Welcome to Dubai New Staff Induction Handbook

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Dubai Weather

The UAE has a tropical and arid climate for about 8 months of the year. You will enjoy day after day of glorious sunshine and unbroken blue skies. You can plan a barbecue, camp in the desert or on the beach, meet in the parks, or at the beach club, all safe in the knowledge that it'll not be rained off.

Temperatures are at their lowest December, January and February  and then steadily climb. April is still ok but by May it's getting hot and you spend less time outdoors. June is hot and hideously humid, July, August and September are hotter again and even more humid. Humidity levels can get unbearable reaching up to around 80-90% mid- summer.

In September the temperature does start to slowly drop, but it's still very hot. October, we're back to enjoying the beach, avoiding the middle of the day, and November is perfect. 

During July and August there's usually a mass exodus of mums and children. Some choose to go away for the whole summer, some for part of July and most of August. There are quite a few who stay, however. It's like being in England in January or Melbourne in July; you spend as little time outside as you possibly can. One consolation is that your house, your car and every building you enter are all air-conditioned.

  • What to Wear In Dubai

Year-round, all you will need is summer clothing here, but you will probably want to have the occasional wrap or light weight jacket when going into air-conditioned restaurants and for cooler winter evenings. After a few months in this region you become acclimatised to the warmer weather and you will forget how it feels to be in a real winter. Don’t be surprised if you end up wearing fleeces and jackets in the middle of summer when you return home!

The rule of thumb is to cover your shoulders and your knees and with nothing too revealing or see- through whilst out in public. Malls have introduced a modesty code for shoppers but you will still see some too revealing outfits! It is respectful of the local culture to make an effort to cover up when out in public. When out for the evening anything goes although you may want to have a wrap to cover up en route and beach wear must only be worn on a beach or around a pool. It goes without saying topless sunbathing is not allowed!
Dress Codes for School

All staff (teaching and non teaching) are required to dress smartly and to set a very high standard of personal appearance whilst at school, so that an appropriate professional working environment is maintained. We are judged by how we look and therefore it is very important that we convey the correct message to both parents and students at all times.

The staff need to reflect the expectation we have for the children, therefore jewellery needs to be conservative and it is our policy as not display personal choice of showing piercings and tattoos.
Staff must dress smartly when off site on school trips. Polo shirts and smart shorts, skirts or trousers.
Female Staff

Female staff are required to dress in a way that is smart and respectful to the Islamic faith.

  • Smart business suit (either trousers or skirt) or

  • Smart skirt and blouse or

  • Smart trousers and blouse(no leggings, jeans or cords) or

  • Smart business like dress.

  • Clean formal shoes (no flip flop style or trainers) Smart open shoes are acceptable. Flip flops are determined by the soles - no rubber or cork soles.

  • Sunglasses should not be worn on the head or hanging out of the pocket. They should only be worn when outdoors and necessary.

  • Jackets are required for parents’ evenings and school events.

Skirts should be neither too tight or too short. Knee length is a minimum.

Blouses should not be made of see through material, should not be too tight and should not be low cut.
Sleeveless blouses are not acceptable. T Shirts should not be worn to school. Shoulders should always be covered and no bare midriffs.
Male Staff

  • Smart formal trousers or chinos (no jeans or cords)

  • Smart formal shirt and tie (top button on shirt fastened.)

  • Clean formal shoes (no sandals, flip flops or training shoes)

  • Sunglasses should not be worn on the head or hanging out of the pocket. They should only be worn when outdoors and necessary.

  • Jackets are required for parents’ evenings and school events

  • Clean shaven every day or a trimmed moustache or beard.


  • All members of staff should be dressed appropriately for PE or Swimming lessons.

  • Staff should change for the lesson and then change back into formal wear at an appropriate time.

  • Staff should change into PE clothing even if they are supporting a Specialist Teacher.

A dress code for staff is a matter of sensitivity and does rely on personal judgement. Please remember that we need to appear professional at all times. We are models for our students and also will meet parents and visitors from a wide and diverse range of backgrounds. They should not be offended or uncomfortable in our presence.

Identity badges must be worn at all times.

  • National Dress

On the whole the Emirati population wears their traditional dress in public. For men this is the dish dash or khandura - a white full length shirt, which is worn with a white or red checked headdress, known as a gutra.

In public, the local women wear the black abaya - a long, loose black robe that covers their normal clothes - plus a headscarf called the sheyla. This traditional dress totally covers them up and this is what is considered appropriate within the Muslim culture.

  • Driving in Dubai

Driving in Dubai can be a bit scary to a first time expat- the roads are big and fast and for some; driving on the right hand side is a first. Driving standards do vary wildly as you are sharing the roads with people from many countries with different standards.

