The heart of one of the world’s richest regions, Dubai is a dynamic and rapidly expanding international business centre.
Its location at the crossroads of Asia, Africa and Europe gives it a crucial role in business dealings across the region. The city is located midway between the Far East and Europe, with major cities on both continents within close flying distance.
Dubai’s luxurious airport and Emirates, the award winning airline, along with the creation of Jebel Ali Airport, which will be the largest in the world, has helped position the city as a forerunner in the field of travel.
Tourists enjoy a great number of activities from beautiful beaches to a wide selection of water sports and exciting desert safaris. The city also hosts the world’s only yearly shopping festival, and is home to some of the largest and luxurious malls in the world.
International sporting events, such as the world’s richest horse race – the Dubai World Cup, the Dubai Tennis Championship and the Dubai Desert Classic have also put the city on the world sporting map.
Airlines and Visas
Dubai International Airport
Located 5 km southeast from the city, Dubai International Airport is a 15 minute drive from the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre. The airport currently serves 107 airlines from over 160 cities around the world.
Visit www.dubaiairport.com to find out more about Dubai International Airport.
Visitors may also choose to arrive through two other major international airports in the UAE:
- Abu Dhabi International Airport – 110 km from Dubai
- Sharjah International Airport – 25 km from Dubai
Since its launch in 1985, Emirates airline has received more than 250 international awards for excellence and is one of the fastest growing airlines in the world. Emirates currently has a fleet of 88 aircrafts and flies to over 90 destinations in 59 countries across Europe, the Middle East, the Far East, Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
Visit www.emirates.com to find out more about Emirates airline.
Visa on Arrival
Travel to Dubai is now easier than ever with the introduction of a Visa on Arrival facility for 33 nationalities: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece , Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America, Vatican
The visa will be stamped directly in the visitor’s passport at the port of entry and will be valid for 60 days, provided that the passport is valid for at least 6 months beyond the intended stay.
GCC residents can also visit Dubai without applying for a visa in advance.
All other citizens must obtain a visa prior to arrival in the UAE.
If you have booked hotel accommodation, your hotel will send you a visa application form and confirmation of the application processing fees. Fees are non-refundable should a trip and/or hotel accommodation be cancelled, or should a visa application be refused.
Applicants must allow for seven to ten working days for a visa to be issued, keeping in mind that the weekend in the UAE falls on Friday and Saturday.
Each visa application must be accompanied by the following documents:
- Clear photocopy of passport, valid for at least 6 months beyond the intended stay
- Visa form duly completed and signed
- A photocopy of the front and back of a valid credit card
On arrival at the airport, visitors who have applied for a visa should collect the original visa permit at the specially designated desks in the arrivals area before proceeding to the passport control desks.
The information given above is subject to change without prior notice. All visas are subject to revision by the UAE government.
Visit www.dnrd.gov.ae for up-to-date information on visa requirements from the UAE Department of Naturalisation and Residency, or contact the UAE Embassy or its representation in your
Government offices open from 7am or 7.30am until 1pm or 1.30pm, Saturday to Wednesday. 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 daily.
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 are visiting.
Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Diners Club are generally accepted in hotels and larger stores but some retailers offer better bargains for cash.
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 tender.
The UAE dirham is fully convertible and pegged to the US dollar at a current exchange rate of US$ = 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 available. Pre-paid GSM mobile telephone SIM cards are available at the airport, and at Etisalat offices and business centres throughout the country.
The electricity is 220/230 volts A/C and most sockets are three-pin square. 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 Urdu.
Alcohol is freely available in restaurants, nightclubs and bars in 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 photographed.
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 your valuables.
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 hotel pools.
If You Are in Dubai and would like to take advantage of great shopping experience then visit Arabbay.net
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 staff.
Country dialling code:+971
Dubai area code:(0)4
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.