From a humble village to a cosmopolitan city
Dubai has transformed from a humble fishing village to one of the most cosmopolitan and innovative cities in the world today. Tracing its origins back to 3,000 BC, Dubai's inhabitants made their livelihood from fishing, pearl diving, boat building and sea trading, before the discovery of oil in the late 1960s. In 1971, Dubai joined its neighbours to form the United Arab Emirates, safeguarding the area's prosperity.
1 Dirham (AED) = 100 fils
The currency in Dubai is the dirham (AED or Arab Emirate Dirham). One dirham is divided into 100 fils and a US dollar is worth around AED3.67.
For our currency converter, please click here.
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Thanks to split-shift staffing systems, many shops are open 24 hours a day while most others stay open until 21.00 or 22.00. On Fridays many shops close from 11.30-12.30 for Muslim holy day prayers. Times are revised during Ramadan.
Around 3 million
Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing
One Central Building 2
4th Floor (Reception)
P.O. Box: 594
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Telephone: +971 600555559
Dubai is a city that must be seen to be believed. Record-breaking architecture stands alongside traditional quarters, while man-made islands jut out of the coastline. Here are the top places to tick off your sightseeing list when you’re in town.
Wondering where to find the best restaurants, family-friendly activities or hottest art galleries? Here's a handy guide to the Dubai’s hottest neighbourhoods, packed with plenty to suit all travellers. Add these easy-to-explore districts to your Dubai holiday itinerary and experience the city like a local.
Dubai’s world-class tennis courts, golf courses and sports clubs are here to help you achieve your personal best. Whether you're looking to tee off at an iconic golf course or challenge friends to a game of football, there's plenty to pursue. Plus, the fun carries on throughout the year with cool indoor facilities hosting all the action during the summer months.
Take a break from the stunning skyline and explore the natural wonders that make the city come alive. There are enormous green spaces with picturesque lakes and lawns right in the heart of the emirate. Discover on your own, or take advantage of tour guides who specialise in the region’s diverse flora and fauna.
Dubai has it all. From world-class performances and revered art exhibitions to award-winning fairs and concerts by global superstars, we've got just the ticket. Here are just a few of the many events taking place in 2019.
Dubai International Airport
Dubai International (DXB) is located four kilometres (2.5 miles) southeast of Dubai. Transportation from the airport is possible by taxi, bus or metro. The Terminal 1 departures concourse (Sheikh Rashid Terminal) is linked to Terminal 1 via a tunnel with travelators. Terminal 2 is used exclusively for business and charter flights. Transfers between the terminals takes about 10 minutes using the airport shuttle service.
Taxis are provided by the government-run Dubai Transport airport taxi, where each cab is meter-run.
Bus stations are located opposite both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Buses run frequently and serve the most popular places in Dubai (www,dubai-buses.com/index.aspx).Tickets must be bought prior to the journey.
You can also take the metro to and from the airport. The metro runs at ten-minute intervals and stops at various stations located across the city.
Address: The Dubai International Airport, Dubai
Phone: +971 4 224 5555
Dress code and customs
Dressing in public
Dubai is a cosmopolitan city that is a melting pot of diverse cultures and religious faiths. All attires and cultural preferences are generally acceptable. Swimwear is permissible on beaches, pool and spa areas and for water-based entertainment, but is not considered appropriate in areas such as business districts and shopping malls. It is pertinent to note that in the more historical quarters of the city and places of religious worship, dressing conservatively is appreciated. In mosques, clothing that covers shoulders, arms and legs and head scarves for women, are required.
Displays of affection
Local tradition provides that handshakes should be initiated by women as a sign of respect, and that public displays of affection are kept to a minimum. Holding hands is acceptable; but kissing and hugging in public areas is not permitted.
Alcohol is served in licensed establishments such as hotels, bars and specialised shops to those over 21 years of age. However, drunk and disorderly conduct, as well as drunk driving are not acceptable. Use or possession of illegal drugs is also strictly prohibited.
Embassies and Consulates
Nearly 100 foreign embassies are located in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, and Dubai is home to almost 80 consulates. Consulates are found in major cities outside of a country’s capital and handle minor diplomatic matters like issuing visas.
Embassies and consulates are usually open Sunday to Thursday (the UAE workweek) and are closed on Fridays and Saturdays, on all UAE public holidays and public holidays of the embassy's home country. Opening times vary depending on embassy and purpose of visit. So arrive early or book an appointment online, as most operate some sort of queuing system, especially for visa applications.
For location and contact details of your embassy or consulate, please visit: https://www.visitdubai.com/en/travel-planning/travel-tools/embassies-and-consulates
1 Dirham (AED) = 100 fils
The currency in Dubai is the Dirham (AED or Arab Emirate Dirham). One dirham is divided into 100 fils and has been pegged to the US dollar since the end of 1997 at an average rate of AED3.67.
Need a currency converter? Please visit:
The bus service in Dubai is an easy, quick and inexpensive way to get around in the city, operated by the Dubai Municipality Transport Section. Fares are low, and a pre-purchased Nol Card is the most convenient payment option. There are special 24-hour passes available for visitors; these work on all forms of transport and allow visitors to easily reach most tourist sites.
There are two metro lines in Dubai, red line and green line. The Red Line runs every 3-4 minutes during peak time and 7 minutes during off-peak hours. Every metro station will have bus connections and taxis ready to be hailed.
To travel on the Dubai Metro you need to buy a Nol Card or Nol Ticket. You can buy these at ticket vending machines or at the ticket office inside the station, or through RTA authorised sales agents across the city. Each time you travel, tap your Nol Card / Ticket at the card reader on the fare gates.
Phone: +971 4 800 9090
Taxis are the most convenient way of getting around in Dubai. Beware of uninsured illegal taxis. The four government franchised official operators have strictly controlled fares. Cabs can be hailed at the roadside or booked via telephone by calling +971 4 208 0808. For those with data services, Uber and Careem are handy and easily available. Driver knowledge is sometimes lacking, so use a major landmark to hone in on the vicinity.
Phone: + 971 4 208 080 8