Seatbelts must be worn in the front by law and campaigns are in place to make this the law for the back seats too. The road system is based on the American system with U turns forming a regular part of your drive. Cars get extremely hot in the summer so make sure you always have water with you just in case!

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  • Religion
    The UAE’s culture is firmly rooted in the Islamic traditions of Arabia. Islam is more than just a religion; it is a way of life that governs every aspect of daily existence, from what to wear to what to eat and drink. The culture and heritage of the UAE is closely linked to religion and this feeling permeates throughout the society.

Ramadan is a month of heightened religious awareness throughout which Muslims fast during the daylight hours. It is the holy month which commemorates the revelation of the Holy Quran. 

Non-Muslims are not expected to fast but are expected to abstain from eating, drinking and/or smoking in public as a sign of respect. Most cafes are closed during the day but some places offer a take-out service. Hotel restaurants still operate under certain restrictions.

Although the UAE is a Muslim country there is a general tolerance of other faiths here, so celebrations of Diwali, Christmas and Easter are not discouraged. There are a number of Christian churches.

  • Tolerance
    With all this considered, the UAE people are very tolerant and welcoming of other cultures and lifestyles.

  • Bureaucracy
    There is quite a lot of red tape in the UAE, but generally your employer who is sponsoring you will have someone in their HR department who will take you through each step until all the relevant documentation is achieved.

When you initially arrive it feels like you need a mountain of different cards/documents in order to work or even to open up a bank account, but soon enough you realize you only need duplicates of the same information and things start to become pretty standardized.

Make sure you have a bunch of passport photos on hand and duplicate copies of passports and work permit information, this should hold you in good stead for the initial period. Also bring with you original copies of your birth and attested marriage certificates, and your original entry permit.

Until residence visas are obtained you cannot obtain any other documents from the government authorities - car and driving licenses, bank account, health cards, National ID Card and liquor license - and being without these can be very inconvenient.

Register with your local Embassy or Consulate. They all have different rules and requirements but if you call them before going you should manage to save yourself a return visit. 

British Embassy (04) 309 4444

  • In The Home

Voltage and plugs are the same as the UK so if in doubt you can bring most of your electrical items although you can buy anything here.


  • Gas or Electric?

Cookers can be gas or electric and come in 2 sizes, regular or huge. Gas is in the more modern homes and in high rises it tends to be piped through the mains, but for the majority of people it is still delivered in large canisters that are kept outside for safety reasons. You can easily get it delivered to your doorstep.

All houses are air-conditioned either by central A/C’s or split with a few older properties being cooled by individual units for each room. All modern villas and apartments have central A/C and are more efficient and cheaper to run than the older models.

  • Furniture

You can get ready made items at the ever popular Ikea or Ace furniture or a multitude of other outlets. It is also worthwhile to look at supermarket notice boards for bits and pieces that are on sale or check out the classified ads on Dubizzle.

There are also lots of garage sales around as well as fairs at the various schools. Obviously the best time to get second-hand items is at the beginning of the summer when people tend to leave Dubai.

  • The Water

Because you are living in a desert, the bottled water is a massive market out here. You can drink the desalinated water from the tap, but mostly people just use it for washing up, brushing teeth etc. The water itself is not a problem from source. It is the cleanliness of the water tank in your building or villa that is the issue.

Tap water is generally not used for cooking or drinking. Most people get bottled water delivered to their house and have a water cooler to keep it cold or hot. These coolers are reasonably priced, around AED300-500 and are great for topping up flasks and other bottles for the kids. The actual water canisters are delivered once a week to your house. (We use Oasis).

  • Creepy Crawlies

Bugs live out here, just like they do everywhere. Ants can get everywhere but usually move on mass like a huge army through your garden, rarely do they infest your home unless you have an older property.

Cockroaches love this environment but as Dubai is very clean they will hardly ever show their faces in a house, if they do, they have come in through the front door via a delivery of something. Arm yourself with a can of Pif Paf or Raid, which is an insect spray and is extremely effective!

If you find you do have a bit of a problem with any pests there are several reliable pest control companies who will spray your home and offer annual contracts if that is what you prefer.

Written by Michael Connor

Year 3 Teacher

2. In case of Emergency/

What to do if you need a Doctor
Dubai has many modern clinics and hospitals. Generally speaking medical facilities in Dubai are very good. You must have a complete health check to obtain a visa to live in Dubai including a chest X ray to check for TB and a blood test. You can have the government health card and/or a private health scheme. Most expatriates hold private cards but more often now lots of people have the Government cards as well. Private care is expensive so unless you are financially solid it will be worth looking into this area with care.

A visit to a GP will set you back around AED400-500 per visit and that does not include blood tests or any other type of tests you may require.

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