The official language of the UAE is Arabic. However, English is the most common, followed by Hindi and Farsi. In a city where UAE nationals make up approximately 17% of the population; the expatriates are in fact the majority, most of which are from the Subcontinent, the Philippines and Iran. It is therefore quite common to frequently come across people speaking Urdu, Tagalog, Hindi, Malayalam, Russian, Spanish and a host of other languages.
The monetary unit in Dubai and the rest of the UAE is the Dirham (AED or Dhs), which is divided into 100 fils. The dirham is pegged to the US dollar at $1=Dh 3.67. Most shopping malls, tourist destinations and hotels have ATM machines and also accept certain foreign currencies. Credit cards are accepted in shops, restaurants and hotels.
Dubai has a sub-tropical climate with temperatures as low as 10 degrees Celsius in winter and rising to above 40 degrees Celsius in summer. The hottest months are between June and September, when temperatures can soar to 45°C and more during the day. In addition, humidity levels are very high. The city enjoys blue skies and sunshine all year round.
Being a rather vast and spread out city, Dubai is not designed for walking. However, taxis are always readily available on the street, outside hotels, malls and most destinations. You also have the option of calling for one by dialing 04 208 0808. Dh 10 is the minimum taxi fare. Furthermore, The Dubai Metro opened its doors in September 2009, with the Red Line connecting all major points of interest from the city center along Sheikh Zayed Road to Jebel Ali. For those visitors who prefer to have their own means of transport, a car can be hired if the customer possesses a valid international driver’s license. Certain nationalities can apply for a temporary UAE driver’s permit at any police station. Driving is on the right-hand side of the road.