Independent Package Includes

  • Round trip flights Houston-Dubai, Dubai-Houston
    Other departure cities are available. Contact us for details.
  • Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
  • 5 nights accommodations in your choice of hotels
  • Hotel porterage
  • Airport transfers
  • Hotel taxes, fees & service charges including Dubai tourism fee
  • Breakfast daily
  • Services of English-speaking guides during optional tours

Special Features

  • Embark on a city tour of Dubai that includes visits to the man-made island of Jumeirah Palm and the famous icon of Dubai, the Burj Al Arab Hotel

Is This Trip Right for You?

This independent program allows the flexibility to explore on your own. Affordable optional sightseeing excursions are available to enhance your trip. Please note that this tour is not escorted and therefore you will not have the services of a tour manager to assist with hotel check-in formalities and luggage handling. Hotel locations, services, and amenities differ according to the Plan. Read the descriptions in full and locate the hotels on our provided map to ensure the Hotel/Plan you select meets your desired criteria. Dubai is an ultra-modern U.A.E. city built from desert sands. Dubai’s culture is diverse. The majority of Dubai’s citizens are foreign-born and your local guides will likely have foreign roots. A variety of airfare options are available for this program, including some low-cost fares which may exclude complimentary checked luggage and advance seat assignments. Please read each offer to ensure you choose the option that best fits your wishes. This is an Independent program.

Note: your itinerary will change depending upon the day of the week you depart. Call 214-430-0430 for details


DAY 1, Monday – Depart for the United Arab Emirates

Depart for Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

DAY 2, Tuesday – Arrive in Dubai

Arrive in Dubai, the quintessential land of opulence, wealth and astonishing skyscrapers that stand alongside traditional mosques. Balance of the day is at leisure to rest, relax and acclimate to the adrenaline-charged tempo of this city and your new time zone
Overnight: Dubai

DAY 3, Wednesday – Old Dubai Tour

A fabulous day discovering Dubai, one of the world’s most futuristic cities with its dramatic skyline, once a tranquil port of Bedouin traders and pearl divers. We start with a visit to the Dubai Museum in the Al Fahidi Fort, which has survived for two centuries. Continue the tour through the cloth markets and end up at the Abras, where local water taxis will take you across the Creek to the area of spice and gold souks. Walk through the bustling alleys of these souks and allow the mystical aromas of numerous spices to tantalize your senses. The jewelry on sale varies from the traditional to the latest designs at amazingly affordable prices. Afterward, to the Bastakia area where old wind-towered houses of wealthy merchants can still be seen. While in the area, you’re invited to the important Sheikh Mohammed Centre in the heart of the old Bastakiya area for a specially arranged local Emirati lunch and meeting. Enjoy an open discussion and learn more about Emirati culture and local traditions. Return to the hotel for a free afternoon before an orientation meeting with your Tour Manager and fellow travelers, followed by a Welcome Dinner
Overnight: Dubai
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4, Thursday – Abu Dhabi Tour

Start the day with a city tour of the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, also known as the Arabian Jewel. Begin at the magnificent Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, an iconic symbol of Abu Dhabi. Drive through al Bateen area, also known as the Royal and Presidential District. Stop at the Zayed House for a fascinating sneak peek into the life of the late Sheikh Zayed, ‘Father of the Nation’. Continue to the Emirates Palace and the Etihad Towers for a photo stop. Continue along the city’s glamorous Corniche, with blue waters glittering on one side and shimmering skyscrapers lining the other. At the Breakwater, pause to take photos of the city’s fabulous skyline. After Lunch, admire cultural art at the Arab World’s first universal museum, the Louvre Abu Dhabi. Head back to Dubai via Yas Island, the home of the F1 Circuit and Ferrari World Theme Park
Overnight: Dubai
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 5, Friday – New Dubai Tour
Begin with a photo stop at Dubai’s signature landmark, Burj Al Arab, the celebrated sail-shaped hotel facing the Persian Gulf. Continue to the Jumeirah Palm, a man-made island, which was built in the shape of a palm tree, known for its posh residential buildings, villas, and luxury resorts. Upon entering the island, board the Palm Monorail which will take you to the far end of the palm. Marvel at the stunning views of the island as you ride high above the ground. Continue on Sheikh Zayed road to visit the world’s tallest tower Burj Khalifa. While at the top, a guide will help answer all your questions from your vantage point on level 124 of the building. Free time for lunch in Dubai Mall. Tonight, a very special evening with a chance to see the skyline of Dubai from the Creek. Dhows have been the traditional ships used in the UAE for many centuries and tonight you have the chance to board one of these vessels and enjoy a sumptuous buffet while you quietly cruise by the landmarks of this city
Overnight: Dubai
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 6, Saturday – Full Day in Dubai

