Area: 3,885 sq. kms. Dubai is the second largest of the seven emirates in the UAE.
Geographical Location: North-Eastern part of UAE, stretching over 115 kms on the Gulf Coast. Inland, Dubai stretches as far as Hatta, an ancient village, some 120 kms to the east.
25 Deg 16 min North;
Longitude: 55 Deg 16 min East.
Status: Emirate. Dubai is the name given to both the city and the emirate.
Government Head: H. H. Shaikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum is the Ruler of Dubai, and the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE.
Population: 6,95,000 (1996 estimate). Majority live in Dubai city and its suburbs which has a cosmopolitan population. A small percentage live in villages and agrarian communities.
Local Time:Gulf Standard Time: +4 hours GMT.
Languages: Arabic is the official language. English is widely used in business and trade sectors. Other commonly used languages are Hindi, Urdu, and Farsi.
Weather:With the sun shining for most of the year, Dubai experiences a sub-tropical arid climate with temperatures ranging from a high of 43 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, although high velocity winds breakout occasionally at other times. Early November to March experiences a very pleasant climate.
Currency: UAE Dirham.
Television: Dubai TV transmits its Arabic programmes on five channels with English programmes on Channel 33 UHF.
Radio:Dubai Radio transmits its Arabic programmes 18 1/2 hours a day (0630 hrs to 0100hrs) with English programmes for 24 hours continuously.
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.
Visa, Diners Club, Access, MasterCard.
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.
Clothing: Lightweight clothes are ideal for the hotter months, with medium weights from November to March. Warmer clothes are recommended for the cooler evenings.
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.
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.
Road Transport: Bus services have been introduced on the Dubai - Sharjah route. Taxis are the most common way of getting around. Metered taxis operated by Dubai Transport Corporation (Tel: Reservation: 313131, Lost and Found: 640000) provide a comfortable and efficient service. DTC also operates bus services in some routes in the city. For non-metered taxis it is always advisable to check the fares first before hiring one. Share-a-taxi services are common for long distance journeys. Besides these there are rent-a-car companies that offer their services at varied rates.
Water Transport: Small ferry boats, or abras, shuttling across the creek, between Bur Dubai and Deira, provides a quick and pleasant journey. There are three abra stations, one on the Dubai side and two in Deira side. 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.
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. Group visas are also available. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is also required from all those coming from infected areas.
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