Tips beginning with C

The climate is at its best between October and April when, even in mid-winter, temperatures on the coast hover at around 24 degrees Celsius maximum. Nights are cool, sometimes even chilly, but rain is so infrequent it poses no threat to outdoor activities. From May until October, it is extremely hot and humid on the coast and, although humidity drops significantly inland, temperatures soar over 40 degrees Celsius during the day and only drop about 10 degrees at night. Even those cooling Gulf breezes that spring up during the summer are sometimes laden with dust and sand. Summers in the Gulf are no longer unbearable, however, thanks to air-conditioning, swimming pools and the successful greening of the cities.

Lightweight summer clothing is suitable all year round, with the addition of a warmer jacket for cool winter nights. Air-conditioned hotels and restaurants can also be quite cold at times. During the summer months, it is advisable to wear loose, comfortable clothes in fabrics suitable for hot conditions. With the exception of beaches and around swimming pools, where modern swimwear can be worn without contravening local dress codes, visitors are expected to dress conservatively in public. It is advisable to cover up under the strong Middle Eastern sun with sleeved clothing, hats and sunglasses. Hotel restaurants do not insist that male guests wear ties, but most men, if not wearing a lightweight suit and tie, will at least be in smart casual attire.

Credit cards
Most credit cards such as Diners, American Express, MasterCard and Visa are accepted at the major hotels and some of the larger shops; however, better bargains can usually be obtained with cash.

The United Arab Emirate dirham (AED) and fils are the units of currency with 100 fils to the dirham. The dirham is tied to the US dollar at a steady exchange rate of US$1 = AED3.68. Banks usually give the best rates on foreign currency exchange, but hotels and airports are often quicker and are open outside of banking hours. Money exchangers tend to have a wider range of currencies, but their rates may be higher. Exchange rates are published daily in newspapers.

Arabian Gulf Directory

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