Many international banks are represented by branches in Dubai. Bank hours vary, but in general are open from 08.00-14.00, Sun – Thurs and 08.00-12.00, Sat.
Summer clothing may be worn for most of the year, but the temperature can drop during the winter. At the pool or on the private beaches, swimwear is quite acceptable, but when in the city and public areas, care should be taken not to give offence by wearing clothing that may be considered revealing.
American Express, Diners Club, Visa, MasterCard and all major credit cards are generally accepted in the main hotels and shops.
The monetary unit is the Dirham (AED), which is divided into 100 fils. It is fixed to the US Dollar at a current rate of US$ 1 = Dhs 3.675.
The electricity supply in Dubai is 220/240 volts at 50 cycles. Standard, British square three-pin plugs bare the norm in most hotels. US-made appliances may need a transformer.
The official language is Arabic but English is widely spoken and understood throughout the country.
Normal tourist photography is acceptable but like anywhere in the world, it is courteous to ask permission before photographing people, especially local women.
Islam is the official religion of the UAE, which is widely practiced by Emirati nationals as well as expatriates originating from other Arab countries, Pakistan, Africa and India, amongst others. Dubai, as is the entire UAE, is tolerant of other religions. Worship services or mass in churches or chapels are available for visitors and residents who profess a different faith.
The Dubai Police has highly efficient law enforcement and emergency procedures in place. Law enforcement officers are also generally courteous and helpful to visitors and residents alike.
Tipping is not expected, but is commonly practiced in the Emirate. Gratuities to staff at hotels are at your discretion. Most restaurants add service charges to the bill (16%). If this charge is not included, add 10% of the total of the bill. Taxi drivers do not expect to be tipped. Supermarket baggers, bag carriers and windscreen washers at petrol stations are generally given.
Besides the state of the art 21st century tourist attractions spread across Dubai, The UAE has a wide variety of cultural and historical attraction, sports, leisure and art activities to suit every taste and age group.
To travel around the city, there are five major means of transportation available; taxi, bus, tour, metro, and rental cars or private cars. There is a good network of roads in the city, and public transportation is low to reasonably priced, safe and plentiful.
The tap water in Dubai is safe to drink. But locally bottled mineral water is generally served in hotels and restaurants.
Weekend comprises Friday and Saturday for government offices and most private companies. There are however, certain offices that remain open on Saturdays and operate half-day (until 13.00 or 14.00) on Thursdays.
Government offices open from 07.00-15.00, Sun – Thurs, while private companies normally operate between 09.00-18.00. Some establishments have three to four-hour break from 13.00, and resume operations in the evening from 16.00 or 17.00 until 21.00.