Dubai: Facts and Figures
Dubai, one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is one of the fastest growing cities. It was first known for its oil industry before becoming more westernised in business, deriving its revenues from real estate and tourism. More and more people are relocating to work and live in this beautiful city.
Local Time and ClimateLocal time in Dubai is 4 hours ahead of the UK. If you immigrate to Dubai you’ll enjoy blue skies and sunshine all year round, with its subtropical climate. The hottest months are from June to September where temperatures average at 45ºC so ensure you wear lots of sunscreen and protective clothing. During the summer months Dubai is very humid and the winter months are only slightly more moderate over the rest of the year. There is very little rainfall in Dubai but be sure to wear a jacket in the winter evenings as it can get quite cold.
CurrencyThe monetary unit in Dubai is the Dirham (Dh or AED) which is made up of 100 fils. The Dirham has been marked against the US dollar since the end of 1980 at a mid rate of Dhs 3.67. Smaller retailers prefer to deal in cash though most major credit cards are accepted in big shopping centres. American Express and Diners Club are not always accepted, particularly in smaller stores so it is better to have a Visa or Mastercard available. If you wish to convert your currency, you can do so in most hotels, though it is a better option to go to the local banks for the best available rates.
LanguageThe official UAE language is Arabic, but English is widely spoken and understood. Other commonly spoken languages include Hindi, Farsi and Urdu. Magazines, newspapers, television and radio channels are available in all these languages.
WaterThe water in Dubai is desalinated and safe to drink, though many prefer to buy bottled drinking water. Both imported and local mineral water is widely available supermarkets, cafes and hotels.
Working HoursWorking hours in Dubai are governed by the UAE labour laws and tend to vary between 40 and 48 hours, depending on the particular company’s policy. The ‘weekend’ is Friday-Saturday as a compromise to Friday being the Muslim’s holy day and Saturday being part of the Western weekend, rather than the Saturday-Sunday weekend as in the UK.
Religion and CultureDubai is a highly diverse and multicultural society, with religion being a huge part of everyday life. The official religion of Dubai and the United Arab Emirates is Islam. It is however, one of the most liberal places in the Middle East and followers of other religions are tolerated, except for Judaism. It is very important to respect Islam, particularly during the months of Ramadan. Rules include not walking in front of somebody when they are praying, avoiding displays of affection in public and not drinking alcohol in public places. If you are thinking of immigrating to Dubai, it is wise to research into the local laws, customs and practices beforehand.
- According to 2007 figures, the population of the UAE stands at 4.49 million people, and as of March 2010, Dubai had a population of over 1.8 million.
- The UAE’s population is made up of approximately 79.9% expatriated and 20.1% Nationals.
- Approximately 33% of the total population of the UAE lives in Dubai.
- It is estimated that by 2017, the population of Dubai will have reached 3 million.
- The annual growth rate for Dubai is approximately 8%. It is thought that the population is increasing by 10,000 per month.
- Dubai’s population is 75.5% male and 24.5% is female.
- A recent Dubai statistical survey revealed that the average size of a UAE household is 7.6 members, compares with that of an expat at 3.7.