Arrival or weather, tips on etiquette or emergency numbers; find useful information for your travels to Dubai whether for business or pleasure.
Follow these essentials
Money changing facilities and taxis are readily available, as well as car rental services, convenience stores and information desks for general queries.
The currency in Dubai is the dirham, which is shortened to AED (United Arab Emirates Dirham). One dirham is divided into 100 fils. The dirham has been pegged to the US dollar for since 1997, meaning the exchange rate never changes. One US dollar is worth AED3.67.
Small bottle of water: AED1.5 (50 cents)
Big Mac: AED16.75 (USD4.5)
Biryani: AED13 (USD3.5)
Shawarma wrap: AED5 (USD1.4)
Short taxi ride: AED12 (USD3.3)
Dubai Metro (3 zones): AED5.8 (USD1.6)
Cinema ticket (standard): AED35 (USD9.6)
Abra ride across Dubai Creek: AED1 (USD27 cents)
With a coastal location on the Arabian Peninsula, Dubai enjoys a warm climate all year. The ‘winter’ months last from October to May with warm temperatures ranging from 20–35°C (68–95°F).
The summer season lasts from June to September with hotter temperatures reaching the mid-40s (~110° F) – and the city’s wide range of indoor and outdoor facilities and attractions ensure Dubai is a year-round destination.
In case of emergencies while on holiday in the UAE, call:
Visitors may also find these numbers helpful:
What you need to know
Your questions, answered
Dubai is a cosmopolitan city and a diverse melting pot where almost all attires and cultural expressions are accepted. Swimwear is permissible at beaches, waterparks, public pools and spa areas but is not considered appropriate in areas such as business districts and shopping malls.
Dressing conservatively is appreciated in Dubai's historic neighbourhoods and places of worship. There are specific requirements for entering a mosque, like wearing clothing that covers shoulders, arms and legs – and headscarves for women.
Marhaba! Dubai is a warm and friendly city and you will come across many people who will greet you with a smile and wish you well. A handshake is customary, but do note it is typically accepted that this should be initiated by women.
Public displays of affection are best kept to a minimum. Holding hands is acceptable, but kissing and hugging in public areas is not permitted.
Alcohol is served in licensed establishments such as hotels, bars and specialised shops to those over 21 years of age. However, drunk and disorderly conduct and drunk driving are not acceptable. Use or possession of illegal drugs is also strictly prohibited.
Dubai is home to hundreds of nationalities and both Arabic and English are spoken across the city. Learning a few Arabic words can certainly make the trip more memorable! As you explore the city you're very likely to hear Russian, Tagalog, Hindi, Urdu, Portuguese and many other languages. Follow our detailed guide for a list of handy phrases.
Many medicines used worldwide are readily available in pharmacies and hospitals across Dubai.
If you are travelling with prescribed medication, remember to bring your doctor’s note with you. The prescription should also detail the quantity of medication you intend to carry.
It’s important to check if the medicines are classified as controlled or not in the United Arab Emirates, which your doctor should be able to help you with. To carry controlled medication, you’ll need to apply for approval from the Ministry of Health (MoH) before your trip. For more information, read the traveller’s guidelines or get in touch with the MoH.
To tip or not to tip? The short answer is, there are no rules when it comes to tipping in Dubai. How much you tip varies from profession to profession and is also largely down to personal preference. It is customary to tip in most cases, but it certainly isn’t compulsory. Everyone arrives in Dubai with their own customs and expectations but one thing that's really consistent is the high level of service.
Travel to Dubai
From visa information, to accommodation, transport and etiquette. All you need to know before traveling to Dubai.