Essential Info for Dubai

Population: About 2.5 million

Geography: Dubai is located on the northeastern part of the Persian Gulf in the Arabian Peninsula. The city is divided by the Dubai Creek, with Deira in the north and Bur Dubai to the south, and is surrounded by desert landscape. The city's landmass has expanded in recent years with the construction of a number of man-made islands off the city's coast.

Political system: Dubai is an emirate of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which is a federation of seven constitutional monarchies/emirates. Traditionally the ruler of Abu Dhabi, the neighbouring emirate, is also the president of the UAE.

Major religions: Islam is the official religion. Although other religions are tolerated, proselytising is illegal.

Main languages: Arabic is the official language, but English is widely spoken.

Money: The currency of Dubai is the Dirham (AED), divided into 100 fils. ATMs are widely available and credit cards are accepted in most establishments. Expats can easily open a bank account in Dubai.

Tipping: Standard 10 percent.

Time: GMT +4 (for the UAE)

Electricity: 220 and 240 volts, 50Hz. The square three-pin type plugs are the most frequently used.

Internet domain: .ae

International dialling code: +971 (entire UAE). City/area codes are in use, e.g. (0)2 for Abu Dhabi and (0)4 for Dubai.

Emergency contacts: In case of emergency, expats can dial 999.

Transport and driving: Cars drive on the right-hand side of the road. Although Dubai has an established public transport system, including the Dubai metro, which makes getting around the city relatively easy, most expats choose to purchase their own vehicle.

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