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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Dubai

There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Dubai each year.
The main ones are listed below.

January 1: New Year's Day (national holiday)

Fourth Friday in January: Dubai Marathon (local event)

This 42-kilometre (26-mile) marathon is the world's richest running event, with total prize money of about a million US dollars, and draws the sport's biggest international names, who rub shoulders each year with thousands of hardy amateur runners. The route starts and finishes near Dubai Police Academy, and then takes the runners down Jumeirah Beach Road to the Union House, turning back along the beachfront road, then passing in front of Burj Al Arab and the Madinat Jumeirah resort before the final major turn at the One & Only Royal Mirage.

Ninth month of the Islamic calendar (dates change each year): Ramadan (celebrated nationwide)

The Islamic holy month of Ramadan, during which the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, is an especially pious time in the United Arab Emirates, a country with a majority Muslim population. Fasting begins each day at sunrise and ends at sunset.

Tenth day of the last month of the Islamic calendar (date changes each year): Eid al-Adha (national holiday)

Celebrated with a four-day public holiday in Dubai, this festival beginning on the tenth day of Dhu'l-Hijja honours Ibrahim's proof of his obedience to Allah. Allah asked him to sacrifice his son Ismael, but just as Ibrahim was about to make the sacrifice, Allah told him to offer a ram instead. Traditionally, to remember Ibrahim's offering, each family sacrifices a sheep in the morning and the remainder of the day is spent in prayer and celebration, feasting on the roast mutton and sharing the meat with others.

First day of the Islamic calendar (date changes each year): Al-Hijra (Islamic New Year, national holiday)

December 2: National Day (national holiday)

Commemorates the day in 1971 when the United Arab Emirates became an independent federation. Highlights include dhow races, parades and traditional music and dance performances.

Mid-December: Dubai International Film Festival (local event)

This eight-day festival was held for the first time in 1994. An important part of the programming each year explores relations between the Islamic world and the West.

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Dubai

Dubai has a subtropical desert climate. Temperatures in the summer are excessively high, and often very uncomfortable due to the extreme humidity generated by air masses passing over the Arabian Gulf. The mercury frequently climbs as high as 50°C (122°F) in the middle of the day! The shamal, a fierce north-westerly wind, often sweeps across the city during this season, bringing sandstorms. Winters are mild, with cooler temperatures at night.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January 13/55 24/75 55/2.2 Good period to go Good period to go
February 14/57 25/77 57/2.2 Good period to go Good period to go
March 17/63 28/82 62/2.4 Good period to go Good period to go
April 19/66 31/88 66/2.6 Good period to go Good period to go
May 23/73 36/97 73/2.9 Not the best period to go
June 26/79 38/100 78/3.1 Not the best period to go
July 29/84 40/104 83/3.3 Not the best period to go
August 29/84 40/104 83/3.3 Not the best period to go
September 26/79 38/100 78/3.1 Not the best period to go
October 22/72 35/95 71/2.8 Not the best period to go
November 18/64 31/88 72/2.8 Good period to go Good period to go
December 15/59 27/81 73/2.9 Good period to go Good period to go
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Dubai International Airport

Dubai International Airport, one of the world's busiest and also among the most modern, is located about 3 kilometres (2 miles) east of the city centre.

  • Three terminals
    • Terminal 1 (Air France)
    • Terminal 2
    • Terminal 3

Getting from the airport to Dubai and back
  • By car
    • There are short- and long-term parking facilities in proximity to all three terminals, with rates as listed below:
    • Terminal 3 Garage and Car Park A (serving Terminals 1 and 2): AED 10 for the first 15 minutes, AED 15 for up to 30 minutes, AED 20 for up to 1 hour, AED 280 for 24 hours, and AED 240 for each additional day or fraction thereof
    • Car Park B (serving Terminals 1 and 2): AED 10 for the first 30 minutes, AED 15 for up to 1 hour, AED 140 for 24 hours, and AED 100 for each additional day or fraction thereof
    • Several car rental companies have counters in all three terminals.
  • By bus
    • Buses operated by RTA leave for the city centre from stops opposite all three terminals. You must purchase a Nol fare card (see “Useful tip” section below) before boarding any bus, as drivers cannot accept payment in cash. One-way fares range from AED 3.00 to AED 7.50 (Silver Card) or AED 4.00 to AED 8.50 (Red Ticket), depending on the number of zones crossed.
  • By rail
    • There are Dubai Metro stations in Terminals 1 and 3. Trains run daily about every 10 minutes to the city centre from 5:50 a.m. to midnight (service on Fridays starts at 1 p.m.). Fares range from AED 3.00 to AED 7.50 (Silver Card) or AED 4.00 to AED 8.50 (Red Ticket), depending on the number of zones crossed. Useful tip: A Nol card must be purchased in order to ride Dubai's buses and the Metro. The least expensive option is the “Red Ticket”, which costs AED 2 and can be loaded with up to 10 trips, but all trips purchased must be on a single mode of transport. The more interesting choice is the rechargeable “Silver Card” (initial price AED 25, including a travel value of AED 19), which is not limited to a single mode of transport and offers discounted fares. These cards are available from ticket offices, but also from the ticket vending machines at all Metro and bus stations and at some bus stops. You can purchase a Nol card upon your arrival at the ticket vending machines and ticket offices located in each terminal at the airport.
  • By taxi
    • Taxis are available at the ranks outside each terminal. There is an initial charge of AED 20 for pick-ups at the airport. The total cost for the trip to central Dubai is around AED 100.
  • Services : shops, bars and restaurants, Internet access (Wi-Fi) available in the airport.
  • Telephone : +971 (0)4 224 5555
  • Website : http://www.dubaiairports.ae

