Information for tourists arriving to UAE
The provided information below has been taken from various official sites and we only act as an agent and cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracy.
The second largest of the seven emirates which make up the United Arab Emirates, Dubai is located on the southern shore of the Arabian Gulf. It has an area of some 1,500 square miles. Outside the city itself, the emirate is sparsely inhabited and characterized by desert vegetation.
Dubai has 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 50°F to a high of 118°F. The mean daily maximum is 75.2°F in January rising to 105.8°F in July.
No health certificates are required for entry to Dubai, but it is always wise to check before departure, as health
restrictions may vary depending upon the situation at the time.
Visitors must be aware of the medicines which are prohibited to be brought to the UAE. Please visit http://abudhabi.usembassy.gov/restricted_medication_.html to see the restricted medication.
The official language is Arabic but English is widely spoken and understood. Both languages are commonly used
in business and commerce.
Customs Duty-free allowances:
_ 4 liters Spirits (any kind of alcohol) (1000 ml each liter), in case a passenger wants to buy beer it will be 24 cans
(every 6 cans equivalent to 1 liter spirit)
_ 400 pieces of cigarettes (which is equivalent to 2 boxes)
_ 2 Kilos of Tobacco (any kind of snuffing or chewing tobacco is not allowed) Cigars which is equivalent to Dhs. 3000
(Three Thousands Dirhams) maximum which is for personal use.
_ Perfumes or any other gifts which is equivalent to 3000 (Three Thousands Dirhams) maximum which is for
_ Currency below 40,000 Dhs. or equivalent of this amount in other currencies, other wise he should declare to
Customs Office in arrival section the exact amount he carry it.
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. For entry to the mosque you
require long sleeve shirts, long pants or skirts which cover your legs, and a head scarf.
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. (Alternatively you could use a scarf).
Alcohol is available in hotel and club restaurants and bars. However, restaurants outside the hotels are not
permitted to serve alcoholic beverages.
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.
Dubai has many well-equipped hospitals. The Dubai Department of Health and Medical Services runs Dubai,
Rashid, Maktoum and Al Wasl hospitals.
Dubai Hospital is one of the best medical centres in the Middle East, with specialized clinics; Al Wasl is a
specialised maternity and gynaecology hospital. The department also operates a number of out-patient clinics, of
which one is situated in Jebel Ali.
In addition, there are a number of well-equipped private hospitals with in- and out-patient facilities.
Both the local banks and the many international banks represented by branches in Dubai provide the usual
commercial banking services. Transfers can be made without difficulty as there is no exchange control and the
dirham is freely convertible.
Bank opening hours are 8:00 am to 1:00 pm, from Saturday to Wednesday, although some also open from 4:30
pm – 6:30 pm. On Thursdays, banks operate only from 8:00 am to noon.
Exchange houses are open from 8:30 am – 1:00 pm and 4:30 pm – 8:30 pm
The dirham (pronounced dir-ham) is the official currency of the UAE. Dirham notes are in 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200,
500, and 1000 denominations. The dirham is divided into 100 fils, coins include Dh1, 50, 25, 10 and 5 fils (10 and
5 fils are rarely used). The value is written in Arabic only but Arabic numerals are easy to memorize.
There are no currency regulations and foreign currency of almost any denomination is readily exchanged in the
UAE. It has been held constant against the US dollar since the end of 1980 at a mid-rate of approximately US$ 1=
Dh3.67 (subject to change.)
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 7:30 am – 1:30
pm (7:30 am -12.00 noon on Thursday).
Private sector office hours vary, but are generally from 8:00 am – 1:00 pm, re-opening at either 3:00 pm or 4:00
pm and closing at 6:00 pm or 7:00 pm.
Shop hours are similar in their opening times, but most shops remain open until 9:00 am -10:00 pm. Department
stores, boutiques, souks and many food shops remain open on a Friday, apart from prayer times (between 11:30
am and 1:30 pm), while larger shops re-open on a Friday afternoon at around 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm.
The electricity supply in Dubai is 220/240 volts at 50 cycles. US-made appliances may need a transformer.
Tap water is quite safe to drink but visitors usually prefer locally-bottled mineral water and this is generally served
in hotels and restaurants.
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.
Throughout the Gulf the very best of the world’s goods are available – and in Dubai in particular, the prices are
exceptionally keen. The gold souk is deservedly famous for its range of styles and quality of workmanship.
Bargaining is acceptable for intricately worked pieces. Goods available include exotic spices and perfumes,
exquisitely worked robes and materials, traditional brass coffee pots and heavy Bedu silver jewelry. Prices of
electronic goods, watches, cameras and suchlike are amazingly low. Most major centres have excellent airconditioned
shopping malls which also house restaurants and coffee shops. At Dubai International Airport, the
duty free shop carries an enormous range of items. It consistently wins awards for both the quality of its service
and its extraordinarily low prices.
There is ample opportunity to pursue an active nightlife in all of the major urban centres in the UAE, except for
Sharjah which does not have any bars or discos. The choice of night-time activities is obviously more limited in the
Bars range from sophisticated cocktail lounges to informal traditional British and Irish pubs and Western style
saloons. In addition, there are numerous piano and jazz bars. Clubs and discos host both local DJs and big
international names. You can also visit local nightclubs with Arab singers, belly dancers and musicians. World
famous groups and individual stars from the the West, the Arab world, the Indian subcontinent and the Far East
are frequent visitors.
The hotels, in particular, vie with each other to stage the best live shows. Cabaret is standard fare in the hotel
nightclubs, but it is during the winter season and on national holiday weekends that the hotels come alive with
food festivals, stage shows and themed nights. Talented groups from countries such as the Philippines and Sri
Lanka have wide-ranging repertoires featuring African beat, salsa, country and western, rock, R’B, reggae, jazz.
Close your eyes and you could be listening to the original artists.
If it is a more cultural experience that you require, plays, ballets, classical music and operas are also performed by
visiting groups on a regular basis. Even the West End of London has been transported to the UAE in the form of
_ 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
– Directory Enquiries 181
– Information Services 7000 17000
– Fire 997
– Ambulance 998/999
– Police 999
– Dubai Police (English speaking operator) 269-4848
– Dubai International Airport (971) 4 254 5555