Dubai Facts

Everything about Dubai from what to wear to when to go and what to take

Here are some useful Dubai facts and figures plus basic information for travelers.

Currency: UAE dirham.  US$1 = AED 3.67.

Time: GMT +4.

Electricity: 220/240 (volts); sockets are three pin.

Weather: Temperatures range from nighttime lows around 10degrees Celsius in winter (December–March) to daytime highs around 49degrees Celsius at the height of summer (June–August). The best time to visit is from October to April, when temperatures are perfect for long, comfortable days at the beach and balmy evenings outside.

Vaccinations: No special immunizations are needed.

Visas: Citizens from the UK, the USA, Australia, New Zealand, and most Western European and Far Eastern countries are entitled to a free, 30-day extendable visa on arrival. Others must obtain a visa through a local sponsor or hotel.

Duty Free: There is a useful Duty Free shop near the baggage claim carousels in the airport. The incoming allowance is 400 cigarettes or 250 grams of cigars, 200 ml of perfume, and 4 liters of wine or spirits.

Drugs and alcohol: Drugs are forbidden and associated penalties are very severe. While alcohol is served at licensed restaurants, bars, and clubs, it cannot be bought around town. Drunk driving is another absolute no-no, with very heavy penalties for offenders.

Clothing: Loose-fitting cottons suit the year-round sunny climate best, with hats for the heat of the day. Winter evenings can be surprisingly cool, and it is best to come equipped for ferocious air conditioning. Although Dubai is generally permissive, you should dress modestly when around town; long skirts or trousers and short sleeves are a must when venturing further afield, especially during Ramadan.

Public behavior: Personal behavior in public should be restrained; drunkenness and overt displays of affection are both offensive to the Muslim culture and illegal.

Safety: The fact is, Dubai is one of the safest cities in the world, with very low crime rates; traveling around the city is very safe. That said, Dubai is a big world city and commonsense precautions should be observed. Women should have little trouble exploring the city alone. However, modest dress will ensure less unwanted attention in the more traditional parts of the city.


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