Dubai is the region's commercial and tourism centre and connected to all international markets. Dubai is also the regional trading hub and gateway to the rest of the Middle East. Dubai's diversity means that visitors can enjoy a whole range of different experiences. From the beautiful undulating desert sands to the bustling downtown areas, to parks and gardens, Dubai is a city of adventure, contrast, discovery and surprise. Dubai's central business district is divided into two parts - Deira on the northern side and Bur Dubai to the south. Each has its share of fine mosques and busy souks, shopping malls, hotels and office towers. As the premier location for tourism and leisure in the Middle East, Dubai also has a fantastic night life encapsulating the world's tastes when it comes to restaurants, bars, and nightclubs.
The second largest of the seven emirates which make up the United Arab Emirates, Dubai is located on the southern shore of the Arabian Gulf. It has an area of some 3,900 square kilometres. Outside the city itself, the emirate is sparsely inhabited and characterised by desert vegetation.
Dubai has a sub-tropical, arid climate. Sunny, blue skies can be expected most of the year. Rainfall is infrequent and irregular, falling mainly in winter. Temperatures range from a low of about 10.5°C/50°F to a high of 48°C/118°F. The mean daily maximum is 24°C/75.2°F in January rising to 41°C/105.8°F in July.
Oil contributes just 20 per cent of economic production. Trading, manufacturing and services — including tourism — now dominate the economy.
The UAE is four hours ahead of GMT.
Lightweight summer clothing is suitable for most of the year, but sweaters or jackets may be needed for the winter months, especially in the evenings. Compared with certain parts of the Middle East, Dubai has a very relaxed dress code. However, care should be taken not to give offence by wearing clothing which may be considered revealing. At the pool or on the beaches, trunks, swim-suits and bikinis are quite acceptable. Good quality sunglasses are advised, and photo- chromatic lenses for those who wear spectacles. Hats or some protection for the head are advisable when in direct sunlight.
Alcohol is available in hotel and club restaurants and bars. However, restaurants outside the hotels are not permitted to serve alcoholic beverages. For further information on tourism in Dubai, please visit www.dubaitourism.ae