The local time is GMT + 4 hours
Visas for Dubai
British citizens do not require a visa for entry into Dubai. If you or any member of your party is not a British citizen or holds a non-British passport please check with your appropriate Government consulate or embassy.
The official language of the UAE is Arabic, but English is widely spoken and understood in business and commerce. The other languages that are commonly spoken and understood are Hindi, Urdu and Farsi. Media - newspapers, magazines, TV and radio channels are available in all these languages.
Dubai enjoys an arid subtropical climate, with blue skies and sunshine all year round.
- October to May - The best time of the year to visit the region with ideal temperatures between 25 and 35 degrees Celsius and humidity at its lowest. As these months are the most popular times of the year to travel booking early is advised.
- June to September - it's hot and humid throughout in Dubai during these months, reaching over 40 degrees Celsius. You'll find all the hotels, restaurants, shopping centres are air-conditioned and if you are planning a day out an early morning adventure would be the best bet.
What to wear
Lightweight summer clothing is suitable for most of the year. However, sweaters or jackets may be needed for the winter months, especially in the evenings. Although the dress code is fairly liberal in Dubai, in public areas please respect the local religion and culture. Swim wear is for the pools and beach only and in the evening most restaurants have a smart casual dress code.
During the holy month of Ramadan, all Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. It is important to respect the local customs during this holy month whilst also enjoying the festivities it brings with it. During Ramadan you will notice a change in policy regarding alcohol, eating arrangements and entertainment. Dates for Ramadan depend on the sighting of the new moon so are not set in stone.
All major international credit cards such as American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard or Visa are generally accepted in shopping malls, larger supermarkets and stores, hotels and restaurants. Smaller retail shops and small restaurants however, prefer to deal in cash.
The monetary unit is the Dirham (Dh or AED) which is divided into 100 fils. The Dirham has been pegged to the US dollar since the end of 1980. It's certainly worth buying some currency in advance, however when on holiday in Dubai, you'll have plenty of opportunities to change currency when and if you need it. Most UK bank cards do work in the ATMs in Dubai.
The electricity supply in Dubai is 220/240 volts at 50 cycles. Plug points are the same as in the UK.
The water in Dubai is desalinated and very safe to drink. However, most families prefer to buy bottled drinking water. Both imported and local mineral water is widely available from street-side cafes to supermarkets and hotels.
Culture & Lifestyle
Dubai has a diverse and multi-cultural society. However, Dubai’s culture is shaped by the Islamic traditions of Arabia, with religion touching all aspects of everyday life in the country.
The Arabian Peninsula continues to be an up and coming destination and new hotels, residential properties, business parks and shopping centres will be in development for the foreseeable future. Due to the scale of this work it is important to be aware that most hotels may experience occasional disturbance and guests will see, hear and most likely drive through areas of building works when on holiday.
Despite the immense scale of the building work the Arabian Peninsula remains a fantastic destination, the level of our repeat business is testament to this, so don't be put off, you'll have a great holiday in the region.
It is, however, important to note the developments are not under Beachcomber's control, nor are Beachcomber always made aware of them in advance. The building works and potential disruption change monthly and can be very different from the time of booking to your date of departure. If you are in any doubt about the work near your hotel, please keep in touch with us regularly and we will keep you updated accordingly.