The currency of the United Arab Emirates is the Dirham (AED), which is divided into 100 fils. There are no currency regulations in the UAE and all major currencies are readily exchanged at banks and large hotels. The Dirham is fixed against the US Dollar. The best exchange rates are found at private money exchangers who operate throughout the territory, particularly in the more popular souks (markets) and shopping centres. Most major credit cards are accepted, as well as travellers cheques (best carried in US Dollars or Pounds Sterling). ATMs are common throughout the UAE. Banking hours are generally Saturday to Thursday from 8am to 1pm, but some are also open between 4pm and 8.30pm.


Passports are required by all who wish to enter Dubai, though visas are not generally necessary for citizens of most EU member nations, Canada and the USA for tourist stays of up to 30 days, this can be extended to up to 90 days. Check with a local embassy for more details regarding diplomatic and business visas.


The International code for the United Arab Emirates is +971. The outgoing international code is 00. City/area codes are in use, e.g. (0)2 for Abu Dhabi and (0)4 for Dubai. Calls made within each state are free of charge. The Etisalat mobile phone network provides wide GSM900 coverage throughout the country and internet cafes are widely available.


Local time is GMT +4.


220 and 240 volts, 50Hz. The most frequently used plugs are the square three-pin type.


Dubai enjoys an arid subtropical climate, with blue skies and sunshine all year round. The hottest months are between June and September, when temperatures can soar to 113°F (45°C) and more during the day and humidity levels are very high. Even the sea temperature touches on 104°F (40°C) during the summer months, and swimming pools at hotels are usually cooled. Temperatures are only slightly more moderate the rest of the year, the coolest time being between December and March. There is very little rainfall in Dubai, but when showers do fall it is mainly in the cooler months.

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