This visitor submit is by Monica Chapon, a California-based desert fanatic.
Exploring the Center East can typically really feel intimidating for vacationers, and much more so for solo girls.
Whereas I personally like to journey all through this area, I can definitely perceive the hesitancy! This can be a very misunderstood a part of the world, and it isn’t at all times portrayed as very “feminine pleasant.”
However in case you are dreaming of sweeping orange dunes, spice-filled souks, intricately adorned mosques, and a glimpse into Muslim tradition, then Dubai in the United Arab Emirates is the right place to dip your toes.
The UAE is a small nation with a robust non secular basis. Islamic legislation dictates day-to-day life and traditions on this neighbor to Saudi Arabia. Truthfully, it’s fairly stunning.
After an oil growth, Dubai shortly went from a “small city” within the desert the now-glittering hub that we see at this time.
Due to these quick modifications, Dubai is actually a metropolis of duality. Every time I go to, I discover myself pondering the juxtaposition of towering, record-breaking skyscrapers simply minutes away from hand-built, rustic camel farms within the sand.
Whereas the UAE is likely one of the most secure international locations on this planet to go to, it non secular roots and fast modernization imply that not everybody who lives and works there may be accustomed to seeing a solo feminine traveler.
So, whereas I extremely suggest the UAE as a terrific place for ladies who journey alone, it isn’t with out some challenges. Under are my greatest insights for ladies touring solo in Dubai.
Solo Feminine Journey in Dubai
1. Crime charges are tremendous low.
In the beginning, know that the crime charges in Dubai are very low. Theft and violent crimes are extraordinarily uncommon. In reality, the charges within the UAE are light-years higher than my dwelling nation, the USA.
As such, I’ve by no means felt unsafe right here when it comes to crime. I’ve by no means had any objects stolen, and I’ve by no means felt at risk of any kind of assault. (For higher or for worse, CCTV is frequent in downtown Dubai.)
As a solo girl in Dubai, relaxation assured that you’re in a rustic the place the legal guidelines are taken very severely.
2. However you can be stared at.
Notice that whereas most individuals is not going to harass you in any manner, you’re a little bit of an anomaly. Although solo feminine journey isn’t a brand new idea within the Western world, it’s nonetheless considerably “new” on this area.
The vast majority of stares you obtain are merely out of curiosity. Folks will marvel why you might be alone or the place you’re going, and a few will simply be intrigued about how “totally different” chances are you’ll look.
Most males will look away shortly as soon as you come back their gaze, proving that it was innocent. But when anybody tries to carry your eye or use it as a cause to method you, be cautious. Belief your intestine. Stability courtesy with warning.
3. Ladies’s locations at college, dwelling, and work differ from these within the West.
It’s value highlighting a bit about girls’s roles in Emirati society.
Faculties and universities are segregated by gender, although extra girls attend school than their male counterparts do.
Nonetheless, the overwhelming majority of ladies don’t enter the workforce and as an alternative go for marriage and elevating youngsters. The Emirati girls you do see within the workforce will sometimes be employed in schooling, well being, and authorities providers. I do see plenty of expat girls within the workforce, too.
Whereas I don’t understand how a lot of that’s selection and the way a lot is societal expectations, I’ll say that UAE society locations a excessive worth on these roles.
There is no such thing as a denying that patriarchal ideology remains to be seen in UAE life, however I do applaud the small strides that the nation has taken lately.
4. Dubai is a melting pot.
Over 80% of the inhabitants within the UAE is made up of expats, and the overwhelming majority of them dwell in Dubai. Right here you can see everybody, from Indians to Pakistanis to Lebanese to Canadians — and all the pieces in between.
Dubai is a real melting pot. It’s a colourful mix of many various cultures, dwelling and dealing in varied industries and making a life on this small piece of the Arabian Peninsula.
5. It might value a lot lower than you suppose.
You might be in all probability aware of Dubai’s repute for riches.
The Burj Al-Arab resort has a glamorous Royal Suite that goes for $24,000 USD per night time. Town constructed a number of artifical islands within the form of palm timber. And there may be even an ATM in close by Abu Dhabi the place customers can withdraw stable gold. Strong gold!
So, it’s probably not shocking that I’m typically requested how I can afford to remain there.
Fortunately, these excessive circumstances — whereas plentiful — should not the norm. It’s fairly simple to seek out motels and guesthouses for underneath $40 USD per night time. And first rate ones, too! Snug beds, Wi-Fi, a kitchen, and a washer might be included for that worth.
I like to recommend checking within the Deira and Al-Barsha areas for these offers, although I’ve ceaselessly discovered them within the Marina as effectively.
