The official language is Arabic. English is important as a business and lingua franca and is mainly spoken by younger Arabs. Due to the many guest workers, Farsi (Persian), Urdu (Pakistani national language, which is also spoken in some states in India) and Hindi (Indian official language) are also widespread. French or German is sometimes also spoken in hotels. Arabic is spoken by around 320 million people worldwide as their mother tongue, and another 60 million people speak it as a second language. Because of its importance as a sacred language in the Islamic faith world, Arabic has developed into a world language. Arabic is next to Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish one of the six official languages ​​of the United Nations. Apart from the United Arab Emirates, it is also the official language in Egypt, Algeria, Bahrain, Eritrea, Israel, Iraq, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan and Tunisia, among others, although the local dialects sometimes differ greatly from one another. The Cairo dialect is generally understood due to the large Egyptian film production. Modern Standard Arabic is rarely used as a means of oral communication, such as reading the news or attending church services. Written Standard Arabic is the written language for all dialects. It is written from right to left. In the Arabic alphabet there are only consonants and long vowels. Arabic is one of the Kurrent scripts, ie the individual letters of a word are connected with one another.

Public Holidays

01/01/2022 New Year

03/01/2022 Lailat al Miraj (Night of the Ascension)

05/01/2022 Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan)

07/09/2022 Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice)

07/30/2022 Al-Hijra (Islamic New Year)

10/08/2022 Milad un Nabi (Birthday of Prophet Muhammad)

02.12.2022 National holiday


The dates given for Islamic holidays are calculated according to the lunar calendar and therefore shift from year to year.

During the fasting month of Ramadan, which precedes Eid al-Fitr, Muslims are forbidden to eat, drink or smoke from sunrise to sunset, which causes disruptions or deviations in the normal course of business (including reduced opening hours of shops and authorities) and therefore there may be restrictions for travelers.

Many restaurants outside the hotels are closed during the day, and the consumption of alcohol and cigarettes is restricted or e.g. T. even strictly forbidden, even for non-Muslim vacationers. In hotel complexes it must be taken into account that meals and drinks during Ramadan may only be taken in the hotel restaurant or in the room.

Travelers should expect increased sensitivity in religious matters as well as in respect of Islamic traditions.

Some interruptions may also occur during Eid al-Fitr. This festival, like Eid al-Adha, is indefinite and can last from 2-10 days depending on the region.

Duty free shopping


The following items can be brought into the United Arab Emirates duty-free in hand luggage (persons aged 18 and over): 400 cigarettes or cigars under the value of AED 2000; cigars under the value of AED 3000; 4 liters of spirits or two 24-can cases of beer (max. 355 ml per can) (non-Muslims only); Gifts valued up to AED 3,000. Attention: Goods owned by minors are added to the possession of their adult travel companions. However, minors may not import tobacco products or alcoholic beverages.

Import Restrictions

There are very strict import regulations for certain medicines or their ingredients, for which a medical certificate is required. Even with this certificate, importation is not always guaranteed. For narcotics and other controlled substances, an import permit must be applied for online. Travelers should definitely inquire at the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in individual cases. More information is available from

Prohibited Imports

Drugs and narcotics, firearms and ammunition without a license, gambling devices, nylon fishing nets, all live species of pigs, unprocessed ivory, certain laser pens, natural or cultured pearls without a license, herbal products such as poppy seeds, betel nut and psychoactive herbs, Israeli goods, goods whose Manufacturers boycotted by the Arab League, counterfeit money, pornographic products (including all kinds of Western magazines) and certain banned books, including those violating the teachings of Islam and e-cigarettes. Alcohol may not be imported by land. Muslims are not allowed to import wine, alcohol or pork.

Contact addresses

Embassy of the United Arab Emirates

Consulate General with visa issuance in Munich.

Hiroshima Street 18-20
+49 (30) 51 65 16.

Mon-Fri 09.00-16.00.

Embassy of the United Arab Emirates – Bonn branch office

Consulate General in Munich.

Erste Fährgasse 6
+49 (228) 26 70 70. Embassy of the United Arab Emirates
Chimanistrasse 36
+43 (1) 368 14 55. /Vienna

Mon-Fri 09.00-16.00. Consular Section: Mon-Fri 9.30am-1pm.

Embassy of the United Arab Emirates

Consulate General in Geneva.

Schwarztorstrasse 31
+41 (31) 312 17 10.

Mon-Fri 09.00-16.00.


Business etiquette

Prior appointment is recommended. Punctuality is valued. Business meetings are not quite as formal as in Europe. Verbal business agreements are valid. Business cards should be in English on one side and Arabic on the other side. English is widely spoken in business circles, but interpreters are also available. Dubai Disregarding certain conventions in business matters is considered a particular faux pas in Dubai. Despite the intense heat, one is expected to dress neatly and conservatively. Agreed meetings can start late. Part of shaking hands in Arabic is to touch your heart with the palm of your right hand afterwards. However, visitors should not shake hands with Arab women unless they initiate the handshake themselves. As a courtesy, the words “Sayed” (Mr.) or “Sayeda” (Ms.) are used before the first name when greeting, and visitors should never sit with their feet pointing directly at anyone. Criticism or suggestions for improvement should be saved for a private conversation after the meeting, as making someone lose face, whether it is a client or a colleague, is considered highly insulting. Generally, business meetings begin with quite a bit of casual chat before moving on to more serious matters, so there should be no urging. Also, business meetings in Dubai often seem being a very casual affair – they can take place in cafes or restaurants, but be prepared that the pace can change rapidly and deals are completed much quicker than in Western Europe. Business invitations can be quite formal and business lunches are organized for lunch rather than dinner. Some venues prohibit the consumption of alcohol, and if you are invited to a business dinner there, you should not ask for alcoholic beverages as this may cause offense. Friday is considered a day of rest and prayer, so no meetings should be arranged for this day, and if possible, no phone calls should be made to Arabs. During quiet hours, usually between 2pm and 5pm, locals don’t answer the phone either.

Opening hours

Business hours: Sat-Thu 09.00-17.00. Authorities: Sat-Wed 08.00-13.00 and 15.00/16.00-18.00/19.00. Thursday 7.30 a.m. – 12.00 p.m. Offices are closed in the afternoon during Ramadan.

Business contacts



According to, the country code is 00971. Area codes: Abu Dhabi 2, Al-Ain 3, Dubai 4. There is a good network, telephone calls within the individual emirates of the United Arab Emirates are free. The police emergency number is 999 and the Dubai Tourist Police can be reached on tel: 800 44 38.

Mobile phone

GSM 900, 2G, 3G and 4G (in Dubai and in Abu Dhabi). Network operators include Etisalat. Cellular network coverage is very good. It is usually worth buying a SIM card in the United Arab Emirates, for example a Wasel card from Etisalat (prepaid card). Tourists can get a free SIM card at Dubai International Airport.


Major cities are covered by a network of free and publicly accessible Wi-Fi hotspots. There are Internet cafes in all Emirates, and hotels also offer public Internet access. The main provider is Etisalat. Note: Various content on the Internet is subject to censorship in the United Arab Emirates, so caution should be exercised.

Post office

Letters and parcels to Europe take about six to ten days.


Numerous German-language radio stations can be received over the Internet in the United Arab Emirates.

United Arab Emirates Shopping

United Arab Emirates Shopping, Embassy and Communication