DUBAI 24/7 HELP CENTRE
You Have Questions,We Have Answers.
- What is the local time in Dubai?
- The UAE is four hours ahead of UTC (Co-ordinated Universal Time - formerly known as GMT) and there is no daylight saving. Hence, when it is 12.00 midday in Abu Dhabi,
it is 3am in New York, 8am in London, 10 am in Johannesburg,
1.30pm in New Delhi, and 6pm in Sydney (not allowing for any summer time
saving in those countries).
- Do they speak English in Dubai?
- The official language is Arabic, and English are commonly used in business and commerce.
- How many Nationalities in UAE?
- Total of 202 different nationalities exist in the labour market, according to the Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Labour
- What's the weather like in Dubai?
- Dubai has a sub-tropical, arid climate. Sunny blue skies and high temperatures can be expected most of the year. Rainfall is sporadic, falling mainly in winter (November to March) and averaging 12 cms per year in most of the emirate. Rain is more common in the 'Oasis City' of Al Ain, the emirate's second largest city, due to its proximity to the Hajar Mountains.
Temperatures range from a low of around 13C (50F) on a winter's night, to a high of around 42C (118F) on a summer's day. The cooler months, November to April, are the most pleasant time to visit, when temperatures are around 24C (75F) during the day and 13C (56F) at night.
- Is internet access available in public places, malls and hotels?
- Most Dubai hotels offer complimentary internet access to their guests, or paid access to non-guests. There is a growing number of establishments outside of hotels - such as coffee shops and restaurants - that also offer wireless Internet access. Visitors who don't have their own laptop can drop by Internet cafés in malls and along most busy streets.
- What is the local currency and what is its current value?
- The local currency is the UAE dirham (AED or Dhs) which is divided into 100 fils and is pegged against the US $ (US$ 1: AED 3.6725).
- What is the best way to get around the emirate?
- Getting around Dubai is easy and taxis are reasonably priced and plentiful and can be flagged down at the roadside or booked by phone through the Trans AD hotline 600 535353.
Street taxis are easily recognised. They are either silver with a yellow roof sign (newer taxis) or white and gold with a green roof sign (older taxis). Both old and new taxis are metered, yet many of the old taxis may negotiate the fare in advance. A tip is not expected but always welcome.
If you want to explore the emirate, your travel agency can organise tours that include transportation to and from the places you would like to visit. Renting a car is also an option for those wanting to travel a lot. To hire any vehicle you will need a passport copy, credit card and a valid driving licence from your home country, or a valid international driving licence.
Otherwise, the bus network that plies the emirate is very efficient. In the capital, modern air-conditionedbuses operate round-the-clock. There are also buses travelling to Al Ain and other parts of the emirate
- Security and emergency numbers
- In cases of serious emergencies and accidents the number to dial throughout the UAE is 999. Calls to this number are always free of charge. Whether you need police assistance, an ambulance or for any other emergency situation, this is the number to call. Calls to this number are free of charge.
When calling the emergency number, please remember to state your name, the nature of the accident, address of the emergency and how serious the situation is.
If you are involved in a traffic accident, it's important to contact the police immediately. In case of a minor incident, move your car to the side of the road, as there are fines for obstructing traffic. You cannot file an insurance claim without a police report.
What is the average rate per night in Dubai hotels?
The average cost for a five-star double room in Dubai is AED 590 / US$161, excluding taxes (16%). Rates may or may not include breakfast. It is advisable to book your room far in advance, as hotels get busy very quickly, especially in high season or during busy events.
- Visas and foreign embassies
Visas and foreign embassies
Citizens of Australia, Andorra, Austria, Brunei, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America and the Vatican State can get a free-of-charge entry visa upon arrival at Dubai International Airport.
GCC citizens do not need a visa to enter the UAE.
