Government offices open from 7am or 7.30am until 1pm
or 1.30pm, ٍSunday to Thursday. Some banks, private
companies and shops open from 8am to 1pm or 1.30pm,
then again from 4pm to 7pm or 8pm from Saturday to
Wednesday; others work a straight shift until the
evening. Shopping centres are open until about 10pm
The UAE enjoys extremely pleasant weather during
its winter months, from October to May. The rest of
the year, temperatures are in the low to mid-40º
range. Lightweight summer clothing can be worn for
most of the year but temperatures can drop quite
sharply at night during the winter months of
November to March. Do pack a pair of sunglasses and
a hat and sun block no matter what time of year you
To view the local weather forecast,
Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Diners
Club are generally accepted in hotels and larger
stores but some retailers offer better bargains for
The UAE is an Islamic country and Arab traditions
influence the lifestyle, yet considerable tolerance
is shown towards the Eastern and Western practices
of the large expatriate community. There are a
number of Christian churches throughout the country
as well as Hindu and Sikh temples in Dubai.
The official currency is the UAE dirham (Dh). One
dirham is divided into 100 fils. Notes come in
denominations of five, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and
1000. Coins are Dh 1, 50 fils, 25 fils, 10 fils and
5 fils. The government has issued new coins that are
smaller than the old ones. Both types remain legal
The UAE dirham is fully convertible and pegged to
the US dollar at a current exchange rate of USBody
Copy = Dh 3.67.
Global links, including GSM mobile telephones,
pagers and Internet connections are world-class and
inexpensive. Local and foreign television, radio,
newspapers, magazines and books are readily
The electricity is 220/230 volts A/C and most
sockets are according to British standards. Although
adaptors are usually available in hotels, you may
want to purchase one before you arrive.
The standard of health care is high throughout
the UAE. However, it is expensive, so it’s important
to get decent travel insurance.
The Emirate is clear of all epidemic diseases and
is largely mosquito free. No specific vaccinations
are required to enter the country however it would
be wise to check beforehand if you are travelling
from a health-risk area.
Arabic is the official language, but English is
very widely understood and spoken, as is Hindi and
Alcohol is freely available in restaurants,
hotels or in member-only places such as country
clubs and sports clubhouses (which often admit
paying guests). Restaurants outside hotels do not
have a licence to serve alcoholic beverages.
Film is readily available, as are processing
facilities and colour prints which are produced in
15 to 30 minutes. We recommend you ask permission
before photographing people in general and Muslim
women in particular. Airports, docks,
telecommunication equipment, government buildings,
military and industrial installations should not be
Ramadan is the month during which Muslims fast
from dawn to dusk. During these hours eating,
drinking or smoking in public is prohibited.
Restaurants are closed until sundown. However, many
restaurants offer discreet dine-in facilities and
takeaway service. Ramadan is dependent on the lunar
Islamic Hejira calendar, so dates vary from year to
year. In Dubai, the official work day is reduced to
five or six hours during this month.
Conferences and events can be held during
Ramadan, and with careful planning, most elements of
an event can be accommodated.
Safety & Lifestyle
The UAE’s low crime rate makes it one of the
safest places in the world to visit – even for women
travelling alone. It is however advisable to take
the normal precautions to safeguard yourself and
Dubai is the most liberal place in the UAE and
people here are used to Western dress and ways.
However, modest dress is recommended in public
places. Beachwear is acceptable at beach clubs and
The local time in Dubai is GMT + 4 hours. The
time does not change in the summer.
Tipping practices are similar to most parts of
the world. Where no service charge is included, it
is customary to leave 10% as a tip to the service
- Country dialling code:+971
- Dubai area code:(0)4
- Fire: 997
- Ambulance: 998
- Police: 999
Tap water is considered safe to drink. However
you may prefer the taste of bottled water, which is
available in a range of inexpensive local brands.
Imported brands are also available.