Dubai

Rediscover Dubai's Iconic Gathering Place
Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers
will re-open on April 9, 2014. The hotel has undergone a major refurbishment since July 2013 and it is now better than ever. Come and explore the changes that we have made and see the transformation for yourself. Experience the transformation >>


One of the seven emirates in United Arab Emirates, Dubai has become a global business and commercial trading hub in the Middle East. Home to manmade islands, the tallest building - Burj Khalifa, great hotels, massive entertainment and shopping malls, Dubai is a place where one is bound to encounter cultures from around the world that blend together beautifully.  

Dubai is a very compact city where you can enjoy most activities within a short time frame. You can experience the shopping, desert safari, sand dunes, international dining, the souq, the old and the modern Dubai altogether without stressing yourself out.

The city also boasts one of the most popular shopping fiestas in the world - The Dubai Shopping Festival. Not only is the month long festival known to offer its visitors big names at small prices, but also offers a view into the local culture, great entertainment, and culinary delights from around the globe.  

The History Of Dubai

Modern Dubai is the product of the past 20 years of intensive development. Prior to that, Dubai was a small trading port, clustered around the mouth of the Creek.

It had grown gradually from a fishing village inhabited in the 18th century by members of the Bani Yas tribe. Its origins, however, go back into the far more distant past. The towns’ museum displays a rich collection of objects found in graves of the first millennium BC at nearby Al-Qusais, while a caravan station of the sixth century AD was excavated in the expatriate suburb of Jumeirah.

By the turn of the 20th century Dubai was a sufficiently prosperous port to attract settlers from Iran, India and Baluchistan, while the souk on Deira side was thought to be the largest on the coast, with some 350 shops.

Meanwhile a flourishing Indian population had also settled in Dubai and was particularly active in the shops and alleys of the souk. While this development has been greatly facilitated by the discovery of oil and its production from the 1960s, oil revenues in Dubai have always been a fraction of those in Abu Dhabi. Hence, Dubai’s growth has always depended partly on the inhabitant’s own entrepreneurial abilities.

Climate

Dubai has a sub-tropical, arid climate. Sunny, blue skies can be expected most of the year. Rainfall is infrequent and irregular, falling mainly in winter. Temperatures range from a low of about 10.5°C/50°F to a high of 48°C/118°F. The mean daily maximum is 24°C/75.2°F in January rising to 41°C/105.8°F in July.

What to wear

For men, office wear is generally lightweight trousers, long or short sleeved shirts and ties. Jackets are worn for formal visits to Government offices and important meetings and conferences. Normally, a lounge suit is acceptable for most evening business functions, but a dinner jacket may also be required for some social occasions. For ladies, normal smart lightweight office wear, such as a dress or long sleeved blouse and skirt is expected, or national dress. All offices are air-conditioned.

Business Hours

The weekend has traditionally been Thursday afternoon and Friday, but some organizations now close on Friday and Saturday, working through Thursday afternoon instead. Government offices are open from 7.30am– 1.30pm (7.30am–12.00 noon on Thursday).

Private sector office hours vary, but are generally from 8.00am–1.00pm, re-opening at either 3.00pm or 4.00pm and closing at 6.00pm or 7.00pm.

Shop hours are similar in their opening times, but most shops remain open until 9.00–10.00pm. Department stores, boutiques, souks and many food shops remain open on a Friday, apart from prayer times (between 11.30am and 1.30pm), while larger shops re-open on a Friday afternoon at around 4.00–5.00pm.

Embassies and consulates are generally open from 8.45am–12.30pm and are closed on Fridays and in most cases on Saturdays, but usually leave an emergency number on their answering machines.

Banks

Both the local banks and the many international banks represented by branches in Dubai provide the usual commercial banking services. Transfers can be made without difficulty as there is no exchange control and the dirham is freely convertible. Bank opening hours are 8.00am to 1.00pm, from Saturday to Wednesday, although some also open from 4.30–6.30pm. On Thursdays, banks operate only from 8.00am to noon.

Exchange houses are open from 8.30am–1.00pm and 4.30–8.30pm.

Credit Cards

American Express, Diners Club, Visa, MasterCard, etc are generally accepted in the main hotels and larger shops but some retailers offer better bargains for cash.

Tipping

Some restaurants include service; otherwise 10 percent is adequate.

Electricity

The electricity supply in Dubai is 220/240 volts at 50 cycles. 

Useful Tips

- Do not sit in such a way that the soles of your feet are pointing at someone else

- In Ramadan, never eat, drink or smoke in public during daylight hours.

- Do not take photographs of military installations or national women.

- Never drink alcohol in public.



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