Dubai’s many wonders are well documented, but when it comes down to the basics – like public transport, weather, culture and business – all you need is in this essential guide. So, with your plane tickets and hotel booked, read on to discover all you need to know before visiting the most popular emirate.
Getting to Dubai
Dubai is ideally situated at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa, meaning that one-third of the world’s population is within a four-hour flight and two-thirds are within an eight-hour flight. With an excellent network of roads and highways connecting neighbouring Arab countries, and regular cruises to and from Dubai, the emirate is easily accessible by air, land, and sea. More than 125 airlines fly to Dubai from destinations around the world, and a first-rate network of highways connect Dubai and neighbouring GCC countries. Whether travelling by car or bus, a modern network of first-class roads and highways link the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates.
Getting around in Dubai
Connect seamlessly from the airport to your meeting using Dubai’s state-of-the-art transport system. You’ll find a string of public taxis awaiting your arrival and, being a relatively small city, you can expect to be at your hotel or remote office in under 30 minutes. They accept most major credit cards, and will soon be wifi-enabled for passengers to stay connected on the go. You can alternatively use apps such as Uber or local-based Careem to hire a taxi. Alternatively, jump on the Dubai Metro. The Red Line runs through the heart of the city along the arterial Sheikh Zayed Road. Stations serve the primary business hubs, such as the World Trade Centre, host to many of the city’s big conventions and exhibitions, and the Dubai International Financial Centre (hop off at Financial Centre station). The line continues all the way south to Jebel Ali and is being extended to eventually serve the World Expo 2020 site. To make the most of Dubai’s public transport system, purchase a prepaid NOL card, which can be used for the Metro, Tram, buses and taxis. NOL cards can be purchased from any of Dubai’s Metro stations and selected bus stations.
Weather in Dubai
Given its location in the Arabian Desert, Dubai enjoys a warm climate year-round. The winter months from October through to May are the mildest, with average temperatures ranging from around 20 degrees centigrade to the mid-30s. During the summer months of June through September, the weather heats up, with averages from high-30s to mid-40s. This is when Dubai’s plethora of indoor attractions and facilities come to the fore, making Dubai a year-round destination.
Culture and customs
Dubai is a very tolerant, cosmopolitan and multicultural city. Its residents are made up of more than 200 different nationalities – all living together harmoniously. Demonstrating a heritage of rich Arabian hospitality, Dubai is a very welcoming city. Just when visiting any foreign destination, the local customs and culture should be respected. Being largely a Muslim country, it is recommended to dress modestly, particularly within the workplace. The work week runs from Sunday to Thursday, with Friday and Saturday being the weekend. The usual business hours are adhered to in most private enterprises, but government buildings may close around 2.30pm each day.
Dubai is the region’s biggest business hubs, with its central global location playing a vital role in its importance within international commerce. Business travellers should not take offence if, when meeting with professionals of the opposite sex, they are not offered a handshake. To avoid any awkwardness, the best advice is to wait for a hand to be offered to you. It’s worth remembering that Muslims are required to pray five times a day as part of their faith. Most of the time this will go unnoticed by business travellers, but it’s worth bearing in mind when planning your meeting schedule.