Local Customs

Local Customs

Dubai is the most populous of the seven emirates that comprise the United Arab Emirates, located on the southeast coast of the Arabian Gulf, and has emerged as a global city and important business hub of the Middle East.


Situated along the waters of the Arabian Gulf, the city of Dubai is located on the emirate's northern coastline and heads up the Dubai-Sharjah-Ajman metropolitan area.


Sunny/blue skies can be expected through-out the year. The months June through September are hot and humid with temperatures averaging above 40ºC (110ºF). The months October through May are pleasant with temperatures averaging about 25ºC (77ºF), while the months January and February are cooler and may require the use of a light jacket, with temperatures averaging about 15ºC (59ºF).

Local Currency:

The local currency is the UAE dirham (AED or Dhs). Cash is the best method of payment, especially when shopping in souks (markets) or using taxis. Credit and debit cards are also widely used as a method of payment.


Arabic is the official language of the UAE, but English is widely spoken and understood. 

Social Etiquette:

Dubai welcomes millions of visitors from all around the world, and is accommodating to all tourists and expats living in Dubai. However, certain etiquettes must be followed. A conservative dress code is highly recommended, especially in public places. Swimwear is acceptable only at the beach or around the swimming pools.

Etiquette during the Holy Month of Ramadan:

During the Holy Month of Ramadan, residents and visitors are requested to refrain from drinking, eating and smoking in public areas (including chewing gum, sweets or drinking water). A very conservative dress code should also be adhered to: men should wear trousers and a shirt, and women should wear either long dresses or a top and long skirt/trousers that covers the body.

Emirati Cuisine:

The local cuisine consists of a blend of Middle Eastern and Asian cuisines. Due to the harsh desert conditions, the traditional cuisine incorporates a lot of meat, grain and dairy, and traditional cooking methods reflect the desert lifestyle. The cuisine is often rich with spices such as saffron, turmeric and cinnamon, along with nuts, limes and dried fruits.

Local Time:

The local time is GMT + 4 hours.

Local Airport:

Dubai International Airport (IATA: DXB), is the hub for Emirates Airlines and FlyDubai, and serves the city of Dubai. The airport was the 7th busiest airport in the world by passenger traffic, handling 70.4 million passengers in 2014.

The Al Maktoum International Airport (IATA: DWC), the first phase of a larger project, also serves the city of Dubai. When completed by 2020, Dubai World Central-Al Maktoum International will be the largest airport in the world with five runways, four terminal buildings and capacity for 160 million passengers and 12 million tons of cargo.


Public transportation is available within the city, including buses, metro, tram and taxis.

For more information please visit the official Dubai Tourism website.

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