Dubai hotels, among the world's most luxurious and expensive, share a common problem. Because the vast majority of staff are foreign—and often newly arrived—they don't know much about their new hometown. It helps to do your sightseeing homework in advance. Hotel room rates are highest during the mild winter and the annual Dubai Shopping Festival; at any time of year you will get the best deal booking a package with an Asian or London-based tour operator. Virtually the only establishments with liquor licenses, hotels serve as oases of social liberalism within a conservative Arab and Moslem culture. While Dubai is far more tolerant than its neighbors Iran and Saudi Arabia, be aware that Dubai's hotels are now required to install digital surveillance. Police respond with alacrity to complaints from UAE nationals about behavior regarded as disrespectful to Islam, such as public kissing, especially during Ramadan. For the most part, hotels indulge and pamper foreign visitors, although you will encounter nods to Arabian decorum such as gender-segregated spa facilities.