Tips For Studying in Dubai

Arabic is the main language of Dubai. However, English is also widely spoken. It is advisable that tourists be cognizant about the Arabic language, as that would help them to get around smoothly in Dubai.

Some places to learn Arabic language in  New Delhi are as follows:
  • Crystal Lingua Inc.
    Chawri Bazar, 3804,
    Magzine Street,
    New Delhi - 09871015807.
  • English Arabic & Urdu translator
    E-246 1st floor Shaheen Bagh,
    Jamia Nagar,
    New Delhi - 09911024715.
  • Anglo Arabic School
    Desh Bandhu Gupta Rd,
    New Delhi, Haryana.
Basic Arabic Words
  1. HelloSalam - Marhaba
  2. What is your name? Sho Ismak? (m) Sho Ismek? (m) 
  3. My name is ...Ismi... 
  4. I don't speak ArabicAna ma ba'aref ahkee Arabee

Transportation in Dubai

Public Transport
  • Abra
    These are small ferries carrying about 20 people from one side of the Creek to the other.  The fare is AED 2.00 (about EUR 0.40). Newer air conditioned abras cost 4Dhs.
  • Bus
    The bus network has been improved and fare from one end of Dubai to the other is around 4.10 Dhs.  The fronts of the buses are reserved for women and families.
  • Taxi
    The most convenient and most popular way to get round Dubai is taxi. Taxis are metered. Minimum fare is 10 Dhs and it would cost typically 80-100 Dhs to go from one end of Dubai to the other. 
  • Metro
    The Red line is now almost fully functional and runs from about 6am to about 10.30 at night. It is closed Friday mornings until 2pm. There is a women's only carriage at the front.
Taxi and Rentals
  • One of the simple and inexpensive ways to get around Dubai is in taxis. You only pay what amount is computed on the meter. Most of the drivers speak English.
  • Some common fares are:
    'Deira' gold, spice souks -  about 20 minutes to half an hour journey costs 30 to 40 dirham which is about £6.00.
    Karama area - 35 to 50 same time journeys costs about £6.50 to £7.00.

Tourist Bureau Information

  • For tourists headed to Dubai, there are a few tourist websites. These websites are written for the visitor new to the Arab country and looking for activities, hotels, and the like.
  • At Dubai Tourism ( you can search for hotels, apartments, and shopping. There is a listing of “major events” in Dubai. 
  • Dubai City Guide ( a more commercial look at the city. Dubai has attractive nightlife and there is a listing of nightclubs with phone numbers, locations, hours and in some cases, reviews from other visitors.

Dubai Airlines Guidelines

  • Do not carry liquids in excess of 100 ml.
  • Each container should not exceed 100 ml.
  • Maximum 1 litre capacity.
  • Pack personal belongings in your hand luggage.
  • Place laptops in an easily retrievable location as you will be asked to place in trays provided at the security checkpoint.
  • Check with your airline about baggage allowances.
  • Generally 2 pieces of baggage are allowed for international travel with the weight of each piece not exceeding 32 kilograms; however this may vary by airline and by fare type.
  • Excess baggage must be repacked and excess baggage fees typically apply.
  • Always remove old baggage tags as they may cause the baggage system to reject the luggage it is attached to.
  • Avoid using cardboard boxes as they must be processed manually (which takes more time) and are not durable.
  • Arrange for travel insurance.
  • Check with your airline to determine visa requirements at your final destination.
General Guidelines
  • You may have to pay an extra 20 Dhs (AED Dirhams) when you get into the taxi at the airport.  If you cross the pedestrian bridge, you can get a taxi 20 Dhs cheaper on the main road, without extra airport tax.
  • There are now no night buses running from the airport. The Dubai Metro does not start until 6am, thus, if you arrive on one of the many flights arriving between 10pm and 6am you have to use a taxi. The fare could be around 80-100 Dhs to the furthest end of town near Ibn Battuta.
  • Only one metro line serves Terminals 1 and 3. The purple line which was to have served the airport has been postponed. indefinitely. You will find great difficulty finding a feeder bus going from T1 to T3, and certainly none going to or from T2. The walk from T1 to T3 is about 15 minutes.
  • The "Wojhati" or Journey Planner is an electronic system that gives the public transport riders accurate information, to determine the most accessible transport mode according to the rider's location, destination and trip time. If you want to check out which buses are available, check out the Wojhati" or Journey Planner site of the RTA.
  • (
  • You are allowed to carry one suitcase onto the Metro.
  • You will need to purchase a ticket before entering the bus.
Upon Arriving at Dubai International Airport:
  • Duty free to taxis are clearly signposted.The airport staff is fluent in English, and is only willing to assist you with any inquiries you may have.Upon disembarking the plane there is a long walk before you collect your luggage.
  • Travelators are situated on the left hand side however a free buggy service is available. The buggy stop is situated prior to the travelators.

