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Climate of UAE

UAE climate is generally warm most of the year. It’s not so bad in the winter months, but summers are extremely hot and the high humidity levels just make it unbearable. 

The best time to plan a trip to UAE, especially Dubai is during the winter months. That is during October November to Mid March

 

 

Currency

The currency is the United Arab Emirates dirham (AED, local abbreviation dhs). Conversion rates are 3.67 AED for 1 USD, 4.89 AED for 1 EUR and 5.68 AED for 1 GBP. The Dirham is pegged to the USD, so rate variations with this currency are unlikely. Notes are in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1,000 dirhams. There is a one dirham coin with sub-units of 25 and 50 fils coins (100 fils = 1 dirham). There are 5 fils and 10 fils coins but these are rarely seen (and provide an excuse for traders to 'short change').

Cash and travellers' cheques can be changed at exchanges located at the airports or in all the major shopping malls. ATMs are numerous and generously distributed. They accept all the major chain cards: Visa, Cirrus, Maestro etc. Credit cards are widely accepted.

1 Indian rupee = 0.0692 UAE dirhams as on 18 October 2012

 

 

Clothing

Dubai is a typical desert city with incredibly hot summers and moderately cold winters. Summers last from April to early November. If you plan to visit in the summer, light clothes made of natural fibers will help you endure the weather when you step out. Lightweight trousers and full-sleeved cotton shirts would be ideal, because they cover up your skin and prevent sun burn, while at the same time allow air to reach your skin and cool you down.

Please remember that as a rule, malls and places of Interest are usually heavily air-conditioned, and it can actually get a little cold if you stay indoors for long! On trips to events that will keep you inside a large facility, it is advisable to take a light shawl or jacket to keep you warm. In the Emirates climate, winters are not extremely cold; still, it's prudent to wear warm clothing when you step out. A light jacket or sweater is recommended during the months of December to February.

Beach wear: T-shirts and shorts are ideal. Swimsuits are accepted as long as they are not too revealing. String bikinis may attract unwanted attention.

Visits to malls, restaurants and clubs: Not many restrictions here and local custom closely matches the European and North American patterns of dining out. Still, you will feel most comfortable in clothes that cover your knees and shoulders. For men, T shirts and knee length shorts, cotton shirts and trousers are okay for inexpensive meals or fast food. Women can wear knee length skirts, Capri slacks, or trousers with decent tops. As one may expect, some formal dining establishments require ties, or formal dress.

Visits to mosque and souks: These are the most traditional areas of Dubai, and here extensive coverings of clothing are most ideal. Respectable attire for men is trousers and shirts. Women can wear skirts, Capri slacks and trousers that fall below knee level. Tops should not expose shoulders or midriff.
These restrictions are not dictated by the Government, but are instead just guidelines to help you decide what to wear without offending the religious sentiments of the local population.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.1) What is the capital city of United Arab Emirates?
Ans: Abu Dhabi is the capital and second largest city in the United Arab Emirates, after Dubai. It is roughly 90-minutes drive from Dubai.

Q.2) What is the official language spoken in Dubai?
Ans: The official language of Dubai is Arabic. However, English is widely spoken and understood.

Q.3) Which are the neighbouring cities and countries of Dubai?
Ans: Dubai is surrounded by Saudi Arabia on its southern and western borders while northern and eastern borders are shared with the Sultanate of Oman. The neighbouring cities of Dubai are Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Sharjah and Umma al-Quwain.

Q.4) What is the population of Dubai?
Ans: The population of Dubai as per 2008 census is 2,262,000.

Q.5) What is the weather in Dubai like?
Ans: Dubai lies within the Arabian Desert and therefore is influenced by a hot and humid climate with long hours of sunlight. Summers are very hot and dry as temperatures reach an average of 40 °C. The best time to visit Dubai is during winter months between December and March when its cooler with an average of 23 °C.

Q.6) How safe is Dubai for tourists?
Ans: Dubai is a very safe city to visit as the laws provide stringent punishments.

Q.7) What is the currency of Dubai and where could I exchange foreign currency?
Ans: The local currency of Dubai is Arab Emirates Dirhams or Dhs. Tourists in Dubai can exchange their local currency or travellers cheques for Dirhams at any moneychangers or banks. Those who prefer hard cash, the best option is carrying US dollars, British pounds or Euro. Credit cards are widely accepted at ATM’s and banks.

Q.8) What is the dress code in Dubai like?
Ans: Dubai respects western style of clothing, but does not tolerate disgraceful attire. It is advisable to cover knees and shoulders. Spaghetti straps, low cut tops may be viewed as offensive. Bikinis are fine on beaches and swimming pools.

Q.9) What is the culture of Dubai?
Ans: Dubai follows Islamic traditions and practices but is tolerant of other religions as well. The people of Dubai will appreciate if you try to learn more about their customs and practices.