Citizens of all other countries will need to apply for a Tourist, Transit or Visit Visa prior to their trip. If you are flying with Etihad Airways, a visit visa may be arranged for you upon request. If you have booked your trip through a travel agency, in most cases they will be able to arrange this for you.
Five, four and three star hotels can apply for visas on behalf of guests who have booked a stay with them. Please note that not all five, four and three star hotels have this system in place. Make sure you check with your preferred hotel if they offer this service. This service does not currently apply to guests staying in hotel apartments
While the airline, travel agency and hotel can apply for your visa, please make sure you give yourself enough time for it to be approved, and note that they do not take responsibility if the visa is declined.
- Medical treatment, hospitals & pharmacies
Do I need medical insurance cover when I travel to Abu Dhabi?
As per UAE federal law, all visitors to the UAE must have medical insurance cover. In case of emergency, treatment to stabilise the case is free. Other treatment must be covered by a cash payment or insurance card for covered individuals.
Call 999 for a government ambulance or to call the police for any emergency. The number 999 can be used for any emergency situation when you need to get in touch with the police or ambulance services.
In case you need a private doctor/paramedic to visit your house, you can call 800-DOCTOR (800-362867), which is operated by private group Lifeline Healthcare.
Quick response to emergencies can save a patient's life. It is therefore essential that you know where to go in case of an emergency, and know the contact numbers to call for medical help.
- Local culture and traditions
What is the official religion in UAE?
Islam is the official religion of the UAE, and is widely practised. The Islamic holiday is Friday. Muslims are required to pray (facing Makkah) five times a day. The times vary according to the position of the sun, when the modern day call to prayer is transmitted through loudspeakers on mosque minarets.
The UAE Constitution provides for freedom of religion in accordance with established customs. UAE is tolerant of other religions with people being free to practice their religious beliefs, so long as they do not interfere with Islam. Non-Muslims can get an insight into Islam through complimentary guided tours of the spectacular Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque - one of the world's largest. The tours run at different times during the week.
- what are the top attraction in Dubai?
- Burj Khalifa , Wild Wadi Water Park , Palm islands , Burj Al Arab , Dubai Museum , Jumeirah Mosque , Dubai creek , Palm Jumeirah , The Dubai Mall , Madinat Jumeirah , Emirates Towers
- Can I drive on an existing drivers' license when I arrive in Dubai or must I take another test?
- This depends on the country of origin. Those from Europe, Australia and the US do not have to take the test. Instead one must go to the Roads and Transport Authority with one's existing licence, passport and resident permit. There one will be required to take an eye test before being issued with a UAE license. Prior to receiving one's residence permit one may drive a rental vehicle using a license from one's home country. A comprehensive list of who is exempt from retaking the test is available from the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority.
- What is the average expat lifestyle in Dubai like?
- This really depends. It used to be that because of generous employment packages Western expats could live the high life in Dubai. Most people lived in large villas, had domestic help, drove expensive cars and still had plenty of money to spare. Now those packages are becoming less and less common, and many expats are downsizing considerably. Eating out is affordable, almost anything and everything can be delivered to one's home (groceries, mobile phone credit, DVDs etc.) and there is no shortage of things to do, including golf, water sports, scuba diving and even skiing.
- Exactly how hot does it get in Dubai?
- Anyone who has lived in Dubai in summer will say that it's an experience like no other. With temperatures reaching 50ºC, the heat is stifling and air-conditioning is essential. Restaurants close outside dining areas, many expat families escape to their home country for the summer months and the rest simply stay inside. For holiday makers the weather might be a treat; for those who have to live and work in such extreme heat, it can become exhausting.
- Dubai's crime rate is relatively low and it is considered as a safe city. However, like many other cities, pick pocketing and other petty crimes are commonplace in Dubai. Be cautious of your surrounds and avoid places which may seem unsafe or suspicious.
- Is The Dubai Mall the biggest mall in the world?
- The Dubai Mall is the world's largest shopping, leisure and entertainment destination.