Practicing Religion

Islamic is the official religion of Dubai. For several decades other religious minorities like Hindus, Sikhs, christens and others are living harmoniously in this Dubai. Dubai is the only place where all religions can be worshipped and each person has access to Sikh gurudwara, Hindu temples and churches. The emirate is vry tolerant and respectful of all religions. Visitors and residents are expected to respect Islam and abide by certain etiquette and code of conduct, including the special rules that come into effect during the holy month of Ramadan.

Cultural Shock

Students are affected by cultural and language differences. Information is the best defense against culture shock. You can get information from the internet, books and articles, magazines, campus advisers and from students who have been in the same program or country. Keep in regular contact with friends and family back home. Make friends in your host country, both natives as well as other international students.

Stay Connected

Stay connected through computers, internet, and email. Computers help you complete projects and assignments, check email, and access the Internet.

Staying in Dubai

The YHA Dubai  is located  on Al Nahda Road between Al Mulla Plaza and the Al Bustan Centre on the same side of the road near the Al Ali club. Any Dubai Taxi driver will know those places even if they do not know the exact location of the YHA.
Email address:


  • Shawarma is the most available food item on most streets in Dubai. It is the Arabic equivalent of the Burger. It is a Non-vegeterian food item. It costs about AED 5 ($1.30) The Shawarma sold by Indian restaurants in Dubai are the cheapest.
  • Another common snacks is Fala-Fil (Felafel, Falafel), available at about the same costs as the shawarma. 
  • Most of the American fast food chains are present in Dubai, including KFC, Chillis, TGI Fridays, Starbucks, and McDonalds.
  • For Indians (and vegetarians), Dubai has a large selection of budget Indian vegetarian food. Dosa, vada, idlee, samosa, chapaati/roti, sabji  are available at reasonable prices, less than 10Dhs ($2.5) per course. The expensive food costs up to USD 5.00. Bur Dubai, particularly in Meena Bazaar area, and Karama are the places where these restaurants are densely situated. Most of these restaurants are open from 7AM till 10PM or 11PM throughout the week.


  • Tourists are not required to take a medical exam or to carry a medical certificate, unless they have been in cholera or yellow fever infected area in the past 14 days.
  • Tourists should ensure that they are perfectly healthy prior to visiting Dubai, as medical costs are high for expatriates and foreign workers.
  • In cases of health emergency, it is advisable to either call an ambulance or reach a hospital using a taxi. It is also implied that expatriates should know the location and contact details of the nearest hospital. 
  • Respiratory-related problems are oftentimes triggered and aggravated by sand and dust in the air brought about by the continuous construction in the country. Heat strokes and sunburn are brought about by the extreme heat in the country.
  • Sleeping pills and anti-depressant drugs are banned from being sold over the counter in Dubai. However, in medical conditions, patients are advised to obtain prescriptions for the use of these medicines. 
  • Medicines are generally expensive in Dubai. 
  • To call an ambulance (or the police) in Dubai dial 999.
  • Blood bank at Al Wasl Hospital in Dubai-3241178.

