business trip to Dubai

Things to do on your business trip to Dubai

By Femke, SeaBookings cofounder:

I was super excited when I heard that SeaBookings was invited by Turismo de Portugal, the Portuguese Tourism Board, for a trip to Dubai and participate in the big Arabian Travel Market in Dubai. And guess who went? Me! You can read about my experience visiting Dubai as a woman in another article I shared.

visit Dubai as a woman

Unique architecture from Dubai

During my trip to Dubai, as I wanted to meet other travelers, I decided to book a hostel near Dubai Marina. From the hostel I was staying, I had an amazing view over the Marina. The hostel even had a swimming pool. The pool made my holiday, as temperatures rise easily over 40ºC.

Dubai Marina is amazing and impressive and you should definitely go there on your trip to Dubai. By day it can be very hot to walk around in the marina. Make sure you bring comfortable shoe wear and refreshments. You can also opt for a nice break at one of the cafes around the Marina. It’s amazing to see how many luxury yachts you find in this marina, a must for yacht fans! By night, the marina is imposing. The skyscrapers turn on the lights, a view I’ve never seen before, it’s truly breathtaking.

Yes, Dubai is as impressive as you expect!

Yes, Dubai is as impressive as you expect!

On my business trip to Dubai, I still wanted to take some time to discover the local culture. I went by metro to Deira to discover the gold and spice souks. As I arrived at the Deira Metro station, it was like entering a different city. My first impression was that this place was Dubai for the poor people. Actually, it made me remember Morocco. Deira has many narrow streets. The souks are nice, the gold souk has plenty of gold shops. The spice souk makes you want to discover new flavors. The shops at the entrance normally are more expensive.

Welcome to gold paradise!

Welcome to gold paradise!

One thing that really shocked me during my visit was the difference between poor and rich. Some people are living the life in Dubai, while others are working very hard and live with many people in small apartments and in extreme conditions.

One of the things I liked most was the food!

One of the things I liked most was the food!

Alcohol is not something you can drink and buy everywhere. In the airport, hotels and some private businesses, it’s available. I would not recommend the use of any drugs in a country like Dubai, as sentences are really harsh.

Fooooood! Well, I love the fact that in shopping malls there are so many Indian fast food restaurants. I’m a big fan of Indian food and loved the concept. Even in the nearest supermarket to my hostel, mostly all the food for takeaway was Indian food. You can also find many vegetarian curries. I really enjoyed the lentil curry.

Dreams do come true...

Dreams do come true…

As a massive horse fan, I did not resist and booked a horse ride in the desert! This was quite an adventure. Even to find and go to the meeting point wasn’t very easy. I had to catch 2 busses to finally go to Silicon Oasis. Silicon Oasis is a business center located in the middle of the desert, quite an impressive and interesting business hub. At the meeting point, there were two other girls, who were also going on a horse ride.

As I have quite some experience with horses, I was invited to go out on a ride with locals. This was so cool! It was an amazing ride in the desert and we still had time to talk about local customs and business. After the horse ride, we were invited to drink tea and eat some local dates. As transport to Dubai, was quite complicated, and one of the staff members was going in that direction anyway, I took a ride. Even the ride I took was impressive, actually a good way to see all the big and impressive cars driving around. So yes, if you’re fond of horses, a ride in the desert is definitely a must for an escape during your business trip to Dubai.

The Marina is very modern and has many types of boats

The Marina is very modern and has many types of boats

What would be a SeaBookings trip to Dubai, without a boat tour? Of course, the main goal of this trip was to taste a bit of Dubai’s boat tour market. Thus, I went on a boat tour departing from Dubai Marina. If you want to see Dubai Marina, Atlantis, Palm Jumeirah and Burj Al Arab, I definitely recommend discovering these landmarks by boat. By boat, you get a unique perspective and it’s also way too hot to walk around Palm Jumeirah.

And you should not leave without doing a boat trip to take a picture like this!

And you should not leave without doing a boat trip to take a picture like this!

