Dubai is one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates and is situated on the Persian Gulf coast. Divided into Bur Dubai and Deira Dubai, it covers an area of 4,114 square kilometres and is located within the Arabian Desert.Notes currencies cards
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 travellers. Also, all major international debit and credit cards are accepted at most shopping malls, hotels and restaurants.Cellular service 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.Wi-Fi internet
Dubai enjoys seamless internet connectivity.Most hotels, restaurants and malls offer free Wi-Fi 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 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 until the beach is a private one and owned by a hotel which has a proper liquor licenseTipping
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.Custom visa
Make sure you have the following ready before arrival in Dubai:
The traveller's valid passport with a validity of at six months
A valid 30 Dubai visa
Travel insurance for all medical emergencies
The most reliable source from where you can get all visa related information is the UAE embassy in your country. Before applying for a visa, ensure that you have a sponsor in the UAE for the same. There are 3 types of visas that you can apply for:
Tourist visa: This valid for 30 days and is renewable.
Transit visa: This is the best option for short trips (if you travelling to Dubai for less than four days.)
Visit visa: You can either take the visa for 30 days or for 90 days. This visa type is not renewable.Declarations and Allowances:
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
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.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.
The bus network in Dubai is run by the Roads and Transport Authority. These buses connect all the major landmarks and tourist spots of the city, and are very comfortable. With the fare starting at Dh 2, these buses run every 15-20 minutes, except on Fridays, when the frequency is a bit low. You can also take the economical Big Bus sightseeing tour which takes you to all the major attractions and offers live commentary and free admission to the Dubai Museum and a dhow cruise.Metro :
This is one of the most commonly used and efficient modes of public transport in Dubai. It holds the record of being the world’s longest fully automated metro rail network, with two lines (Red and Green) operational.Taxi :
Taxis are a convenient way of getting around Dubai. Easily available throughout the city, you will always find a long line waiting outside shopping malls and other attractions. Starting with a minimum of Dh 3, the fare increases at a rate of Dh 1.60 per kilometer.Water Bus :
This is an economical and preferred way to travel from Bur Dubai to Deira and vice versa. Fares for the water buses range from Dh 1 - Dh 4, depending on the route you take.Driving :
Vehicles are driven on the right side of the road and you need to have a credit card and a domestic and international driver’s license if you wish to hire a car in Dubai. However, this is not recommended due to the several traffic congestions which are expected throughout the day.
The best time to visit Dubai is during the winter months, from November to April. January and February see heavy tourist traffic because of the Dubai Shopping Festival, which makes the city come alive. Here’s a monthly breakup of Dubai's climatic conditions so you can plan when to go:November to March :
Dubai winters are from November to April and this is the best time to visit Dubai. The weather is pleasant and suited for all kinds of outdoor activities. What’s more, the much loved Dubai Shopping Festival is held during Jaunary-February and that is when you will see Dubai actually crowded. Since this is the peak season, hotel rates and airfares tend to go really high. Book well in advance to get the best rates possible and avoid any inconvenience.April to October :
The temperatures begin to rise by April and May and during peak summers, even start hitting the late forties. Summer months in Dubai are really, really hot and humid, making it almost impossible to explore the outdoors. However, all malls/stores are air-conditioned and you can indulge in as much retail therapy as you would like.
