Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Dubai has emerged as a rapidly growing, cosmopolitan city and global business hub. It is the commercial and leisure capital of the United Arab Emirates and beyond it, the Middle East. The city is clean and safe, its laws are fair, and its society stable and welcoming. Dubai's population is approaching 5 million.
Dubai was the first to introduce foreign 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. Dubai is internationally recognized as one of the top five safest cities in the world.
Dubai's property market is bouncing back nicely after a brief dip during in 2008. We have local partners who have many years experience of the property market, especially around the Jumeira business district and the Palm Islands.
Although Dubai's economy was built on the oil industry, today the emirate's main revenues are from tourism, real estate, and financial services. Dubai has recently attracted world attention through many innovative large construction projects and sports events.
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.
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.
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.
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.