When we think about the United Arab Emirates, we usually think about a luxurious lifestyle, tall skyscrapers and the fairly recently built Dubai surrounded by desert. Dubai is surely worth a visit, but the city itself isn't very backpacking friendly, especially if you don't know where to find affordable food and accommodation.
The old town area called Deira is probably the most authentic part of Dubai that you can find. Deira used to be the old center of Dubai before the new downtown and all the skyscrapers arose in the 90's. Wanna eat cheap hummus and shawerma in the street for a few euros? Then Deira is the place to go to. Besides authentic middle eastern food, you can also find REAL amazing Indian street food, like my personal favorites: idli or dosa with spicy sauce (real Indian spicy).
Recently I visited Dubai for the third time. Since I'd seen most of Dubai and Abu Dhabi during my previous visits, I was curious to see what else there was to see in the UAE outside these metropolises. The never ending search for non-touristy areas made me and my partner rent a car to go on a 3 days road trip around the UAE in August. This is low season in the UAE, which means extremely hot temperatures (AC in the car is a must), but also cheap luxurious hotels and not many other tourists traveling at this time.
A small and cheap car, was what I had in mind. But of course, this is the arab countries known for fancy cars - after some convincing by my partner we ended up with a Chevrolet Camaro instead. However, renting an expensive sports car isn't that expensive in the country of luxurious cars, nor is the petrol - in fact, petrol is even cheaper than water. If you've always dreamt about driving a Chevrolet or why not a Porsche, it's probably worth doing it when you're in the UAE.
Driving out of Dubai was easy, and unlike driving in Asia people are respectful and well behaved in the traffic in the UAE. The roads out of Dubai are big, with 7 lanes and lots of space - and despite this, traffic jams that will test your patience. Once you get out of Dubai though, the traffic is less busy and the roads are great to drive on.
Read everything about my roadtrip in the UAE in my article here!
For any questions or more recommendations please don't hesitate to get in touch with me!