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 Climate

  • The most populat time to visit is during the winter months - November through to April with December to February the coolest months of the year with temperatures dropping to around 15°C at night and daytime highs of up to 30°C
  • Minimal rainfall may be experienced during the December to February period

Culture

An Islamic country, the UAE is recognised for it warm hospitality and safe environment, however, visitors should exercise moderation when it comes to dress code and behavior.

  • Visitors should dress modestly in public places such as the local souks, shopping malls and older parts of the city. Both men and women should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing that covers shoulders and legs (to below the knee)
  • If you visit during the Holy Month of Ramadan, kindly refrain from eating, drinking or smoking in public in daylight hours
  • Many hotels, including Fairmont The Palm, Dubai will provide designated dining areas away from the public eye. Alcohol is also only served after sunset. Please check with the hotel for exact timings
  • When greeting a member of the opposite sex who is Muslim, wait until the other person extends their hand for a traditional handshake as many people, women especially, prefer not to shake hands with the opposite sex
  • It is also customary to accept food and drink with your right hand in a traditional dining environment, as this is the hand you should eat with
  • Avoid showing the soles of your feet and gesturing or pointing with you finger, use the whole hand instead
  • Drinking and driving is strictly prohibited, and Dubai Police have a zero tolerance policy
  • Public displays of affection should also be avoided

Currency

  • The UAE dirham (Dhs/AED) is fully convertible and pegged to the US dollar.
  • One dirham is divided into 100 fils. Notes come in denominations of five, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000.
  • Coins are Dhs1, 50 fils, 25 fils, 10 fils and 5 fils.
  • Currency exchange offices can be found everywhere and there is also a network of globally linked ATMS across the emirate.
  • Major credit cards are widely accepted.
  • In Dubai, a 10% Municipality fee and 10% service charge is incurred on hotel and restaurant bills and displayed as a ‘net’ charge if not separated.

Customs regulations

It is forbidden to bring the following items into the UAE:

  • Any materials that insult Islam
  • Firearms
  • Drugs
  • Pornography
  • Israeli products
  • Certain prescription drugs are also banned in the UAE, please check with the UAE embassy in your country prior to travel. If you need to take banned medication to maintain personal health, you will require an original prescription and letter from your doctor

Electricity

  • 220/240 volts, British standard three-pin plug

Getting around

  • Taxis are cheap, plentiful and metered and can be pre-booked via our Concierge desk
  • The Dubai Metro has two lines, including a direct airport link, and is also connected to major attractions and malls
  • The Dubai Tram operates in the Dubai Marina district, with multiple stops

Passports

  • All passports must be valid for at least six months from the date of arrival
  • Currently, citizens of 45 nations, including the UK, the US, Canada, Australia and most European countries do not require a tourist visa to enter the UAE

Tipping

Where the standard service charge is not included, a 10% tip is the norm. For taxi journeys, it is common practice to round up the fare or tip several dirhams