Breastfeeding in Dubai
Public breastfeeding is perfectly acceptable in Dubai which may come as a surprise but should be done very discretely. Being a muslim country, it is important to ensure that you aren’t exposing yourself and a scarf or breastfeeding cover can be very handy. Be aware that your baby may need to feed more in the heat particularly if he or she does not yet drink water.
Some malls have dedicated feeding rooms but at the very least the big modern malls have a chair where you can nurse in the baby changing rooms. In Mirdif City Centre there is a large feeding room on the first floor. In Mall of the Emirates there is one on the first floor close to the entrance to the Pullman hotel and a little private one with a changing mat and toilet in the Fashion Galleria section on the top floor (level 2) near the entrance to DUCTAC. Burjuman has a private room with huge sofas. If the mall is busy try heading to the baby changing rooms on the upper levels as they tend to be the quietest.
Many of the changing facilities in Dubai will be located in the ladies restrooms and these will be strictly for women. Even if you are used to sharing nappy changing duties, men may need to take a back seat while in the UAE.
Buying your Baby & Toddler Essentials
Dubai has a huge expat community and many international brands are sold there. You will find your essentials such as formula, nappies and wipes in pharmacies together with paracetamol and ibuprofen based medication if your child is teething or has a pain or mild inflammation. You will be able to find Hipp Organic and Aptamil powdered formula products in Boots and larger supermarkets such as Spinneys, Waitrose, Carrefour and Hyperpanda but ready made formula is harder to find although it is available. You will also find Aptamil baby rice, Hipp Organic baby food and other western brands of baby food widely available. Remember that even familiar brands of formula can taste different as they are generally produced elsewhere so if your baby is fussy and you have found a brand that suits him or her, it is probably best to bring it with you. There is a great selection of pre made baby food such as lasagne, chicken with veg and rice and plenty of other flavours. Purees, cereals, rice cakes and creamed rice are also widely available and are sold in jars and pouches. There are also loads of family friendly restaurants with kids options, especially around the main tourist spots such as Jumeirah.
Need to Know
Women can wear swimwear at the beach or at the hotel pool, but if you go to a public location, you must dress conservatively. Skirts should go to the knees, don’t wear tops that reveal cleavage, wear sleeves to your elbows. You don’t have to wear a headscarf however, it is best to do so if you want to be culturally sensitive. Never kiss in public.
In Dubai, the residential electricity is 220 V AC, 50 Hz, so you will have to either get a voltage converter or use appliances that are the correct voltage for the area.
Bellhops in hotels expect to be tipped generously. In restaurants, a service charge is added to your bill, so you don’t need to tip separately. For taxis, you can round up to the nearest full bill.
If you plan to drive a rental car while you are on family travel in Dubai, then you must have an international driver’s license, passport and two other forms of photo ID to rent a car.
The weekend in Dubai is Friday and Saturday, and doesn’t include Sunday.
In an emergency, dial 999.