Gay Friendly Guide • DUBAI | What to See, Where to Stay, Best Gay Bars and Restaurants | LGBT
GAY FRIENDLY DUBAI
Discover this City with our Quick and Practical Guide to Visit the Best Attractions, Savor Typical Dishes and Have Fun in the Best Gay Bars. All this through the Rainbow Eyes of the World Mappers
What to See, Best Places to Sleep, Where to Eat and to Have Fun in DUBAI?
Find it out with the World Mappers !
IS DUBAI REALLY GAY FRIENDLY?
In a country where being gay is illegal, there are obviously no hotels dedicated to the LGBT community. Nonetheless, Dubai has some of the best luxury hotels in the world, known for their avant-garde décor, spectacular infinity pools, fine dining restaurants and fantastic spa experiences. Male or female couples (even if with less problems) sharing a bed are prohibited. While the Sharia police will not raid your hotel rooms, many hotels tend to automatically assign a room with separate beds or will add an extra bed without your knowledge. However, most international luxury brands allow gay couples to share beds, as long as this is done with great discretion.
If you're looking to connect with another LGBT single through a Gay App (like Grindr or Scruff), remember that you'll need a VPN connection to do so. The UAE government blocks various LGBT web content and applications. We recommend using NordVPN for a secure encrypted connection. An app like this will allow you to download and use limited apps and websites.
WHAT TO SEE in DUBAI?
10 THINGS TO SEE in DUBAI
With its 828 meters it is the tallest building in the world! Built between 2004 and 2010, this skyscraper can be seen from more than 90 kilometers away and also holds the record for the tallest observation deck, restaurant and nightclub in the world. The name is a tribute to the President of the United Arab Emirates, Khalīfa bin Zāyed Āl Nahyān. Tickets must be booked in advance to go up to the panoramic point (124th and 125th floors). We advise you to go up just before sunset, in order to enjoy the city still illuminated, witness a breathtaking sunset and see the transformation of the city as the sun goes down. They have recently inaugurated another panoramic point located on the 148th floor, at a height of 555 meters.
Old Dubai / Deira & Bur Dubai
Before oil was discovered, Dubai was a trading city built on the banks of Dubai Creek, a natural river that today separates the districts of Deira and Bur Dubai. In the Deira area you cannot miss the gold and spice souks. Besides admiring showcases filled with gold objects, you can enjoy a fun boat ride along Dubai Creek or visit the Civic Museum, Al Ahmadiya School or the Heritage House, a historical and traditional house in the city. Across the river in the Bur Dubai area, the beautiful Al Bastakiya Mosque, the Heritage and Diving Village and the Sheikh Saeed Arabian House of Architecture are all worth a visit.
You can't say you've been to Dubai without seeing some of the most spectacular shopping malls in the world. In addition to shopping, these malls offer a variety of dining and entertainment options, including skiing and ice skating.
Our favorite malls in Dubai are:
The largest and most visited shopping center in the world with over 1,200 shops of all kinds. Among its most famous places are the ice rink, the spectacular aquarium, the golden souk and an incredible waterfall.
Mall of the Emirates
With luxury shops and international brands, it even has its own indoor ski slope.
IBN Battuta Mall
Although its shops are not as luxurious as the previous two, the decoration of the building recalls the art of Andalusia, Tunisia, Egypt, Persia, India and China. It will simply leave you speechless.
Souk Madinat Jumeirah
One of our favorite malls with a traditional design and a spectacular view of the Burj al Arab.
Burj al Arab
A fantastic hotel built on an artificial island less than 270 meters from the beach. Its sail shape and 7-star hotel category have made it among the best accommodations on the planet. To visit it, you need to stay or book a table in one of its restaurants and bars. Undoubtedly the cheapest option is to book at the Skyview Bar, located 200 meters above sea level (be careful though, a minimum consumption of around 70 euros is required!). In addition to visiting the Burj al Arab, we recommend watching the sunset from Umm Suqeim beach, simply a marvel!
Inaugurated in 2018, it is a spectacular building that will leave you breathless. An enormous golden frame 150 meters high by 105 wide, which houses a museum, for a journey through the past, present and future of Dubai, and an observatory from which to enjoy a magnificent view of the Dubai skyline. The location is strategic, you can see the modern part of Dubai on one side and the old part on the other.
Museum of The Future
The brand new Dubai Museum of the Future is one of the most complex construction projects ever attempted. A marvelous work of engineering and design, at the foot of the Emirates Towers, which has no equal (perhaps the building we like best in Dubai). Do you think that the signs on the surface reproduce the handwriting of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid. The Museum of the Future will have floors dedicated to distinct experiences. Three floors of immersive exhibits will focus on the possible futures of space resource development, ecosystems and bioengineering. Another floor will showcase near-future technologies that will transform our world by addressing challenges in areas such as health, water, food, transportation and energy. The top floor will be dedicated to children, where they will explore and solve challenges in their own inimitable way to become the 'future heroes'.