Morning and afternoon at leisure for further exploration of this vibrant city. Or, participate in the optional tour to Sharjah in the morning, a cultural center of the Emirates, known for its major museums, distinctive landmarks, and elegant mosques. As you begin your tour, you will have the opportunity for a photo stop of the cultural square. Then, visit the Islamic Museum, housing over 5,000 artifacts from all over the Islamic World and the Heritage Museum depicting Sharjah’s rich and diverse heritage. The remainder of the day is at leisure to explore the city or join the thrilling optional Desert Safari this afternoon. Board a 4X4 vehicle in Dubai and head out towards the highest sand dunes of the surreal surrounding desert. Feel the thrill of “dune bashing” as you spiral up and down the enormous golden dunes. Upon your arrival at the Bedouin campsite, you’ll be welcomed with traditional Arabic coffee and will have the option to ride a camel. Then, enjoy a barbecue dinner, specially prepared. Later, enjoy a Tanoura dance show, then watch as a captivating belly dancer enchants you with her swirling dances before returning to Dubai
Optional: Half Day Sharjah Tour (AM)
Optional: Half Day Desert Safari with dinner (PM)
Overnight: Dubai
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 7, Sunday – Depart the United Arab Emirates

Transfer to the airport for your departure flight
Meals: Breakfast


Travel itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently.

Know Before You Go

Although most of the planning and preparation is taken care of for you, there are still a few things you should know and some details you should take care of to ensure your comfort, safety, and peace of mind. Please review the following information before your departure to ensure that any surprises along the way will only be pleasant ones.

Getting Ready to Go

Passports and Visas

It is each traveler’s responsibility to have a passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the dates of travel and a visa if required. Please check with the Embassy or Consolate office for the specific country/region you are visiting for more details. IMPORTANT: Passengers who are not U.S. citizens must check with the respective consulate or a visa agency to determine what personal identification is required. Passengers who enter, leave and then re-enter the same country on their itinerary should check if they require a double-entry visa. Passport applications are available at most U.S. Post Offices, as well as at regional Passport Agencies. Passengers requiring visas, whether obtained in advance or locally upon arrival, should ensure that their passport has blank pages.

Traveling with Friends or Family?

If you are traveling with friends or family who is booked on another reservation, please make sure that we are aware. On occasion, we may operate more than one vehicle on your tour departure in which case we will ensure that guests will be assigned together. This is achieved by connecting your reservations before your departure. Once you arrive at your destination, it may not be possible to make assignment changes. 

Trip Preparation

A little pre-planning can make your trip go a lot smoother. Several weeks before your trip, make a list of what you will need to take with you. Make sure your documents (passports, visas, driver’s license) are in order. Make sure also that you have enough prescription medications to last through the trip and carry them with you in case your luggage is delayed. Bring a change of clothes in your carry on bag in the event that your luggage is delayed or lost. We suggest that you make photocopies of passports, visas, personal ID and any other important travel documents and pack them separately from the originals. You may also make a digital copy of your passport to keep a clear picture of the important details in your cell phone or digital camera photos. If you lose the originals while traveling, you’ll have copies for easier reporting and replacement. Pack a list of medications including dosage and generic names. You may consider bringing a small supply of over the counter medications for headaches and/or anti-diarrhea pills (especially when traveling outside of the USA and Western Europe). We recommend that you pack a portable alarm clock. Due to security reasons, many museums have restrictions on the size of bags that can be taken inside and backpacks, carry-on bags or large purses may not be permitted. It is recommended to bring a small shoulder bag or purse to use in these situations instead. Avoid placing valuables such as cameras in your checked luggage. Airplane pressure can cause similar pressure in your body, most notably in ears, as well as liquid tubes and bottles. Your physician can suggest medication for decongestion. We suggest that you place liquid containers into Ziploc bags to catch any leaks.