Singapore covers an area of approximately 720 square kilometers and is one of the smallest countries in the world. It is located at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, separated from Indonesia to the south by the Singaporean Strait and Malaysia to the north by the Johor Strait. The Island of Singapore is low-lying with the highest point being Bukit Timah at height of approximately 540 feet. The island was once covered with dense rainforest, which today can only be seen at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. Apart from the main island, the Republic of Singapore has over 60 smaller islands and islets. It is strategically located and serves as an important seaport along major shipping routes.Notes currencies cards
Singapore’s currency is known as Singapore Dollar, or singdollar (SGD or $). For the latest exchange rates log on to www.xe.com. ATM machines are available at all malls and enable you to withdraw funds from foreign debit cards. Money changers are located throughout Singapore and in most shopping centres. Many stay open for 24 hours and offer competitive rates. Little India is a good place to exchange currency.All major credit cards are widely accepted apart from by local hawkers, many taxi companies and a few food courts. You may be charged an additional 2-3% at smaller stores for credit card payments.Cellular service for tourists
Singapore uses GSM900 and GSM1800 with full coverage over the entire island. You can get your global roaming activated on your GSM digital phone and connect with one of the local service networks. Check the roaming rates with your operator. Alternatively, you can buy a local SIM card from post offices, 7-Eleven stores and local telecom stores. It is necessary to show your passport in order to buy one. The main service providers in Singapore include SingTel, StarHub and M1.Wi-Fi internet
Most of the top hotels have internet access. There are many backpacker hostels that offer free internet and Wi-fi. Singapore has a wide broadband network, with many wireless hotspots located throughout the country. Some of the local service providers include, SingTel, StarHub and M1.Drinking laws
The legal drinking age in Singapore is 18 years and over. The alcohol law is very strictly enforced in the country and anyone found violating the laws can be severely punished. This is also one of the main reasons why Singapore tops the list of countries with the lowest crime rates.Tipping
Tipping is not compulsory in Singapore and is very often frowned upon by the government. A 10% service charge is almost always levied on the bill. If not, you can tip as per your discretion.Custom visa
Indians require a visa to enter Singapore, unless they hold a diplomatic or official passport. Apply for your visa at least three to four weeks in advance.Safety
Singapore is regarded as one of the most clean and safe cities in the world. Hygiene is practiced everywhere including in the roadside eateries (hawker stalls). The legal system can at times appear to be very stringent in Singapore. There are fines for just about everything: from smoking in public places to jaywalking, littering and even chewing gum! Singapore has a low crime rate and therefore considered relatively safe. However, petty crimes like pick pocketing or bag snatching are common. It’s advisable to always be cautious of your surroundings and avoid visiting isolated areas.
Singapore’s efficient and regular bus service offers an enjoyable way to explore the island's charming streets. The main service providers are SBS Transit and SMRT. Bus charges range from $1 to $2.10. Be sure to drop the exact change into the fare box.MRT :
The Mass Transit Railway (MRT) connects to every part of the city and is the fastest and most economical way to get around Singapore. Trains operate from 5:30 am to midnight, with around 90 stations connecting the city centre and suburbs. Changi Airport is accessible by the MRT with regular trains to the city. The journey is a mere thirty minutes. A single trip can cost between $1 to $2.10 (plus a $1 refundable deposit).Taxi :
Taxis are affordable and easily available throughout Singapore, although you can expect a wait during peak hours. They are easily be hailed from outside hotels, designated taxi stands or can be flagged down anywhere in the streets, and are a blessing when you are out till late at night. When in the city centre you can only get a taxi from the designated ranks. The base fare is between $2.80 and $3.20, with an additional $0.20 for every 385 metres thereafter. Expect a higher charge during night time, peak hours, for trips to the central business district and advance phone booking.Trishaws :
Explore Singapore on this traditional chauffeur-pedalled transport. Purely for tourist purposes, trishaws should be avoided for serious travel. With little room for bargaining, you can end up paying between $10-20 for short rides and about $50 for an hour’s sightseeing.EZ Link :
If you are planning to stay in Singapore for longer than a week, you can save on train and bus travel by buying the EZ Link card. These cards can easily be bought from an MRT station and entitle you to a discount of up to 30%.
True to its location in Southeast Asia, Singapore generally remains hot and humid all year round.February - April:
The months between the summers and winters are quite pleasant. Plenty of outdoor activities become available then.July - September:
While tourists visit throughout the year, the festive season is a great time to explore the many facets of Singapore, especially around July when the Great Singapore Sale and the Singapore Food Festival take place.November - January:
The wettest months are between November and January, when showers can last for long periods of time, while the hottest months are May and June.