Documents Needed

  • Passports- Generally, you must have a passport to travel to a foreign country.
  • Visas- A visa is an ink stamp or slip of paper inserted into your passport by a foreign government, giving you permission to visit for a specific time. For definitive visa information, however, check directly with the embassy or consulate of your destination country. 
  • International Student Identity Card (ISIC)- The ISIC photo ID entitles full-time students to valuable discounts. This card costs about $22 and may be provided from your college or university. 
  • International Driver's Permit (IDP)- Even if you don't drive, it is probably good to have an IDP available for emergencies. 
  • Current home university course catalog.

Currency Exchange and Banking

  • It is important to understand banking options while overseas and develop a strategy prior to your departure. Your program orientation should cover this information and usually will provide you with written supplemental information.
  • ATMs can be used to obtain foreign currency from foreign ATM units. Students often open a bank account in the country they visit depending on the length of study. It is advisable to research about money transfers before going abroad. 
  • Use your credit card overseas mainly for emergencies, because fees and interest rates can be very high. However, possessing a popular credit card can help you obtain funds in an emergency.
  • An internationally recognized credit card can help you get funds in emergency. However, fees and interest rates can be very high.

Personal Safety

  • Give your family, close friends or guardians your emergency contact information. Keep them informed of changes to your itinerary and residence.
  • Research insurance options and coverage. Health insurance is also available at many airport currency exchange counters.
  • Be aware about how to get emergency medical and police assistance.
  • Burglaries have been on the rise. So, it is advisable that all necessary precautions be taken. For instance, keep an eye on your wallet or purse when in crowded areas.
  • If you are taking a cab, make sure that it’s an authorized taxi, uses meter, and it is also licensed. 
  • Be careful of the area you are in and who is hanging around. 
  • Be sure to protect your valuables.
  • Use a guide if you are going to travel into unfamiliar territory and always conceal and protect your currency. 
  • Also remember that Dubai is a Muslim country so you need to be particularly respectful of the religious sensitivities. For instance, eating in public during the holy month of Ramadan is prohibited from sunrise until sunset; hence visitors should have meals inside their hotel or residence.
  • A simple kiss in a public place, cross dressing, rude hand gestures, having an alcoholic drink in the wrong place or even losing your temper could land you a month or more in jail.
  • Make sure you are aware of all their laws.
  • Women should dress sensibly and avoid wearing revealing outfits.
  • Recreational drug use and distribution is a serious criminal offence. Passenger baggage is screened quite thoroughly when entering Dubai. Even prescription drugs (without original prescription note) or ones that you bought over the counter in your country can lead to a prison sentence.

Packing Tips

  • Comfortable clothes and shoes.
  • A good quality of sun glasses.
  • Bottle water in your bag to avoid dehydration.
  • Sunscreen with high SPF is recommended.
  • Smart casual dress if you plan to go for fine dining.
  • Sunscreen.
  • A good quality of sun Glasses.
  • Jacket or sweater.
  • Comfortable clothes and shoes.
  • Smart casual clothes.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies:
  • Sunscreen
  • Moisturizer
  • After sun lotion
Miscellaneous Items:
  • Address book
  • Portable battery-powered alarm clock 
  • Journal 
  • Sewing kit 
  • Small first aid kit

Pre Departure Formalities

  • Book your flights abroad and, your connecting flights as well.
  • Get your passport. If you don't already have a passport, you should apply for one as soon as possible. Validity of your passport must be at least six months past your planned date of departure from your host country. 
  • Finalize your financial aid.  
  • Buy a travel guide and watch movies about your host country. Read something about your host country before you leave.
  • Have a medical check-up, a dental exam and any necessary shot.
  • Give a photocopy of your passport and tickets to your parents. 
  • Give your parents the numbers of your credit cards and traveler’s checks in case they are lost or stolen.
  • Carry with you the name, phone number, fax number and e-mail address of your academic advisor at your home college or university.

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