Dear GlobCom Participants,
It is our pleasure to welcome you to the United Arab Emirates and hope your trip over will be a pleasant one. Directly translated from Arabic as “Land of the Gazelle,” Abu Dhabi is the capital and largest of the 7 Emirates, where we are proud to share all that there is to offer for the ultimate Emirati experience.
We are sure you have several questions about logistics, and customs and hopefully we are able to provide some answers with the information below
The hotel in which you will be accommodated in is the Centro Yas Island, located at Golf Plaza, Yas Island. It is an approximate 14-minute drive from Abu Dhabi International Airport and opposite of the Yas Marina Circuit. You can contact the hotel on their toll free number: 800 7744.
Airport transportation: Transportation is fairly inexpensive via taxis, which are readily available upon your arrival at Abu Dhabi International Airport. Tips are not expected.
General Transportation: The Public Bus Transportation Service is catered to your transportation needs during your stay with us. Network maps and timetables are accessible on www.dot.abudhabi.ae. Taxis are an alternative option that are available at your convenience and can be booked by calling 600 53 53 53, or ordered through your hotel reception.
Weather and Dress Code
The weather will most likely be quite warm and humid (roughly 35-38 degrees Celsius). Pack light summer clothing and leave jackets and sweaters at home. However, it would be in your best interest to dress lightly yet modestly out of respect for the conservative Emirati culture. Of course you can wear shorts and t-shirts during your free time, but nothing too revealing.
It is preferable for both men and women to have their shoulders and knees covered and for women not to reveal too much decolletage when not on the beach or at a hotel. It is not appropriate for men to walk along the street bare-chested.
For the symposium days we would kindly like to ask you to dress business casual.
This year’s award dinner will be held at “Ferrari World.” and dessert will be a one of a kind: Our hosts there will open the park for us to ride the word’s fastest roller coaster and the world’s highest roller-coaster loop! So, when you choose your clothes, make sure that they allow you not only to look your very best but also to go for a ride!
Currency and Exchange
The local currency the UAE Dirham (AED) and is pegged to the US Dollar with a rate of 3.67AED to 1 US dollars. Make sure all cash is exchanged when making purchases, as other currencies will not be accepted. Nonetheless, all common credit and debit cards are accepted (Visa, Mastercard, etc.)
Miscellaneous and Emergency
The UAE’s domestic supply for electricity is 220 volts for any electrical necessities brought over. In case of any emergency, dial 999 for police assistance. For any medical services or 24-hour pharmacies dial 800 555 free of charge.
Cultural aspects to consider
For many of you it will be the first time to travel to the Gulf Countries. You will see that not so many things are different here than in any of your home countries. The UAE is a modern society but nevertheless, every country also has its unique principles and social standards. To make your stay here comfortable and trouble free, we would like to bring the following to your attention:
You can take pictures of all tourism sites without restrictions. When taking a photograph in the UAE, please bear in mind local people wearing national dress may take exception if photographed without their permission. Please avoid taking pictures especially of women wearing national dress. Also as applied in many countries worldwide photography of governments buildings including Sheik’s palaces & security personal is prohibited.
If you want to take pictures of your Emirati teammates, just ask them. Many of them will be happy to have their photo taken while others are bound by cultural norms and can’t. Please do respect their decision. Please also ask them for their consent before posting any of their pictures on social media. Posting those pictures without consent is actually punishable by law.
Alcohol Consumption is allowed only by Non-Muslims in licensed restaurants, bars, clubs and private venues. Tourists will not be able to purchase alcohol in general stores and supermarkets It is against the law to drink alcohol whilst walking in the street or to be drunk in a public place. Alcohol can only be consumed by over 21s.
There is a zero tolerance in United Arab Emirates in relation to drugs and illegal substances. The penalties are extremely harsh and should you be found with the slightest amount of any substance you could face the death penalty. Passenger baggage is screened quite thoroughly when entering the country on this front.
Public display of affection
Public display of affection is frowned upon and public smooching & sexual acts can lead to jail time followed by deportation.
If an Emirati of the opposite gender does not shake hands with you, don’t take it personal or as an offense! It is local culture not to touch the other gender in public. Therefore, just wait for the Emirati to extend the hand and you will know that they are fine with it.
Hopefully, all this information has answered some of your questions. Please feel free to reach out to your teammates from the UAE, who are all happy to give you all the information you need.
We are looking forward to meeting all of you and sharing this memorable experience.
Your UAE team mates!!!