Local Customs

Useful Information
Local Customs

Dubai is the most populated of the seven emirates that make up 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.

Where is Dubai?

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.

What is Dubai's climate like?

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

What is the local currency of Dubai?

The local currency is the UAE dirham (AED or Dhs). Cash is often 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.

What languages are spoken in Dubai?

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

What etiquette should I be aware of in Dubai?

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). The conservative dress code should continue to 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.

What is Dubai's cuisine like?

The local cuisine consists of a blend of Middle Eastern and Asian influences. The traditional cuisine incorporates a lot of meat, grains 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.

Dubai is a great destination for food-lovers, with a huge choice of restaurants serving every cuisine from across the world, as well as some of the finest local dishes.

What time zone is Dubai in?

Dubai is in the UAE Standard time zone, this is UTC/GMT + 4 hours.

Which airports serve Dubai?

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.

Visitors can also fly into Abu Dhabi International Airport (IATA: AUH) which is only 60 minutes’ drive from the hotel. It is the second largest airport in the UAE, has three terminals, and is Etihad Airways’ main base.

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.

How do I get around Dubai?

Public transportation is available within the city, including buses, metro, tram and taxis. The Dubai metro stops right outside the hotel, at Mall of the Emirates station on the Red Line. For more information please visit the official Dubai Tourism website.

Don’t forget to read our Travellers Checklist to find out essential travel requirements for your trip to Dubai.

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