Welcome to Dubai The Land of Riches
Information About Dubai
Put simply, Dubai outdoes everywhere else on earth! It is a land of luxury and limitless wealth. Natives tell their friends: “Habibi, if you think money can’t buy happiness, come to Dubai.”
Dubai’s population of 3.4 million makes it the largest of the seven city-states that form the United Arab Emirates. It boasts the tallest building in the world, the 162-story Burj Khalifa skyscraper. Abu Dhabi is the second-largest, followed by Sharjah, Ajman, Ras al-Khaimah, Fujairah and Umm al-Quwain.
Often referred to as the Emirates, the UAE was established in 1971.
Besides its glittering malls, which feature international brands such as Prada, Ralph Lauren and Hermes, the UAE also boasts fabulous beaches and spectacular desert landscapes. Popular outdoor activities include scuba diving, desert safari, hot-air ballooning, yachting, “glamping” in luxurious tents and falconry.
The UAE is located on the shores of the Persian Gulf, sharing borders on the Arabian Peninsula with Saudi Arabia to the west and Oman to the east. Most of the country’s territory is desert, leading residents for the most part to live on the coastline. The city of Dubai stretches across 35 square kilometers.
The UAE’s population is roughly 10 million, although only 11.5 percent are citizens. The rest are expatriates who come to work in the Emirates from a range of countries, including India, Pakistan, China, Thailand, the United Kingdom, Russia and the United States. Dubai has 3.4 million people.
Islam is the official and primary religion of the United Arab Emirates. The country also accommodates other religious groups, including Christians, Hindus, Buddhists ad Sikhs. It recently recognized a small Jewish community. Having adopted a national policy of tolerance, the UAE says non-Muslims can practice their religions freely and build their own houses of worship.
The official language of the United Arab Emirates is Arabic. English is the second most spoken language. Road signs, guides, menus, and public information are generally written in both languages. It’s also thoughtful for tourists.
Flag and Anthem
The flag of UAE represents the unification of its seven emirates since the country was established in 1971. Its colors are black, green, red and white. The national anthem is known as Ishy Bilady. The Arabic words mean long live the nation and was composed by Mohammed Abdel Wahab.
Since Islam is the primary religion of the UAE, Friday is considered the official day of rest. National holidays include Commemoration Day (1 December), UAE National Day (2 December), New Year’s (31 December). Muslim holidays such as Eid al-Fitr, Eid Al Adha and the Prophet’s Birthday, are observed according to the lunar calendar and Islamic traditions.
Dubai is located in the Arabian Desert and has two basic seasons: summer and winter. Summer lasts from April to October. The months of June, July and August are particularly hot and humid.
Winter stretches from November to April. During the winter season, the average temperature ranges around 24 °C and is very cool and pleasant. This is the best time for tourists to visit Dubai.
Any citizen of a country in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) can enter the UAE without a visa. Passport holders from Canada, the U.S., the U.K. and the European Union can also enter without a visa. For other nationalities, E-visas can applied for online.
Airports and Flights
The Dubai International Airport (DXB) – is closest to the city of Dubai. It is about 30 minutes by taxi from the city center. Has 3 terminals and 4 concourses. It is connected via an underground train network and Dubai Metro. Here you can get sim cards, free Wi-Fi, exchange, taxis, car rentals and tourist inforcenter. Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC) – is the secondary airport of Dubai. It is mainly used for shipping cargo and transport of aid to countries in Africa. It supports small budget airlines. This airport is close to the Expo 2021 Site and is 65 km southwest of DXB. It is being expanded and will soon become the biggest airport in the world.
Alcohol and Drugs
Smuggling drugs into Dubai like marijuana, cocaine, hashish, heroin is strictly illegal and severely punished. Non-Muslims and tourists can buy and drink liquor. Sale of alcoholic and low-alcohol drinks is allowed to people over 21 years old.
Modes of Payments
Dirham or AED is the United Arab Emirate’s currency. One US dollar is 3.67 AED. Most currencies are welcome and accepted in Dubai. Credit & Debit cards including American Express, Visa and MasterCard are accepted.
Dubai is well-wired and digitally connected. Most hotels, clubs, cafes, restaurants have good internet access and it is usually free. Public Wi-Fi is also available in metros, beaches, and malls. Etisalat and Du are the 2 top mobile operating services in Dubai. Social media services such as Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook, Snapchat are all operational in Dubai. However, audio and video calling features are blocked.
Dubai has excellent roads and is very well connected with public transportation such as the Dubai Metro. Taxis are plentiful and available 24/7. Dubai Metro – has limited stops like Sheikh Zayed Road, Karama, and Deira. It does not cover all of Dubai and runs only till 10 pm on weekdays and till midnight on weekends. Dubai Buses – at several stops and cover extensive areas of Dubai. They are all air-conditioned and some of the bus stops are also air-conditioned. They are the most used public transport in Dubai. Uber and Careem – are the most popular taxis in Dubai.
The UAE was one of the first countries in the world to reopen for international tourism since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is very strict about the need for visitors to wear masks and imposes heavy fines for failure to observe curfews and social distancing rules.
Important Tips When Visiting Dubai
● The dress code of Dubai is liberal, hence most common attire is acceptable. It is advisable, however, to recognize that Islam preaches modesty. Visitors should make the effort not to offend religious sensibilities with immodest clothing.
● Travel insurance is advised.
● If you wish to rent a car, an international driving license is a must.
● Dubai has low crime rates. The government is deeply focused on public safety. Women can visit with little worry about personal safety.
● Large annual events such as the Dubai Shopping Festival, Dubai World Cup and the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature are worth planning around for trips to the UAE.
● During Islamic holidays such as Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, happenings in the city are rare and limited. In the holy month of Ramadan, food and beverage are not available before sunset. Check the calendar and plan your trip and daily sightseeing with these in mind.
● Tipping is not part of the culture in Dubai, though small tips for services are happily accepted.
● “Smart Palms” are placed around the city that look like Palm trees, but provide free Wi-Fi and mobile charging ports.