Q.10) Should I obtain a health insurance before traveling to Dubai?
Ans: It is advisable to review your health insurance policies before traveling to Dubai as hospital treatment though top-notch, can be expensive.

Q.11) Which vaccinations are advised before arriving to Dubai?
Ans: Hepatitis A /Tuberculosis /Tetanus /Polio vaccinations are recommended before arriving in Dubai/United Arab Emirates.

Q.12) What is the electric current voltage in Dubai?
Ans: The electric current is 220 Volts and three pin plugs are used similar to the ones used the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Q.13) What type of clothing should I carry when traveling to Dubai?
Ans: Summer clothing is advisable all year round with some winter apparel advised in the colder months.

Q.14) Is alcohol consumption permitted in Dubai?
Ans: Dubai allows alcohol consumption in hotels, private parties, bar, clubs and restaurants. However, it is illegal to consume alcohol in a public space or drive when drunk.

Q.15) What are the tipping practices followed in Dubai?
Ans: Tipping is not widely accepted practice in Dubai. However, it is appreciated. Sometimes, a service charge is added to your bill which is then pooled among waiters. If no service charge is applied, tip by cash so that it goes to the person who actually served you. Tip around 5 Dhs to bell boys and around 20-30 Dhs to cleaners which you can leave in your room when checking out.

Q.16) How is Dubai different for tourists during the month of Ramadan?
Ans: Ramadan is the religious and sacred month of fasting and prayer for Muslims. Smoking, eating and drinking in public space is banned between sunrise and sunset. Alcohol is available in 5-star hotels but dancing, loud music is forbidden.

Q.17) Can one carry medication in Dubai?
Ans: If you need to bring any medicine to Dubai, it is better that it be attached to a doctor’s prescription. Drugs and certain substances are banned in Dubai. Please check with the authorities.

Q.18) How much will it cost to visit the Burj Khalifa?
Ans: The ticket to ‘At the Top’ Observation Deck at Burj Khalifa is as follows: Adult (13 years +) General Admission (Dated & Timed) AED 100 Immediate Entry Admission AED 400
Child (4 - 12 ) General Admission (Dated & Timed) AED 75 Immediate Entry Admission AED 400
Infants (0-3) Free

Q.19) What is the Time Zone of Dubai?
Ans: GMT/UTC +4 hours

Q.20) What are the Visa Requirements for Dubai?
Ans: IMPORTANT NOTIFICATION
Citizens of the following Countries will get their visa upon arrival to the UAE airports, if the duration of stay is less than one (1) month and they hold visas in their passports or entry stamps from other countries:
Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, United Kingdom (except the British overseas citizens), United States, Vatican
For all other nationalities, a visa must be applied for before the visitor enters the country either through their respective embassy, a local UAE sponsor or a local hotel.

GCC NATIONALS

Visa requirements for entering Dubai vary greatly between different nationalities and it is always advised to check regulations before travelling. Currently, every nationality entering the UAE needs a visa except citizens of GCC countries (Gulf Cooperation Council: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia) expatriate residents of the GCC (certain nationalities and professions) and British citizens with the right of abode in the UK, who will be granted a visa on arrival in the UAE.
GCC nationals can stay more or less as long they like. British citizens can stay for a month and then apply for a visa for a further two months.
Please note that Israelis and travelers whose passports bear Israeli stamps will be denied a visa.

VISAS THROUGH HOTELS

Tourists can get a visa from a tourist company or a hotel by first making a reservation for at least one night. They must fax/courier the hotel a copy of their passport along with the reason for the visit (tourism is an acceptable reason) and their arrival date. You must also make sure that the hotel faxes you a copy of the visa when it is ready. Airlines may require confirmation (preferably a fax copy of the document) that a visa is held before check-in at the airport. The original is held at Dubai Airport for collection before passport control.

SERVICE VISA ENTRY APPLIED THROUGH A HOTEL:

Standard process of application, but please check with your hotel first.

The visa is valid for 14 days from the date of issue and 14 days from the date of entry. The visa fees and security deposit will vary from country to country. The security deposit is also required per person and will be refunded once the visa holder leaves the country. It is advisable to contact your nearest Dubai Embassy or the hotel for more details.

Please be aware that once the visa is applied for, charges for the cost of the visa will not be refunded in such cases as Expiration, Booking cancellation, Rejection.
For the visa to be processed by the hotel, the visitor must remain a guest in that hotel for the entrire duration of their stay. Port of entry and exit of the visitor must be Dubai only. Three working days are needed to process the visa excluding, Friday, Saturday and Public Holidays.

