What you should know before hiring a car in Dubai
Car hires in Dubai: practical information
Where to rent a car in Dubai
Dubai is stunning and magical… the pace of the city is in itself an impressive sight for being in the middle of the desert. Despite its conservative and harsh laws, Westerners will no doubt feel welcome in this international oasis (just don't get caught kissing in public). There are a number of agencies offering car hires in Dubai, for pick-up at the airport. In the city, there are three Dollar Rent A Car offices, among other local chauffeur rental services.
Make a car hire comparison in Dubai before you book, it may be cheaper to only rent a car in Dubai for the select days that you plan to use it to get out of the city rather than booking one for your entire trip. It is recommended though, to reserve your car rental as soon as possible, ideally at the same time you book your tickets from London to Dubai. While an international driver's permit isn't always required, it's a good idea to have one just in case. Some car rental companies in Dubai don't let out their cars to drivers without them.
Driving in Dubai: parking and other tips
Parking, for such a huge city, is scarce. This rings especially true during daytime hours on working days, Sunday to Thursday. Also, traffic slows to a standstill on a daily basis so it's recommended to park your Dubai car hire and leave it there. You can get around the city quite easily by boat, taxi or bus. There is a huge multi-storey car park at the entrance to The Palm. As well as at Tower Metro Station further down the coast.
Many major hotels in Dubai offer parking to their guests as well as non-guests. The Park Hyatt, Savoy and Flora Creek for example offer parking for a fee and are located where the Dubai Creek meets the sea.
Road trips from Dubai: what to do, what to see
Sharjah is the nieghbouring Emirate and while it completely bans alcohol, is still a noteworthy region to visit while on holidays in Dubai. The emirate has some stunning beaches and a few museums that are interesting including the Sharjah Calligraphy Museum, Al Hisn Fort and the Art Museum. Sharjah is the only Emirate to have beaches on both the Oman Gulf and the Persian Gulf Coast.
It takes 1.5 hours to drive to Abu Dhabi and this city is worth every mile. It is one of the most modern cities in the world. The Sheikh Zayed Mosque is a billow of white domes, rising up out of the sand and is the largest mosque in the UAE. If you're travelling with kids, stop at Khalifa Park which houses an aquarium, museum, train, park and gardens all in one.
Umm Al Quwain
For rest and relaxation, take a trip to Umm Al Quwain along the Persian Gulf. It is the tropical oasis amongst sand dunes that comes from dreams and fairy tales. To cool off head to Dreamland, a huge water park. Watch a camel race, visit Al-Dur (a coastal city from 200 BC) and learn to sail in the calm waters in the lagoon. It's an ideal emirate to do the things you never made time for before.