sense and you should be fine!

Dress Code For Solo Female Travelers 

  • Though there is no strict dress code for women, I feel safer when I do not reveal too much skin.
  • You can wear bikinis and swimwear at the beach.
  • You should cover your shoulders and knees when in malls. There is actually a strict dress code in most of the malls though many tourists don’t stick to them, and wear extremely short skirts and pants. I heard from locals that security might ask you to leave if that is the case. However, this hasn’t happened often, and most wear whatever they feel like.

Things to do in Dubai alone - Dubai solo guide
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How to Get Around as a Solo Traveler

  • I always felt 1000% safe in the regular taxis. There are “pink taxis” which are particularly for women but I have never used them. But I always make sure to sit in the back.
  • When I take the metro, I always go to the women’s department (clearly marked). Stares in the regular compartments can be intense.
  • So, whether I walk, ride a bike, use the metro or call a cab or an Uber – I always felt safe!
  • As a female traveler, I only sometimes felt a little bit uncomfortable in Dubai, though. This normally always had some foreign workers involved, mainly from Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, etc. Especially in places like Dubai Creek/Deira, I did not feel totally comfortable. It has gotten better the more often I went. However, I never felt unsafe. I heard some women don’t feel comfortable at all in Dubai Deira, so they refrain from going there. 
  • If you are unsure about how to dress as a female in Dubai, read these recommendations here.

Alcohol as a Woman

While Alcohol is not forbidden for tourists and non-Muslims, I would be cautious. If you have drunk some alcohol and something happens to you – an assault e.g. – the police might be way stricter, and you might end up being punished. 

In general, I recommend watching your drinking carefully – especially if you travel solo.

Accommodation for Female Solo Travelers

  • Though Dubai is super safe – even at night – I recommend, especially for females, to avoid staying in Dubai Deira. Dubai Deira is fun in the daytime but a bit shady after dark – even if it is probably the cheapest area to stay in Dubai (or one of the most affordable). I suggest investing a bit more into accommodation and, if needed, reducing the spending on activities or food.
  • I rather recommend picking another area to stay for solo female travelers – like Dubai Downtown, JBR Walk, or Dubai Marina.
  • You can find my full accommodation guide here.
  • Accommodation cost for solo travelers is almost as high as if you share a room. So, this is the main reason I dislike traveling alone in Dubai.

BEST THINGS TO DO IN DUBAI AS A SOLO TRAVELER

Okay, while I have another post that lists my 50 top activities in Dubai, the list is more focused on solo travelers in Dubai. So here are fun things to do in Dubai yourself.

Dubai Downtown Sightseeing

When you travel in Dubai alone, you can be sure to feel safe in Dubai Downtown. It is the city’s busy tourism hub and home to many attractions like Burj Khalifa (tallest building in the world), Dubai Mall (biggest mall in the world), and Dubai Fountain (the biggest water fountain show in the world).

Dubai Mall at night
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This part is crazy. Especially at night, it is crazy!

There is no shortage of superlatives, and it will not be boring to travel alone. There is so much to see that you will probably be too overwhelmed even to realize that you are on your own.

  • You can visit Dubai Downtown easily as a solo traveler. If you are on a budget, you can enjoy the tallest building from a distance, watch the water fountain show for free, and do window shopping. 
  • If you want to get to the “Top of Burj Khalifa”, it saves you time to book your tickets in advance. Ticket prices vary depending on the level of access (levels 124 and 125 only are cheaper than access to level 148) and also the time of your visit. 

Get the best rates for your Burj Khalifa tickets here:

Dubai Desert Safari

Desert safaris are one of the most popular activities in Dubai. 

I love a good desert safari in Dubai. I am actually not sure how many I have done so far. But what I know for sure is that I loved each tour. A desert safari is not only for families or love birds (the BBQ in the desert, which often comes with a safari, is indeed extremely romantic) but a top thing to do for ANY traveler to Dubai.

Desert safari on a layover
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The desert safari is actually one of the best activities to make friends. Depending on the kind of safari you get picked up from your hotel, and while there are tons of jeeps (like a caravan), it feels like you form a little team with the other ones in your car.

Most tours include some dune bashing, belly-dance shows, and stargazing.

Somehow, no matter if I ended up with families or a group of friends, we stuck together, dined together, and had a great time together. If you prefer to be yourself during your whole Dubai trip, you can, of course. 

But it is a great way to connect with other Dubai travelers and exchange ideas and experiences. There are also morning desert tours, but my tip is to do the evening desert safari – another fun activity to do alone in Dubai at night.

Find the best desert safari tour for your trip.

Beach Time

Here is another place to visit in Dubai alone – one of the numerous beaches!

Why is Dubai better
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Sometimes I am paranoid – unfortunately. That is probably why I am not so much into beach holidays. I am always afraid my stuff gets stolen while I am in the water. I am stressed out and not relaxed. In Dubai, I don’t have this feeling, just because Dubai is so freakingly safe. I can leave my valuables at the beach and hop into the water.

And I even feel safe enough to turn my back and leave my stuff unattended for a few minutes. All thanks to a low crime rate.

So, if you are in Dubai, you can feel free to hit the beach – even if you are as paranoid as I am. Okay, still – exercise common sense and keep an eye on your items but there is no need for paranoia.

