I'm honoured to host on my blog a guest post by Stephanie Lee, the author of "The Art of Solo Travel". Not only she gives very useful tips for any woman traveling alone, but I'm happy she has chosen the United Arab Emirates, one of my most favourite destinations.
Some of the factors that contribute to this:
The city never sleeps
These two cities are high rollers with a busy and vibrant nightlife. Because there is always something going on in the city – be it 24-hour restaurants or clubs, the presence of people out socializing in the evenings and nights provided me with reassurance when going out after dark.
An international crowd
If travelling alone, it is guaranteed that you will meet other like-minded souls in these cities. Whether a fellow traveller or a working expat, making friends is easy, therefore there was never any reasons to feel lonely or unsafe. There are also ladies night in many places meaning free cocktails!
Join the plethora of day tours available in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Try your hand at crab-hunting in the Arabian Sea, go dune-bashing in the exotic desert, or watch belly-dancers entertaining you in front of a local feast. Whatever you decide, you will always have a small group of people enjoying a similar activity with you.
Visit the new wonders of the UAE
It is always safe to visit popular monuments as there will be many others doing exactly the same thing. Along with many other tourists in the city, spend a day or two visiting the new Burj Dubai, or gawk at old ones like the Burj-al-Arab and the Atlantis Hotel. Alternatively go shopping at the fantastic Mall of the Emirates where you can also go skiing.
Watch a concert at the Emirates Palace
With thousands of other screaming fans, it is impossible to feel unsafe. Many popular artists frequently hold concerts at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, and from personal experiences it is pretty spectacular to watch your favourite band put on a show for you in the middle of the desert.
Take the taxi
Taxis are cheap, clean, and the drivers in a smart uniform are polite, helpful and courteous. Don’t take the bus.
Other obvious things
Besides keeping in mind the obvious such as not walking down a dark alley or tunnel alone, and never bringing your valuables out with you, it is almost impossible to feel insecure or unsafe in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Although not the cheapest places to visit, a few days there wouldn’t hurt. So head over there and party like it’s 2011! Happy New Year to all solo travellers!
You can buy "The Art of Solo Travel" here.