The most common way of getting around Dubai is by taxi; they are cheap and easy to find. The Dubai Metro system opened in 2009 and now covers the length of Dubai from Jebel Ali in the south, all the way to the airport, then inland to Al Rashidiya. Most of the malls are connected on the central portion of the route. There is a Gold Class cabin and special carriages for women and children. Many hotels offer shuttle bus services for guests as well. Metered taxis are cream coloured, with uniformed drivers. The public bus service covers most areas of the city and its beaches; a monthly period pass as well as a discounted purse pass are available. Routes and bus numbers are posted in both Arabic and English. Small wooden motorboats (abras) cross the creek every few minutes between Bur Dubai and Deira. Cars are the most popular method of transport for locals in the city, and although roads are well-marked and car hire cheap, visitors should think twice about hiring one, as driving standards are erratic and accidents frequent. All accidents must be reported to the police, and chances are good that a visit to the police station will be necessary. Outside the city, signposts are rare.
Electrical current is 220/240 volts, 50Hz. The most frequently used plugs are the round two-pin type.
The currency of the United Arab Emirates is the Dirham (AED), which is divided into 100 fils. There are no currency regulations in the UAE and all major currencies are readily exchanged at banks and large hotels. The Dirham is fixed against the US Dollar. The best exchange rates are found at private moneychangers who operate throughout the territory, particularly in the more popular souks (markets) and shopping centres. Most major credit cards are accepted. ATMs are common throughout the UAE. Banking hours are generally Saturday to Thursday from 8am to 3pm, but some are also open until 8.30pm, after a midday break.
The International code for the United Arab Emirates is +971. Local mobile phone networks provide wide GSM coverage throughout the country. Guest starter packs, including a SIM card and credit, can be bought on arrival at the airport, providing three months of cellular access. Internet cafes are widely available, and most hotels have high speed internet access. The internet is censored to filter out any material and websites deemed undesirable by the authorities.
Dubai Metro runs two air-conditioned train lines roughly every 10 minutes from Terminals 1 and 3 to many major stops in the city. The service runs daily from 5.30am to midnight, excluding Friday mornings when service starts at 1pm. Dubai International Airport Buses and public buses leave regularly for the city centre; the bus stations are located opposite the terminals. The bus routes are extensive and may be confusing for new travellers. Tickets must be bought in advance as bus drivers do sell tickets.
There are car rental firms available in the Arrivals Hall, such as Hertz, Europcar, Avis and Thrifty, among others.
Dubai Transport Taxis are available 24-hours a day at the Arrivals Terminal. A taxi from Dubai International Airport to the centre of Dubai will start at around AED 20 and cost up to AED 100 to the farthest parts of the city. You can spot Dubai Transport Corporation cabs by their cream colour. Those with a pink trim have female drivers.
There is a 24-hour airport shuttle service available between Terminal 1, 2 and 3.
Facilities at the airport include the renowned Dubai Duty Free, a food court, banking, bureaux de change, free internet services, entertainment for children, business facilities, medical care, special needs assistance, an airport hotel, post office and lounges. Passengers can also use the swimming pool, Jacuzzi and gymnasium, charged on an hourly basis.
There are short and long-term parking options near all the terminals. Short-term parking is near the terminals and allows up to five hours' parking, while long-term parking is farther away.
There is free wifi throughout the airport.