The second largest of the seven emirates which made up the United Arab Emirates, Dubai is located on the southern shore of the Arabian Gulf. It has an area of some 3,900 square kilometers. Outside the city itself, the emirate is sparsely inhabited and characterised by desert vegetation. The other emirates are Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah.
The visa is to be obtained prior to arrival in the country
HOW TO GET THERE:
INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: Dubai Airport is the only International airport
FLIGHTS INTO DUBAI:
Direct flight: Emirates Airlines, Indian Airlines, Cathy pacific, Air India
Other airlines: Gulf air (via Bahrain), Oman Air ( via Muscat), Qatar airways (via Doha), Srilankan airlines (via Colombo), Kuwait airways (via Kuwait)
Dubai currency is known in the global market as Arab Emirate Dirham and is denoted by AED. Locally the Dubai currency is denoted by 'Dh' and called Dirham. Each Dirham is divided into 100 parts and each of them is known as fil.
1 USD = 3.67 AED
1 AED = 10.05 INR
Dubai currency can be exchanged with currencies of other parts of the world in banks and exchange houses.
Bus: Dubai has a very large bus system run by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). The bus system has 193 routes on weekdays and transports over 30 million people weekly. The Public Transport bus system is large and advanced but not large enough to accommodate the volume of people who use it. This means that in busy areas it is common that at the end of the day commuters may have to wait more than an hour before they can board a bus.
Taxis: Dubai also has an extensive taxi system, by far the most frequently used means of public transport within the Emirate. There are both government-operated and private cab companies. The Dubai Transport Corporation operates cream-coloured taxis. Some of the private cab companies are Cars Taxi, National Taxi, Cititaxi and Metro Taxi. The meter generally begins as Dhs. 3.80 and is generally charged by distance at 50 fils/km.
Car hire is not deemed to be particular exorbitant, but road traffic regulation is somewhat different to other places in the world, and this can be quite confusing to foreigners. Dubai seems particularly attached to decorative round-abouts that can be somewhat hazardous to travellers. Other than the initial confusion, Dubai has an impressive, well marked network of roads connect is many destinations and first class freeways linking it to the rest of the United Arab Emirates. Roads in the rest of the UAE generally compare to this standard, but some regions may be less accessible unless by plane.
Water Taxis:Dubai is serviced by two large commercial ports, Port Rashid and Port Jebel Ali. Dubai Creek and Port Saeed are used by local traders in dhows.
One of the more traditional methods of getting across Dubai Creek from Bur Dubai to Deira is through abras, small boats that ferry passengers across the Dubai Creek, between abra stations in Bastakiya and Bani Yas Road, for a nominal charge of 1 UAE-Dirhams. They can be rented, along with an operator, for 100 UAE-Dirhams, approximately 27 US-Dollars. Recently, the Marine Transport Agency, part of the Road and Transportation Agency, has begun implementing the Dubai Water Bus System.
Metro: There is currently a $3.89 billion Dubai Metro project under construction for the emirate. The Metro system is expected to be partially operational by 2009 and fully operational by 2012.
Light weight summer clothing can be worn for most of the year, but the temperature can drop quite sharply at night during the winter. Dubai is rather relaxed for clothing. Dress sensibly, without wearing too much revealing clothes. Shorts and skirts are acceptable for ladies.
Dubai is 1 hrs 30 mins behind us.
Electricity in Dubai is 220 Volts. The 3-pin sockets are available everywhere.
The national language is Arabic but English is widely used in business.
Local people, especially the women, do not take kindly to being photographed without their prior permission. In general, it is best to avoid taking photographs (or video footage) of any individual in a National Dress.
Alcohol is available in all clubs and restaurants and pubs/bars that are located in hotels. Restaurants outside a hotel are not allowed to sell or serve alcohol. Muslims are not permitted to buy alcohol. Residents need an Alcohol License to purchase alcohol.
Dubai tap water is desalinated (sea) water. Such water is perfectly safe to drink; however, tourists and residents often prefer to drink locally bottled mineral water. The most often served bottled water is Masafi, Jeema, Oasis and Gulfa.