Travelling to Dubai this summer? Prepare for your journey with the Pocket Gamer guide to Dubai ahead of the Dubai GameExpo Summit!
Planning to join us for our first ever conference in Dubai this summer? Now’s the time to start preparing for your journey.
We’re headed to the magnificent city of Dubai this summer! This June 21st to 22nd, the Pocket Gamer Connects team are partnering with the Dubai Economy & Tourism Department (DET) to bring the global games industry an unmissable conference experience in Dubai, part of the fastest growing region of the global games industry. The GameExpo Summit powered by PG Connects will take place over two days alongside the larger GameExpo event at the incredible hub of sustainability and innovation, Expo City Dubai. The summit itself will feature more than 100 renowned games industry speakers from all over the globe delivering insightful talks, panels and seminars across a number of themed tracks. You can expect discussions on pressing topics facing the games industry such as new technologies from the metaverse, AI and Web3 to the latest techniques and trends in development and monetisation, as well as the unprecedented growth of the MENA market. The GameExpo Summit will offer the very same high-quality networking opportunities you’ve come to expect from Pocket Gamer Connects events. A ticket to this spectacular conference experience also presents you with full complimentary access to the Dubai Games and Esports Festival running alongside it all week. So, by purchasing a ticket to the Dubai Game Expo Summit for just two days, you get full access to the biggest games festival in the MENA region, all taking place at Expo City Dubai. This is a conference experience you absolutely won’t want to miss being a part of this June!
Keep reading for everything you need to know about getting to Dubai and what to expect once you’re there!
First things first, how do you make sure that you’re all set to travel to the UAE? Over 50 countries don’t actually require a pre-arranged visa to visit Dubai, but you’ll want to be certain you know what the visa process is like for you way ahead of visiting this summer. Here’s the rundown of what the process is for UK and American citizens –
If you’re travelling to Dubai from somewhere else, be sure to check your country’s visa requirements for travel to the UAE on the official Visit Dubai website. You can do so easily through entering your nationality details. The type of visa you’re looking for to join us for the Summit this summer will be a Tourist visa.
Keep in mind that while currently, passengers travelling to the UAE are not required to present a COVID-19 vaccination certificate or to perform PCR tests, this may change at short notice. You can check the most updated information here.
Transport in Dubai
Figuring out how to get around a metropolis like Dubai can seem quite intimidating, but fear not – Dubai attracts over 14 million visitors per year and they have little trouble getting around this magnificent city. For English-speaking visitors, it can be a relief to know that English is the most commonly spoken language in Dubai so you should have very little issue getting around the city. Visit Dubai, Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism’s official site for visitors that is updated regularly, notes how commonly found English text is throughout the city to help visitors get around. “From road signs and menus to phone directories and public transport, English is always an option. All members of the service industry also speak the language, so you can order, shop and explore with ease.”
Now, when it comes to actually getting around the city, we highly recommend that you’re well-prepared for your travels with an itinerary of everything you want to see while you’re there around conference time (read up what there is to do while you’re in Dubai here) and that you plan your transport accordingly. Dubai offers a number of options for transportation depending on your budget and where you need to get to. Here are just some of the ways that you can get around while in the city…
- Taxi or Uber/Careem – You can pre-book your taxis online with RTA Dubai’s mobile app, and they have a number of choices that you can select a suitable taxi service from. They offer a taxi rental service to travel within Dubai, an airport taxi that picks you right up from Dubai International Airport and takes you to your destination and they even have a taxi service exclusive to ladies and families that pairs you with female drivers. You can pay by either cash or card. You can also book the taxi services through ridesharing and food delivery app Careem or default to other private car booking services like Uber. Learn more about RTA’s taxi booking services here.
- Bus/Rail – Dubai’s local bus and metro services are a safe and affordable transportation option that will take you to all the top tourist destinations in Dubai. They run on a reliable schedule and you can find your way around the city with this handy RTA app to plan your journey and this timetable for all public transport in Dubai. You’ll want to bookmark these to come back to! Be sure that you plan ahead as Dubai’s public transport doesn’t accept cash payments, but accessing it is as easy as purchasing a smart travel Nol card that you can load credit into and use to tap in to your desired transport. You can purchase a Nol card either through the RTA Dubai app or at ticket office machines in Dubai Metro stations.