I chose the speedboat tour on a RIB. It’s always exciting to go on a speedboat, and even more with amazing views over the skyscrapers. Service is something the tour operators in Dubai know how to provide. Almost at the end of the boat tour, they offered a bottle of fresh water and asked for our WhatsApp number to send us the cool pictures made during the tour.

On my next trip to Dubai, I would like to rent a Jetski. You see many jetski tours around the Palm Jumeirah area. It looks like a so cool way to enjoy some refreshment.

Now back to business: the Arabian Travel Market is an amazing opportunity to better understand the travel market of this region. I have made many interesting contacts, and got really excited to start to expand SeaBookings to this market. I learned a lot about the demands of this market. And now, SeaBookings in Dubai is now longer a dream! Check it out!

visit Dubai as a woman

What it’s like to visit Dubai as a woman

What it’s like to visit Dubai as a women – By Femke, SeaBookings cofounder:

To visit Dubai as a woman is becoming more and more frequent, especially considering business trips. I had the chance to visit Dubai for a business too as I went to participate in a travel fair. Dubai is considered the biggest city in the EAU. In fact, it’s the most impressive and massive city I’ve ever seen.  

Yes, Dubai is as impressive as you expect!

Yes, Dubai is as impressive as you expect!

I live in the countryside near Lagos, a small city on the south coast of Portugal. Working from the countryside, on SeaBookings, we were invited by Turismo de Portugal, the Portuguese Tourism Board, to travel to Dubai and participate in the big Arabian Travel Market in Dubai.

This was the most exciting news as the Arabian market was already catching our eye. And I’d have the opportunity to discover a new culture, city and business environment.

One of the things I liked most was the food!

One of the things I liked most was the food!

I was quite nervous about this trip, as I was concerned about being young women travelling alone. People had scared me about the big differences between women and men in Dubai and that I should be careful to visit Dubai as a woman.

Regarding how I felt during my visit to Dubai as a woman… Well, one thing’s sure, I never felt threatened or unsafe in Dubai.

In fact, due to the harsh sentences, everyone is behaving and very polite. There is also good police control and many cameras all around the city.

Things to do in Dubai - Dubai Marina

I stayed in a hostel near the Marina

By reading some blog posts, I decided to respect the local culture. The best is to wear clothes that cover up more than usual.  

I saw many women, who do not respect this, but as a female solo traveller, I prefer to respect local customs.

To visit Dubai as a woman, you don’t need to cover up your hair, but I wouldn’t recommend going around in short skirts or dresses.

I even took a picture with some business men at the fair!

I even took a picture with some businessmen at the fair!

Having to cover up makes you sweat in the hot climate of Dubai. Fortunately, all shops, hotels, public transport have air conditioning, which makes it easier to deal with the extreme heat.

Although, be prepared to sweat. In my opinion, the best way to travel in Dubai is by Metro. The metro is not expensive and very safe, fast and comfortable.

Both in the bus and metro, there are women-only areas. Normally the front of a bus and one or more carriages for the metro. There is also a “Gold” carriage if you want to travel with space and more comfort.

To get from and to the airport, I used Uber. It’s impressive how affordable, reliable and safe this service is. Also when you visit Dubai as a woman.

Things to do in Dubai - Boat tours in Dubai

And you should not leave without doing a boat trip to take a picture like this!

In sum, I have had a great experience during my visit to Dubai. It’s all a matter of respect and being responsible. If you have any other experiences to share about visiting Dubai as a woman, let us know. Feel free to contact me for any other comments or questions: [email protected]. Enjoy Dubai!

best things to do in Dubai

The 5 best things to do in Dubai

Dubai is the city of extremes – biggest, fastest, tallest, nicest! And we are so excited to be able to be part of the booming tourism industry of this fascinating and exotic part of the world! Dubai has finally entered the SeaBookings family, offering you the best options to explore this amazing place by boat! Let’s find out what the 5 best things to do in Dubai are, shall we?

Given the location by the Persian Gulf and the warm temperatures of both water and air during the whole year, it is no question that one of the best things to do is a boat tour! Or, to keep the exclusive character of this region, for a nice luxurious tour on a yacht in Dubai!

By night, the city's lights are unique!

By night, the city’s lights are unique!

