How to explore Dubai with a local

From visiting the tallest building on Earth to strolling the tens of glittering malls and plenty of desert activities, Dubai has become a real Arab metropolis, internationally known for always trying to be or have the most of the most. 

In only a bunch of years, the city has grown exponentially and, along with it, travelers and tourists from all over the world have been attracted by its extravagant concept. 

It is a very unique destination indeed, something you must witness once in your life, at least to see, with your own eyes, how you go from being a Bedouin land to become a trending world capital in less than 50 years. 

However, this exponential growth didn’t come without a price, as they had to heavily rely on the foreign workforce to, basically, build a country practically from scratch. 

From workers to engineers, businessmen and everything in between, for the last decades, hundreds of thousands of foreign people have come to Dubai to work, to the extent that, today, 90% of the total Dubai population is a foreigner. 

For me, this was a very big downside about Dubai because, as a traveler, it is extremely difficult to meet local people and experience their local culture, especially because this tiny percentage doesn’t really hang out in the same places you are likely to, plus they don’t do regular jobs like driving taxis,  working in restaurants or even corporate jobs in international companies, so the local interactions are nearly zero. 

I lived in Dubai for about 3 years and, in all this time, the actual local interactions had been very little and they mainly happened when we were going camping in the desert, as we knew the right spots where the Emiratis would also go. 

Emiratis are actually very friendly, and hospitable, so it is a pity that you can’t really get to know them, and camping in the desert on your own isn’t something you will probably do during your short trip in Dubai. 

Nevertheless, what if I tell you that there is a very easy way to explore Dubai with locals?

You can do it through a website I discovered very recently. 

The website is called and, like you may figure out from its name, they offer private tours with a local from the city of the country. 

This means that, by booking one of their tours, you will spend your day, or whatever your tour lasts, with a knowledgeable local person who can tell you everything about their country, besides visiting all the city attractions, of course. 

If you go to their website and search for all Dubai private tours,  you will find a large selection of all types of tours, from city sightseeing to desert adventures and the best of it is that they are completely customizable, so if you are fancying something different, they can adapt the tour to your needs, no problem. 

From sharing a meal with a local Emirati in the most authentic restaurant he can think of to strolling down the most hidden spots in the Old City of Dubai, I seriously think that this is a very, very unique way to explore Dubai, something not many people can tell, and not only travelers, but the vast majority of expats who have been living in the country for years. 

So yeah, now you have no excuse to say that meeting Emiratis is not possible when you are visiting Dubai, so if you want to get plenty of insights about the actual local culture, which has nothing to do with the glittering malls everybody talks about, think no further, and check out one of those tours!

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For booking accommodation

Use for hotels and guesthouses

Check on Hostelworld for for backpacker hostels

For travel insurance (with COVID-19 coverage), I recommend:

1 – IATI Insurance (5% discount) – Cheapest travel insurance and for travelers above 70

2 – True Traveller – Best backpacking insurance (only Europeans)


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Trekking equipment, books, etc, check on Amazon

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