Planning to visit Dubai?

What kind of visa do I need to visit Dubai?
Visa requirements in the UAE (of which Dubai is a part) depend on various things such as your nationality, why you're visiting, how long you want to be in Dubai, and so on. The UAE authorities have made it as easy as possible for visitors to enter and stay for a while in the country. For example, citizens of some countries do not need visas before arrival. For more information, visit the visa pages on this website.

What is Dubai's climate like?
Dubai has sunshine all year round. The climate is sub-tropical. Winter temperatures can go down to 14°C (about 57°F) and up to 23 °C (73 °F). In summer, the range is between 30 °C (86 °F) and 41°C (106°F). There is sometimes a little rainfall, usually in the months between December and March. In recent years, annual accumulated rainfall has reached 150 mm (5.91 in).

Tell me a little about Dubai's Culture.
Dubai's culture has Arabia's Islamic traditions at its roots. As such, it may be very different from what you are used to, depending on where you come from. The Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre For Cultural Understanding (www.culture.ae) holds regular interactive sessions which help you understand and appreciate the local culture and customs, including language, heritage, cuisine, and many other aspects of Emirati life. Dubai has a well-deserved reputation as a liberal, tolerant and culturally diverse society. Emiratis are known for their friendly and welcoming hospitality.

What languages are spoken in Dubai?
Arabic is the official language in Dubai, but many Emiratis speak very good English. English is, in fact, the language most widely spoken in most business dealings. Other languages in wide use include languages from the Indian sub-continent (Urdu, Malayalam), Tagalog and Farsi.

What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is the holy month in Islam. Every day of this month, Muslims observe a fast from sunrise to sunset. It is a spiritually enlightening time, and people try to keep pure in thought word, and deed. Eating, drinking and smoking in public are frowned on during this period, though some restaurants may have areas screened off where travellers and visitors may dine. Visitors usually respect the Islamic sentiment especially during Ramadan, particularly in matters such as dressing appropriately in public areas.

Will my mobile phone work in Dubai?
International roaming is accessible in Dubai. It may be more economical, however, to buy pre-paid local SIM cards. Special SIM cards tailored to the needs of visitors are available from both service providers, Du and Etisalat. You can buy them at the airport as well as retail outlets in the city.

I'm planning to hold an event in Dubai...
Dubai is the ideal place to host international events. Strategically placed in the middle of the Eurasian landmass, it is at most an eight-hour flight from most important centers. There are facilities like the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC) purpose-built to house such events, as well as hotel venues that can cater for large and small scale events.

What about transportation within Dubai?
Dubai boasts world-class infrastructure which makes it easy to get about in the city. Public transportation includes the Metro, marine transportation, and buses. An economical option, the Dubai Metro can take you to more than 45 points in Dubai for as little as AED 1.80 (about 0.5 dollars). The Road Transport Authority (RTA), which looks after Dubai's roads and road transportation, runs bus services that feed the Metro, making it easy to get to major shopping malls and other landmark destinations. Taxis are also available from as little as AED 3.00. (under a dollar). The Dubai Tram serves parts of the city.

Where is Dubai airport?
Dubai's airport is very conveniently located. It's possible to get excellent accommodation just five minutes away at the convention hotels in Festival City, or near the Creek or Yacht Club. The airport is connected to the Metro (terminals 1 and 3), and taxis are easily available. Dubai's financial center and downtown are only about 15 minutes from the airport.

What about business destinations such as the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) and the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre (DICEC)?
The DWTC is located on one of Dubai's main arterial roads, Sheikh Zayed Road. The DWTC metro station connects the DWTC and DICEC to many centers in the city such as the Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the airport (terminals 1 and 3), and major hotels and landmarks. The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is also located on Sheikh Zayed Road, near the DWTC, and is served by the metro.

What do I need to know about business etiquette in Dubai?
Dubai business etiquette conforms to that in any other modern center of business. Dress conservatively; men in business suits and women in smart formals that cover the shoulders, and skirts that go below the knees. Business hours are from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm but Government and public organisations may have different hours - usually from 7:30 am to 2:30 pm. Friday and Saturday are the weekly holidays.

Is it OK to serve alcohol to guests during dinners, receptions, or other social functions?
As long as the function takes place at a venue licensed to serve alcohol such as a hotel, it is perfectly fine to serve alcohol

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