Area: 3,885 sq. kms.
Population: 2.106 Million (2013 estimate) Majority live in Dubai City and its suburbs which has a cosmopolitan population.
Local Time: GMT plus four hours.
Language: Arabic is the official language. English is widely spoken and understood. Hindi, Urdu, Farsi, and other languages are widely used by the large expatriate population.
Climate: Temperature ranges from 10°C/50°F to 40°C/118°F. During April the average temperature is expected to be 25°C/87°F.
Currency: The local currency is UAE Dirham and is tied to the US dollar at an exchange rate $1 = Dhs 3.68 (fluctuating).
Business Hours: The weekend is Friday and Saturday. Government offices are open from 7:30 am to 2:30 pm.Private Sector office hours vary, but are generally from 8:00 am to 06:00 PM. Shop Hours are similar in their opening times, but most shops remain open from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm. Shopping Malls, Department stores, boutiques, souks and many food shops remain open on a Friday, apart from prayer times (between 11:30 am and 1:30 pm), while larger shops re-open on a Friday afternoon at around 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
Shopping: One of Dubai’s greatest attractions is indeed its superb shopping. Apart from the shopping areas and the traditional souks, there are a growing number of modern shopping malls and commercial complexes, besides the Dubai Duty Free at the airport, offering a wide range and selection for eager shoppers. In Dubai shopping is regarded as a pleasure. From the most modern shopping malls to the traditional souks (markets), Dubai provides an endless scope for shoppers. In terms of sheer variety, quality and services. Dubai as a shopping city center stands second to none. Customs duties being low, luxury goods are cheaper. Best buys include clothes and fabrics (check out the designer label outlets at Karama and Al Satwa.), carpets and rugs, electronics, sports goods, perfumes, jewellery, ethnic gifts and novelties, spices etc. Shopping malls like Mall of the Emirates, Festival City, Burjuman Center, Wafi Center, Al Ghurair and City Center are certainly worth a visit. The amazing gold souk, one of the largest retail gold markets in the world is in Deira.
From the timeless tranquility of the desert to the lively bustle of the souk, Dubai offers a kaleidoscope of attractions for visitors. The emirate embraces a wide variety of scenery in a very small area. In a single day, the tourist can experience everything from rugged mountains and awe-inspiring sand dunes to sandy beaches and lush green parks, from dusty villages to luxurious residential districts and from ancient houses with wind towers to ultra-modern shopping malls.
Dubai enjoys, without doubt, one of the best locations on the planet. Situated halfway between Europe and Asia, few destinations take more than 8 hours direct flying time to or from Dubai. Just overnight from London, four hours from Nairobi, three hours from Mumbai, 8 hours from Hong Kong and a direct flight from the United States or America, Dubai is definitely a destination of choice for vacationing, living and business.
Dubai offers a range of hotels to suit every taste, whim and budget! From the glitzy, opulent and of the most expensive and only seven star hotel in the world all the way through to the very affordable. Then there are the resorts in the desert where tourists can experience unmatched peace and tranquility. Whatever the choice, it will definitely be an unforgettable stay as a tourist or business traveler.
Dubai is ranked the second world’s most popular destination for shopping after the United States and ahead of popular shopping destinations like Singapore, France, UK, and Hong Kong among others. With a long history as a trading hub, today Dubai is synonymous with shopping. From souk to shopping mall, Dubai has it all – duty free, gold, electronics, textiles, cars – and is a true shopper’s paradise. Perfect for the shop-o-holics and for retail therapy! Dubai has established itself as a major destination for an eclectic array of local and international events and earned its reputation as the sporting capital of the Middle East. Throughout the year, Dubai hosts a range of popular annual sporting activities, dazzling entertainment attractions, as well as conferences and exhibitions.
Although the early history of Dubai is not very well documented, archaeological discoveries suggest that, as long as 4000 years ago small fishing communities lived along the coast of the Arabian Gulf on the site of modern Dubai. In recent years, archaeologists have unearthed hundreds of artefacts that point to civilized settlements dating back to the third millennium B.C. Dubai’s main archaeological sites are in Al Sufoh and Jumeirah. These historic findings have been carefully preserved and the artefacts are now permanently housed in the archaeological section of Dubai Museum. Dotted around Dubai are a number of historic buildings and sites that offer a glimpse of a bygone era such as the Al Fahidi Fort, Sheikh Saeed’s House, and the Bastakiya.