Physical Attributes of Dubai
Dubai is a locale where business and leisure come together to form the perfect place to vacation, work and live. As the second largest emirate within the UAE, Dubai has a little bit of something for everyone who gets to experience this spectacular destination. Before coming to Dubai, there are a few things visitors and future residents should know about this great area.
Dubai is actually larger than many may think it to be. Comprising approximately 2,400 square miles of land mass, Dubai has plenty of room for those who come to visit and stay. In fact, in 2008 the population of Dubai was already at 1.5 million, which is a generous amount of people in this lovely location.
The climate of Dubai is arid and subtropical in nature which gives it a balmy and breezy feel. Most of the days spent in Dubai will yield blue skies and sunny weather. If you visit Dubai anytime between June and September you will encounter the warm summer months, around 38ºC on average. For those visiting in December through March, you will find that the temperature is a bit cooler, averaging about 30ºC. When it does rain in Dubai, it is mostly during the winter months.
Dubai has eclectic geographical attributes. The Dubai Creek runs through the emirate and divides the city into two districts, Deira and Bur Dubai. One portion of Dubai is on the Gulf of Oman which presents lovely shoreline for those who visit and live in Dubai to enjoy. Other parts outside of the Dubai city region consist of mountains and deserts. All in all, the combination of these physical attributes gives Dubai uniqueness throughout its emirate borders.
Time Zone, Language and Currency of Dubai
Located at + 4 hours GMT, it takes about 7 hours to fly from the UK to Dubai. There are many different airlines which fly to and from Dubai and the emirate even has its own airline, appropriately titled Emirates. The official language of Dubai is Arabic although both Arabic and English are commonly spoken. Two other commonly used languages throughout Dubai include Hindi and Urdu.
Currency and Money Exchange
The currency which flows throughout Dubai is the Arab Emirates Dirhams, abbreviated as AED or Dh. Tipping in the city of Dubai is common although not mandatory. If a service charge is not already added to the bill, a tip of 10% is typically acceptable. Keep in mind that taxi drivers are not usually tipped but restaurant servers at establishments without service charges, supermarket baggers, bag carriers and window washers are usually tipped. Changing money in Dubai is easy as there are currency exchanges all over the city. Oh, and in case you're wondering, the most common exchange rate to keep in mind is that 1 USD=3.67 AED.
Taking Pictures in Dubai
It is a good note to state that photographing locals should only be done when permission is given. With that said, the photographing of Muslim women should not be done, for cultural reasons. Also, certain establishments prohibit photographing in their vicinity. Some examples include airports, military establishments, government buildings, etc.
How Safe is Dubai?
In general, Dubai is an extremely safe place. This is one of the many reasons why individuals come from near and far to vacation in Dubai and even lay down roots in this secure location. However, always be aware of your surroundings and know whom to contact when you need help for one reason or another.