Know Dubai

There are 2 million people residing in Dubai and 19% are Emirati nationals. The rest of the population is around 23% Iranians and other Arab nationalities, 50% South Asians, and 8% other expatriates.

Arabic is the official language of the UAE, but English is widely spoken as the language of commerce. All road and commercial signs are in Arabic and English. Farsi, Urdu and Hindi are also widely used.

Islam is the official religion of the UAE, but followers of other religions can freely practice their beliefs. Dubai has Catholic, Anglican and Protestant churches, and a Hindu temple.

Cosmopolitan Dubai has a fashionable attitude towards clothing. Lightweight attire, such as cotton and linen, are suitable year-round, but it is wise to bring a wrap, sweater or jacket for cooler winter nights and chilly air-conditioned premises. Beachwear, including bikinis, should be confined to beach resorts and hotels. To make the sun more bearable, use good quality sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats and sunscreen.

Seek permission before photographing people in general, and avoid photographing Muslim women, military installations, government buildings, airports, docks and telecommunications equipment.