The Dubai Marina district is located around a 4 km artificial canal. Imposing skyscrapers, yachts, luxury hotels, shopping centers and restaurants with terraces frame this wonderful area. Best to go at night when the temperatures drop and the canalside terraces are buzzing with life. If you're passing by during the day you can pop over to JBR Beach just minutes away.
The only mosque in the city that also accepts non-Muslim visitors. White stone, two spectacular twin minarets and an immense central dome are some of the characteristics of this wonderful place. The only way to get to know it is to take a guided tour of the interior (which takes place at 10:00 in the morning from Thursday to Saturday, except Fridays). Remember to dress respectfully, so no shorts and women must cover their heads.
The Jumeirah Palm Tree is Dubai's most famous group of man-made islands. Here are concentrated luxury hotels and residences. The best way to appreciate the majesty of this island is from above, perhaps by booking a helicopter tour or by parachuting (for the more adventurous) above the palm tree with the Skydive Dubai company. Alternatively head up to the Observatory restaurant located at the top of the Dubai Marriott Harbor hotel or from the Burj Al Arab Sky Bar. If you have time, enjoy Aquaventure Waterpark, one of the largest water parks in the world. Another project, not yet completed, is The World a set of islands that form the world map (today it is said that it was a failure and that some of these islands are sinking).
One of the best things to do in Dubai is a safari to discover the largest sand desert in the world, less than a 20-minute drive from the ultra-modern streets of the city centre. Explore the desert by 4WD or quad bike, 'surf' the dunes on sandboards and indulge in a traditional barbecue after a camel ride.
Visiting this city at its best depends essentially on how long you have to fully enjoy it. Here is a solution based on the number of days available to you:
Day 1 - Futuristic Dubai - Google Maps
Day 2 - Ancient Dubai - Google Maps
Day 3 - Dubai's Beach & Desert- Google Maps
(By opening the Maps with Google, you can easily follow our path)
5 BEST EXCURSIONS from DUBAI
Abu Dhabi & Grand Mosque
Click'n'Go - Click on Hotels, Restaurants, Bars & Clubs
to find them on the Map or visit their Website
BEST LUXURY & FRIENDLY HOTELS in DUBAI
Hilton Dubai The Walk **** ® Tested by World Mappers
WHERE TO EAT in DUBAI?
5 BEST RESTAURANTS in DUBAI Quality / Price
€€€€ - Al Mahara (Michelin Starred Restaurant)
€€€ - Zuma (Japanese)
€€€ - Eauzone (Asian Restaurant)
€€ - Al Safadi Restaurant (Arabic Chain Restaurants) ® Tested by World Mappers
€€ - Shayan (Persian Restaurant)
NIGHTLIFE in DUBAI
BEST FRIENDLY PLACES, BARS & CLUBS in DUBAI
Level 43 Sky Lounge (Gay Friendly Bar)
Bar 44 (Gay Friendly Bar) ® Tested by World Mappers
101 Lounge and Bar (Gay Friendly Bar)
Pure Sky Lounge (Gay Friendly Bar)
House of Queens DXB (Gay Friendly Disco) ® Tested by World Mappers
CÉ LA VI Dubai ® Tested by World Mappers
A breathtaking view of the Burj Khalifa, but be careful, you'll need to book and there's a minimum drink of €500!
TRAVEL TIPS about DUBAI by World Mappers
Experience Not-To-Be-Missed if you visit Dubai is to fly over the Desert on a Hot Air Balloon at sunrise! If you are looking for an unforgettable experience, the "Balloon with vintage Land Rover & Breakfast Experience", offered by Balloon Adventures Dubai, is the one for you. A staff driver will pick you up directly at your hotel to reach the take-off point in the middle of the desert. After reaching the starting point and having a short safety briefing, we witness the inflation process while sipping a good Bedouin coffee to warm up. And here we go! The rising sun, the sky that is colored with wonderful colors, the fresh morning breeze and the desert that flows below us .. An experience that we will carry forever in our hearts. But it doesn't end there, as soon as you land, a new adventure awaits you: a ride through the desert dunes with a beautiful and colorful vintage Land Rover. We then continue with a camel ride to conclude with a delicious breakfast in a traditional Bedouin camp in the Dubai desert. We recommend clothing in layers with something heavy because it can get very cold at night in the desert. Click Here for Info & Prices
Another of the things to do in Dubai is to enjoy the city by strolling through its magnificent parks, such as Safa Park or the Miracle Garden. Safa Park is one of the green lungs of the city, with a large lake, a waterfall, an internal forest and an incredible view of the Dubai skyline. The Miracle Garden is the largest natural flower garden in the world with whimsical structures such as an Airbus A380 made of flowers, a heart-shaped path and a garden with more than 15,000 butterflies. However, the Miracle Garden only opens from October to April; the flowers would not tolerate the extreme heat during the rest of the year.
