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Dubai is the leading centre of business and tourism in the Middle East. A city of more than 1.2 million inhabitants, it is the second largest of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates. Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah and Abu Dhabi, the capital city, form the remaining six emirates.

Local Time

Dubai is four hours ahead of UCT (Universal Coordinated Time – formerly known as GMT)

Airport

Dubai International Airport is 4 kms to Dubai city centre.
Distance from Dubai International Airpor to other emirates:
Abu Dhabi:170 kms
Sharjah: 15 kms
Ajman: 30 kms
Umm Al Quwain: 55 kms
Ras Al Khaimah: 100 kms
Fujairah: 130 kms

Language

The official language is Arabic, but English and Urdu are widely spoken. Most official signage is in Arabic and English.

Climate

Temperatures range from a low of 10ºC/ 50ºF to a high of 48ºC/ 11.4ºF. Mean daily maximum is 24ºC /75.2ºF in January, rising to 41ºC/105.8ºF in July.

Health Requirement

Certificate required for cholera and yellow fever if arriving from affected area.

Clothing

Lightweight summer clothing can be worn all year round, though the temperature can drop suddenly at night in the winter. At the pool or on the beaches, trunks and swimsuits are quite acceptable but visitors are encouraged to respect local culture and care should be taken when in the city not to wear clothing that could be considered too revealing.

Emergency Numbers

Police - 999; Fire - 997; Ambulance - 998

Currency

Dhs = UAE dirhams. 100 fils = 1 Dirham.
Approximate conversion rates: US$ 1 = Dhs. 3.67, GBP 1 = Dhs 7.28, EUR 1 = Dhs 5.67, RUB 1 = Dhs 0.15, INR 1=0.09.
Notes: Dhs 1000, 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 & 5
Coins: Dhs 1, fils 50, 25, 10 

Credit Cards

American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted in Dubai, though smaller businesses may prefer cash payments. It is advisable to carry cash with you.

Duty Free

Visitors may bring in the following free of duty – 400 cigarettes, 4 litres of spirits (non-Muslim adults only) and perfume for personal use.

Heritage & Culture

 Dubai may be a modern and rapidly growing city, but it is has many heritage sites and places of historic interest whilst you are here.

Religion

The official religion of Dubai is Islam and Islamic holidays and festivals are officially observed. Other religions are respected and followers are allowed to practise their beliefs.

Alcohol

Is widely available to non-Muslims in the city’s bars, nightclubs and restaurants situated in hotels. Most independent restaurants are unlicensed. Dubai operates a zero tolerance policy on drinking and driving.

Business Hours

The official weekend is Friday and Saturday. Friday is the religious day, which means that Government offices are open from 7.30am to 2.30pm Sunday to Thursday whilst most private companies operate international business hours Sunday to Thursday also. Banks are generally open from 8am to 1pm, closed Fridays.

Public Holidays

Fixed:National Day (December 2 & 3); New Year's Day (January 1)
Varies: Eid Al Fitr; Eid Al Adha; Hijra New Year's Day, Prophet's Birthday; Accession Day, Essra Wal Mehry

Water

Tap water is safe to drink, but most people prefer locally bottled mineral water.

Electricity

220/230 volts A/C

Tipping

Hotels and restaurants usually include 15% service charge with their bills. It is up to the clients to give whatever they feel.

Places Of Interest

Creekside, Dubai Museum, Dhow rides in the creek, Desert safaris, Beaches and parks, Wild Wadi amusement park and many more

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