UAE Country Profile
Holding the title for one of the safest, cleanest, and modern cities in the Middle East is Dubai. It is guaranteed that tourists and expatriates will enjoy a relaxed and pleasant lifestyle as the apartments and villas are not only of modern architecture, but also extremely spacious. Dubai is to the Middle East what Hong Kong is to Asia: a capitalist jewel buzzing with activity. Even the traditional souks that attract thousands of visitors each year are packed with up-to-the-minute gadgets and the latest designer wear. So if you plan to pay Dubai a visit, don't think twice.
GeographyOut of the seven emirates which constitute the United Arab Emirates, Dubai is the capital and second largest. It is located on the southern shore of the Arabian Gulf with an area of about 4,114 square kilometers. Outside the city itself, the emirate is sparsely inhabited and characterized by desert vegetation. Dubai lies between 55°16 East and 25°16 North.
ClimateDubai 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.
LanguageWhile Arabic is the official language, English is very widely spoken, especially in business. Given the large size of the expatriate population, several other languages are also used in everyday life, headed by Hindi, Urdu and Farsi.
PopulationAccording to the Dubai Statistics Center, the population in Dubai as of the 18th of May 2016 was recorded at an estimated 2,505,669. 80% comprises of Expatriates - Arab, Asians, European, and others.
ReligionThe major religion in the United Arab Emirates is Islam, approximately 85% being Sunni and 15% Shi'a. Other religions represented in the country including Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism and Sikhism are practiced by non-nationals.
TimeDubai Time is + 4 Hours GMT or 4 hours ahead of the Greenwich Mean Time. GMT is used for all 24 of the world's time zones. You can get the right Dubai Time by dialing the 'speaking clock' 140 for English and 141 for Arabic.
Electricity220/240 volts AC, 50Hz. Square three-pin plugs are widespread.
CommunicationsPublic Telephones: Public telephones in Dubai take coins and pre-paid phone cards. The Telecommunications provider in Dubai is Etisalat - Emirates Telecommunications Corporation. Website: www.etisalat.ae
Dialing Telephone and Mobile Numbers in Dubai: The local city code for Dubai is 04 and if you are making an international call to Dubai, you would dial Country Code: 971, City Code: 4 and then the Tele/Fax number. To dial a Mobile Number from within the UAE, you dial 050 and then the number. If you are dialing a mobile phone number anywhere in the UAE from outside of the UAE, you would dial, Country Code: 971, City Code: 50 and then the Mobile Number.
Phone Cards: Phone cards are available from bookstores, grocery stores, Etisalat offices and are of denominations of 30 Dhs upwards.
Internet: Internet cafes provide public access to Internet and e-mail services. ISPs include Emirates Telecommunication (www.emirates.net.ae)
Post: Airmail letters and parcels take about five days to reach Europe.
ShoppingOne of Dubai’s greatest visitor attractions is its superb shopping. The city draws large numbers of ‘shopping tourists’ from countries within the region and from as far afield as Eastern Europe, Africa and the Indian Subcontinent.
As an open port with low import duties, Dubai’s retail prices are reasonable and the variety of products available is virtually unrivalled. Free of tax, many top brand-name products are cheaper in Dubai than in the countries of their origin. Even sending flowers UAE delivery is feasible at very competitive and low rates. Whatever the visitor’s taste is; be it couture from Paris or Milan, hi-tech electronics from Japan, or a piece of silver Bedouin jewelry, it can all be found at the right price in Dubai. In addition to the souk districts and shopping malls, there are many top-class department stores and boutiques throughout the city.
MallsAttractive modern shopping plazas are conveniently located throughout the city and housing a wide range of shops, boutiques, supermarkets, restaurants and fast-food outlets.
SouksFoodstuff: These range from the traditional narrow streets of the spice souk which is situated just a stone’s throw from the Creek, to the modern fish souk with the many varieties caught in Gulf waters, and the fruit and vegetable souk with its bustle and vivid colors
Gold: Dubai’s most famous market is the gold souk where narrow streets are lined with windows glinting with bracelets, necklaces and earrings in 18, 21 and 22 carat gold. Bars of 24 carat in any form and weight, and bullion coins in 22 and 24 carat are also available. Prices are very reasonable and largely determined by weight, rather than design and craftsmanship.
Carpets: In Deira Tower’s shopping mall, carpet traders from countries across the Gulf; Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, have established a carpet souk where prices in all 40 shops range from a few hundred Dirham to many thousands.
Consumer goods: In Bur Dubai, Al Fahidi Street is noted for shops of electronic goods while the nearby Cosmos Lane is lined with stores selling fabrics from the West and East, of cool printed cottons and exotic brocades. Further out from the city centre, Karama is Dubai’s bargain basement with an array of busy shops selling toys, household goods, textiles, fashion, accessories and much more.