Dubai - Dubai Travel Information - Dubai Travel Tips





  • the most popular option is to fly into Dubai International Airport.
  • There is also the option to fly into Abu Dhabi International Airport, which is approximately 1 1/2 hrs drive into centre of Dubai
    • this is a useful option if you are staying in the Jebel Ali area.
  • Dubai International Airport handles approximately 28 million passengers per year and is growing enormously.
  • Dubai World Central International Airport is currently under construction and will be the world’s first in combining the largest airport and cargo hub
  • It will be ten times the size of the current airport.
  • Taxis are in abundance and available right outside the exit doors of the arrival terminal.
  • Departure from the airport is straightforward - there is only one terminal for international flights and each airline has a designated gate area.


You should consult your embassy or consulate for specific visa’s required for entry. Most European countries permit a visa stamp on entry at the airport, valid for 60 days.



American Embassy:
Tel: +971 2 414 2200

Australian Embassy:
Tel: +971 2 634 6100

Belgium Consulate:
Tel: +971 2 631 9353 

British Embassy:
Tel: +971 4 397 1070 

Danish Consulate:
Tel: +971 4 222 7699

French Consulate:
Tel: +971 2 443 5100

German Consulate:
Tel: +971 4 397 2332

Italian Embassy:
Tel: +971 2 443 5622

Netherlands Consulate:
Tel: +971 4 359 5811

New Zealand:
Tel: +971 4 331 7500
Fax: +971 4 331 7501

Norwegian Consulate:
Tel: +971 4 353 3633

South African Embassy:
Tel: +971 2 447 3446

Spanish Consulate:
Tel: +971 4 626 9544
Fax: +971 4 627 4978

Swedish Consulate:
Tel: +971 2 621 0162

Swiss Consulate:
Tel: +971 2 627 4636

Turkish Consulate:
Tel: +971 2 665 5421
Fax: +971 2 666 2691


Contact Dubai Transport: +(971) 04 208 0808

Air-conditioned taxis can be hailed on the street or pre-booked by telephone.

Metered taxis, operated by the Dubai Transport Authority, are cream coloured with uniformed drivers.

Most taxis are now equipped with GPS.

Tipping is not typically expected but a reward for good driving is recommended.


The AED dirham (sometimes written locally as Dhs) is the official currency throughout the United Arab Emirates.

The dirham is subdivided into units of 100 fils.

US$ are accepted in some outlets and hotels.

Cash is accepted everywhere

All major credit and debit cards are accepted

cheques are not accepted.

ATM’s can be found all over the city

Money exchange boothscan be found all over the city.

Changing currency at the airport is the best deal as typically there are no handling charges.


Pre-paid phones and SIM cards can be purchased with a ‘pay as you go’ SIM card on arrival at the airport or from the local operators Etisalat or Du at their local outlets or dealers

Local calls are based on reasonable rates.

To dial a fixed line number within the U.A.E. you need to dial

  • 04 plus the number for Dubai

  • 02 for Abu Dhabi

  • 06 for Sharjah, Ajman and Umm Al Qawain

  • 07 for Ras Al Khaimah and 09 for Fujeirah.

For mobile phones dial 050 for Etisalat numbers or 055 for Du numbers. The international dialing code for the U.A.E is +971.

Computer connections are readily available with many coffee bars and hotels offering fast Internet Wi-Fi connectivity.

Get a residency visa

Through your company - The vast majority of companies will organize the visa procedure on your behalf, sorting out the necessary paperwork and making the necessary payments. This means that all you have to do is take the medical, which involves paying a trip to a hospital to take a blood test and a chest scan. Providing the tests come back clear, you should have your visa within three months of arriving. If you leave your job in the first year, your company may charge you for the visa.


Arranging your own visa - If the company which is taking you on does process your visa application for you, you'll need to head to the visa section of the Department of Naturalization and Residence. Here you'll need to provide: an application from (available on site); your passport; three passport sized photographs; your original entry permit if you have one (if you come from one of 33 states including the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and many EU countries, you'll be able to enter Dubai on your passport, without the need for an entry permit); your original medical check-up document; a copy of the valid commercial license and copy of the valid establishment card (get these from your work) and an original receipt from the Ministry of Labour (labor card-again, get this from your work). You'll need to pay Dhs300 residency fees for a three year visa. See for more info.

Get a mobile phone connection

Select from Etisalat or du?

Etisalat & du are the two mobile phone options currently available in Dubai. Du charges by the second and a prefix to a du mobile number is 055 (Etisalat uses 050).

See for further information. Visit Etisalat at:


Post Offices are few and far between and it best to ask directions from your hotel.

Postal addresses in the U.A.E are by P.O. Box rather than house and street addresses.

Stamps can be purchased from most hotels, supermarkets and petrol stations.

There is a post office in departures lounge (1st floor) at Dubai International Airport.

Local courier services are very popular for deliveries inside and outside of the UAE (Empost, Aramex) as well as the well-known international couriers such as Fed Ex, TNT and DHL.


