Visiting Dubai: The basics

Dubai is one of my favourite cities – the soaring skrscrapers, futuristic architecture alongside ancient desert buildings, the many different people working together…it’s a must-visit. As a South African, I also love that it’s rated as one of the safest cities in the world, and is packed with interesting things to do and sights to see! Here are a few things you should know before visiting this fascinating city. 

Dubai basics

Currency: Dirham

Language: Arabic

Local time from South Africa: 2 hours ahead of SA

Climate: Dubai is a hot place to visit. Summer temperatures (April to October) average between 32.9ºC and 40ºC, with high humidity. Fortunately, pretty much every building is air-conditioned.

Between May and July, sandstorms are common. Rainy season is from November to February, although the temperatures are still warm (around 20ºC).  Winter is between January and March, with temperatures between 15ºC and 30ºC.

Peak tourist season: The most popular months to visit Dubai are November to April. January and February are very popular due to the Dubai Shopping Festival.

Passport and visa info for South Africans:

Legal system: Dubai follows Sharia law. Visit our Important info for visitors to Dubai page for must-know rules and regulations.

Culture: Islamic religion and traditional Arab culture

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