Arriving in Dubai
Most nationalities can simply get a visa on arrival at the airport but visitors should check their visa requirements before arriving. Both Dubai International Airport (DXB) and Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC) have a range of helpful facilities and public transport options.
Money changing facilities and taxis are readily available, as well as car rental services, convenience stores and information desks for general queries.
The currency in Dubai is the dirham, which is shortened to AED (United Arab Emirates Dirham). One dirham is divided into 100 fils. The dirham has been pegged to the US dollar, meaning the exchange rate never changes. One US dollar is worth AED3.67.
With a coastal location on the Arabian Peninsula, Dubai enjoys a warm climate all year. During March and April, the temperature ranges from 20–35°C (68–95°F).
While free Wi-Fi is available at most hotels in Dubai and in many public areas and tourist attractions, you may still want to get a SIM card for your mobile phone. International roaming charges can be costly so a local SIM is better for making and receiving calls.
Getting a SIM card in Dubai is a quick and easy process. Visitors above the age of 18 can get a complimentary Tourism SIM card from telecom operator du when they cross immigration at Dubai International Airport. Those with a visit visa, visa on arrival and GCC citizens can take advantage of this offer and receive three-minutes talk time and 20MB mobile data for free.
Visitors can then top this up at a du kiosk in the arrivals area of Dubai International airport or Dubai Duty Free. Other local operators – Etisalat and Virgin – also have kiosks at the airport offering prepaid SIM cards tailored specifically for tourists and business travellers with various options, offers and discounts on voice, data and text bundles.
You can also get a SIM card in the city from major shopping hubs like The Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates.
Visitor SIM cards are valid for 90 days and phone plans can be purchased either as voice and data bundles, pay-as-you-go plans, or prepaid recharge cards. When making calls, remember that mobile phone numbers in the UAE are ten digits long and the country code for the UAE is +971. To call your mobile in the UAE from abroad, callers will need to dial 00971 and then your number.
Embassies & Consulates
Nearly 100 foreign embassies are located in Abu Dhabi, the UAE’s capital city, and Dubai is home to around 80 consulates. Embassies and consulates are typically open Sunday to Thursday (the UAE working week) and are closed on Fridays, as well as all public holidays of both the UAE and the embassy’s home country. Opening times may vary so please check official websites, make appointments where possible and arrive early with all relevant paperwork.
In case of emergencies while on holiday in the UAE, call:
– 911 for Police
– 998 for Ambulance
– 997 for Fire Department
– 996 for Coastguard
Visitors may also find these numbers helpful:
– +971 800 4438 for tourist security issues
– +971 800 342 for the Dubai Health Authority
– +971 600 545 555 for consumer-related concerns
Getting to Dubai
– By Air
Dubai has two world-class airports that provide thousands of international flights each week, Dubai International Airport (DXB) andAl Maktoum International Airport (DWC)
– By Land
The vast majority of visitors will arrive in Dubai by plane, but you can arrive via neighbouring countries easily by road. The UAE shares land borders with Saudi Arabia and Oman, and Gulf (GCC) residents can drive easily between each. Visitors from outside the region may have some visa restrictions so please plan accordingly.