General Information
Population Approximately 8,000,000
Language The official language is Arabic, but English is widely spoken and understood
Currency UAE Dirham divided into 100 Fils US$ 1 = Dhs 3,67 Notes: 1000, 500, 200, 100, 50, 20,10, 5
Coins: 1 Dirham, 50 Fils, 25 Fils
Credit Card Major credit cards such as American Express, Visa, Mastercard and Diner’s Club are available through global network branches and accepted in shopping areas as well as hotels and some restaurants.
Geography The UAE is situated north of the Equator on latitudes between 22-28.5 N and longitudes 51-58 E. Bordered to the North by the Arabian Gulf, to the East by the Gulf of Oman and Sultanate of Oman, to the South by Saudi Arabia, and to the West by Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The total area of the country is 83,600 square kilometers. This includes an archipelago with an area of about 5,900 square kilometers. The coastline is 650 km.
Climate The UAE is one of the best world winter resorts. Between November and March, warm sunny days with an average temperature of 26° C/78.8° F and cool nights with an average temperature of 15° C/59° F. Hot temperature and high humidity increase between June and August. The average temperature is 38° C/100.4° F during the summer. Rainfall is infrequent falling mainly in winter.
Ports Abu Dhabi/Dubai/Sharjah/Fujairah/Ras Al Khaimah
International Airports Abu Dhabi/Dubai/Sharjah/Fujairah/Ras Al Khaimah
Dubai Metro The Red Line and Green Line connect major areas in the city, including Dubai Airport, various tourist attractions and major shopping malls.  Dubai Metro operates Sunday to Wednesday (05:50hhrs to 00:00hrs), Thursday (05:50hrs to 01:00hrs), Friday (13:00hrs to 01:00hrs) and Saturday (05:50hrs to 00:00hrs). All timings are subject to change.  The trains run every 4-8 minutes, depending on day/time of the day.  Major Metro stations are served by feeder buses that will carry the metro passengers to and from communities around the stations.  The metro tickets are called NOL cards and can be purchased from metro stations and selected outlets.
Customs There is no exchange restrictions. No customs duty is levied on personal effects when entering the country. Visitors are allowed to bring in the following free of duty: 2000 cigarettes plus 400 cigars plus 2 kg tobacco, 2 liters wine or 2 liters spirits. A reasonable quantity of perfume is allowed.
Local Time GMT + 4 (Winter), GMT + 3 (Summer)
International Access Number +971
Dress Code 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.
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.
The United Arab Emirates has conservative dress traditions. Swimwear should be confirmed to the beach and hotel pools. Men and women should ensure shoulders and knees are covered when in public, especially in souks, shops and villages.
Religion Islam is the official religion. Other religions are respected.
Alcohol Alcohol is freely available in hotel restaurants and bars, but not outside hotels. It is not allowed to consume alcohol in public areas. In the Emirate of Sharjah alcoholic beverages are not permitted.
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. Photographs of government buildings or military installations are forbidden.
Health and Medical Facilities Hospitals, pharmacies and health clinics are available throughout the United Arab Emirates. Modern hospitals with state-of-the-art equipment can contend with any emergency.
Electricity The electricity supply is 220/240 volts at 50 cycles. Adapters are available in the hotels.
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.
Telecommunications Telecommunications are excellent, both within the United Arab Emirates and the outside world. International direct telephone dialing, telex and fax facilities are available in all major cities in UAE. Telephone booths (phone cards) are available in abundance for international and local calls. Most hotels offer guests internet access. Access is also available at internet cafés.
Tipping Tipping practices are similar to most parts of the world. Where no service charge is included, 10 per cent is adequate.
Bargaining Bargaining is expected in the souks. Vendors will usually drop the price and often quite substantially, particularly for a cash sale (Bargaining is normally not possible in shopping malls)
Postal rates Dhs 3 for postcards/airmails
Working hours Government :
From Sundays to Thursdays from 07:30 am to 02:30 pm.
Private Sector :
From Saturdays to Thursdays from 08:00 am to 01:00 pm and from 04:00 pm to 07:00 pm. Many companies close at 01:00 pm on Thursdays.
Banks :
From Sundays to Thursdays from 08:00 am to 01:00 pm. Thursdays from 08:00 am to 12:00 noon.
Exchange houses :
From Saturdays to Thursdays from 08:30 am to 01:30 pm and from 04:30 pm to 08:30 pm. Fridays from 04:30 pm to 08:30 pm.
Souks/Markets :
From Saturdays to Thursdays from 09:00 am to 10:00 pm.
Fridays from 04:00 pm to 10:00 pm.

Major Malls :
From Sundays to Wednesdays from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm.
Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays from 10:00 am to midnight.

Above timings are not applicable during Ramadan.

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Dubai is located on the Eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, in the south west corner of the Arabian Gulf. It is extremely well known for its warm hospitality and rich cultural heritage, and the Emirati people are welcoming and generous in their approach to visitors. With year-round sunshine, intriguing deserts, beautiful beaches, luxurious hotels and shopping malls, fascinating heritage attractions and a thriving business community, Dubai receives millions of leisure and business visitors each year from around the world.

Dubai History

Some 800 members of the Bani Yas tribe, led by the Maktoum Family, settled at the mouth of the creek in 1833. The creek was a natural harbour and Dubai soon became a center for the fishing, pearling and sea trade. By the turn of the 20th century, Dubai was a successful port. The souk (Arabic for market) on the Deira side of the creek was the largest on the coast with 350 shops and a steady throng of visitors and businessmen. When oil was discovered in 1966, Sheikh Rashid utilized the oil revenues to spur infrastructure development in Dubai.

Dubai City

Dubai is now a city that boasts unmatchable hotels, remarkable architecture and world-class entertainment and sporting events. The beautiful Burj Al Arab hotel presiding over the coastline of Jumeirah beach is the world’s only hotel which offers seven-star service. The Emirates Towers are one of the many structures that remind us of the commercial confidence in a city that expands at a remarkable rate.

Dubai also hosts major international sporting events. The Dubai Desert Classic is a major stop on the Professional Golf Association tour. The Dubai Open, an ATP tennis tournament, and the Dubai World Cup, the world’s richest horse race, draw thousands every year.

Dubai Attractions

From the timeless tranquillity of the desert to the lively bustle of the souk, Dubai offers a kaleidoscope of attractions for visitors.

The emirate embraces a wide variety of scenery in a very small area. In a single day, the tourist can experience everything from rugged mountains and awe-inspiring sand dunes to sandy beaches and lush green parks, from dusty villages to luxurious residential districts and from ancient houses with wind towers to ultra-modern shopping malls.

The emirate is both a dynamic international business center and a laid-back tourist escape; a city where the sophistication of the 21st century walks hand in hand with the simplicity of a bygone era. But these contrasts give Dubai its unique flavor and personality; a cosmopolitan society with an international lifestyle.

Source: Government of Dubai