Dubai is an important hub for international travel. The emirate’s most popular airport and second-busiest in world, Dubai International Airport (DXB) hosts flights from a wide variety of destinations. The airport is the home base of award-winning Emirates Airlines which—along with 100 other airlines—serves more than 7,000 flights per week and 260 destinations across six continents. The growth of flights on popular low-cost carriers, such as the homegrown flydubai, has also exponentially increased. At Dubai World Trade Centre, 7 out of every 10 of our participants fly Emirates or flydubai, due to their incredible range of connectivity.
Dubai is connected to neighboring emirates via an excellent highway system. From Sharjah, the E11 highway (Sheikh Zayed Road), E311, E88 and E102 are all popular routes into Dubai. From Abu Dhabi, the E11, E311, E66 and E44 highways offer inbound options. For those driving to Dubai from another GCC country, the United Arab Emirates border can be accessed through Saudi Arabia or Oman, with appropriate and valid visa(s).
Business and leisure locations around Dubai are quite spread out, so renting a car affords visitors the most convenience in reaching destinations. The emirate offers both locally- and internationally-recognised car rental options for visitors, and paid parking is available at most destinations. Parking rates vary from 3 AED to 10 AED per hour, depending on which area of the city you are in. The emirate is also now equipped with pay-per-minute vehicles, which further open the transportation possibilities. Driving regulations may vary, but many visitors are eligible to drive with an International Driving Permit and a licence from their home country. Consult your embassy or consulate for details.
Dubai’s metro system is budget-friendly, clean and air-conditioned way to travel around the emirate. There are two lines: the Red Line runs the length of Dubai, connecting to many significant landmarks along the way, while the Green Line primarily serves ‘old’ Dubai, including the Creek area and the souks of Bur Dubai and Deira. Tram service, known as the Orange Line, provides dedicated access to points around Dubai Marina. Driverless trains run roughly every five minutes from 5 am to 11 pm and can be accessed with a Nol Card, which can be obtained from any station, including the one at Dubai World Trade Centre.
Taxis are efficient, metered and reasonably priced. With more than 5300 RTA taxis available, hailing a cab in Dubai is never a problem. Most drivers are familiar with our venue and with various popular destinations around the city. Taxis can also be booked in advance by calling +971 004 208 0808. Most fares start at 5 AED for hailed taxis or 12 AED for pre-booked service.
Metred private taxis and on-demand transport services are growing in popularity and readily available around Dubai. If you already have a Careem or Uber app from another country, the same app can be used to book your ride in Dubai. If you are unfamiliar with Careem or Uber, both companies offer downloadable apps for both Android and iOS platforms.
Obtaining a short-term visa to UAE for an event or exhibition is simple and straightforward for guests of many nationalities. Passport-holders from more than 50 nations are now eligible to receive a 30-day tourist visa on arrival. Please consult your individual embassy before planning your travel to Dubai to determine if your passport qualifies. Visas can also be arranged by hotels or tour operators.
Like all countries, the UAE has rules about what you can and can’t bring with you. Before travelling to Dubai, please ensure that your check-in and hand luggage do not contain restricted items. Certain over-the-counter medications, substances, materials and printed content are illegal in the UAE—and customs officers scan all incoming baggage thoroughly. Additionally, your passport must be valid for at least six months past your planned date of entry.
Dubai is a diverse and welcoming city with a rich heritage rooted in Arab culture and Islam. All attires and cultural preferences are generally acceptable; however, dressing conservatively is appreciated. Refrain from swearing in public and always ask permission before photographing anyone. Avoid eating or drinking publicly during Ramadan. Alcohol is served in certain licensed establishments, including select restaurants and most hotels across the city.
The local currency in Dubai is the Arab Emirate Dirham (officially AED or unofficially Dhs). Foreign currency can be changed at either of the airports or at any exchange counter located in malls, plazas and other public areas. Small retailers and taxi drivers appreciate small bills. Credit and debit cards are widely used. Many shops, hotels and restaurants accept US dollars, euros and pound sterling but at a higher exchange rate.
Dubai is located in the heart of the Arabian Desert. Weather remains warm and sunny all year long. The cooler months of October to April are considered the best season to enjoy the outdoors, with average temperatures ranging from 20 to 30 Celsius (68 to 86 Fahrenheit). From May to September, you can expect temperatures of 40 to 50 Celsius (104 to 122 Fahrenheit)
Many countries maintain an embassy or consulate in the UAE, and these serve as the best source of information on the latest travel requirements for your nationality. Most embassies or consulates also allow you to register your presence in the country, to expedite contacts and arrangements in your home country in case of emergency.
There are two mobile services providers in the UAE market that offer visitor packages—Etisalat or du. You can purchase a local SIM card by showing your passport and visa. Note that internet-based voice calling services on apps like Skype and WhatsApp are now restricted in the UAE. Most malls, hotels and public locations offer free Wi-Fi.