Moreover, hostels have began to crop up in Dubai. This was not a factor once I first traveled there seven years in the past. With the cultural expectations demanded of women and men, this was not a sleeping association that was “allowed.” These days, it’s an choice. (Word that in additional conservative areas, like Sharjah, it will probably nonetheless not be the case).
Keep away from the big and costly eating places and go for tasty, genuine meals stalls as an alternative. Falafel sandwiches, fresh-squeezed juices, and fragrant Indian dishes might be had on a budget.
6. You will have plenty of transportation choices.
In Dubai, there are plenty of methods for solo girls to get round.
The metro system is affordable, clear, and on time, in my expertise. Uber operates in Dubai, too. And it’s potential to rent personal drivers, although this would be the costlier route.
Sure, girls can drive and lease a automobile within the UAE. It is going to be no downside to take action. Nonetheless, visitors might be intense within the metropolis, and there are loopy drivers right here, identical to in every single place else!
One distinctive transportation choice in Dubai is women-only pink taxicabs. If you’re feeling notably nervous, these can be an effective way for a solo girl to journey round Dubai. Search for the telltale pink rooftops that point out “girls solely.”
7. Be conscious of the way you costume.
In Dubai, you will notice plenty of variation in the way in which that girls costume.
Native girls sometimes put on an extended black costume referred to as an abaya and a head protecting referred to as a hijab. It isn’t unusual to see much more conservative costume, akin to a full burka, protecting girls’s whole physique apart from the eyes. (In distinction, males put on an extended white kandoura.)
However additionally, you will see vacationers displaying cleavage and midriffs, carrying short-shorts, and in the end dressing like they’re in laid-back Bali quite than conservative Dubai.
When you would possibly get away with it, I might strongly warning solo girls not to decorate this manner in Dubai. On the very least, you can be inviting plenty of undesirable consideration and definitely offending native sentiments.
As an alternative, your Dubai packing list ought to embody objects like free palazzo pants, flowy kimonos, and scarves (which will likely be wanted to cowl your head when coming into mosques). rule of thumb is to cowl the shoulders, elbows, knees, and head.
8. You might have to work tougher to get off the grid.
Once I first traveled to the UAE, my purpose was to spend most of my time deep within the desert, close to the Saudi border, exploring and tenting on this stunning panorama.
Spoiler alert: I did make that occur! And I’ve achieved the identical factor on nearly each subsequent go to.
Nonetheless, it did take plenty of persistence.
Solo girls may have no points getting round Dubai. However in case you are attempting to get to the far corners of the nation, you’ll in all probability run into some points.
In Islamic tradition, it isn’t frequent or accepted for a person to be alone with a girl that he’s not associated to or married to. So it took quite a bit of persistence for me to discover a driver who would do that.
9. Concentrate on native legal guidelines.
That is one thing vacationers ought to do no matter their vacation spot, and solo feminine vacationers in Dubai aren’t any exception. That is particularly essential within the UAE, as it’s ruled by sharia legislation, which most Western vacationers might not be aware of.
The foundations and legal guidelines within the UAE forbid things like consuming alcohol, utilizing crude language, kissing in public, taking somebody’s picture with out asking (notably girls), homosexuality, and an extended record of different infractions.
Just a few authorized exceptions do exist, like buying alcohol at bigger motels or institutions. And although Dubai is essentially the most liberal of all seven emirates, I nonetheless suggest not testing the waters.
10. Solo girls will get a singular perspective.
One good thing about being a girl in Muslim international locations is that you’re going to get a singular perspective that your male counterparts can’t.
Males are sometimes not have the ability to work together in any manner with native girls they aren’t associated to. However as a girl, it is possible for you to to method different girls, communicate with them concerning the space, or ask them for assist for those who want help.
One of many experiences I worth most in touring is to get to know native individuals and customs, so that is certainly one of my favourite advantages of solo feminine journey in Dubai.
Pin me for later:
The United Arab Emirates is likely one of the most secure international locations on this planet to go to, and Dubai specifically is likely one of the most liberal of all Center Japanese cities.
It’s a terrific place to journey if you need a protected and comfy crash course in Center Japanese life. If you happen to go there realizing the advantages and challenges of solo feminine journey in Dubai, you usually tend to have a enjoyable and profitable journey!
In regards to the writer: Monica Chapon has traveled to 6 continents solo and chronicles her adventures on her weblog, This Rare Earth. She will be able to often be discovered exploring the deserts of the world, taking impromptu highway journeys, or performing as an aerialist on silks. Observe together with Monica’s adventures on Instagram.