General Information


Dubai is a year round destination but the best time to visit Dubai is during the winter months, November-March. In December temperatures tend to range between 15-26 degrees celsius (60-80 degrees farenheit) throughout the day. Rainfall is infrequent-mostly during the winter months-but flash floods do occur.


Attire for the conference sessions is business casual.  Speakers and panelists are advised to wear business attire. 

Dubai is a cosmopolitan city that is a melting pot of diverse cultures and religious faiths. All attires and cultural preferences are generally acceptable. Swimwear is permissible on beaches, pool and spa areas and for water-based entertainment but is not considered appropriate in areas such as business districts and shopping malls. It is pertinent to note that in the more historical quarters of the city and places of religious worship, dressing conservatively is appreciated. In mosques, clothing that covers shoulders, arms and legs and head scarves for women, are required.


While all IDEA conference fees must be paid in US dollars, the monetary unit of the UAE is the dirham (AED). Currency exchange bureaus are the best places to exchange money.  Credit cards are widely accepted in most stores while banks and ATM’s can be found throughout Dubai. Visitors are encouraged to check the exchange rate prior to travelling to Dubai for accurate information.

Tipping and Gratuities

There is no official tipping policy in Dubai according to the Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) but as with most countries, tipping is at the customer’s discretion and is based upon the service delivered and can be 10% unless a service charge has already been applied - a 10% tip for hotel bellhops and restaurant wait staff is adequate. It is also appropriate to tip taxi drivers a few dirhams.


The official language is Arabic but English is widely spoken and understood throughout the country.

Local Time

Gulf Standard Time (GST), UTC/GMT + 4 hours


The electricity supply in Dubai is 220/240 volts at 50 cycles. Standard British square three-pin plugs are the norm in most hotels. It is recommended to have a universal adapter and converter kit.


Normal tourist photography is acceptable, but like anywhere in the world, it is courteous to ask permission before photographing people, especially women.


Bargaining is expected in the souq and is quite usual elsewhere. Vendors will usually drop the price for a cash sale.