About Dubai

Located on the Arabian Peninsula, Dubai is the natural meeting place at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa, and a global hub for trade, commerce, knowledge exchange and innovation. The city enjoys a strategic location and serves as the biggest re-exporting center in the Middle East. Its low logistical and operational costs combined with excellent infrastructure, international outlook and liberal government policies have transformed Dubai into the regions’ most dynamic and prosperous business hub.

Situated on the Persian Gulf coast, Dubai is the second largest (by population and size) of the seven emirates that constitute the United Arab Emirates, and shares borders with Abu Dhabi in the south and Sharjah in the northeast. With its year-round sunshine, its desert surroundings, its skyscraper skyline, its luxurious hotels and shopping malls, fascinating heritage attractions, and a thriving business community, Dubai is one of the most intriguing areas in the world to visit.

Visa Information

AIB encourages you to familiarize yourself with visa and travel requirements well in advance of the conference. Visitors to the United Arab Emirates must have a valid passport. The information provided here is for informational purposes only. Visa rules and requirements can change somewhat frequently, so please make sure to contact the UAE embassy in your country for the most up-to-date information. You can use Embassy Finder to find the nearest embassy/consulate.

Countries Not Requiring a Visa

As of December 2016, citizens of 46 countries — GCC nationals plus nationals of listed countries below do not require a visa prior to arrival. Your passport will simply be stamped with a 30-day visit visa free of charge at the airport.

List of Countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Vatican, United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

Applying for a Visa

If your country is not listed above and you are not a GCC citizen, then you will require a visa. The visa must be applied for by a local sponsor. If you choose to stay at the official conference hotel, JW Marriott Marquis, the hotel will assist you with your visa application. If you are flying to Dubai with Emirates, that airline also has a visa assistance service.

Please note that AIB is not authorized to sponsor visas, therefore you must go through either your hotel or the Emirates airline. For further information, please contact UAE immigration authorities or the UAE Embassy in your home country.

Letter of Invitation

If as part of the visa application process, you are asked to submit a Letter of Invitation, create your own letter after you receive confirmation your registration has been processed. Please note that we are only able to issue invitation letters for those members who have already completed their registration process to the conference and have paid for their registrations. All invitation letters are subject to approval. If you have additional questions, please contact AIB at membership@aib.msu.edu.

Air Travel Information

There are two main international airports in Dubai, Dubai International Airport (DXB) and Dubai World Central – Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC). The vast majority of international flights are routed through Dubai International Airport (DXB), which is also connected to the city's metro system.

Getting to the Conference Venue

The AIB 2017 meeting will be held at the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai. The conference venue will also serve as the primary conference hotel for the AIB 2017 meeting. Please see the Venue and Lodging Information page for the special AIB conference rates and reservation information.

The JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai does not have an airport shuttle service. You have a few alternatives to get to the airport:

  • METRO: JW Marriott Marquis Dubai is an 8-minute walk from the "Business Bay" red line metro station. Terminals 1 and 3 at the Dubai International Airport are also on the same line. A standard ticket can be purchased for AED4 from the ticket machines at the metro station at the airport. However, please note that the red line stops running at midnight most day, except for at 1am on Friday-Saturday. So, please check your arrival time to make sure that the metro is a feasible option. More information on the Dubai Metro is available through Dubai.ae or Dubai-Metro.me.
  • TAXI: Taxi service is available from the airport to all hotels. All regular taxis are cream colored, and there are also black-colored luxury taxis (more expensive). All taxis in Dubai are metered, so do not get into a vehicle that does not have a meter visible (there are also private black cars that pickup customers near the taxi stop, but these will be quite expensive). While taxi rates vary based on the amount of traffic as well as the time of the day, the ride to JW Marriott Marquis should cost somewhere around AED50-60. While some taxis have credit card machines, many do not, so have enough cash available.
  • UBER: Uber is also quite popular in Dubai. However, please keep in mind that you do need Internet access to call an Uber on your phone, so unless you have a data plan or can get on the wireless at the airport, this may not be an option when you first arrive.

Basic Travel Information

Money

The legal tender is the Arab Emirate Dirham (AED). The dirham is pegged to the US dollar at approximately US$1=AED3.67.

Most stores, malls, restaurants, and some taxis accept credit and debit cards, and are generally capable of processing both chip cards as well as swipe cards. ATMs and currency exchanges are easy to locate, however, please note that most ATMs will charge a transaction fee, in addition to any fees your personal bank may charge.

Time

Dubai is in the Gulf Standard Time (GST) zone which is UTC/GMT+4 hours. There is no daylight savings.

Electricity

Dubai operates in 220/240 volts, 50 Hz and uses Type G plugs. Please remember to bring any adapters and transformers you may need.

Climate

In July, Dubai will be warm and humid, with daytime average temperatures around 38-40°C (102-104°F). Night temperature may fall to around 28-31°C (84-88°F). The weather typically is clear skies with little chance of precipitation. You can find more information at WeatherSpark-Dubai.

Dress Code

As a sign of respect for local customs and traditions, a modest dress code is strongly advised (shoulders covered, shorts and skirts at knee level or below). Wearing revealing clothing in public places should be avoided at all times. Swimwear is acceptable only at hotel pools, resorts and beaches. Before leaving those areas, change into casual wear.

General Ettiquette

Public displays of affection (holding hands, kissing in public, cuddling, etc.) are considered disrespectful and are considered unlawful. Taking photos of women is also considered rude and intrusive, therefore please take extra care framing your photos in public places.

While alcohol is widely served in hotels and at licensed restaurants, there is zero tolerance for drunken driving, and inappropriate behavior while under the influence of alcohol. Similarly, there is also zero tolerance for consuming or carrying drugs with severe penalties for violations.

Finally, offensive language, spitting, and aggressive behavior (including hand gestures) are viewed very seriously and can result in severe penalties as well.

Tipping Advice

Where service charges are not included in a bill, a 10% tip for hotel bellhops and restaurant waitstaff is appreciated. It is also appropriate to tip taxi drivers a few dirhams.

Additional Resources

  • Visit Dubai - The official tourism website for Dubai, showcasing all the city has to offer.
  • Lonely Planet Dubai - Lonely Planet's guide to visiting Dubai.
  • THAT Dubai Site - An alternate guide to visiting Dubai, published by the THAT media company.
  • Virtual Tourist Dubai - Virtual Tourist's guide to the city.
  • Time Out Dubai - A good guide to see what’s happening in and around town, including restaurants, night life, music, and culture.

Recommendations from AIB Members

If you have visited Dubai recently (or you are an AIB member residing in Dubai) and would like to share personal recommendations with AIB members that will be participating in AIB 2017, please use the form below to add your recommendations to this list.

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