Did you know that the best time to visit Dubai is during Winter? That’s when you have temperatures not too hot so that you can still be outside and enjoy the city under the sun! And the water temperatures are very nice all year round, with temperatures always around 20-25°. Sounds good? We certainly think so and reckon the best way to spend your days here is with a boat tour in Dubai!

To give you some ideas of what to do, we have created our list of the 5 best things to do in Dubai!

As you may have guessed, most of them have to do with the sea. After all, we just love getting you out there on the big blue!

5 best things to do in Dubai

  1. 1. Burj Khalifa

Yes, we do love the sea. But we can’t just ignore the fact that Dubai also has some other great things to offer. So let’s start our list of the 5 experiences with the tallest skyscraper in the world – the Burj Khalifa!

During your stay in Dubai, you most definitely have to at least pass in front of the Burj Khalifa and breathe in the air of pure luxury!

The water show is a must while visiting Burj Khalifa and the huge shopping mall.

Inside the Burj Khalifa you’ll also find the only 7-Star Hotel in the world and undeniably a place of pure style and exclusivity. To see this building in real life is definitely one of the best things to do.

  1. Dubai Marina

Enjoy one of the most modern marinas of the world

Enjoy one of the most modern marinas of the world

Okay, okay we know that this was to be expected that we like the Dubai Marina. But in this case, it’s not just us! In fact, a visit to the Dubai Marina is one of the 5 best things to do for everybody!

It’s one of the main tourist attractions of the city. Docked on this impressive and super modern Marina you’ll find so many beautiful yachts like almost nowhere else in the world.

But the Dubai Marina has many more things to offer than only some of the nicest boat tours you’ll ever do! At the Marina, you’ll find numerous high-class restaurants, shops and many other entertainment possibilities.

Start the day with a nice brunch, go for a boat cruise, then for a nice walk and end it with a fancy drink at Pure Sky Lounge for example. There goes your perfect day in Dubai!

  1.  Dubai Creek

Along the Dubai Creek is where all the fishing was done from

Along the Dubai Creek is where all the fishing was done from

Next up on our list of the 5 best things to do is the famous Dubai Creek. It is a water canal that separates the city from Deira in the North and Bur Dubai in the South.

The Dubai Creek is one of the 5 best things to do because it has been the lifeline of the city since before it became the global metropolitan city it is now.

Along the Old Creek is where all the fishing was done from, in the past even more so than today.

In recent years, it was extended to make it even more accessible and connect the main points of the city with one another through water – the perfect place for some fun boat tours! No wonder we think Dubai Creek is one of the 5 best things to do.

  1. Jumeirah Beach

Who doesn't love these colors?

Who doesn’t love these colors?

With average temperatures in Winter ranging between 25-35°C and in summer up to 45°C, some of you might want to spend some time at the beach, right?

The best beach in our opinion is definitely Jumeirah Beach, and also one of the 5 best things to do in Dubai!

Jumeirah Beach is just in between the Dubai Marina and the famous Palm Jumeirah. It is a white sand beach, just off the probably most popular district among travellers, which is Jumeirah.

The beach by the Persian Gulf invites for some sunbathing and a nice dip in the ocean. Certainly, the best way to cool off in this heat! 

  1. Palm Jumeirah

On a jet ski you can explore the Burj Al Arab hotel better!

On a jet ski you can explore the Burj Al Arab hotel better!

Last but most certainly not least is one of the main attractions- Palm Jumeirah! This is our personal favourite of the 5 best things to do in Dubai! It is the first one of the artificial palm islands just off the coast in Dubai. Palm Jumeirah is an architectural highlight that you simply must visit during your stay in Dubai.

The huge building is very close to the Marina, so on a boat tour you get to see both these highlights!

Palm Jumeirah is impressive in so many ways. First of all, of course, the construction itself is simply amazing. And when you see all the huge buildings on the island it makes you wonder how this could’ve been done by humans! To explore Palm Jumeirah during a boat tour in Dubai is our highlight of the 5 best things to do!

We hope you have a great time in this unique place called Dubai! For any further questions, just leave us a comment! We’re looking forward to have you on one of the boat tours in Dubai!