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Home> Destinations> Asia> Dubai> To Know

Dubai, UAE

Updated: 2014-07-16 / (dubai.com)





City Introduction

From the perspective of city, the United Arab Emirates is a country while Dubai is a city. However, if viewing from its domestic situations, Dubai is an emirate with independent government and chief, which equals a complete country. Dubai, like Casablanca of Moroccan, Rio de Janeiro of Brazil and Istanbul of Turkey, is a famous city rather than the capital of the country. It stands second to Abu Dhabi, the capital of UAE. Nevertheless, this city has created several world's greatest events, including the tallest tower, the biggest shopping mall, the biggest artificial island and the biggest indoor ski field, etc. When you read the map of Dubai, you may divide it into the left part and the right part. On your right hand side is the old town area. The only inland river marked on the map is DubaiCre, the mother river of Dubai.





Natural Environment

Located in the middle of Arab Peninsula and south of Arabian Gulf, Dubai, the center of the gulf areas, lies opposite to the South Asian Sub-Continent across the sea. It is called the pearl on the gulf. With a long coastline of 734 kilometers, Dubai neighbors with Qatar in the northwest and borders Saudi Arabia in the west while adjoins Oman in its east and northeast. It stretches alongside the coastline from southwest to northeast for 30 kilometers with the maximum width of over 10 kilometers. It is divided into two parts by a bay of around 14 kilometers. And the southeastern part is called Deira while the northwestern part is named Bur Dubai. Deira, which is nearer to the bay, is more bustling. Lying from the south to the north along the bay is Gore Hood Bridge, Maksim Bridge and Al-Shindagha Tunnel that link the western region.





History and Culture

Dubai, along with Deira at the crossing (at the time of independence) have development into a major trading port for western dealers. A number of new financial centers had been established at the port area, which served as an important trade center during the 1970s and 1980s. Since free trading of gold was permitted in downtown Dubai till the 1990s. Dubai became the smuggling place of gold for India market where gold exportation was restricted. Nowadays, Dubai, where Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) stands, has developed into an important tourist hub and port city as well as a major center for information technology and financial industry.





Currency Exchange

The currency in Dubai is called Dirham,with the face value of: 5 Dirham, 10 Dirham, 20 Dirham, 50 Dirham, 100 Dirham, 200 Dirham, 500 Dirham and 1,000 Dirham.Coins include: 25 phils, 50 phils and 1 dirham.

1. The bonding exchange rate between U.S. dollar and Dubai Dirham is 1:3.68, which the exchange rate at the Dubai Airport is a little lower, i.e. 1: 3.65.

2. Euro, pound, franc, Australian Dollar and currencies of every Middle East countries can be exchanged in Dubai.

3. RMB can not circulate in Dubai. It is exchangeable at some exchange counters at a relatively low rate. Tourists from China are recommended to bring dollars. The exchange rate between Dirham and RMB is around 1: 1.8.

4. The highest exchange rate is available at UAEExchange and NBDbank, the latter of which always has long queues.






The summer in Dubai (April to October) is hot with the maximum high temperature of over 45 ℃. Little sandstorm may occur in some desert areas. Winter lasts from November to March of the following year and the lowest temperature averages about 11-13 ℃. The recoded lowest temperature is 7 ℃. Dubai has been called “Oasis in the Desert”.






1. In UAE, an Islamic country, the Muslims are forbidden to eat pork or drink wines. Foreigner may buy wines and drink at designated hotels and shops. Every Muslim must finish 5 prays per day at the office, at home or even on the airplane. It is a solemn event to pray and Muslims are not allowed to talk or joke with others. During the Ramadan, it is not allowed to drink, smoke or eat in public areas or on the street from sunrise till sunset. Therefore, tourists are not recommended to travel during Ramadan since they may encounter many problems regarding eating and drinking. Many shops, banks and even government offices will shorten their business hours and the taxi drivers may rush to have dinner after the sunset. It is quite inconvenient for all tourists. It is recommended to avoid the Ramadan.

