Entering Dubai: Visitors to the United Arab Emirates must obtain a visa prior to travel unless they come from one of the visa exempt countries or one of the countries whose citizens are eligible for visa on arrival. Citizens of other countries should apply for visas at the UAE Embassy nearest to them and follow the criteria stated.
Airport: Comprising three terminals – including one dedicated to Emirates at Terminal 3 – Dubai International (DXB) is the world’s busiest airport for international traffic. Dubai’s second airport, Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central (DWC), opened to passengers in 2013.
Airport Bus: Buses operate 24 hours a day at 30-minute intervals. At DXB buses arrive and depart from stands opposite Terminal 1, 2 and 3.
Taxis: Taxi services are government regulated. The minimum fare for taxis in Dubai is AED12 ($3). Airport transfers to any emirate start from AED25 ($7). Taxis for special needs travellers and ladies’ taxis are also available. You will find taxi ranks at the shopping malls and tourist hubs. You can also hail a taxi from the street. Call +971 4 208 0808 to book.
Dubai Metro: covers the length and breadth of the city operating from 6am-11pm Saturday to Wednesday; 6am-midnight on Thursday and 10am-midnight on Friday. Single journeys cost AED3 ($0.80) using a NOL card.
Bus: There is an extended bus network of 119 lines internally (including 35 lines to feed the metro stations).
Tram: The Dubai Tram runs from Al Sufouh to the Dubai Marina taking 42 minutes to complete the route. With fares starting from AED3 ($0.82) using a Nol card, the tram operates 6am-1am Saturday to Thursday, 9am-1am Friday. Among the 11 stations, stops include JBR, Media City, Dubai Marina and Dubai Marina Mall.
On the ground
Money matters: The UAE currency is known as the Arab Emirate Dirham denoted by AED or more commonly Dhs (one dirham is divided into 100 fils). The dirham is pegged to the US dollar. All major international banks have branches in the city and working hours are 8am-2pm, Saturday to Thursday. ATMs are widely available and major credit cards are widely accepted.
Shopping malls: 10am-midnight Sunday to Wednesday, 10am-1am Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Independent retail outlets: 10am-1pm and 4pm-10pm Saturday to Wednesday, 4pm-midnight Friday. Most corporations are open from 8am-6pm Saturday to Thursday. Embassies, consulates and government offices operate from 7.30am-2.30pm Sunday-Thursday. Friday and Saturday are official holidays for all government departments.
Climate: A subtropical, arid climate ensures clear blue skies almost throughout the year. Winter may see a few infrequent rain showers. Temperatures vary from season to season: January can fall to a low of 15°C, while July can rise to the mid 40s.