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How to enter UAE?

The main hub for air transport in the United Arab Emirates is Dubai airport, which is served by several major airlines, most notably Dubai-based Emirates. Direct flights connect Dubai to Johannesburg, London, Sydney, Melbourne, Karachi, Tehran, Riyadh, Bombay, Hong Kong, Paris, Zurich, Frankfurt, New York City and many other major cities in Europe, Asia, Australasia and Africa. After Dubai, the airport at Abu Dhabi has the next best international connections. Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways now offers direct flights from New York, Toronto and many other airports in Europe and Asia. Other major airlines serving Abu Dhabi include British Airways from London-Heathrow, KLM from Amsterdam, Lufthansa from Frankfurt and Singapore Airlines from Singapore and Jeddah. For low-cost flights, Air Arabia has set up a hub at Sharjah airport and flies there from many cities in the Middle East and India.

Do the travelers need the travel permits to visit UAE?

The requirements of obtaining a tourism visa to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and its seven emirates (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah, and Fujairah) are that your passport is valid for at least 6 months before your arrival.Tourist visas are the most common tourism visa issued to visitors to the United Arab Emirates. The visa is a 30-day visa that is issued to individuals intending to spend less than 30 days in the UAE and who are unable to obtain a visit visa. A tourist visa can be issued by the hotel that you are staying in or through a local travel company. The visa normally takes a week to be issued, but it can also be issued urgently within 2 to 3 working days

Can anyone travel in UAE by bus, if he/she can’t afford the car?

Yes,public transportation within cities remains rudimentary. Dubai is building an extensive monorail and train system, but the other emirates offer very little public transportation. Intercity bus services are fast, comfortable and reasonably frequent.

What to pack for UAE tours?

Sunglasses, sun lotions,as the temperature is prety high one should carry light cotton clothes.

What is the weather like in UAE?

The country is extraordinarily dry, getting only a few days of rain a year. Despite that, Emiratis use water at an alarming rate: there are broad swaths of grass in the major public parks, for example, and landscaping can be extensive in the resorts or other public places. A visitor is not restricted in water use in any way. The weather from late October through mid-March is quite pleasant, with high temperatures ranging from the upper-20s C (mid-80s F) to lows in the mid-teens C (low 60s F). It is almost always sunny. In the summer, the temperatures soar,which can reach 50 C, or around 120 F, or higher!

What is the best timing for UAE tours?

Generally speaking, the weather from late October through mid-March is quite pleasant, with high temperatures ranging from the upper-20s C (mid-80s F) to lows in the mid-teens C (low 60s F) and it is the best time to visit UAE.

What medical preparations the travelers need to make before UAE tours?

Medical facilities in UAE are of world standards so one can get efficient medical care in times of emergencies and as the region is very hot one should intake a good quantity of water so as to avoid dehydration.

What are the norms if I contact with the UAEans?

You will find UAEan people very kind and friendly, travelers should be aware and respect the more traditional outlook in the UAE, as there are behaviors (for example, making "rude and insulting gestures") that will result in arrest in the UAE. On the other hand,travelers will find most of the UAE quite comfortable.

What should I keep in mind when I contact with the UAEans?

  • Do not photo them without permission, please show respect to them!
  • Do not talk about the sensitive topics like political or religious matters!
  • You are forbidden from importing pork products, pornography and narcotics

How much should I tip?

Tipping is not usually expected but is appreciated as most waiters receive very low salaries. The service charge that you pay in your bill goes to the management and not the waiters.

Do the travelers need to ask the permissions before taking the photos of UAEans?

It is always good to ask permission first. UAEans are very friendly. However, it might arouse the upset feelings of local UAEans by photo-taking without asking the permission first.

Is it easy to get the cash money from ATMs in UAE?

Cash and travellers cheques can be changed at exchanges located at the airports or in all the major shopping malls. ATMs are numerous and generously distributed. They accept all the major chain cards: Visa, Cirrus, Maestro etc. Credit cards are widely accepted.

What are the commonly used phone numbers for emergency in UAE?

The following phone calls can be directly made from any other telephones in UAE once the emergency happens.

Police emergency: 999
Medical emergency: 998

FAQS - Family and Social Life

Do women have to wear special clothing considering Dubai is a Muslim state?

