United Arab Emirates

Current Time

Gulf Standard Time
8 Hours Ahead


At Continental Currency Exchange, your opinion matters to us. If you have any questions, concerns or inquiries about the company, our services or this website, please contact us at [email protected]


Burj Khalifia, Dubai

  • The United Arab Emirates is a federation of seven emirates on the eastern side of the Arabian peninsula, at the entrance to the Persian Gulf
  • It has coastlines on the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf
  • Saudi Arabia is located to the west and southwest, and Oman to the southeast
  • It is a country rich in history and culture and an easy starting point for travels in the Middle East
  • Only some 20% of the population of the Emirates are ‘real’ Emiratis; the rest come from the Indian Subcontinent: India, Pakistan, or Bangladesh (some 50%); other parts of Asia, particularly the Philippines, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka (another perhaps 15%); and “Western” countries (Europe, Australia, North America, South Africa; 5-6%), with the remainder from everywhere else.
  • The official language is Arabic, but it is safe to say that the majority of the population doesn’t speak it. As the UAE was a British protectorate, most locals would have learned English in school and would know at least basic English.
  • Dubai is the second largest member of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
  • It is the most important port and the commercial capital of UAE.
  • Dubai is the fastest growing city in the world.


  • Originally the area was inhabited by a seafaring people who were converted to Islam in the 7th century
  • Later, a rebellious division, the Carmathians, established a powerful sheikdom
  • After the sheikdom disintegrated, its people became pirates
  • The pirates provoked the intervention of the British, who in 1820 enforced a partial truce and in 1853 a permanent truce
  • The British provided the nine Trucial states with protection but did not formally administer them as a colony
  • The British withdrew from the Persian Gulf in 1971, and the Trucial states became a federation called the United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • Two of the Trucial states, Bahrain and Oman, chose not to join the federation, reducing the number of states to seven
  • The country signed a military defense agreement with the U.S. in 1994 and one with France in 1995


    Old Dubai

    • Dubai has one of the highest per capita incomes
    • In Dubai, there are no taxes on income and there are no personal taxes either.
    • In Dubai Emirates Mall, you can ski indoors while shopping, measuring 400 meters and using 6000 tons of snow.
    • 80% of the residents of Dubai are foreigners.
    • Dubai is the Middle East supply hub for the jewelry market.
    • Dubai is the world’s second largest distributor of bullion. It imports 360 tonnes and re-exports almost all of it (350 tonnes).
    • Dubai made the world’s longest gold chain during DSF-1999. The chain was made in 22k gold and measured 4.2 kilometers. 9,600 people bought the chain, in necklace wear and bracelet size pieces.
    • In Dubai, jewelry is sold on gold price plus making charges, unlike in the West, where it is per piece. 95% of all jewellery sold here is above 21 karat; the rest is 18 karat.
    • On an average, one in every five person buys five pieces of gold jewellery every year in Dubai.
    • Dubai has unveiled plans of the first man-made island in UAE, the Palm Island.
    • No matter in which part of Dubai you are in, you will hear calls to prayer at least five times a day. Even in shopping malls, the calls to prayer are put out over the speakers, to remind Muslims that it is time to pray.
    • Dubai shares legal, political, military and economic functions with the other emirates, within a federal framework.
    • Dubai has the largest population of all the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
    • Apart from Abu Dhabi, Dubai is the only emirate to have veto power over critical matters of national importance in the country’s legislature.
    • Since 1833, Dubai has been ruled by the Al Maktoum dynasty.
    • Trade, real estate and financial services provide Dubai with majority of its revenues.
    • Revenues from petroleum and natural gas contribute less than 6% to the economy of Dubai.

Avg. Costs

Burj Al Arab Hotel


  • Budget 200 UAE and under
  • Mid-Range 200-500 UAE
  • Splurge 500+ UAE


Average Meal

  • Budget 20-25 UAE
  • Mid-Range 100-200 UAE
  • Splurge 300-700 UAE
  • An average meal from a normal restaurant by the road will cost you around US 10 per person
  • A visit to a nightclub (including meals and liquor) will cost you around US 30
  • Dubai Museum – Admission 3 UAE
  • Dubai Zoo – Admission 3 UAE
  • Shawarma – 5 UAE
  • Global Village – Countries around the world gather and set up a small village in the outskirts of Dubai, each country/region has its own pavilion with a unique replica of their famous landmark. Admission is usually 5 UAE.


