Useful information and practical life on site United Arab Emirates

Useful information and practical life on site United Arab Emirates

Time difference

The Emirates are 2 hours ahead of continental Western Europe in summer and 3 hours in winter. When it is noon in Paris, it is 14 p.m. in Abu Dhabi in July and 15 p.m. in December.


Electrical voltage: 220-240 V, 50 Hz. The sockets, three square pins, are the same as in England. Most hotels have adapters.

Opening hours

First of all, remember that the " weekend », Here, is built around Friday, the day of the great prayer, and Saturday. Typically, hours are reduced during Ramadan.

- The offices operate from 7:30 a.m. to 15 p.m., shops 9 a.m. to 19 p.m., with an afternoon break (generally 13 p.m. to 16 p.m.), except sometimes in shopping centers, which remain open until 22 p.m. Some stores open on Friday afternoon.

- The post offices observe very variable hours. In larger cities, they usually open Saturday through Wednesday 8 a.m. to 13 p.m. and 16 p.m. to 19 p.m. (20 p.m. for the main Dubai office on Thursday), smaller ones from 8 a.m. to 15 p.m.

- The museums are often closed on Monday and Friday mornings, sometimes also during nap time, as in Sharjah. Some parks and museums reserve time slots for women (one day or one afternoon per week).


Most of the lunar festivals depend on the Islamic calendar.

- 1er January: New Year.
- Islamic new year (Al-Hijra) : variable date.
- Birth of the Prophet (Mouloud) : variable date.
- Ascension of the Prophet (Leilat al-Meiraj) : variable date.
- 6 August anniversary of the accession to power of Sheikh Zayed (Abu Dhabi) : variable date.
- End of ramadan (Eid ul-Fitr) : variable date.
- Feast of Sacrifice (Eid al-Adha) : variable date.
- 2 December: Emirates national day.


THEArab, of course. However, the presence of a very large foreign community means that, in practice, almost everything takes place in English. It is a little more complicated in Ras el Khaïma and, above all, in Fujairah.


Absolutely avoid photographing people, especially women, without asking their consent. We saw angry families in shopping center parking lots because they thought they were in the picture!

Know-how and customs

A Muslim society in essence, the Emirates live largely according to the Sharia and the precepts of Islam. Certainly, foreign women are not required to wear a veil, admittedly they are allowed to drive, but it is better not to take out your most beautiful cleavage, mini-skirt or Brazilian swimsuit ...

Don't flirt in public (even if you are already in a relationship): it is an offense (possibly) punishable by prison! Same penalty if you eat or drink in public during the day during Ramadan. Cohabitation is theoretically illegal and homosexuality is punishable by law.

Telephone and Internet


- From abroad to the United Arab Emirates: the UAE code is 971. You must then dial the local code (Abu Dhabi 02, Al Ain 03, Dubaï 04, Sharjah, Ajman and Umm al-Qaïwain 06, Ras el Khaïma 07, Fujairah 09) without the initial 0 , then the 7-digit number. From one emirate to another, add 0. Cell phone numbers start with 050.
- From the United Arab Emirates to abroad: the international network is accessed by dialing 00, followed by the code of the desired country (Belgium 32, Canada 1, France 33, Switzerland 41) and the number of the correspondent, without the initial 0.

- Internal calls: calls between landlines are free within each emirate.

Phone cards are sold in supermarkets, gas stations and some shops (30 to 45 Dh). Reduced price during the week from 14 p.m. to 16 p.m. and from 19 p.m. to 7 a.m., Friday and certain public holidays.


Fixed Internet access is very common in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, rather less elsewhere. Wifi is available in most hotels, at the airport, in a large number of cafes and some shopping centers, but at a rather high price: 2 Dh per minute ...
Censorship is exercised quite widely for anything relating to sexuality, Israel or comments on local politics.

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