Unlike what many people think of the East, Dubai's crime rate is relatively low as punishment to those found guilty can be severe. Crimes perpetrated against people are usually among locals, and officials say tourists have little to worry about with regard to their personal safety.
If you are planning to hail a cab make sure that it is an authorized Dubai Taxi Corporation cab and that they use the meter. Some driver's stop to pick passengers but they are not taxis or will not use the meter. Do not under any circumstances enter a car which is not marked as an official Dubai taxi.
As always when traveling, be aware of the area you are in and who is hanging around. Protect your valuables by placing them in the hotel safe and always conceal and protect your currency. The UAE is a Muslim country so please consider religious sensitivities.
Details of airport arrivals for the conference are still being finalized, however, rest assured that your travel both to and from the airport will be organized and coordinated by us. You will not have to arrange your own transport to and from the Conference venue. The same applies for transport to and from the various venues that will be visited during the Conference.
- Be aware that the Muslim religion forbids alcohol to its followers. The legal drinking age in Dubai for all others is 21. Punishments for crimes committed related to alcohol are severe.
- Don't worry about clothing. Within reason there is no restriction on what you can and cannot wear but it is always best to dress respectfully.
- Even though Dubai is a hot place, make sure to bring a light jacket and sweater, as the nights can get a little chilly in December.
- Tipping is common at a rate of around 10%. Service charge is not usually added to a bill but will be clearly mentioned on the menu if it is.
- Money changing at the airport is not advisable as they do not give favourable rates. We recommend changing money into Dirhams in your country of residence before flying. Money exchanges are located at every mall in Dubai at favourable rates.
- The police in Dubai are both polite and respectful. Don't be afraid to approach them if lost or in need of help.
- Driving in Dubai is more dangerous than in many other countries. Taxi drivers are not meant to go over the speed limit of 120kmph on The Sheik Zayed Road (main highway in Dubai), but if they do, don't hesitate to ask them to slow down.
- Dubai is expensive. Good bargains can be made when shopping, but be aware of hidden costs like food, drink and entertainment. These costs will pile up very quickly if you're not careful!
- Finally, enjoy the wonder of Dubai!
Please be sure to purchase health insurance or travel insurance that includes health coverage for the duration of your stay in the UAE from your country of residence. Health care in Dubai is not free to anyone but UAE nationals.