12th International Transplant Infectious Disease Conference (TID 2019)
Dubai, UAE – November 13, 2019 (One day prior to ISODP 2019)
The UAE is extremely safe for women travelers, nevertheless women travelling alone are a novelty and you may find yourself at the focus of unwanted attention. You will probably have a more relaxed visit if you stay in one of the four or five star hotels, especially if you can use the hotel's private beach facilities.
Women in the UAE have a much more liberal lifestyle than many of their Gulf counterparts (i.e. women are permitted to drive, work etc.) however, women travelers should be aware that they are visiting a society which has strong traditional roots.
If you wish to avoid hassle or risk causing offence, do not wear tight or revealing clothes away from the beach clubs and resorts. You will also find that clothing suitable for the more cosmopolitan cities may not be comfortable or convenient for independent travel in rural areas. Loose trousers and a long sleeved cotton shirt will suit a wide range of situations.
When socializing in local company wait until a hand is offered to you for a handshake, some devout Muslims prefer not to shake hands with a woman.
Remember that one advantage of being a woman in the UAE is that women are normally served first at banks and post offices, police stations and other government offices frequently have separate queues for women.
Lightweight summer clothing is suitable for most of the year, but sweaters or jackets may be needed for the winter months, especially in the evenings. Compared with certain parts of the Middle East, Dubai has a very relaxed dress code. However, care should be taken not to give offence by wearing clothing which may be considered revealing, for example low-cut dresses, very short skirts, or tight shirt or top in public. At the pool or on the beaches, trunks, swimsuits and bikinis are quite acceptable. Good quality sunglasses are advised, and photo chromatic lenses for those who wear spectacles. Hats, or some protection for the head, are advisable when in direct sunlight.
The UAE is one of the very few nations that do not have any reported cases of holiday sickness, as reported by leading international magazines. This is due to major success of government immunization programs, the high standards of hygiene maintained in hotels and restaurants, and availability of clean drinking water.
As for vaccinations, no special immunizations are required. But, it would do good to find out in advance whether the area you are visiting is free from health-risks. Tetanus injections are usually recommended, if you are considering a long trip. Polio has been eradicated. Hepatitis A is rare, and can be avoided if precautions are taken. Hepatitis B, C, D is transmitted only through sexual contact, blood transfusions or use of un-sterilized needles. Mosquitoes are few in towns and cities, therefore it is not considered as a risk. In any case, it is better to use a suitable insect repellent, to avoid being bitten.
Dubai, being a hot city, the sun can be fierce all through the year, and travellers are at risk of heatstroke or heat exhaustion. Therefore, ensure that you carry adequate sunglasses, hats, and sun creams.
The medical facilities are generally very good in public hospitals, and may deal an emergency free of charge. However, it is wise to carry medical insurance to cover all eventualities, as, if you need to visit a private hospital, the treatment can be quite expensive.
Most medicines are available at the pharmacies. Some pharmacies open 24 hours a day. The Municipality emergency number, 04 2232323, lists the location of open chemists.
There are good dentists available, including orthodontists.
The UAE, particularly Dubai, is a safe place to visit. It is designated as one of the safest holiday destinations by the international travel industry. However, it is wise to carry travel insurance and follow normal precautions to safeguard yourself and your valuables.
Some emergency numbers are given here:
On dialing 999 or 04 2821111, during an emergency, Dubai Police guarantee that a police helicopter will be there within 8 minutes at the location.
For non-emergency cases such as traffic queries, complaints or suggestions, general information like address or location, and police events, call 901 in Dubai.
Due to the low crime rates in Dubai, it ensures a trouble-free stay for visitors. Nevertheless, you are advised to take care of your valuables in busy public places and when using the public transport. Further, due to the present international scenario, visitors to Middle Eastern nations are advised to remain vigilant due to threat of terrorism. Special care is required when visiting entertainment venues that are largely western-oriented. Further, avoid participating in any sort of political gathering or demonstration.
Normal shopping hours are from 9:00am to 1:00pm and from 4:00pm to 10:00pm, although majority of the shops stay open all day. Some supermarkets are even open all 24 hours. However, on Fridays, being the Islamic day of rest, all shops close for prayers between 11.30am to 1:30pm.
Although tipping is not expected, it is a common practice to do so. For the staff at hotels, gratuities are given based on one’s discretion. Majority of the restaurants include service charges to the bill. In case this is not included, you may add 10 percent of the total to the bill value. However, taxi drivers do not expect to be tipped. Supermarket baggers, bag carriers and windscreen washers at petrol stations are generally given Dh.2.
Alcohol is permitted in Dubai. It can be purchased at the Duty Free Shop at the airport (limit per person is four bottles), as it cannot be purchased in the supermarkets or liquor stores here, unless you are a Dubai resident with an alcohol license. Dubai does not allow consuming alcohol on the streets. Drinking and driving is strictly prohibited. Also, no alcohol will be served on public holidays, periods of mourning, or in public places.
Dubai has absolutely no tolerance towards drug offences, and you may face serious consequences if caught. Dubai has its own regulations regarding controlled drugs. So, if visiting with prescription medicine, it is better to verify if your medicines have any particular restrictions. For instance, Tylenol 3 is restricted due to the presence of codeine in it. So it is best to check before travel. Also, if you are travelling with prescription medicine, it is better to carry only the amount required for your travel.
Public display of affection should be avoided, as it is considered offensive. Dubai follows the Sharia law, and hence, unmarried couples who are travelling together will have to look for separate accommodations. Homosexuality is also not permitted in any part of the UAE.
The UAE is four hours ahead of GMT, and there is not time change during summer.
Domestic supply is 220 volts.
The UAE uses the metric system, although even the British and US standard weights and measures are understood.