Temperature range from a low of 10oC/50oF to a high of 48oC/118.4oF. The mean
daily maximum is 24oC/75.2oF in January, rising to 41oC/105.8oF in July.
Light cottons in summer (July to September). Lightweight
jackets or pullovers in winter. Good quality sunglasses are advised.
UAE Dirham. US$1 = Dhs.3.67 approx. 100 fils
= Dh 1.
There are no exchange restrictions in Dubai
and no customs duty is levied on personal effects entering Dubai. Visitors may also bring in the
following free of duty: Cigarettes 2000; cigars 400; tobacco 2kg. Alcohol
(non-Muslim adults only) 2 liters spirits or 2 liters wine. A
reasonable quantity of perfume.
American Express, Diners Club, Visa, Master Card, etc. are generally
accepted in the main hotels and the larger shops.
Practices are similar to most parts of the world. Some restaurants do
include a service charge; otherwise 10 percent is adequate.
Bargaining is expected in the souks and is quite
usual elsewhere. Vendors will usually drop their prices, and often quite
substantially, particularly for a cash sale.
Government offices are open from 0130 to 1430 (Saturday to Wednesday).
Private sector office hours are generally from 0800 to 1300 and 1600 to 2030.
Many shops stay open until 2200 hours. The weekend is Thursday afternoon and
Friday (or Friday and Saturday).
The official language is Arabic, but English is widely spoken and
understood. Other languages may be spoken by hotel staff.
Telecommunications in Dubai
are excellent. International Direct Dialing and full telex, telefax
and electronic mail are widely available. There is an efficient, reliable,
postal service. Commercial courier services are also widely used.
Dubai's culture is firmly rooted in the Islamic
traditions of Arabia. Courtesy and hospitality
are among the most highly prized of virtues. And you are sure to be charmed by
the genuine warmth and friendliness that greets the visitor.
is marked by a high degree of tolerance for different lifestyles, Foreigners
are free to practice their own religion, alcohol is served in hotels and,
provided reasonable discretion is shown, the dress code is liberal. Women face
no discrimination and may drive and move around unescorted.
Despite rapid economic development in recent years, Dubai remains close to its heritage. Local
citizens dress in traditional robes and head dresses. Arab culture and folklore
find expression in poetry, dancing, songs and traditional art. Weddings and
other celebrations are colourful occasions of
feasting and music. And traditional sports such as falconry, camel racing and
dhow racing at sea, continue to thrive.
Sightseeing, Tours and Safaris
Except for a brief period during summer, Dubai's
temperature and humidity are comfortable, and the city and surrounding areas
offer a wealth of interest for sightseers and photographers.
An ideal starting point is Dubai's
picturesque Creek, a natural inlet from the Gulf which bisects the city into Deira and Bur Dubai. From the Creek, traditional wooden
dhows set out for the ports of India,
the Gulf and East Africa, just as they have
for generations. On its banks, the bustle of loading and unloading makes for a
The windtowers of the Bastakiya
district, the narrow alleys of the souks, the
restored house of Sheikh Saeed in Shindagha,
the Al Ahmadiyah School - Dubai's first educational
institution - and the ancient Al Fahifi Fort, now
home to the recently refurbished Dubai Museum, all offer a captivating taste of
the city's past.
A wide range of tours and excursions are available. Just ask your hotel or tour
operator. Among the most popular are safaris into the desert by four-wheel
drive, combining the excitement of dune driving with a glimpse of Bedouin life,
a camel farm visit and culminating, perhaps, in a moonlit Arabian barbecue.
Among the many other interesting experiences on offer are dhow cruises and
helicopter tours. Dubai
is also the perfect base for visiting neighboring emirates.
Taxis and car hire services are plentiful. And you can walk anywhere, confident
of your personal safety in this clean, virtually crime-free city.
exceptionally well endowed with top class hotel accommodation. Crowne Plaza, Dusit, Hilton,
Howard Johnson, Hyatt Regency, Inter-Continental, Le Meridien,
Marriott, Ramada, Renaissance, Ritz Carlton, Rotana
and Sheraton all have deluxe properties here, while a number of independents,
including the Burj Al Arab, City Center Hotel &
Residence, Dubai Marine, Emirates Towers, Jebel Ali
Hotel & Golf Resort, Jumeirah Beach Hotel,
Metropolitan, Oasis Beach, Royal Mirage Jumeirah
Beach and Al Maha Resort offer equally luxurious
hotels are designed to cater to the needs of holiday-makers and business
visitors equally. High standards are expected, and maintained. Recreational and
leisure facilities are top class. Likewise, business, communication and
conference facilities are on a par with the best in the world.
play a major role in the social life of local residents as well as visitors.
They are therefore exceptionally well endowed with a wide range of imaginative
restaurants, bars and other outlets, many of them featuring live entertainment
from east and west.
Dining and Nightlife
fine hotel restaurants offer a microcosm of the world's cuisine. The choice is
limitless - Gulf and Middle Eastern, Indian, Filipino, Thai, Chinese, Japanese,
French, Italian, Mexican and much more.
Outside the hotels, Dubai
offers the visitor a gastronomic adventure, with hundreds of small eating
places scattered throughout the city. Fast food ranges from several big international
chains to "shawarma" outlets, selling
grilled shavings of lamb or chicken, mixed with salad and rolled inside a
pocket of Arabic bread.
By night, Dubai
has something for everyone. Bars and pubs can be found in all top hotels, most
of them featuring live music. There are a choice of discotheques and Arabic nightclubs, An Dubai is on the regular circuit for many
international stars from the pop scene, opera, Asian music and even the
One of Dubai's greatest attractions for visitors is its superb shopping. Being
an open port with low import duties and no taxation, the city offers the
bargain hunter unbeatable value. Most major brandname
products are readily available, and are often less expensive in
Dubai than their country
Modern shopping malls are conveniently located throughout the city, the marble
walls and efficient air conditioning providing a cool welcome to customers. whether you're looking for French fashion, Japanese
electronics or Italian accessories and footwear, Dubai's malls have it all.
Souk shopping can be entertaining as well as
profitable, and bargaining is expected. The sheer variety of goods available in
the winding alleys is bewildering - from gold and the latest in electronics,
cameras and wrist watches to spices, silks, household
appliances and sports goods.
shopping areas include Al Rigga Road, Karama, Al Dhiyafa Road and
Bani Yas Square, not forgetting the
Dubai Duty Free complex at the airport.
Sports and Leisure
Dubai is the undisputed sports capital of the Middle East, hosting world class
international events that attract some of the biggest names in their respective
sports, whether in golf, tennis, horse racing, rallying powerboating,
rugby, or sailing.
Apart from spectator sports, visitors to Dubai can actively participate in a
wide variety of land and watersports that include
golf, bowling, ice-skating, archery, horse riding, scuba diving, snorkelling, sailing, water-skiing , jet-skiing, deep sea
fishing and windsurfing. Facilities are excellent, the weather is fine almost
all year round and equipment can be hired at reasonable rates.
But Dubai also
offers the adventurous sports fanatic some new experiences too. For example,
there are local tour operators offering sand skiing and camel riding for
In addition, all major hotels boast well-equipped sports clubs, with flood-lit
tennis courts, squash and badminton, swimming pools and fully equipped health
and fitness centers as part of their accommodation package.