Care should be taken when considering goods to bring into the U.A.E.

Being a Muslim country the laws on illegal drugs and alcohol are very strict. None may be brought into the country from outside.

Alcohol may be purchased by non-Muslim visitors in the baggage hall on a duty free basis and may be consumed only on private property and not in public places.

Alcohol may also be purchased and consumed within licensed restaurants, bars and hotels.

The laws on prescription drugs can be confusing, and commonly accepted prescription drugs from other countries may well be banned in the U.A.E

It is recommended that if you are carrying prescription drugs from another country you also carry the signed and stamped prescription with you.

Pornography is not permitted


Dubai is one the safest cities in the world. However, crime is not non-existent and as a rapidly growing city it is suggested you take the due care and attention as you would anywhere else in the world.


It is condidered impolite to take photographs of Emirati's, especially the women, without asking their permission to do so. Photo's of government and military buildings is also frowned upon


The voltage is 220v and utilising the traditional British 3-pin plug.


Health insurance is recommended for all travellers.

Medical facilities are excellent with "state of the art" hospitals.

Costs are high.

General Practice and Dental services are also of a high standard and freely available for a fee.

Chemists are in abundance and many are open 24 hours a day.

Tap water is safe to drink but as all water is desalinated the taste can be strange. Bottled water might be preferred and the local brands are excellent value.


Public transport, other than taxis is limited although massive developments are underway to improve this including the development of the Dubai Metro Rail system

Taxis are efficient and extremely reasonable.

Car hire is available although not all driver's licenses are permitted. Bring your International Driving Licence.

Petrol is extremely cheap compared to Europe and other parts of the world.

Maps are not generally used, nor are street names and navigation is primarily done by landmarks. This can be a problem for the tourist. However, roads are well signposted by area and the road system is quite logical.

Right hand driving is the standard.

The Metro system is due for completion in 2009.


Visitors are free to dress according to their personal choice.

However, dress sensibly and modestly.

Very revealing clothes should not be worn in public or places of worship.

Shorts and skirts are acceptable for ladies but be sympathetic to local customs and cultures.

Most Emirati men and women still choose to wear the traditional national dress.

Lightweight summer clothing can be worn for most of the year

The temperature can drop quite sharply at night during the winter.


Visitors are often surprised at how hot it can be in Dubai. Midsummer temperatures in Dubai reach the mid-40’s and can soar higher the further inland you go.The peak tourist season is between November and March when the weather is wonderful. The humidity is lower, sunshine-filled days with evenings that are pleasant enough to enjoy a spot of outside dining make this a time to enjoy.

Dubai has experienced a couple of cold winters in recent years. Some late evenings and early morning temperatures have dropped to as low as 10 – 12 degrees Celsius and in the neighbouring Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, they’ve even experienced snow in the mountains - but it’s not the norm!

Summer visitors will enjoy cheaper deals on all sorts of things, including hotels, as this is the off-peak season. The Dubai government has successfully introduced Dubai Summer Surprises - a programme of activities for families and children taking place in and around the city.

Visitors brave enough to visit in the summer should be aware :

  • The heat does not gives you an excuse to walk around in a state of undress. Dubai may be a liberal place compared to the rest of the UAE, but you should still dress fairly modestly. This is even more true if you are planning to travel around and visit nearby Emirates such as Sharjah, Ajman or the city of Al Ain.
  • It is also important to take care to avoid heatstroke and sunburn, particularly if you are not used to high temperatures and high humidity. Don’t be caught out by a nice sea breeze - don't bake on the beach during the hottest part of the day and remember to cover up; use sunscreen, drink plenty of water and do wear a hat.  Sea temperatures can get up to 35 degrees!
Traffic Fines & Offences

If you are caught driving or parking illegally you will be fined unless the offence is more serious, in which case you may be brought before the courts. You can also be fined Dhs.50 on the spot for being caught driving without your licence, so always keep it with you, along with your vehicle's registration card. You can check though, either by calling the Dubai Traffic Police Information Line (2685555) or by visiting their website ( You can also pay online using your credit card but this service includes a small service charge.

In the even of a breakdown, you will usually find that passing police cars stop to help, or at least to check your documents. It is important that you keep water in your car at all times . The Arabian Automobile Association (AAA) (2669989 or 800 4900, offers a 24 hour roadside breakdown service for an annual charge. The more advanced service includes off-road recovery, vehicle registration and a rent a car service. Other breakdown services who'll be able to help you out without membership include IATC (although they do offer annual membership also), Dubai Auto Towing Services and AKT Recovery.

Traffic Accidents

If you are involved in an accident, in serious cases dial 999 or in less critical cases, call the police in Deira (266 0555), Bur Dubai (398 1111), or Sharjah (06 538 1111). The Dubai Traffic Police Information Line (268 5555, Arabic & English) gives the numbers of police stations around the emirate.

Buying a Vehicle

You must have a residence visa in order to own a car. Most insurance policies cover multiple drivers (as long as they have a valid UAE driving licence, either temporary or permanent).



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