2. Private car is the most common transportation method for local citizens. They drive fast on the wide roads. The traffic rules are strict and cover a full range. Do not bring alcoholic liquid in the car when you drive. No drunk driving! Chinese citizens shall comply with local transportation rules and regulations.

3. UAE is a country of order and obedience. No rules or regulations could be broke. Tourists should obey the following standards of behavior in public places: Dress yourself in accordance with religious culture of Islam. In particular, women shall dress with collars and sleeves. The length of pants or skirts shall be underneath the knees. Intimate behaviors between unmarried or even married couples are not allowed, such as holding hands, kissing, etc. There are special seat for the female at the metro station or other public queues (i.e. airport, bank, etc.), where men are not allowed to cross the border. Smoking is allowed in specific spots (mainly in shopping malls, hotels or outside the airport). Men are not allowed to talk or take photos with Arabian women in Abaya. Do not put your camera against Arabian men or women in tradition costumes without permission.

4. Some pious Muslims do not like to shake hands with women. Please wait until the other person offer the hand when shaking is required in social occasions.

5. Girls shall keep themselves away from the harassment of Arabians or Indian-Pakistans when travelling alone. When some men tried to catch your attention by “Hello” or “Ni Hao”, just pretend that you did not hear them. Do be afraid because they would not touch you.

6. In many public places near the restroom, there are separate pray room for man and woman. Please look carefully at the symbols outside in case of any embarrassment. They symbol for the pray room is usually a picture of Masjid or an image of an Arabian with kerchief or beard.

7. The sun shines strongly here, especially in summer. Please dress yourself with long-sleeves or apply enough sunscreen cream onto the skin exposure outside when you walk outdoor. Remember to wear hats and have more drinks.





Tourism Service Number

Emergency & Police: 999

Fire Alarm: 997

Airport Emergency Call: 04-206-6666

Exceptional Emergency Call: 04-223-2323


No specialized epidemic situation or infectious disease is recorded in UAE. However, please prevent yourselves from “air-conditioner disease” and cold when your stay for a long time in an air-conditioned room to escape from the high temperature in UAE.

Main Hospitals in Dubai and Contact Information:Rashid Hospital: 04-3374000;Baraja Hospital: 04-2221211.






People believe in Islam.





Useful Information

Tourist Visa:Tourist visa is submitted and issued through the travel agency with a validity of 30 days. It can not be updated or extended. If the tourist visa holder stays in Dubai for over 30 days, he/she should pay the penalty for overdue days and a special sum of extended stay.

Visitor’s Visa:This type of visa is issued by Dubai Immigration Office (DNRD). The validity written on the visa is 30 days. Actually, visitors are approved to stay for 60 days with an extension of another 30 days if additional fee has been paid. Please apply for the extension before the 60-day validity expires. If the visitor stays in Dubai for over 60 days or 90 days (with approved extension visa), he/she should pay the penalty for overdue days and a special sum of extended stay.

Some passport holders have the right to enter UAE and stay for a maximum of 30 days without obtaining the visitor’s visa before the arrival.





Festivals (Important/Historical/Folk Ones)

Eid al-Fitr Holiday: January 10th: people may live a normal life and enjoy the feast and eat at daytime.

New Year Festival of Islam: April 7th, is the New Year’s day for Muslims. Most of them will go to visit the Masjid, which is beautifully decorated.

Birthday of Mohammed: June 16th is the birthday of Mohammed, the great aga. People will carry out massive worship activities for him on that day.

National Day: December 2nd: the government will organize large-scale celebrating activities and people will celebrate by themselves. Some religious rites are also provided.

UAE Army’s Day: December 10th: there will be special military parade ceremony organized by the authorities.

Camel Competition: Hundreds of camels have been attracted to compete for valuable prizes. The best camel and its feeder will be amply awarded. Camel racing has not become a popular sport in this country.


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