United Arab Emirates

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About

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.

HISTORY

  • 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


FACTS

    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

Hotels

  • 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.

 

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Currency

Information is coming soon.

Safety

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.

 

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Climate

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

Etiquette

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

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