Dubai Visitor Information

Etiquette

Dubai follows strict Islam laws and traditions meaning profanity, rude gestures, public displays of affection, public sex acts, homosexuality and sexual relations outside marriage are all frowned upon and can even result in fines, jail time or deportation. Although bikinis are permitted on Dubai's beaches, visitors should avoid wearing anything too revealing and women should dress modestly when on the street. It is offensive to criticise the government, politics, world affairs or religion and any travellers visiting during the holy month of Ramadan should be aware that eating in public from sunrise to sunset is not permitted. Muslims are called to prayer five times a day from the towers of Mosques throughout the country and visitors should respect this practice.

Money

As part of the United Arab Emirates, Dubai's currency is the same as the Arab Emirates Dirham (AED). 1 USD is equal to approximately 3.67 dirhams. Since 1973, coins have been used in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 fils, and 1 dirham. However the 1, 5 and 10 fils coins aren't normally used in daily life, with all amounts rounded up or down to the nearest 25fils. Banknotes are also used in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 dirham and can be identified by their colours of brown, green, light blue, purple, pink, green/brown, navy blue and greenish blue respectively.

Staying Connected

Most malls have free WiFi while hotels offer internet access, albeit expensively. Internet cafes can be difficult to find however there are some found on Al Musalla Rd./Al Mankhool Rd. in Bur Dubai and other major tourist areas. The usual rate is 3-4 AED per hour. When it comes to plugging in your devices, Dubai uses the British three-pin rectangular socket (220V/50Hz).

For international dialing use 0011 + country code + area code + local number. As Dubai is part of the UAE, it uses the same international telephone country code which is +971. The Dubai area code is 4 for land lines. When trying to contact home, particularly by phone remember the time difference. The Dubai time zone is the same as the rest of the UAE, UTC+4.

Transport

Dubai offers one of the best public transport systems in the Middle East, however it is still most popular to drive and visitors end up catching taxis often. The metro features a 52km Red Line that stops at over 21 stations including along the coastline, at the airport, Burj Khalifa and the Mall of the Emirates while the Green Line offers services through the core of the city. Public transport is the cheapest way to travel and public buses are affordable and clean however can be infrequent and do not offer the most comprehensive routes. The buses are best for getting around central Dubai and between various suburbs. If you visit Dubai without a car, the best way to get around is to walk or to catch a taxi.

Visas & Immigration

As part of the United Arab Emirates, border controls and visa and immigration requirements for entering to Dubai are fairly relaxed for visitors from most industrialised countries. Citizens of most of these countries (including Australia) only require their passport to enter Dubai and will receive a 30-day visa free of charge upon arriving in the country. Should visitors wish to stay longer, the visa can be extended for up to 90 days for a fee of 500 dirhams.