Travel Protection:

At any time before you complete the Final Payment, you may choose to purchase Travel Protection that helps provide coverage for Trip Cancellation, Interruption, Baggage Loss or Delay, Pre-Existing Medical Conditions and more. The protection plan premium is non-refundable after a 10 day review period. For new bookings made on or after October 1, 2019, to qualify for the Pre-Existing Medical Condition portion of Plan coverage, Travel Protection must be added within 21 days of booking date for the full cost of all travel arrangements that are subject to cancellation penalties or restrictions. In addition, you must be medically able to travel at the time the premium is paid. For a summary of the plan details on coverages, benefits, limitations, and exclusions, please refer to the Description of Coverage. 
Additionally, the optional Cancel For Any Reason Waiver allows you to cancel your tour up to 72 hours before your scheduled departure for any reason and receive a credit equal to the full cost of your travel arrangements, less the cost of deposit(s), late/amendment fees, and insurance premium cost. The credit is reduced by the amount of any cancellation benefits paid by Travel Protection or any other insurance plan providing Trip Cancellation benefits. Credit will be issued in the form of travel certificates which are applicable for a period of one year from the original date of travel. In the event that Instant purchase airfare was purchased in conjunction with the original tour program, you must travel within one year of the original date of airfare booking. Certificates have no cash value and may be used only for travel to the originally booked destination, using the same carrier, same or similar hotels and same tour package. Price adjustments will be made at the time of the new reservation. Should the price decrease, you will receive a credit for the difference. Should the price increase, you will be invoiced for the balance. This program does not apply to packages which include a Sea or River cruise, Passion Play, travel to Israel, nor does it apply to custom groups. A waiver may only be purchased in conjunction with and at the same time as Travel Protection. 

Cell Phones & Calling Cards

You may wish to carry a cell phone while traveling. Check with your cell phone provider if your phone will work in the destination(s) you are visiting. If you can access the Internet as you travel, you can take advantage of email or a Skype Internet telephone (VOIP) account for the best value. Additionally, if your phone can connect to WiFi you may be able to make voice and video calls free of charge. Please contact your cell phone provider for further details. Alternatively, you may investigate renting a cell phone before you leave or buying an inexpensive phone locally. When calling the U.S. from a foreign country, you may also use a prepaid calling card; normally, the only additional charge (besides the prepaid long distance charges) is a local fee of a few cents and possibly a connection fee if you are using your card at your hotel. It is best to check with the hotel’s reception desk prior to making phone calls to avoid unexpected charges. Please note that we are unable to provide compensation for phone calls regardless of the reason.

Making Telephone Calls from One Country to Another

When dialing a number from one country to another, you should proceed as follows: dial your country’s Exit Code (often indicated with a “+” sign), then the destination Country Code, then the Phone Number. For most countries, the exit code is 00. Exceptions include the USA and Canada (011), Hong Kong and Cambodia (001), Australia (0011), and Russia (8 Pause 10*). For Brazil, please consult with the local telephone company. If you are dialing from a mobile phone, you can enter a “+” instead of the international Exit Code (011, 001, 0011 or 00) by pressing and holding the 0 key. For most countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America, and South Pacific, if you are calling from a local phone to a number within the same country, you should drop both the exit and country codes and then add a leading 0 (zero). Exceptions include Spain, Italy, Hungary and Malta (no additional zero needed to dial locally).

Example:
To dial the following number in Germany (as listed on your voucher): +(49) 0555-555
From USA or your US cell phone: 011-49-555-555
From another country in Europe: 00-49-555-555
From a German phone within Germany: 0555-555

WiFi Access

WiFi access has improved. Free or inexpensive WiFi internet is accessible at coffee shops, airports, restaurants, libraries and on some trains and buses. WiFi access in hotels and cruise lines often involves a fee, determined by that property. Signal strength is subject to local conditions and not guaranteed. Availability on cruises is also dependent upon its location while sailing through multiple countries. Please note that WiFi can be extremely slow, unreliable and sometimes nonexistent in developing countries or, on moving conveyances such as buses and cruise ships.

Staying Healthy While Traveling

All travelers should familiarize themselves with local conditions, such as high altitude or required immunizations, which could affect their health. We recommend you consult with your personal healthcare provider, the Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) and/or the World Health Organization (http://www.who.int/en/) for their recommendations.

There are several easy steps you can take to stay healthy while traveling which may help prevent contracting an illness while away from home.