Click here to see The Economist’s Big Mac Index.  It is arguably the world’s most accurate financial indicator to be based on a fast-food item.


Information is coming soon.


Dubai Mall

  • The crime rate is extremely low in the United Arab Emirates, although of course one must use common sense.
  • Some common painkillers in western countries are illegal narcotics in the UAE, such as codeine
  • Don’t bring any with you unless you carry a copy of your prescription or you may join others who have received jail sentences
  • In contrast, antibiotics are freely available over the counter at pharmacies
  • If you receive a prescription for controlled drugs in the UAE, such as some painkillers and antidepressants, be sure to keep the copy of the prescription with you when traveling out of the country.


Click here to see Canadian Government Travel Reports and Warnings on http://www.voyage.gc.ca/. Travel Reports offer information on safety and security, local laws and customs, entry requirements, health conditions and other important travel issues.


Emirates Palace Hotel

  • The country is extraordinarily dry, getting only a few days of rain a year
  • Despite that, Emiratis use water at an alarming rate: there are broad areas of grass in the major public parks, and landscaping can be extensive in the resorts or other public places
  • Visitors do not pay for their water use
  • The weather from late October through mid-March is quite pleasant, with high temperatures ranging from around 27°C ( 85°F) to lows around 15°C ( 63°F). It is almost always sunny.
  • Rain can happen between November and February, and can cause road hazards when it does
  • In the summer, the temperatures soar and humidity is close to unbearable — it is widely suspected that the officially reported temperatures are “tweaked” to cut off the true summer highs, which can reach 50°C, or around 120°F, or even higher!

Places to See

Night View of Dubai

Bastakiya, Dubai

  • The historic Bastakiya alongside Dubai Creek is Dubai’s Bohemian quarter
  • It has some wonderful cafés, eclectic art galleries and a street market every Saturday
  • It’s particularly pleasant during the evening when the mosques sound their call to prayer

View Map




Palm Jumeirah

  • Dubai’s man made palm-shaped island is rumored to be visible from the moon, and it truly does have a wow-factor – especially when seen flying low over the city
  • The built up areas consist of residential and hotel projects including The Atlantis
  • The Palm is home to Aquaventure water park – an absolute must for a wet, fun day out

View Map




Burj Khalifa

  • A skyscraper in Dubai
  • Currently the tallest man-made structure ever built, at 828 m (2,717 ft).
  • The building officially opened on January 4, 2010
  • It is part of the new 2 km2 (490-acre) flagship development called Downtown Dubai

View Map




Burj Al Arab Hotel

  • A luxury hotel located in Dubai
  • At 321 m (1,053 ft), it is the fourth tallest hotel in the world
  • The Burj Al Arab stands on an artificial island 280 m (920 ft) out from Jumeirah beach, and is connected to the mainland by a private curving bridge
  • It is an iconic structure whose shape mimics the sail of a ship

View Map




Hajar Mountains

  • Mountains located in Northeastern Oman and also the Eastern United Arab Emirates
  • They are the highest mountain range in the Eastern Arabian Peninsula
  • They separate the low coastal plain of Oman from the high desert plateau, and lie 50–100 km inland from the Gulf of Oman coast


Communication Etiquette:
• Greetings between men are a light handshake
– Women who are friends or family usually kiss on the lft cheek three times
– Men and women have little to no touch in public – wait for the women to extend her hand
• Indirect style of communication
– Avoid confrontation
– Being less direct is appreciated

Business Etiquette:
• It is important to schedule meetings up to a month in advance
– Punctuality is key – be on time
– Small talk will be expected
– Inquiring about health and family
– Meetings tend to not follow strict schedules
– Frequent interruptions and cancellations should be expected
– Customary to remove shoes before entering a carpeted room
– When in doubt follow your counter parts lead
• During negotiation remain calm and avoid hard selling
– Decisions are usually made from the top down
– Try not to come across as impatient or over eager
• Business dress is formal and smart
– Men – A suit that is conservative
– Dark colors are key
– Business casual is becoming more acceptable

Contributions (1)

You must be logged in to post a comment.