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GETTING AROUND Dubai

Dubai's roads are excellent, making cars an ideal means of transport. Although safe, efficient and reliable public transport options are available, Dubai is undeniably a city built for cars.

By car

Renting a car is by far the best way to get around Dubai, although it should be noted that traffic can be quite congested at rush hours. It is best to avoid driving in the morning between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m., and in the afternoon between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Car rentals are relatively inexpensive. An international driver's licence is required and you will also need to present your national driver's licence. In addition, third-party liability coverage is a must. Be very careful not to consume alcohol before driving. Dubai has a zero tolerance policy for drinking and driving and a blood alcohol limit of zero. If stopped for any driving offence, drivers are always breathalyzed. Penalties are severe, with fines starting at AED 2,000.

By taxi

Taxis are a convenient solution if you are not renting a car. The initial charge is AED 3.00, then between AED 1.50 and AED 2.00 per kilometre.

By bus

Dubai has a number of bus routes running along the city's main thoroughfares. Buses operate from 6 a.m. to midnight. Fares range from AED 3.00 to AED 7.50 (Silver Card) or AED 4.00 to AED 8.50 (Red Ticket), depending on the number of zones crossed.

By rail

Dubai has a driverless, fully automated urban rail system, the Dubai Metro, which currently has two lines, the Red Line and the Green Line. Fares range from AED 3.00 to AED 7.50 (Silver Card) or AED 4.00 to AED 8.50 (Red Ticket), depending on the number of zones crossed.

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Visitor information

Upon your arrival in Dubai, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organize your stay.

Dubai Corporation of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (DCTM)

Offers sightseeing recommendations, tourist information and brochures.

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Currency and Exchange Rates

The currency used in the United Arab Emirates is the united arab emirates dirham (X).

1 € = 4,35 DH

1 DH = 0,23 €

The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.

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Medical information

Vaccinations

Booster doses of diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio vaccines are mandatory for visitors to Turkey.

In addition, the following vaccines are recommended:

  • typhoid, hepatitis A and B, rabies (depending on the length of your stay)

For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:

Water

Tap water is safe to drink in Dubai.

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Administrative formalities

For any stay of less than 90 days, foreign nationals from the following countries do not need to request a visa before travelling to the United Arab Emirates (UAE): Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Bulgaria , Canada, Croatia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holy See (Vatican City), Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United States.

In addition, citizens of the other Persian Gulf countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia) do not need a visa to travel to the United Arab Emirates.

For further information, visit the website of the UAE’s General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners’ Affairs:
http://www.emirates.com/us/english/plan_book/essential_information/visa_passport_information/uae_visas.aspx

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Essential phrases

Here are a few basic Arabic phrases that will make your stay in Dubai a little easier:

Good morning: Sabah al-khair (response = sabah al-noor)

Good evening: Masaa al-khair (response = masaa al-noor)

Good-bye: Maasalama

Yes: Na'am

No: Laa

Thank you very much: Shukran jaziilan

No, thank you: Laa, shukran

Please: Min fadlik

I don't understand: Laa afham

Could you repeat that: Mumkin a'id hatha?

What time is it: Kamis saa'ah?

Excuse me: Afwan

Airport: Mataar

Train station: Mahattat al-qitaar

Taxi: Taxi

Hotel: Funduq

Hospital: Mustashfaa

Bank: Bank

Telephone: Telephone

I'm (…): Anya (…)

I'm looking for (…): Ab hass ane (…)

How much is (…): Bikam (…)?

Do you have (…): Hal 'indaka (…)?

Where can I find (…): Ayna ajed (…)?

Where can I buy (…): Ayna ashtarii (…)?

I'd like (…): Urid (…)

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Good to know

00
+ phone number without the 0 (calls to Dubai)
3 : 00
of time difference with
Hamburg

Banks

Usually open Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Government offices

Usually open Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
240 V / 50 Hz

And what about tipping?
There are no hard-and-fast rules for tipping in Dubai. If you are satisfied with the service, it is customary to leave a tip amounting to about 10 percent of the bill.