Dubai is one of seven emirate cities that make up the United Arab Emirates. It is considered as the global business and cultural hub of the Middle East. In this section, you will find some beneficial travel information about Dubai.
Alcohol is available in licensed hotels and restaurants.
All international banks have branches in the city, Working hours are between 8am-2pm Saturday to Thursday. ATMs are widely available.
Most businesses are open from 8am-6pm Saturday to Thursday. Embassies, consulates and government offices operate from 7.30am-2.30pm.
Major credit cards such as American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and visa are accepted in most hotels and shopping malls.
A sub-tropical, arid climate ensures clear blue skies almost throughout the year. Winter may see a few infrequent rain showers. Temperatures vary from season to season: January can fall to a low of 15°C/59°F, while July can rise to a high of 48°C/118°F.
The UAE currency is known as the Arab Emirate Dirham denoted by AED or more commonly, Dhs. One dirham is divided into 100fils. The dirham is pegged to the US dollar at a mid-rate of approximately US$1=Dhs3.679
As a sign of respect for local customs and traditions, a modest dress code is strongly advised. Wearing revealing clothing in public places should be avoided at all times. Swimwear is acceptable only at hotel pools, resorts and beaches. Before leaving those areas, it is advised you change into casual wear.
Cars are left-hand drive and proceed on the right side of the road as they do in Europe. (Note that international driving permits and overseas driving licenses are not valid for private cars in the UAE).
Accommodation options vary from luxurious five-star hotels to budget-friendly hotel apartments. Conference, convention, meeting and banqueting facilities are available in most hotels.
Arabic is the official language of the UAE. English is widely spoken and understood.
Dubai Health Authority (DHA) regulates all medical services in the city. Rashid, Latifa and Dubai Hospitals are operated by DHA itself and all emergency services are free for both residents and visitors. There are many private hospitals in the city and fees vary.
Personal conduct and Etiquette
Rude and arrogant behavior is unacceptable, Public displays of affection between a man and woman are considered disrespectful. There is zero tolerance for drunk-driving and inappropriate behavior while under the influence of alcohol. Swearing is considered very offensive. During the holy month of Ramadan, eating drinking and smoking in public are strictly prohibited.
Photographing military installations, government buildings and private premises is strictly prohibited.
Malls: 10am-midnight Sunday to Wednesday, 10am-1am Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Independent retail outlets: 10am-1pm and 4pm to 10pm Saturday to Wednesday, 4pm-midnight Friday.
Telecom services are provided by Etisalat and du; direct calls are available to most countries. Calls made from one fixed line to another within Dubai are free. The country code is +971 and the area code is 04.
Dubai operates on Gulf Standard Time (GST), which is GMT+4. There is no daylight saving.
This is not essential but a tip of 10 per cent is appreciated.
Electricity: The electricity supply in the UAE is 220/224 volts at 50 cycles. US-made appliances may require a transformer.
Water: Bottled mineral water is served in hotels and restaurants and is also available in supermarkets and cold stores.