Most hotels have free Internet access for guests, whether it is in-room Wi-Fi or Ethernet, or basic Wi-Fi in public areas.
Most hotel lobbies, cafés, and coffee shops and malls have Wi-Fi, so getting online is relatively stress-free. If you have to pay for access, Etisalat or Du, UAE telecommunications providers, charge from AED25 for two days unlimited Internet for nonsubscription roaming at its Hot-Spot sites.
Dubai authorities do censor web content and will block sites considered unsuitable, though censorship is not as strict as in many other Muslim countries. The expected censored subjects are sex, drugs, and profanities.
Dubai has reliable land line and mobile telecommunications. As in most countries, some hotel phone rates can be expensive, so check what they are before you call home. Local prepaid phone cards by Etisalat or Du are the cheapest option.
When you are calling the United Arab Emirates, the country code is 971; the Dubai emirate code is 04. To call a number in Dubai from the U.S. you should drop that zero, and dial +971 4, plus the seven-digit number.
Calling Within Dubai
Local numbers have seven digits. To call a Dubai number from one of the other emirates in the UAE, or a mobile phone, start this seven-digit number with 04. Public pay phones can be found around the city. Most take only phone cards that can be bought in many shops, gas stations, and supermarkets. Cards are priced from AED20. For directory assistance ring 181. Operators will speak English.
Calling Outside Dubai
Public phone boxes allow international direct dialing. Once you have inserted your calling card, dial 00 then the country code. In hotels, you usually have to dial a one-digit number to get an outside line. Once you have an outside line dial 00 and then the country code.
The country code for the United States is 1.
U.S. telecommunications companies providing inexpensive international call services can all be used in the UAE, and each company has an access number that you'll need to dial. Hotels should not block calls to access numbers.
Sprint. Sprint only works for U.S. phone numbers. 0–800–131.
If you have a multiband GSM phone, you can probably use your phone in Dubai. Roaming fees can be steep, and you will pay the toll charges for incoming calls.
Cell phone stores are everywhere in Dubai, and mobile phone ownership is widespread. Some car rental companies will rent you a phone during your stay, and there's also a kiosk next to the car rental kiosks just after the customs hall in arrivals at Dubai International, where you can rent for a short term. Local prepaid travel SIMs by Etisalat or Du are the cheapest option for calls and data. You can pick one up at the airport or one of their shops in most malls. Cards start from AED55 for seven days with a basic starter package and bonus vouchers, and then you can top it up with bundles as you like. You will need to show your passport to purchase one.
Du. 800/155; www.du.ae.
Etisalat. 800/101; www.etisalat.ae.