Ringgit is the currency of Malaysia which must be exchanged by the citizens of different nationalities for all types of purchases and feasting in Malaysia. Money exchange centres are available at the banks as well as shopping centres. Most of the places including hotels, departmental stores and restaurants also accept credit cards.Safety
Although Malaysia is a safe country yet you need to be little bit careful at the public places especially at the bars and tourist centres. While feasting or drinking in Malaysia, take proper care of your credit cards.Police
Policemen in Malaysia can be seen in uniform at the most of the tourist places, giving timely support and help.Healthcare
Travellers are recommended to make a travel insurance before travelling to Malaysia that can be helpful for the medical care, if required.Transport
There is very comprehensive public transport for commuting in Malaysia that include rail, bus and taxi. Different means of transportation is available in Malaysia that is very cheap and safe.Visas
Visa is required for the citizen for getting entered in Malaysia but most of the nationalities don’t require visa at the time of entry. They can easily visit Malaysia with the passport having minimum 6 months validity.Malay language
Malay is a different language but only some citizens and drivers can be seen conversing in English with the tourists. It is possible in Malaysia that all the drivers can’t speak English.Weather
Malaysia is hot and humid throughout the year but there can be seen a perfect climate at some particular time for the full enjoyment with all types of activities. Calm weather, rainy season and heat which all provides you the opportunities to enjoy there. For the lover of aqua activities, monsoon season from October to January must be avoided.Malaysia is almost developed
Malaysia is a developed country that takes you on a comfortable and challenged trip. It has world class services, comfort and activities never make you disappointed and frustrated during your trip.
Malaysia consists an efficient transportation system which is quite comprehensive and reasonable. It is easy, safe and cheap to commute in Malaysia because of good and quick transportation facility which takes you to different parts of Malaysia for the enjoyment at the attraction and activities.
Domestic and international airport facilities in Penang as well as Langkawi takes visitors to different parts of the Peninsula Malaysia to enjoy the beauty of the amazing architecture of the place.Train :
Train is the best option to commute in Malaysia as it takes you to the different City areas such as Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi, Penang, Johor Bahru and many more. It is a safe, cheap and easy mode of transport which provides you a comfortable and pleasant experience.Buses :
Commuting in Malaysia by the Buses can be efficient and safe where ticket can be booked in advance from bus terminals. Largest bus tour operators which takes you on a comfortable journey.Long-distance taxis :
Taxis are available in Malaysia that are sharing based or you can hire them for yourself. Charges for the taxis are standardized and you need not to bargain for this.Car :
You can also hire a car that is usually available for you but before hiring a car, it is good to conform the actual fare for the destination.Ferries :
You can find plenty of boats which takes you to different areas in peninsular Malaysia as plenty of boats run between mainland and the offshores of the Island.Two wheelers :
There are decent roads in Malaysia which takes visitors on a comfortable journey to ride on a bike or a cycle. One can hire a bike for commuting in Malaysia on rental basis but a chain is must to keep at the time of parking.
Malaysia is almost hot and humid throughout the year and it is considered that there is not a particular time to visit Malaysia. Malaysia is a land of diverse culture where different people of region, culture and tradition can be seen to enjoy many cultural events and festivals. All types of activities, attractions and fun make it a perfect destination to enjoy there.February - April:
At the starting of the Chinese year some ritual activities are performed which are most liked by the travellers.May to September:
May to September is the perfect time to visit Malaysia because during this time the normal temperature make it a pleasant and comfortable place to visit. During this time one can experience the calm weather, clear blue skies and also water-sport activities.October to January:
October to January is the time for heavy rains in Malaysia which provides a rough climate at the beaches or the sea. There can be overflow of water so for the lover of aqua activities monsoon season is not a perfect time to visit.
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