  • Watch what you eat. Try new foods in modest quantities, and depending upon your destination, you may want to avoid street foods, salad bars, raw vegetables, and fruits unless they have thick peels like bananas or grapefruit.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink bottled water and avoid consuming ice cubes made with tap water.
  • If you have allergies to foods, medications or insect bites, or have any other unique medical issues, consider a medical alert bracelet and/or a physician’s note detailing required treatment should you become ill.
  • Wash your hands regularly and carry hand sanitizer.
  • Where appropriate, pack sunscreen and insect repellent (for both active and warm destinations).
  • You may also want to bring a small first-aid kit with bandaids, antibiotic cream, pain killers, bug bite cream, digestive aids like antidiarrheal or anti-bloat medications, antacids, and cold medicine. This is in addition to any prescription medications which should be adequate for the entire trip.
Travel Safety Advice: We strongly recommend that tour participants review the destination country’s specific information at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings.html.
Notice on Aircraft Cabin Insecticide Treatment – Please note that some countries may require aircraft cabin insecticide treatment for in-bound foreign flights. A list of such countries is available at: http://www.dot.gov/office-policy/aviation-policy/aircraft-disinsection-requirements.
United Arab Emirates – United Arab Emirates enforces very strict drug policies. Many pharmaceuticals that are considered over-the-counter in the United States are prohibited in Dubai. All tourists are required to fill in an electronic form to get approval for bringing any kind of medication to UAE. Please visit the U.S. Department of State’s United Arab Emirates Embassy website at: https://ae.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/local-resources-of-u-s-citizens/.

Essential prescription medications should be stored in their original bottles. Please also ensure that you have proper documentation for your prescriptions. It is recommended that non-essential medications such as cold and sinus medicines be left at home and purchased locally if needed.

Consideration for Tour Participants (Escorted Tours)

For the benefit of all tour participants, we ask tour members to be considerate of their fellow travelers in the following ways:
  • Refrain from wearing colognes, perfumes and/or personal products containing excessive fragrance in respect for other guests who may be allergic
  • Avoid smoking cigarettes, e-cigarettes or cigars in the vicinity of other tour members, including in outdoor areas where smoking may be permitted but may still affect other tour participants
  • Avoid attire with political or religious messages that may offend other travelers
  • Refrain from a conversation or talking on mobile phones while commentary is in progress
  • Respect the mandatory seat rotation policy on the coach
  • Make use of the available hand sanitizer on the coach to support a healthy environment
  • Seek approval before taking photographs of other tour participants
  • Respect tour departures times to avoid delay and loss of sightseeing opportunities

Climate & Clothing

United Arab Emirates – United Arab Emirates is a very warm country. Bring comfortable walking shoes, lightweight clothes you can layer and an all-weather jacket. Sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses are also recommended. Some religious sites including Sheikh Zayed Mosque require a dress code: Long sleeve shirts with sleeves to cover the wrist, and long pants or floor-length skirts to cover ankles are required. Women should wear a veil or head-scarf to cover hair. Tight clothing, shorts, short sleeve shirts, sleeveless shirts, open-back dresses, sheer/see-through clothing, clothing with profanity and beachwear are not permitted.

Dubai Average Temperatures: https://www.gate1travel.com/weather/mediterranean/default.aspx#dubai-weather

About Drones

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or “drone” technology has quickly become affordable and is increasingly popular with recreational users. While some countries have clear, established drone laws, others do not, or existing regulations are undergoing review and change. Travelers who wish to bring a drone on their trip are responsible to research and abide by the laws and regulations of the countries they are visiting, as well as to check with their airline(s) regarding their rules for transporting drones. Please note that tours are unable to extend the length of scheduled visits and stop to accommodate the use of drones.

About Independent Travel

Independent tours allow you the freedom and flexibility to enjoy your vacation days at your own pace, to explore on your own, to be spontaneous and to focus on personal interests. Accordingly, independent tours are very different from Gate 1’s escorted tours, which are conducted by a Tour Manager who accompanies you throughout, manages your needs and provides expert guiding services from the beginning to the end of your tour.

When traveling independently, please bear in mind that you will be responsible for your needs throughout. Depending upon the package or services you have selected, you may encounter representatives along the way, such as a transfer driver, or a local sightseeing guide. Those may be included in your tour or options you have pre-selected. However, you will be on your own to handle your luggage, locate service providers, check into and out of your hotels, and to get to and from train stations or car rental counters.

Independent touring, as the name implies is for the independent traveler who is comfortable traveling on one’s own with less guidance. Of course, as with all Gate 1 touring packages, you will find your services exactly as reserved when you arrive to your destination.

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