- Water taxis – Not to be confused with the abras (creek crossing wooden boats that take you between four stations around Dubai creek), water taxis are a modern transport option that offer comfortable travel in style across Dubai Creek for up to 11 people. There are 44 stops across the city for this taxi, and you can marvel at the glorious sights of numerous city landmarks from the water along the way. You can plan your journey and learn more about this fantastic marine transport here.
Learn about Expo City, the human-centric city of the future
Where exactly is the Summit taking place after all? You could say it’s taking place in a futuristic mini-city within one of the most future-gazing cities in the world. Expo City Dubai proudly hosts the legacy of the first ever World Expo in the MENA region, the Expo 2020 Dubai. It opened its doors in October of last year and it features many of the attractions that left millions from around the world in awe at the world-class exhibition including the Al Wasl Plaza (the world’s largest 350-degree projection surface) that lights up the heart of Expo City Dubai and the rotating observation tower dubbed Dubai’s ‘flying park’, Garden in the Sky.
We’re thrilled to bring you to Dubai’s centre of business and innovation for our upcoming Summit. You will be exploring one of Dubai’s top attractions just by joining us at the conference this summer, and we highly encourage you to plan your visit around conference times so you can explore all that Expo City Dubai, and Dubai at large, has to offer. You can learn more at the official Expo City Dubai website here.
What’s the culture like in Dubai?
Dubai’s culture isn’t quite what one might associate with visiting the Middle East – it’s a highly Westernised city, so although Dubai is a Muslim country and there are some cultural differences, it’s become a hub where the East and the West meet for business and innovation and the local culture reflects just that. The UAE’s population as a whole shows us the reason for this – expatriates living here far outnumber Emirati residents. Expats make up a whopping 88.52% of the UAE population, whereas nationals are only 11.48% of the population.
While Dubai is a more Westernised city, do be mindful it is a Muslim country with aspects of traditional Arab culture. In order to safely and respectfully enjoy the incredible business opportunities and avant-garde attractions this gorgeous metropolis provides, these things to note are worth keeping in mind for Western visitors to Dubai.
- Dress code – It’s worthwhile knowing that most expats dress just how they would back home, but when in doubt, modesty tends to be the best policy. Women are not required to wear headscarves of any sort, and so long as you stay within the central areas of Dubai, you will often see Westerners dressed in the typical clothing you’d expect in their home country. It’s suggested for everyone to avoid overly tight clothing, low-cut tops, bare legs and midriff or exposing your shoulders.. The dress code is more strict when it comes to visiting mosques and temples, so if you plan to visit any religious establishment in the area, the dress code might require full-length sleeves and a head covering while you’re there.
- Drinking – Yes, you can drink in Dubai. Alcohol consumption in Dubai is regulated, but it’s allowed at licensed bars/clubs, most hotels, some restaurants and hotel rooms for visitors. You will often see Western visitors enjoying alcohol in designated areas, but being mindful that overt public intoxication is a criminal offence can help you avoid running into any trouble. Just book a taxi to take you back to your hotel when you feel yourself getting intoxicated. Another tip: You can easily find alcohol in Dubai, but it’s often expensive and requires a licence to purchase, so making the most of Duty Free in the airport and taking it back to your hotel might be your best bet.
- Behave respectfully – No rude gesturing is tolerated in Dubai, and avoiding swearing is recommended as offensive language can be fined. Be aware that giving someone a thumbs up can be taken as the equivalent of raising your middle finger at them and shaking hands or eating with your left hand can be seen as impolite (it’s used after going to the bathroom). You should also be mindful of touching. For religious reasons, most people in Dubai don’t touch members of the opposite sex, so it’s worth keeping this in mind. Note: This is just in case you’re travelling with your spouse or partner, but keep in mind that in Dubai, holding hands as a married couple is socially acceptable, but hugging and kissing in some public spaces is not seen as acceptable.
For more information on Dubai’s laws, rules and regulations, visit this helpful guide for expats.
Register your interest and secure the best rates!
You can currently lock in the best price possible for this fantastic opportunity. Register your interest today and you will be the first to know when tickets are available! Stay tuned, we’ll contact you as soon as tickets go live so you can enjoy early access and the best prices possible.
See you in Dubai!
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