Join David Hobby for an in-depth discussion in this video Getting there and where to stay, part of The Traveling Photographer: Dubai.
- Flying from the US to Dubai is a long trip. We were almost 24 hours door-to-door from the East Coast of the US. From the West Coast, you'll be even longer. The thing to remember for this trip is hydration, hydration, hydration. You'll be in a dry airplane for many hours, and you're headed to a desert. Dehydration is the thing most likely to ruin your trip, so, drink early, drink often, and keep drinking. You'll be flying against the sun from night into night. Aim for five to six hours sleep early on in the flight if you can to minimize jet lag.
Customs is quick and easy, but remember you're entering an Islamic country, and they have very strict drug laws. Get the latest info on what is and isn't allowed just to be on the safe side. Even many of the over-the-counter drugs could be a big problem here. We flew in with friends, so a four-way split on a taxi made sense for us. Taxis are cheap in Dubai, and they're often the best way to get around. Dubai has great public transport too with elevator trains running the length of the city, and a comprehensive bus network. Staying in Dubai may not be expensive.
You can spend a lot, but there are budget options too. We choose a Holiday Inn that was near our photo conference we were attending, and it was a $120 a night. There are also lost of (Arabian) and B options in the city. Choose your lodging based on location as the city is pretty spread out. The metro system is state-of-the-art and cheap to use. It runs the length of the city, but there are some under served areas. It can get very crowded at rush hour, but at least the trains will be moving when your taxi may be stuck in traffic. The best strategy is usually to choose taxi or metro based on your destination and the time of day.
It all adds up to a great reason to visit the United Arab Emirates, and that's what photographer and Strobist publisher David Hobby does in this installment of his series, The Traveling Photographer. Join David as he photographs Dubai's places and people, visiting with local photographers and sharing tips for getting around, finding the best photo opportunities, and—at least as important—staying hydrated in this desert city.
Ready to see more of the world through a photographer's eyes? Watch every installment of The Traveling Photographer.