Dubai has emerged in recent years as a global city, a business and cultural hub, a major regional and international transport hub and the premier destination to visit in the Middle East. Lying on the calm, blue waters of the southern Gulf and flanked by the desert, Dubai offers year-round sunshine and five-star luxury along with the adventure of a unique Arabian experience.
Dubai has a tropical desert climate with sunny, blue skies expected for most of the year. Winters are warm and short with an average high of 23 °C (73 °F) and overnight lows of 14 °C (57 °F). Rainfall is irregular, mostly occurring in December to March.
Dubai welcomes visitors from all over the world. However, it is also a Muslim city, and a moderate dress code is expected. Lightweight clothing is suitable for most of the year but a jacket is recommended for the winter months especially in the evenings. Local citizens dress in traditional robes and headdress. Arab culture and folklore find expression in poetry, dancing, songs and traditional art. Weddings and other celebrations are colorful occasions of feasting and music. Traditional sports such as falconry, camel racing and dhow racing at sea continue to thrive.
The official language of UAE is Arabic. However, English is spoken by most of the population. Both languages are commonly used in business and commerce.
The monetary unit is the dirham, which is divided into 100 fils. It has held constant against the US dollar since 1980 at a mid-rate of approximately US$1= Dh3.67. Exchange houses are widely available in convenient locations in malls and all around the city where you can make any foreign currency transactions easily.
Most international banks have branches in the city with working hours from 8am – 2 pm, Saturday to Thursday with some branches in malls operating on Fridays. ATMs are also widely available around the city. Major credit cards such as American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and visa are accepted in most establishments around the country.