Even though United Arab Emirates is a Muslim country and Dubai is one of its most important cities, the clothing rules are not very conservative and strict. Being a cosmopolitan city, the rules are much relaxed and there are no specific dress codes to be followed by both men and women unlike other neighboring states. Tourists, visitors and residents are free to wear any kind of clothing to the extent that one can wear bikinis or short skirts but of course depending on where they are. However, it would be nice to respect general traditional sentiments and wear appropriate clothing when seen in public or when traveling, shopping etc. But there are some exceptions too. Government buildings, religious areas, museums follow a dress code which everyone is expected to follow. Nevertheless, it is not rigid or compulsory to follow any sort of dress code in Dubai.

Is it safe for children in Dubai?

Dubai is a very safe place and is very children friendly. Tourists have nothing to fear and one can travel to Dubai with their children. It is very safe to go around at any time of the day and children will definitely enjoy their time in Dubai. A visit to Dubai is a wholesome, enriching experience and gives the same feel like visiting any European country. Another aspect of safety comes from the crime rate in Dubai, which is very low. Of course, this applies to most Islamic states as the punishments that are meted out are very severe and are served instantly. The type and severity of punishments are based on the crime committed.

Is there nightlife? Is drinking allowed? Is smoking allowed?

Dubai has a very lively night life. Dubai’s night-scene is absolutely fabulous and exhilarating. There are a lot of bars and pubs and drinking is definitely allowed in these places. There is an eclectic mix of nightclubs and some are theme-based like Filipino, Middle-Eastern and Indian etc. Most bars are located in the vicinity of hotels and there are bars, clubs and pubs to suit various preference or pocket. If one wants to drink at home, a license for the usage of alcohol has to be obtained. Most of the nightclubs have DJs and dancers. Smoking is allowed in most places.

What is the weather and climate like in Dubai?

The sun shines throughout the year in Dubai and makes it an ideal summer resort. Dubai basically has a very hot, sub-tropical arid climate with temperatures over 40° C (104° F) for most of the year. Summer peaks between the months of April and September coupled with high temperatures and high humidity levels. There are occasional sandstorms during this period too. Rainfall is very light and infrequent, falling mainly in winter just about 10 mm per month. Precipitation occurs around January, February and March. The humidity in Dubai is about 60%.Moderate climatic conditions can be found between October to March, when the days are sunny and pleasant and the nights are cool. The temperature during this period varies between 26°C during the day and 15°C during the night.

Is it expensive in Dubai for families?

Most people are attracted to live in Dubai because of the lifestyle it offers to expatriates. The tax-free salary is basically a huge bonanza. You get to keep all what you earn. This combined with the high salaries doled out to the well-educated and experienced people makes Dubai a place to live in. In addition, the cost of living is also quite reasonable and the savings potential is good. Living in Dubai is like living in any moderate US city. One can pretty much maintain the same lifestyle and at the same time have a lot more savings. Some things like labor, drivers, gas and cars are much cheaper here than in the West, because of which the affordability factor goes up. It is also easy to engage servants, drivers etc.

What kind of food is popular in Dubai?

Dubai offers all the wide variety of cuisines from different parts of the world. But popular among them is the Arabic food which is a combination of different flavors and in that the Lebanese or Shami food is most sought after. Typical Arabic food is accompanied by different types of bread, lots of salad and vegetables. Hummus, Tabouleh, Moutabel, Falafel, Shawarma, Manakish, Fatoush and Kebab Kashkash are some types of Arabic foods. Since Dates grow in plenty here, they are eaten fresh or dried. Moreover, coffee is also very popular in Dubai and one can find many coffee shops here. Though Arabic food is in high demand, we can find a lot of international food chains like TGIF, Applebee’s, Pizza Hut, KFC etc. In addition we can find a variety of other cuisines that are popular like Chinese, Thai, and Indian etc.

What kind of medical care do they have in Dubai?

Dubai has excellent medical care facilities. Medical facilities are provided by both private and public hospitals. The Health and Medical Services Department in Dubai provides excellent medical care for all UAE citizens, visitors and resident expatriates. Expatriates can visit any hospital as long as they have a valid health card. There are many hospitals, nursing homes, super specialty hospitals that are run in a very professional way. The medical care system is very advanced and one can avail the best even while traveling to Dubai. In addition, there are many pharmacies all over the city, some of which are open 24 hours.

What sort of shopping trends do they have in Dubai?

