English is the official language of Dominica. A large portion of the population speaks Kwéyòl, which is based primarily on French and Carib vocabularies and a syntax borrowed from a variety of West African indigenous languages. A few northern villages use a distinctive English dialect called Kokoy.
The local currency is the Eastern Caribbean dollar (EC$), which trades at EC$2.67 to US$1.00. Everywhere on the island, businesses accept United States Dollars, British Pounds, and Euros.
Most tourism related businesses, such as hotels, restaurants, tour operators and car rental agencies accept Master Card, Visa and American Express credit cards, including traveler's checks.
Businesses open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. from Monday to Friday with a lunch break from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Banking hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. from Monday to Thursday, and 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Friday.
On Saturday, the banks are closed but merchants open their enterprises from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
The following are a list of the banks found in Dominica:
Dominica Agricultural Industrial & Development Bank
The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank
First Caribbean International Bank
National Bank of Dominica
Dominica has a modern and reliable telecommunications system. Hotels offer International Direct Dialing from their rooms, and there are three major mobile service providers on the island: Cable & Wireless, Digicel, and Orange Caraïbe.
The island's area code is 767.
Dominica's electrical services use 220/240 volts. American appliances are quite popular, but require transformers for voltage conversion.
There are three public hospitals on the island: the Dominica-China Friendship Hospital – Central Hospital in Roseau, the Marigot Hospital in Marigot and the Reginal Armour Hospital in Portsmouth. There is one private hospital: the Justin Fadipe Medical Centre in Mero. Intensive care units are available at the Dominica-China Friendship Hospital – Central Hospital in Roseau and the Reginal Armour Hospital in Portsmouth. Several specialists and general practitioners operate private clinics.
The emergency contact for the Police, Ambulance and Fire Department is 911.
Dominica Time is 4 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT-4), which is one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time and the same as Eastern Daylight Time.
Visitors to Dominica should expect plenty of sunshine interjected by intermittent rainfall. The island's annual temperature averages at 27°C. Frequent rainfall cools the tropical heat, nourishes the island's extensive rainforest, and feeds its rivers, lakes, and waterfalls. On the coast, average rainfall registers 1,780 mm, but in the interior that figure is triple.