Dubai visitor essentials

Dubai has been a choice destination for exhibitions, meetings, conferences among many other reasons. As with every other place in the globe, when visiting, there are things that you need to bring along or make provisions for if your visit will be successful. These are the things this article is about.

  1. Valid Passport and Visa

Sounds obvious right? Well, it doesn’t hurt to reiterate.  There are different conditions for these for different nationalities. For example, the UAE government provides a free one-month visa to visitors from the Western countries. Others can apply for a visa through tour operators. Be sure to check the requirements in your UAE embassy or consulate. The passport must be valid for 6 months from the day you are admitted into the UAE.

  1. Medication, drugs, and cigarettes

If you are on any prescribed medication, check beforehand to see if they are illegal in Dubai because they could land you in prison. Have a doctor’s letter with you and the original prescription. Preferably, don’t take the drugs out of their purchase boxes and hold them in your hand.

Proscribed drugs can earn you ten years imprisonment or more even in microscopic amounts. There is also a limit to the amount of alcohol or tobacco that you can bring into the country. Electronic cigarettes are illegal in the UAE and they may be confiscated.

  1. Don’t forget your wallet

The local currency in the UAE is the Dirham (AED or Dh). It is usually in many denominations that look alike and can be confusing if you are not careful. Bring the money with you and break larger notes to smaller ones for smoother transactions.

There are also many ATMs that accept both Visa and Master cards but you need to check the fees beforehand.

  1. Handsets

If you are traveling for business and you will be making many calls, you may consider acquiring a local sim card as it will save you some money. It is also helpful in order to be able to access data services. You can get one at the airports or their outlets. You could be asked to give your visa and a valid passport to get are UAE phone so do not be alarmed. You can top-up at convenience stores.

  1. Your package tour needs

If you are in Dubai with a package tour, don’t forget the necessary gear like cameras. Do not, however, take photographs without permission or you could land yourself in trouble.

That said other things that you cannot pack but you may need to know for your stay in Dubai are such as:

  • Water is usually safe to drink in Dubai but don’t drink gardening water or water from outdoor fountains.
  • Most hotels have free Wi-Fi but in case yours does not, you can use internal business centers to surf freely.
  • Dress appropriately (apply moderation).
  • Means of transport are such as the metro, tram, by bus, taxi or car hire. Choose the one that works best for you.