Documents required:
Visa Charges and Security Deposit. An authorisation letter with the signature of the cardholder, as well as a copy of the credit card used (front and back side). Passport copies of card holder and visitors.
Please note all document copies, passport copies and credit card copies must be scanned clearly and with colour when sent, otherwise they will be rejected by Dubai Immigration.

TOURIST VISA

This visa is issued through tourist companies and it is valid for 30 days. You cannot renew it or extend it. If the Visa holder of the tourist visa stays more than the 30 days, that person has to pay a fine per day plus some charges for an out pass.

VISIT VISA

This Visa is issued through DNRD. It is stamped for 30 days validity but it is valid for 60 days and can be extended for 30 more days by paying an extra amount. The extension needs to be done before the 60th day. If the visitor stays more than 60 days or more than 90 days (after the extension) they will have to pay a fine per day plus some charges for an out pass.
Certain passport holders can enter the UAE without obtaining a visit visa prior to arrival and stay up to 30 days.

Documents required:

  1. Photocopy of the visitor's passport
  2. Visit Visa Application form, completed and signed by the sponsoring company.
  3. Photocopy of the trade license of the company
  4. A Guarantee letter from the company stating its responsibility of the visitor during his visit.


WORK VISA

These visas are issued for people who want to work or do business in UAE. It is valid for 60 days only, during this the work residence visa has to be processed. If the person delays in stamping the residence he will pay 25 AED fine for each day.
There are different types of Work visas:
Private companies or Establishments employees (Issued from labour Office)

  1. Servants
  2. Partners
  3. Investors
  4. Governmental institutions and Ministries (Issued from DNRD) and the person can only work in governmental institutions.

 

Q.21) Is clicking photographs of public spaces prohibited in Dubai?
Ans: Care should be taken while clicking photographs in public spaces and of people. Take permission while capturing shots of government buildings, malls and people unknown to you, especially women.

Q.22) Which is the oldest building in Dubai?
Ans: Al Fahidi Fort is the oldest building in Dubai and was the tallest for 179 years, before Burj Dubai sprung up.

Q.23) How do I set up my mobile phone connection in Dubai?
Ans: Etisalat & Du are the two mobile service providers in Dubai. You will need a passport copy with a valid visa or residence stamp to get a mobile phone connection. Visit their official sites for more details.

Q.24) Which are the Free Trade Zones and Economic Zones in Dubai?
Ans: Dubai Academic City (DAC), Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZ), Dubai Car and Automotive City Free Zone (DUCAMZ), Dubai Gold and Diamond Park, Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC), Dubai Industrial City (DIC), Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), Dubai Knowledge Village (KV or DKV), Dubai Media City (DMC), Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), Dubai Silicon Oasis, Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone (TECOM), Economic Zones World (EZW), Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA or JAFZ)

Q.25) What is the baggage allowance limit while traveling to Dubai?
Ans: Emirates airlines is generous with baggage allowance which is 30 kgs check-in baggage for Economy class travelers, 40-kg for Business class and 50-kg for First class travelers.

Q.26) How does one greet fellow Arabs?
Ans: To welcome a Gulf Arab, a handshake is sufficient. Men greeting women or vice-versa is not recommended. However, if the female offers a handshake it would be appropriate to accept it out of courtesy.

Q.27) Which are the major newspapers published in UAE?
Ans: The following is the complete list of newspapers published in UAE with most available in Dubai: 7Days, AL Alam Newspaper, Al Bayan, Al-Ittiha, Al-Khaleej Newspaper Al Mal, Al-reyadha wa Al-shabab, Al-Shindagah, Akhbar Al Arab, Arabian Business, BushraKhalid, Economic Bulletin, Daily Ash-Sharq, DPM News Agency, Dubai Chronicle, Emarat Alyoum, Emarat Business Review, Emirates Today, Gulf News, Gulf Today, Khaleej Times, The National, Probaser Prohor, Shonglap, Sound of Malaieen, Sport 360. Many of the above even have an online version of their publishing.

Q.28) Which are the TV channels offered in Dubai?
Ans: Cable TV is available in Dubai via E-Vision or directly through satellite from providers like OSN, Star TV and ART. Dubai One, MBC 4, MBC Action, MBC 2 and City 7 TV are the main free to air channels.

Q.29) Which are the Radio channels offered in Dubai?
Ans: Dubai offers a wide variety of radio channels; both AM & FM in languages spoken commonly in the city such as Arabic, English, Hindi, Urdu, Malayalam and Filipino. It serves the main purpose of keeping travelers updated on the current traffic scenario, important during frequent traffic snarls.

Q.30) Who is the Ruler of Dubai and when did he assume monarchy over Dubai?
Ans:
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum became the Ruler of Dubai on January 4th, 2006, following the death of his father and then Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum. He also assumes office as the Prime Minister, Vice President and an absolute monarch of Dubai.

 

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