Attending the 2016 Jubilee Games or visiting Dubai for the first time? Get the information you need to plan your trip, including important cultural information about Dubai.
Located on the eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, Dubai is one of seven emirates that constitute the United Arab Emirates. It is a place rich in cultural heritage and its people are proud to uphold their traditional values.
Courtesy and hospitality are important in the Arab world, and the people of Dubai exemplify these virtues. Visitors can look forward to receiving a warm welcome, and will enjoy the friendly atmosphere of the city.
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Travel agencies interested in providing travel related services for the Jubilee Games to the jamat are encouraged to contact the national team.
Culture and etiquette
Dubai is widely described as “a melting pot of cultures” with people from over 200 nationalities making the emirate their home. It is a place where tradition and modernity come together, and where peoples of different cultures live harmoniously, finding mutual enrichment through the sharing of ideas and experiences.
Visitors to Dubai should dress modestly, particularly in conservative areas and public places. Swimwear can be worn at the beach and around swimming pools, but elsewhere visitors should cover up. Shorts and T-shirts are suitable attire in many places; however, when visiting religious sites or older parts of the city, both men and women may feel more comfortable wearing loose fitting clothes that cover their shoulders, arms and legs.
In Dubai, a modest code of behaviour is required. Being disorderly in public is unacceptable, and may result in a fine or worse. Public displays of affection should be minimal — holding hands is acceptable but kissing and hugging in public is not. Noise disruptions, poor language, obscene gestures and showing disrespect in any way to the emirate, the country or its values are forbidden, and may lead to legal trouble.
For more information about social etiquette and culture in Dubai please read The Dubai Code of Conduct.
Considered among the world’s most popular tourist destinations, Dubai offers sunshine throughout the year, world-class leisure facilities, beautiful beaches and parks, shopping malls, as well as exciting attractions and experiences.
It is also home to a rich sporting tradition. Camel racing, falconry and traditional dhow racing are part of Dubai’s heritage and culture. Modern sport events include boat racing, the Dubai World Cup (the world’s richest horse race) and the Dubai Tennis Open, among others.
Another exciting event to watch for in the summer months is the Dubai Summer Surprise — a family-themed festival. Thousands of retail stores participate in this annual event offering bargain shopping. Visitors can also enjoy numerous indoor attractions and events.
Dubai boasts the largest shopping mall in the world — the Dubai Mall — which has famous international brands and designers as well as an aquarium where you can dive alongside sharks. Dubai is probably the only city in the world where you can experience sand duning and skiing — both in the same day.
Information about shopping, sightseeing and other attractions can be found here.
Time zone and currency
The United Arab Emirates is four hours ahead of GMT. The time does not change during the summer. This means that there is a three-hour difference between British and United Arab Emirates local times in summer and a four-hour difference in winter.
The currency of United Arab Emirates is Emirati Dirham (AED or Dh).