SFPE Middle East Conference
19-23 March 2017
Dubai, UAE
Marriott Al Jaddaf

FAQs

Please check the U.S. State Department website for more in-depth detailed information.

Additional information can also be found on the Embassy of the UAE website.

Currency

The currency used in Dubai is AED (Arab Emirate Dirham) or Dh. For the latest currency exchange rates, log on to www.xe.com. There are a number of ATMs throughout the city for the convenience of travelers. Also, all major international debit and credit cards are accepted at most shopping malls, hotels and restaurants.

Cellular Services for Tourists

A good mobile network operates in Dubai with several international players operating their networks. The 2 main GSM mobile service providers here are Du and Etisalat. Tourists can easily purchase pre-paid SIM cards on any of these networks to call both locally and internationally.

WiFi Internet

Dubai enjoys seamless internet connectivity. Most hotels, restaurants and malls offer free WiFi services. Internet is also available on mobile devices by the service providers.

Drinking Laws

  • The minimum age for the consumption of alcohol in Dubai is 21 years. Even when visiting a bar, you must have an identification and age proof with you.
  • Consuming/buying alcohol without having a valid liquor license is considered to be an offense.
  • Drinking alcohol in public places in prohibited in Dubai and is punishable under law.
  • You are not allowed to carry alcohol to the beaches unless the beach is a private one and owned by a hotel which has a proper liquor license.

Tipping

Though tipping is not mandatory in Dubai, it is always expected. Dh 10-20 is the ideal tipping amount to porters, waiters or bellboys. 10% of the total bill amount should be given as tip in restaurants and cafes.

Visa Requirements for U.S. Citizens (Tourist Passport) to Visit the UAE

No visas are required for American citizens (holder of regular passports) before arrival in the UAE, including US Citizens with visas or entry stamps from other countries in their passports. To ensure entry, please be sure you have the following:

  1. Original passport signed by the bearer, should not expire within six (6) months from the expected time of arrival in the UAE.
  2. Confirmed round-trip airline ticket or airline ticket to other destination(s).

Visas are available upon arrival at the airport and they are valid for one (1) month stay in the UAE. If you plan to stay longer, you can request more time from the immigration officer at the airport or contact the local immigration office in the UAE and request an extension.

Declarations and Allowance

Dubai customs allows visitors to enter with goods the value of which does not exceed Dh 3000, without paying import fees, provided:

  • Items are only for personal or professional use
  • Amount of goods are reasonable
  • Items are not restricted or prohibited - there are certain restrictions on the amount of alcohol and tobacco products that can be brought in under duty free:
  • 400 cigarettes, 50 cigars and 500 grams of loose tobacco are allowed
  • 4 litres of alcohol/ 2 cartons of beer with 24 cans each are allowed

Prohibited and Restricted Goods

The following items are prohibited in Dubai. Carrying them with you in any form may lead to strict penalties: Drugs, narcotics, chemicals and organic fertilizers, Khus khus (poppy seeds) or paan(betel leaves), pornographic material, non-Islamic religious pamphlets for missionary activities, fireworks, ivory, weapons and ammunition, laser pens, radar jammers/other unauthorized communication devices, plants or endangered animals, and any other objects which do not adhere to the religious and moral values of the UAE are prohibited here.

For a detailed list of all the items, visit http://www.dubaicustoms.gov.ae.

Prescription Pharmaceuticals

Some drugs normally taken under a doctor's supervision in the United States, and even some over-the-counter U.S. drugs and medications, are classified as narcotics in the UAE and are illegal to possess. A doctor's prescription should be carried along with any medication that is brought into the country. A person may be subject to arrest and prosecution if possession of banned medicines (especially those containing codeine and similar narcotic-like ingredients) comes to the attention of local authorities.

Safety

Dubai’s crime rate is relatively low and it is considered as a safe city. However, like many other cities, pick pocketing and other petty crimes are commonplace in Dubai. Be cautious of your surrounds and avoid places which may seem unsafe or suspicious.

U.S. Embassy

Embassies District, Plot 38, Sector W59-02, Street No. 4
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Telephone: +(971) (2) 414-2200
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(971) (0) 2-414-2200
Fax: +(971) (2) 414-2241
Email: abudhabiacs@state.gov

The normal work week in the UAE is Sunday through Thursday.

Consulate

Corner of Al Seef Rd. and Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Rd
Dubai, UAE
Telephone: +(971) (4) 309-4000
Emergency Telephone: +(971) (2) 414-2200
Fax: +(971) (4) 311-6213
Email: DubaiACS@state.gov

The normal work week in the UAE is Sunday through Thursday.

Photograpy

Taking photographs of UAE military, sensitive civilian sites or foreign diplomatic missions – including the U.S. Embassy or Consulate General – may result in arrest, detention, and/or prosecution by local authorities. In addition, engaging in mapping activities, especially mapping that includes the use of GPS equipment, without coordination with UAE authorities, may have the same consequences.