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|ORIGINALLY a fishing development, Dubai was taken over in 1830 by a branch of the Bani Yas Tribe, the Maktoum family, who still rule the Emirate today. In the early days, traditional activities included goat herding, cultivating dates, fishing and pearl diving. Oil has been a crucial factor in Dubai's development since the late 1960's.
TODAY, Dubai is a class destination with all the modcons of the western world. Dubai is a fascinating Emirate with beautiful buildings, excellent restaurants and nightlife as well as white sandy beaches, culture and history that you can feel as you visit the souks, shopping malls, museums and historic buildings and sites. There is something for everyone in Dubai.
LOCAL TIME: Dubai is four hours ahead of GMT, during BST, three hours ahead.
LANGUAGES: Arabic, English, Urdu and Hindi are widely spoken.
SOCIAL AND BUSINESS HOURS
Mediterranean in style:
Government Offices 07.30 - 13.30 (12.00 on Thursday), closed on Friday.
Private sector 08.00 - 13.00, 15.00 - 18.00 or 16.00 -19.00, closed on Friday.
Many of the large shopping malls and tourist attractions are open all day everyday.
It is strictly forbidden to take pictures of Government Buildings, Army areas, Refineries, Airports and Sheikh Palaces.
Tourist photography is allowed but it is considered offensive to photograph Muslim women. It is always courteous to ask permission before taking pictures.
Alcohol is sold only in hotels and clubs. Street restaurants do not serve alcohol. During Ramadan alcohol is not served anywhere from Sunrise to Sunset.
TAKING MEDICINES TO DUBAI
If you are taking any medicines to Dubai, including over the counter medicines such as Codeine, it is necessary to carry an accompanying doctor’s note or prescription to authenticate its use. For a full list of restricted and controlled medicines in Dubai visit:
Official Religion is Islam. During the Holy Month of Ramadan Muslims do not eat, drink or smoke from sunrise to sunset. Non-Muslim visitors to the country are politely asked not to eat, drink or smoke in public. Restaurants in hotels are open during the day.
Light weight summer clothing is suitable most of the year. A cardigan is recommended for the winter months, Dec - March. There are no clothing restrictions, however a little respect for local customs doesn't go amiss. Don't forget the sunblock and sunglasses!
Tap water is drinkable but most people drink bottled water.
T220/240v. Socket type is indentical to the British 3 point system.
Shop 'till you drop!
Bargaining is part of the tradition on most purchases. Shop keepers will often offer you a cup of tea/coffee whilst you bargain away.
Required by most Nationals.