Dubai is a shoppers’ haven, known for its world-class shopping experience. The city is filled with huge malls, plazas, shopping complexes, retail centers and departmental stores. One can find almost every well-known international brand in Dubai. In addition, there are a lot of options for the bargain shoppers too. Some of the different shopping centers and malls are: Deira City Centre: It is one of Dubai’s old shopping malls, which is currently under renovation. Ibn Battuta Mall: This mall is themed around the travels of the 14th Century Arabian explorer Ibn Battutta, and offers a unique shopping experience. Mall of the Emirates: This is Dubai’s latest shopping sensation. It has many shops, a ski slope, hotel facilities, a multiplex cinema and numerous dining spots. Wafi Shopping Mall: Wafi in Arabic means ‘to satisfy everything one wants.’ This mall caters to an up market clientele and stocks various Europeans brand names at its many boutiques and stores. It also has an entertainment zone. This is one of the best places for Christmas shopping. Other shopping centers include BurJuman Shopping Mall, Lamcy Plaza, Oasis Centre etc.

What is the downside of living in Dubai?

Like living in any cosmopolitan city, Dubai has its share of problems too. Here are a couple of issues that might become problems later:

  • It’s a boom period for massive construction in Dubai, but uncertainty prevails if the trend will continue or if prices would fall/crash, leading to unoccupied buildings in the end.
  • With large local and foreign investments taking place in the real estate sector, the risk involved is being speculated largely.
  • Menial and daily wage laborers are not paid very well and there are no set rules or guidelines to implement any laws in this area.
  • Eventually after all the construction projects are completed, one cannot be sure which areas will be more developed and accessible and which will be not.
  • One should always remember that Dubai is a part of a Muslim state, meaning the laws, rules and regulations, culture, traditions and work environment are influenced by this attribute. However, this should not come in the way when visiting or living in Dubai, if you practice a generally careful routine.
  • As the economy and development of Dubai is chiefly dependent on the oil and gas reserves and business, the state of these reserves is speculated.
  • Dubai is an expensive city and thus space rents are very high.

However, with all the above mentioned elements and risks, one thing to remember is that nothing is country-centric, it can happen anywhere. With great opportunity and development, there is always great risk.

What sort of education do they have in Dubai?

There are about 88 public schools run by the Ministry of Education that serve the local citizens. Also, there are about 132 private schools. Arabic is the medium of instruction in public schools with importance given to English as a second language. English is the medium of instruction in private schools. Apart from a state-devised curriculum, British, American and French syllabuses are also being followed. All schools are closed for summer break during July and August. The new term for most schools begins in April. British curriculum schools start in September. The school year is divided into three terms i.e. autumn, spring and summer. The school week is Saturday to Wednesday. Religious and public holidays are considered as national holidays. There are a couple of foreign accredited universities now in Dubai and is benefiting the expatriate population immensely. The Ministry of Education of the United Arab Emirates is responsible for school's accreditation.

What sort of etiquettes should I know in terms of culture?

Since Dubai is a cosmopolitan city, one has to deal with people from different nationalities. But some basic etiquettes to be followed while living or visiting Dubai are given below:

  • When greeting a person, the general practice should be to address as ‘Sayed’ for ‘Mr.’ and Sayeda for ‘Mrs.’ which is followed by their first name. One should always remember to quote the title before the first name.
  • Another important practice is to never point the soles of the shoe to anyone as it is considered offensive and can hurt sentiments.
  • One should always take permission of the local women before taking their photographs. Also one should avoid staring at local women as it is not considered appropriate.
  • One should always use only the right hand when offering or receiving things.
  • During the holy month of Ramadan, one should avoid playing loud music and eating in open places during the time of fasting etc.
  • One should be very observant and aware of local religious practices and customs and thus avoid offending anybody.
  • One cannot ask a local out on a date. It is considered inappropriate.
  • Women should resort to conservative dressing while visiting rural areas or during any business meetings.

What are the different job opportunities in Dubai?

Over the past two decades, Dubai has become a land of opportunity. The country is going through a phase of such immense growth, expansion and development, that it needs people from different backgrounds and countries with the right experience and education, and that too in large numbers. Since Dubai’s primary revenue is from oil, it needs skilled labor and people in different areas of oil exploration, processing, and refineries etc. Moreover, since the construction industry is experiencing a boom period, a lot of skilled labor is required for various construction activities. In addition, architects, engineers, civil engineers, foremen, supervisors, plumbers, electricians, lift engineering specialists, and fire prevention experts are also required to man the construction. Since the country has a huge expatriate population, Dubai’s hospitality industry is also an area where there are immense jobs. Also teachers, secretarial staff, medical and IT professionals have great opportunities worth exploring.

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