About Dubai & UAE

Facts & Figures

Facts & Figures

Local Time: +4 GMT.

Climate: The emirates have a sub-tropical, arid climate. Sunny, blue skies can be expected most of the year. Rainfall is infrequent and irregular, falling mainly in winter. Temperatures range from a low of about 10.5°C/50°F to a high of 48°C/118°F. The mean daily maximum is 24°C/75.2°F in January rising to 41°C/105.8°F in July.

Clothing: Lightweight summer clothing is suitable for most of the year, but sweaters or jackets may be needed for the winter months, especially in the evenings. Compared with certain parts of the Middle East, Dubai has a very relaxed dress code. However, care should be taken not to give offence by wearing clothing which may be considered revealing. At the pool or on the beaches, trunks, swim-suits and bikinis are quite acceptable. Good quality sunglasses are advised and photo- chromatic lenses for those who wear spectacles. Hats or some protection for the head are advisable when in direct sunlight.

Language: The official language is Arabic but English is widely spoken and understood. Both languages are commonly used in business and commerce.

Religion: Islam is the official religion of the UAE and there are a large number of mosques throughout the city. Other religions are respected and Dubai has Christian churches.

Useful Tips: Do not sit in such a way that the soles of your feet are pointing at someone else. In Ramadan, never eat, drink or smoke in public during daylight hours. Do not take photographs of military installations or national women. Never drink alcohol in public.

Photography: Normal tourist photography is acceptable but it is considered offensive to photograph Muslim women. It is also courteous to ask permission before photographing men. In general, photographs of government buildings or military installations should not be taken.

Currency: The monetary unit is the dirham (Dh) which is divided into 100 fils. It has been held constant against the US dollar since the end of 1980 at a mid-rate of approximately US$1=Dh3.65

Credit Cards: American Express, Diners Club, Visa, MasterCard, etc are generally accepted in the main hotels and larger shops but some retailers offer better bargains for cash.

Tipping: Tipping practices are similar to most parts of the world. Some restaurants include service; otherwise 10 per cent is adequate.

Weights and Measures: Officially the metric system is followed, although British and American standard weights and measures are understood by most merchants. Local weights and measures are also used occasionally but seldom for international trade.

Business Hours: The weekend has traditionally been Thursday afternoon and Friday, but some organizations now close on Friday and Saturday, working through Thursday afternoon instead. Government offices are open from 7.30am- 1.30pm (7.30am-12.00 noon on Thursday). Private sector office hours vary, but are generally from 8.00am-1.00pm, re-opening at either 3.00pm or 4.00pm and closing at 6.00pm or 7.00pm. Shop hours are similar in their opening times, but most shops remain open until 9.00-10.00pm. Department stores, boutiques, souks and many food shops remain open on a Friday, apart from prayer times (between 11.30am and 1.30pm), while larger shops re-open on a Friday afternoon at around 4.00-5.00pm. Embassies and consulates are generally open from 8.45am-12.30pm and are closed on Fridays and in most cases on Saturdays, but usually leave an emergency number on their answering machines.

Newspapers: Local news papers and magazines in both Arabic and English languages are available. Foreign newspapers and magazines, especially British and Asian, are readily available in hotel bookshops and supermarkets.

Electricity: The electricity supply in Dubai is 220/240 volts at 50 cycles. US-made appliances may need a transformer.

Water: Tap water is quite safe to drink but visitors usually prefer locally-bottled mineral water and this is generally served in hotels and restaurants.

Telephones: Telecommunications are excellent. Direct dialing is available to most countries.

Mobile phones: There are two local telecom operators in UAE, Etisalat and Du. They offer visitor packages which are available upon arrival at the Dubai airport or any airport of entry in UAE.

Wireless Networks: Wifi connection is now available to main tourist areas such as shopping malls and the Burj Khalifa area (Downtown Dubai).

Facilities for the Handicapped: An increasing number of public areas now have access and facilities for people with disabilities. Several of the city's leading hotels also have specially adapted rooms and facilities for the handicapped.

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