Tipping is not expected, but is commonly practised in the emirate. Gratuities to staff at hotels and restaurants are at your discretion. Many fine dining and high-end restaurants may add a service charge (usually around 10%) and a tourism levy of 6% to your bill.
These charges are often included in the menu prices and the menu will denote when they are. That being said, if you are very happy with the service, it is not expected but quite common to leave a tip on top of the already included (16%) fees & service charges. If these charges are not included, then you may like to add a 10-15% tip to the total bill.
Money & Banks
The currency of the UAE is the dirham, which is pegged to the United States dollar at the rate of Dh3.67 to $1.
The highest coin is Dh1, with smaller coins for half and a quarter, in units known as fils. Banknotes come in Dh5, Dh10, Dh20, Dh50, Dh100, Dh200 and Dh500. A Dh 1,000 note exists but is not widely used for ordinary transactions. Please note that small shopkeepers and taxi drivers may have problems giving change for any bank note above Dh100.
You can make international withdrawals at cash machines/ATMs that are found at banks, larger hotels and shopping malls.
Currency exchanges can be found at the airport and in most shopping malls and will generally offer a better rate of exchange than banks, especially for larger amounts.
A 5% Value Added Tax (VAT) was introduced in the UAE on 1st January 2018. This tax will apply to the majority of transactions in goods and services and paid at the point of sale.
The international code for the UAE is 971, followed by the number, but dropping the first digit. As a guide, mobile phone numbers begin with 05, while Abu Dhabi is 02 and Dubai numbers start with 04.
The local phone providers are Etisalat and Du. Both companies sell special SIM cards for visitors which can be purchased at their airport shops or in outlets at the bigger shopping malls. Most hotels offer free internet for guests, as do shopping malls with simple registration via e-mail or SMS.