Think you've learned everything about Dubai? Well you miss the brand new Dubai Creek Harbor project, the city of the future. Do you think they are about to create the Dubai Creek Tower, initially called only "The tower", a tower under construction since October 2016 in Dubai, which will become the tallest tower in the world, even surpassing the Burj Khalifa!
Getting around Dubai? There are various ways to get around the city without breaking the bank. Taxi: perhaps the most popular means of transport in the city, there are many of them and the rides are quite cheap even for long stretches (the starting price is around 5 AED). As an alternative to traditional taxis, we advise you to download the Careem app (the Middle Eastern equivalent of Uber) with slightly higher prices than taxis and high-end cars. Metro: fast, technological (without a driver), cheap and accessible. One of the most beautiful subways we have ever seen. However, the network is not widespread and therefore it is often necessary to walk long distances to reach the destination. Big Bus: a valid alternative to get an overview of the city, the classic hop-on hop-off bus with two lines (red and blue) and many stops with an audio explanation of the main attractions of the city.
One of our favorite areas of Dubai is La Mer, a brand new area of the city (inaugurated in 2017) full of open-air cafes, restaurants, walls decorated with graffiti and avenues of palm trees. It is converting into one of the most instagrammable places in Dubai!
WHAT TO DO IN DUBAI?
The BEST ACTIVITIES to DO in DUBAI
In Dubai there are many activities to do, we recommend some of those that we liked the most and that you cannot miss:
See the Dubai Fountain Show
At the foot of the Burj Khalifa it is a must to witness the breathtaking show of the fountains in the artificial lake of the Dubai Mall. The largest aquatic choreography show in the world, with lights and water jets "dancing" to the rhythm of classical, contemporary and Arabic music. Shows are held at 1pm and 1.30pm during the day and every 30 minutes in the evening (6pm to 10pm). You can even enjoy the show from a boat on the lake!
Visit to the Dubai Aquarium
with over 140 marine species, the huge suspended tank on the ground floor of the Dubai Mall is one of the must-see attractions in the city. Walk through the aquarium tunnel, take a glass bottom boat tour or dive with the sharks.
Take a Dhow Cruise with Dinner
Cruise along Dubai Creek to spot Deira's souks and neighborhoods from the water. Enjoy an international buffet as you watch the lights of modern Dubai at night.
Flying in a Hot Air Balloon in the Desert
In Dubai you can also try the experience of flying in hot air balloons over the Arabian desert. Enjoy breathtaking views from above as the sands and city unfold below you. It will certainly not be a cheap experience but without a doubt it is worth it. Click here for Info & Prices.
Try the Sky Glass Slide or the Sky Edge Walk
Sky Glass Slide (glass slide at a creepy height) and Sky Edge Walk (anchored to a cable, you will take a "walk" at high altitude). These are two unmissable activities in the brand new Sky View Observatory in Dubai (opened in November 2021).
Skiing in a Mall
Dubai has the largest indoor snow park in the world, which is bizarre if we calculate the scorching temperatures that can reach this city in the Arabian desert. At Ski Dubai you can ride a traditional toboggan down the snowy hills or slide down the double-tracked bobsleigh. There are even adorable penguins!
Take a Helicopter Tour
Enjoy unforgettable aerial views of Dubai on a spectacular helicopter ride. Isn't this the best way to see city landmarks like the Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab or The Palm Jumeirah? Obviously the cost is not the cheapest, but for those who want to have a unique experience in this metropolis, then this is the perfect experience.
Do Indoor Skydiving
If you want an adrenaline rush then iFly Dubai is for you. The vertical wind tunnels will allow you to feel the sensation of flying through the air and have a unique experience.
Unusual and Particular Places to See in Dubai
Outside the classic places to visit of the city, there is a "Secret Dubai" that has simply bewitched us. Here are the 3 Things and Places to See in Secret Dubai
Nasimi Beach - Burj Khalifa is not the only place where you can enjoy the famous Dubai skyline. One of them is undoubtedly Nasimi Beach on Palm Island, which offers a spectacular view of the city.
Al Barari / The Farm Restaurant - Welcome to an oasis in the desert, still unknown to many tourists. With nearly ten miles of lakes, waterfalls, landscaped streams, over thirty-four themed gardens and four million plants, this secret garden is a wonderful place to relax just outside the big city.
Coffee Museum - If you are a coffee lover, you cannot miss this wonderful museum. Here you will find everything from recipe books to equipment and antiques, everything related to the world of coffee.
What to See near DUBAI ?