Alcohol: Although not readily available in supermarkets and malls, consumption of alcohol is not prohibited in most emirates except Sharjah. Drinking in public, however, is strictly forbidden and there is zero tolerance towards drinking alcohol and driving. Business Hours: The weekend here, contrary to most countries in the world, is Friday and Saturday. Sunday is the first day of the working week. Public transportation: Dubai is the only emirate that is well connected through the metro rail. However, all emirates have a strong network of public as well as private taxis and you will not have trouble in finding one, wherever you are. Public taxis are advisable as they are metered and do not require for guests to haggle for the fare.
Alcohol: Although not readily available in supermarkets and malls, consumption of alcohol is not prohibited in most emirates except Sharjah. Drinking in public, however, is strictly forbidden and there is zero tolerance towards drinking alcohol and driving.
Business Hours: The weekend here, contrary to most countries in the world, is Friday and Saturday. Sunday is the first day of the working week. Public transportation: Dubai is the only emirate that is well connected through the metro rail. However, all emirates have a strong network of public as well as private taxis and you will not have trouble in finding one, wherever you are. Public taxis are advisable as they are metered and do not require for guests to haggle for the fare.
The UAE has often been in the news for many world records – from the tallest building in the world (Burj Khalifa), to the most luxurious hotel (Burj Al Arab), the largest mall (Dubai Mall) and so many more. Here’s a list of the Top 10 tourist landmarks:
• ‘At the Top’ Burj Khalifa: The highest open observation deck in the world at Level 124 of the 828m tall building, it offers unparalleled views of Dubai, during the day as well as night.
• The Dubai Mall: The largest shopping mall in the world, it houses over 1,200 shops, restaurants and entertainment options for adults and kids alike.
• The Dubai Fountain: Located right next to The Dubai Mall and with Burj Khalifa in the backdrop, the fountain shoots water jets as high as 500 ft (150 metres). The light and sound performance takes place daily from 6.00pm to 11pm, occurring every 30 minutes.
• Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo: Located in The Dubai Mall, the aquarium is one of the largest tanks in the world, featuring one of the world's largest viewing panels.
• Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi: An architectural work of art, this mosque is also one of the largest in the world with a capacity of 40,000 worshippers.
• The Palm Islands: The artificial island in the shape of a palm tree is a marvelous work of imagination and is inhabited by some of the most luxurious houses as well as hotels in Dubai.
• Bastakiya & Dubai Museum: Bastakiya quarter, or Bastakia, is a historical area of Dubai restored with art galleries, museums, old houses and pleasant cafes.
• The Arabian Desert: The vast expanse of the golden sand in the UAE can be explored in numerous ways, be it in a 4x4 vehicle driving up and down the dunes or a dinner under the stars in a Bedoiun-styled campsite or even a stay in one of the luxurious hotels in the middle of the calm and serene desert.
• Burj Al Arab: This hotel is not only an epitome of luxury, which can be experienced through either staying or enjoying a fine meal at one of its iconic restaurants, but is also a magnificent piece of art with its pearl-white structure designed to mimic the sail of a ship, making it one of the most photographed landmarks in the UAE.
• Dubai Creek: Running through the heart of the city, the creek is replete with old wooden boats or abras that are till date used as water taxis. The bigger dhows also offer dinner cruises during sunset, which is a perfect way to revel at the skyline.
• Shopping Festival: Offering the very best in shopping and family entertainment, Dubai Shopping Festival is an annual event held in January. The festival presents shoppers unbelievable discounts, several million dollars worth of prize money, including luxury cars, gold and cash and an extensive line-up of world-class events, all of which makes the festival more attractive.
• Dubai World Cup: An annual horse racing event, The Dubai World Cup has been termed as "world's richest race", worth more than US$10million and one of the popular sporting events in Dubai. It is held at the Meydan Racecourse, home to outstanding restaurants, 72 luxurious hospitality suites, and an ideal location to entertain guests, offering spectacular views, fine food and racing excitement.
• Dubai International Jazz Festival: This multi-award winning event offers quality music and spectacular performances, drawing in about 40,000 visitors each year. It runs alongside the World of Jazz, a creative concept of free concerts and street entertainment, and Network Jazz Garden, the seven-day Jazz schedule.
• The Bride Show: During April, Dubai plays host to the annual Bride Show, which features a variety of events centred on the theme of weddings. The event attracts hundreds of exhibitors from all over the region, with the main events being held at the Dubai International Exhibition Center.
• Dubai Summer Surprises: 45 days of celebration that is geared towards families and children of all ages, it is a summer shopping festival that offers fantastic deals, superb bargains and some really exciting performances and events.
• Ramadan: Ramadan lasts for a whole lunar cycle of 30 days and is observed by Muslims all over the world. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims must refrain from consuming anything for pleasure between the hours of sunrise and sunset, with all forms of food, drink and cigarettes being prohibited. Non-Muslims are also expected to observe the strict abstinence rules during this time, as breaking them in public is seen as highly offensive and disrespectful. The sighting of the moon that signifies the end of Ramadan brings about several days of wild celebration, with locals and visitors alike indulging in feasts and parties across the city.
• Eid Al Fitr: Signifying the end of the holy month of Ramadan, the festival is celebrated widely in the UAE with several events and activities targeted towards children and adults alike. The streets and malls light up and are very lively during this time. The country comes alive with amazing fireworks, brightly lit landmarks and colourful celebrations.
• GITEX Shopper: Gitex Shopper is one of the largest platforms for the IT sector in the Middle East. This eight-day event is one of the leading events in technology retailing and is known for some jaw-dropping deals and offers on consumer electronics.
• Dubai International Film Festival: The festival with its wide choice of features, shorts and documentaries from across the world, depicts the true cosmopolitan and multicultural character of Dubai.
• Yas Marina Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: The event promises a festival atmosphere, with championship racing and a packed calendar of entertainment at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.
• National Day Festival: Dubai's National Day Festival is an annual day of celebration on the 2nd of December, to commemorate the Emirates' independence from Great Britain, with many of the city's leading monuments opening their doors to the public and putting on special events throughout the preceding week.