Dubai is a rapidly growing, cosmopolitan city. Its laws are fair, its society stable and welcoming. The city is clean and safe. It is the commercial and leisure capital of the United Arab Emirates and beyond it, the Middle East. Dubai was the first to introduce fo reign ownership of land in the region, and is home to some of the finest leisure facilities in the world. Quality of life is extremely high.
Far from being the boiling caldron of popular imagination, weather for the majority of the year (October-June) is lovely. It rains only a couple of times a year, mainly in winter (average 13 centimetres a year). Temperatures range from a low of about 10 degrees Celsius to a high of 48 degrees Celsius.
English is spoken by the vast majority of people living and working in Dubai. All service staff , be they taxi drivers, waiters or hotel staff speak English. Alongside Arabic, English is the language of commerce. Hindi, Urdu, Tagalog, Malayalang, Farsi, Pashtu and a host of other languages are widely spoken reflecting Dubai's extraordinarily rich culture.
The currency is the United Arab Emirate Dirham (AED or DHS). It has been fixed to the United States Dollar at a rate of 3.67 for many years to ensure currency stability. US Dollars are, however, widely accepted in hotels, shops, restaurants and taxis, as are many other currencies.
Dubai has very simple visa regulations. Thirty-three European, North American and Asian nationalities are stamped in on arrival at the airport, at no charge. Other nationalities can arrange visas through hotels or UAE embassies and consulates world-wide.
Bars, clubs and restaurants crowd Dubai's streets and hotel foyers like nowhere else in the region. Alcohol is freely available in most quality outlets. The sexes can mingle freely. All the authorities ask is that residents and visitors are respectful of the national religion, Islam. What this means is that displays of public drunkenness are quite rightly frowned on.
Freedom of worship
Freedom of worship is allowed to all religions. Christian churches of many denominations have existed in Dubai for years.
Dubai is internationally recognized as one of the top five safest cities in the world. Crimes against a person are extremely rare. Theft is similarly almost non-existent. You can expect lost goods to be returned before you ever reach a police station.
Dubai's population is approximately 1.5 million.