Dubai is a unique experience of Arabian desert traditions in one of the world's most modern cities. The residents are a blend of many cultures that provide gracious hospitality to a wide diversity of visitors who come for business and pleasure.
Travel: Most travelers to Dubai will pass through the Dubai International Airport. Long one of the regions' major transportation hubs, it has some of the world's best duty free shopping. One can easily arrange for transportation to the nearby city center or your hotel from Arrival Terminal. Numerous car rentals have offices just beyond the baggage collection.
Money: The currency of the country is the U.A.E. dirham (DH). It replaced the "Gulf Rupee" in 1971. Currently the exchange rate is US$1=Dh3.68. There are many locations available to exchange currencies.
Communication: Arabic is the official language. However, only about 30% of Dubai residents are native Emiratis or Arabs from neighboring countries and English isactually the most widely spoken language. The majority of the expatriate community is composed of residents from Asian countries like India, Pakistan, or the Phillipines. German and French are also widely spoken in hotels. Dubai has an effective telecommunications system. Most large hotels now provide business centers with full Internet services. The government has ambitious plans for the internet and recently opened a large complex called "Internet City," which located off of Jumeira Beach near the Hard Rock Café.
Health: For most people, the most serious health care problem they will face in Dubai will be the effect of jet lag. This of course passes within a couple days with rest and adjustment to the local time zone and weather. One should always use common sense about drinking or eating from questionable sources. Most people in Dubai drink bottled water as the main supply comes from desalination plants which although safe has a distinct taste to it. Whenever one is in a location with extreme temperatures, one should be sure to wear adequate head covering, drink lots of fluids and use sunscreen lotion frequently. Healthcare and hygiene seem to be of acceptable standards.
Security: Although one should always take standard precautions, theft does not seem to be as much of an issue in Dubai as it is in other parts of the world. We know dozens of people who have vacationed here and never has anyone had anything taken. We left a bag hanging on the back of a chair and retrieved it some time later with everything intact. Hotel safes are provided in most rooms and it is always a good idea to take advantage of available security. Always take a copy of tickets, passports, credit cards, etc and pack in a separate location to minimize any problems if you should loose them. (Sometimes things just fall out or under when shopping, sightseeing or packing and get left behind!)
Activities: People do come to Dubai for a variety of reasons. Increasingly Dubai hosts many professional sporting events as well as their annual March Shopping Festival. It goes without saying that almost everyone who journeys here will take advantage of the scenic sights found on the beautiful beaches, Dubai Creek or the desert landscapes. While there are many family activities, at night the town comes alive in a variety of venues. Dubai does really provide something for everyone.