General Information


Population : 788,000 (1998 estimate). Majority live in Dubai city and its suburbs which has a cosmopolitan population. 

Local Time : The UAE is four hours ahead of GMT. (when it is 12:00 midday in Dubai, it is 13:30 in Delhi, 08:00 in London, and 17:00 in Tokyo).

Religion : Islam. 

Languages : Arabic is the official language. English is widely used in business and trade sectors. Other commonly used languages are Hindi, Urdu, and Farsi.
 
Climate : Dubai has a sub-tropical, arid climate with temperatures ranging from a high of 48 Deg C to a low of 10.5 Deg C. Humidity is high during summer. Monsoon spells are brief only in the winter months of January and February amounting to some 130 mm annually. High velocity winds breakout occasionally at other times. November to March experiences a very pleasant weather. 

Currency : UAE Dirham. 

Air Transport
: Serving more than a 100 destinations, the busy Dubai International Airport is located 3 kms east of the city. The national airline of UAE is Emirates, operating international flights to and from the airport. Gulf Air services link all UAE airports. 

Major Ports
: Port Rashid, the freeport of Jebel Ali to the south, and the small port of Hamriyah receives commercial vessels coming from the ports in the Gulf, East Africa, the Indian subcontinent and the Far East, making Dubai a regional distribution hub for transit trade between the East and West. 

Major Industries
: Petroleum; manufactured goods such as liquefied gas, aluminium ingots, cement, readymade garments, electric cables; and traditional commodities like dates, hides, frozen and dried fish, iron scrap and other metals. 

Working Hours

  * Banks: 8 am to 1 pm (Sat to Wed) and 8 am to 12 noon (Thu). Some          banks also open from 4.30 pm to 6.30 pm. 
  * Government Offices:7.30 am to 1.30 pm (Sat to Wed) and 7.30 am to 12 noon (Thu), in summer, 7 am to 1 pm (Sat to Thu), in winter; 
  * Private Offices: 8 am to 1 pm and 4 pm to 7 pm (Sat to Wed), 7 am to 12 noon (Thu). All offices close every afternoon during the fasting month of Ramadan. 

Geography
:Dubai and the surrounding area is flat desert and sabkha (salt flats), but to the east rise the Hajar Mountains; lying close to the Gulf of Oman, they form a backbone through the country, from the Mussandam Peninsula in the north and through the eastern UAE and into Oman. The western interior of the country, most of it in Abu Dhabi, consists mainly of arid desert with spectacular sand dunes, interspersed with oases.

Economy
 :While oil has been crucial to Dubai's development since the late 1960's, the non-oil sector currently contributes some 80% of total gross domestic product and is continuing to expand in importance. Manufacturing and tourism, (over 2.5 million tourists visit the UAE every year), are both growing at a steady rate, helping to create a well-balanced and diverse economy. 

Tourism
:The commercial hub of the Middle East, Dubai is now emerged as an exotic tourist destination. Dubai has beautiful sandy beaches, water sports facilities, top class International Hotels, dining, in fact Dubai has everything that you could wish for to have a memorable holiday and to shop in the electronics, textile and gold markets. 

Business Policy
:The government of Dubai is committed to liberal, free market policies and to the creation of a business environment conducive to commercial activity. This approach is well illustrated by the incentives available to investors in the Jebel Ali and Airport Free Zones and by the continuing high level of public sector investment in the infrastructure

International Relations
:The UAE became a member of the United Nations and the Arab League in 1971. It is a member of the International Monetary Fund, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the World Trade Organisation and other international and Arab organisations, including the Arab Gulf Co-operation Council, whose other members are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. 

Entry
:Visas are required by all visitors except nationals of AGCC countries. A 30-day visit visa, 7-or-14 day transit visa, and multi-entry visas are available by prior arrangement through a UAE sponsor. 
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Return to: Explore Dubai

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