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Fast Facts

Airport

Airport facilities include the Dubai Duty Free complex which stocks on latest electronics, luxury goods and designer labels; other facilities include banks, shops, food shops, a post office and car rental offices.

Visas

Travelers to the United Arab Emirates must have passports valid for at least three months after date of entry. Visas are also required by all except citizens of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and British nationals for stays up to 30 days. Transit passengers with valid onward travel documents who do not leave the airport don’t require a visa. Israeli nationals are not allowed entry into the United Arab Emirates.

Currency & Credit Cards

The United Arab Emirates dirham is divided into 100 fils. Bills come in 1000, 500, 200, 100, 50, 10, and 5 dirham. Coins are minted in 1 dirham, and 50 and 25 fils. Most banks, hotels and legal moneychangers will handle the exchange of foreign currency. Banks offer the best rates.

American Express, Diners Club, Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted in larger and more expensive establishments.

Tipping

Hotels and restaurants often include a 10% service charge, which makes tipping unnecessary. However, if a service charge has not been included to your bill, tip 10% to 15% of the bill to the service staff. Hotel porters are tipped a couple of dirhams per luggage. Cab drivers need not be tipped.

Useful Numbers

Country dialling code: 971
Dubai Area Code: 4
Police :   999
Ambulance :   998
Fire :   997

Electricity

220 volts AC, 50Hz.

Health Care

In Dubai, hospitals are well equipped and are among the more superior in the UAE. Health insurance while travelling is recommended, as medical care in Dubai is rather costly. Tap water in Dubai is safe for drinking, but in rural areas stick to bottled or boiled water. Always choose well cooked meats and avoid dairy products, which may be made from unpasteurized milk.

Timezone

GMT+4, same as Muscat. Dubai is three hours behind Bangkok and eight hours ahead of New York.

Business Hours

Banks and private offices are open from Sunday to Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Government office hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Sunday to Thursday. . During the month of Ramadan, most offices are closed in the afternoon. Shops are open from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.; although shops are open till midnight on weekends.

Climate

Dubai has a sub-tropical, arid climate. It is sunny, hot and dry most of the year. June to September are particularly hot months, with little or no rainfall; temperatures may shoot up to 45 degrees Celsius. The most pleasant months to visit Dubai are from November to March, when temperatures are more comfortable at around 10 to 30 degrees Celsius. The winter months of January and February may bring rain showers, cooling down the area’s temperatures. Click here for a 3-day Dubai weather forecast.

Clothing

Office attire consists of lightweight slacks; long or short sleeved shirts and ties. Jackets and or business suits are worn for more formal occasions and important meetings. For women, smart, conservative corporate wear such as long sleeves blouses, and skirts are appropriate. Revealing outfits such as low necklines, mini-skirts or tight shirts are not acceptable in public places.

Business entertaining will often be extravagant, a suit or a dinner jacket may be required of men. Women are expected to wear evening dresses and skirts. Women are advised to bring shawls or stoles, as air-conditioning in hotels and restaurants can be chilly.

Lightweight clothes are generally suitable the whole year round including winter. However, you might want to bring a light sweater or cardigan for winter nights when temperatures may drop. At the beach or at the pool, trunks, swimsuits, and bikinis are acceptable.

GDP Growth Rate

-5%

Inflation

5%

Exports

Crude oil, natural gas, dried fish, dates

Imports

Manufactured goods, machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, and food

Industries

Petroleum, fishing, petrochemicals, construction materials, some boat building, handicrafts, tourism

Government

Federation with specified powers delegated to the UAE federal government and other powers reserved for member emirates

Geography

The United Arab Emirates is a federation of seven independent Arab states. The UAE borders the Gulf of Oman and Persian Gulf and covers approximately 32,000 square miles. Dubai, on the southern shore of the Arabian Gulf, is the second largest state of the UAE.

Population

UAE: 4.48 million
Dubai: 1.47 million

Languages & Literacy

Arabic is the official language. Persian, English, Hindi, Urdu are also used. Literacy rate is about 77.9%

Religion

Muslim 96% (Shi'a 16%); Christian, Hindu, and other 4%. Non-Muslims aren’t allowed to enter mosques.

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