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Dubai

Dubai Marina Bay

Marina Bay // Photo Credit: Ashraf Jandali

City in the United Arab Emirates

Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates known for luxury shopping, ultramodern architecture and a lively nightlife scene. Burj Khalifa, an 830m-tall tower, dominates the skyscraper-filled skyline. At its foot lies Dubai Fountain, with jets and lights choreographed to music. On artificial islands just offshore is Atlantis, The Palm, a resort with water and marine-animal parks.
Iconic Burj Al Arab, a sail-shaped hotel, is near the public Jumeirah Beach, a popular stretch of sand. Of the many enormous shopping centres, Dubai Mall has an Olympic-size ice-skating rink, while Mall of the Emirates features the indoor slopes of Ski Dubai. Prestigious international restaurants, and outdoor and building-top nightclubs abound. Traditional gold, spice and textile souks are located around Dubai Creek, where Dubai’s past as a sleepy fishing village is on view in Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, a restored quarter of late-1800s houses with wind towers, and at Dubai Museum, housed in the 18th-century Al Fahidi Fort.

WHEN TO VISIT

Most visitors arrive Oct–Apr when the weather is warm and dry. With a desert climate, temperatures soar in the summer (Jun–Sep). Major events include the Dubai Shopping Festival (Jan–Feb); Dubai International Jazz Festival and Dubai Tennis Championships (both Feb–Mar); the Dubai World Cup horse race (Mar–Apr); and the Dubai International Film Festival (Nov–Dec). The major religious holidays are Ramadan, Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha (all dates vary) when some restaurants may close temporarily.
Travelers from your area typically stay 4–8 days.
Average Temperatures

Dubai has an arid subtropical climate, with sunny, blue skies most of the year. Rainfall is infrequent and irregular, falling mainly in winter. Temperatures range from a low of about 50°F to a high of 118°F; the mean daily high is 75°F in January rising to 106°F in July. The best time of the year to visit is between November and April, when temperatures average around 75°F.

Language

The official language is Arabic, but English is widely spoken and understood; both languages are commonly used in business and commerce.

Currency

The monetary unit in the UAE is the Dirham (Dh).

Electricity

The electricity supply in the UAE is 220/240 volts at 50 cycles; US-made appliances may need a transformer.

Entry Requirements

A passport valid for three months from the date of entry, as well as an onward/return ticket, are required. US citizens do not require visas to enter the UAE.