Information and advices


Personal safety
The UAE is one of the safest places in the world to visit. In fact, it has been designated the world’s safest holiday destination by the international travel industry on two occasions. Nevertheless, it is a
Good idea to take out travel insurance and to take the normal precaution to safeguard yourself and your valuables.
Police Headquarters
Dubai     04 2292222
Dubai Police hotline

(Al Ameen service) 8004888

Emergency Numbers

Ambulance 998 or 999
Fire 997
Police 999
Coastguard 04 3450520
East Coast Coastguard 09 2380380



Tipping is not compulsory, but is common practice. Gratuities to staff at hotels are at your discretion. Most restaurants add service charges to the bill (Abu Dhabi 16 per cent; Sharjah 15 per cent; Dubai 10 per cent). If this charge is not included, add 10 per cent of the total to the bill. Taxi drivers do not expect to be tipped. Supermarket baggers, bag carriers and windscreen washers at petrol stations are generally given a tip.


Ask permission before photographing people in general. Avoid photographing Muslim women and do not photograph airports, docks, telecommunications equipment, and government buildings, military and industrial installations.


The UAE is four hours ahead of GMT. The time does not change during the summer. This means that there is a three-hour difference between UK and UAE local times in summer and a four-hour difference in winter.


Domestic supply is 220 volts. Sockets suitable for three-pin 13 amp plugs of British standard design are the norm. However, it is a good idea to bring an adaptor with you. Alternatively, adaptors can be purchased in local supermarkets. Appliances purchased in the UAE will generally have two-pin plugs attached.


The UAE uses the metric system, although British and US standard weights and measures are understood.


Lightweight summer clothing is ideal with a wrap, sweater or jacket for cooler winter nights and air-conditioned premises. Although the dress code in the UAE is generally casual, guests in the larger hotels do tend to dress more formally in the evening. Since you are visiting a Muslim country, bikinis, swimsuits, shorts and revealing tops should be confined to beach resorts. Women are usually advised not to wear short skirts and to keep their shoulders covered.


The UAE operates a free, open economy and there are no currency regulations in operation. It is extremely easy to change money at banks and exchange houses throughout the country where the best rates are available.


The dirham (pronounced dir-ham) is the official currency of the UAE. Dirham notes are in 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1000 denominations.

The UAE Exchange Centre (associated with Western Union) has branches throughout the UAE. Thomas Cook Al Rostamani (authorized representative of Thomas Cook’s financial division) and Al Razouki International Exchange Company are also well represented.

The UAE Exchange Centre

Dubai    04 3537070 


Hotel exchange rates
Hotels offer a bureau de change service. However the rate is usually less favorable

Credit cards
Most internationally recognized credit cards (e.g. VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Diners) are accepted by car rental companies, larger shops, hotels and some restaurants. However, you should carry some cash for general shopping and eating out at smaller establishments. Some small retailers, even if they do accept credit cards, may charge an additional 5 per cent for processing your payment with a credit card.
Lost credit cards

American Express 04 3365000
Diner’s Club 04 3498200
MasterCard International 04 3138888
Visa 04 3319690
HSBC 800 4420
Citibank 800 4000
Emirates Bank International 800 4080
Mashreq Bank 800 4010
Standard Chartered 04 3520455
Commercial Bank of Dubai 800 4474
National Bank of Dubai 800 4767/04 2233166


Your ATM card is probably the most convenient method of obtaining cash and ATM’s are located at many local banks. However, it would be wise to check beforehand with your own bank whether your card will work in the UAE. Check also whether there is a transaction fee for cash withdrawal from ATM machines using a foreign bankcard.