Best beaches in Dubai to visit solo: La Mer, Jumeirah Beach (Kite Beach), and the private beaches on Dubai Palm.

Boat and Abra Rides

One activity in Dubai to not miss out on, are boat cruises. Given the Persian Gulf and Dubai Creek, you have enough options to experience boat rides.

I can openly admit that I am into boat rides – speedboats, dinner cruises, or whatsoever. Just put me on a boat and let me enjoy the city from a different perspective.

Bra Ride in Dubai things to do in Dubai in 2 days
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Dubai is great for boat tours – as a solo traveler, you have the chance to make friends. If you prefer being on your own, you can enjoy the beauty of the city while sailing around.

If you are on a budget, try out an abra ride in Dubai Deira. The traditional water taxis are fun, very cheap, and a great way to get around. It is just 0,25€ for a ride – a fun and cheap thing to do in Dubai alone.

Here are some more boat cruise options:

Souks

Some females have told me they disliked strolling the old town of Dubai, Dubai Deira, with the gold and spice markets because people stare. I understand their point. It is a lovely area full of life with many foreign sellers who actually stare at women (and might even call after you).

Which place to visit - Abu Dhabi or Dubai
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I normally dislike this. However, I tend to dress more conservatively and try to take it easy. I talk to the salespeople and ignore them if it gets too much. If you know how to ignore people or keep them at a distance, it is fun to visit – even as a solo traveler. Even as a female solo traveler.

It probably is not a place I would visit in the evening on my own, though.

Day Trip to Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates and the biggest city/emirate in the country. It might be less famous but also a great place to visit. It is about 130km from Dubai and makes a great day trip.

If you are by yourself, you can do a guided tour to Abu Dhabi – or take a taxi. While the latter option is not very environmentally friendly, the taxi ride prices are not high. You pay around 50-70€ for more than 100 km (so 100-140€ in total).

Arzo Travels in Abu DHabi
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In Abu Dhabi, you can visit the most beautiful building in the world – Grand Zayed Mosque.

But there are more fun things to do in Abu Dhabi. Like Dubai, Abu Dhabi is super safe to travel alone.

Dubai Marina

Marina is an expensive neighborhood in Dubai with stunning skyscrapers, many restaurants & shops, and one of the largest man-made marinas in the world.

So you can admire the skyscrapers – the density of high buildings is crazy.

Dubai Marina at nigt from Pier 7
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While it is also nice to walk along in the daytime (if it isn’t too hot), it is even more fun in the evening. When the buildings are illuminated, the restaurants get busy, and people get here to enjoy their evenings.

I have been here so many times on my own, and it makes me so happy to stroll the area.

Since there are many foreigners from all over the world, families, couples, and solo travelers, it is also easy to meet other people and make friends. It is also easy to get to know people here because it is also popular amongst younger people who enjoy a night out.

Dinner in the Sky

Dinner in the Sky Dubai is a restaurant service that uses a crane to hoist its diners, table, guests (up 10 16), and waiting staff 150 feet (50 meters) into the air. If you want to meet people and like to have dinner with others – then try out dinner in the sky (or have lunch or high tea). 

How to book Dinner in the Sky Dubai
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This way you get to meet others and don’t have to dine by yourself (if you mind that). I found it a lot of fun. Music, good food (vegetarian/vegan food available on request), entertaining staff, and hopefully some nice dinner guests – this is a fun activity for solo travelers.

  • Click here to book your “Dinner in the Sky” experience and find out about prices.

JBR – The Walk

JBR – The Walk is a popular outdoor dining and shopping promenade in the Jumeirah Beach Residence/Dubai Marina area. It is another fun place to visit solo.

There is a beach section, restaurants, bars, and shops. Whether you like to be alone to meet others – here is the chance to do both.

Places to see in Dubai in 7 days
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Bring your towel and swimwear if you plan to spend a day at the beach. Water activities are big here – you can rent some equipment and try out water ski. SUP, or any other of the many options.

Dubai Museum

If you like to see a different side of Dubai, I recommend visiting the Dubai Museum in the city’s old town. The museum is located in Al Fahidi Fort – the oldest building in the city and features galleries about souks, marine life, and more.

 For a little entrance fee (about 1€), you can learn a lot about this rapidly growing city’s history and culture.

Conclusion: What to Do Alone in Dubai

I think Dubai is one of the most secure places to visit as a solo female traveler. Of course, there is no freedom of the press in Dubai – so we only learn about things the government wants us to learn about. So, even if there are incidents, we will probably never find out. However, from my own personal experience – as someone who regularly does a solo trip to Dubai – I can say that I feel safe.

It is not only because of the absence of mugging but also because of getting hit by men constantly. Also, Dubai is fun. I travel solo because I enjoy doing activities on my own. But I also am chatty and like to meet new people once in a while – and meeting people is quite easy in this city.

Safe Travels, Arzo
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By the way: I have a thing for countries in the Middle East though I have not traveled much in that area, mostly because I do not know whether I could feel safe in the region (Lebanon is very high on my list). If you are also thinking about visiting Lebanon, you can find How safe it is to travel to Lebanon? Want to read more about Dubai? Click here to read more about it. 

 

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