Country made up of seven emirates: AbuDhabi, Dubai,
Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah
83000 sq. km. includes approx. 2000 islands Location
Bordered in the North by Arabian Gulf, to the east by The
Gulf of Oman and Sultanate of Oman, to the South by the
Sultanate of Oman and Saudi Arabia, and to the West by Quatar
and Saudi Arabia.
Lies between Latitudes 22 & 26,5 North and Longitudes
51& 56,5 East Population
Almost 2,5 milion
The dominate religion is Islam Language
The official language is Arabic. English, Hindi, Urdu
and Farsi are widely spoken
Dirhams, 1 Dh = 100 files, 1 US$=3,67 Dh
Between November and March warm sunny days with average
temperature of 26 C (79F) and cool nights with average temperature
of 16 C (58 F). Summer months are hot and humid with temperatures
up to 41 C (105 F)
Most visitors to the UAE need an entry visa. This is the
best obtained through a sponsor within the UAE. British
passport holders with the right to abide in Great Britain
may obtain a visa at the airport upon arrival. Transit visas
are valid for 14 days, tourist ones for 30 days and visit
visas for 30 days but can be renewed for up total 100 days.
Citizens of GCC countries may enter without a visa. Persons
travelling on Israeli passport or who have Israeli stamped
passport will be denied entry. The fine for overstaying
is 100 Dh. per one day.
Duty Free Allowances
Visitors are allowed 2000 cigarettes or 400 cigars or 2
kg of tobacco and reasonable quantity of perfume. Customs
There is no restriction of the amount of currency that can
be brought into the UAE and no customs duty on personal
There are car rental offices in each of the emirates offering
all makes and sizes of cars. Cars can either be rented alone
or with driver. Rates vary but are around Dh 120 a day for
a small car and up to Dh. 1000 a day for a chauffeur driven
limousine. You will need to provide a copy of your passport
and driver's license if payment is by credit card.
Individuals from the following countries do not need an
international license: ECC countries, Canada, Japan, North
Korea, South Korea, Turkey and USA.
Helicopters and fixed wing aircraft can be hired in AbuDhabi,
Dubai and Sharjah. You need a license from the authorities
to access the airport and must submit a flight plan. Rates
range from US$ 1200 to US$ 6000 per hour.
Taxis form a common means of getting around town. AbuDhabi
and Dubai have plenty of metered taxis that can be hired
for Dh 5-20. There are many unmetered taxis as well, so
it is best to agree upon the fare in advance. For long distance
journeys, it is common to share taxis.
The electricity supply is 220/240 volts at 50 Hz. Visitors
from Europe can use their appliances although outlet adapters
may be necessary. Appliances from the USA will need transformers.
Water comes from desalination plants and is safe to drink.
Many people still prefer to drink bottled water that is
available in shops and restaurants.
Telephone service is excellent through the UAE. Calls within
cities are free. There is small charge for calls within
the rest of the country. Pay phones are operated with a
phone card that is issued by the Telecommunication Company
in various amounts and is then used as a debit card. These
are generally available at a variety of outlets in the town.
Major hotels have fax and telex services and can arrange
for modem access if necessary.
There are nine television stations in the UAE. Some broadcast
in Arabic, some in English and some have special programs
in Urdu, Hindi, and French. Several additional stations
are available via satellite and cable.
Stations broadcasting in Arabic and English transmit 24
hours a day.
Shops are generally open from 9.30 am to 1 PM. And from
4.30 PM to 9.30 pm on Saturday through Thursday. Many shops
in the malls are open all day, which offers, foe shopping
without crowds. On Friday, the Islamic holiday shops do
not generally open until 2.00 PM or later.
Part of the tradition of shopping in the UAE is bargaining
over the price. In other shops except for truly fixed prices
stores a bit of negotiating will bring a reduction of price.
If you have to ask for the price of something it means the
price is not fixed. Credit Cards Most hotels and finer restaurants
accept credit cards such as American Express, Visa, MasterCard
and diner Club. Some larger shops do as well.
No health certificate or special immunizations are required
when travelling to the UAE unless you have been in cholera
or yellow Fever affected area 14 days prior to visiting.
It is wise to check with your travel agent before traveling,
however, should the situation change.
Coping with the heat
For eight months of the year the Emirates is hot and along
the coast humid. It is important that the visitor take precautions
not to over exert. All hotels and restaurants are air conditioned
as are most shops but outside it's still hot. Try to limit
going in and out of the air conditioning and make sure to
drink plenty of fluids when outside for a long time.
Local dress for both men and women loosely covers the head,
arms and legs. Fabrics are lightweight and of natural fibbers.
There are no restrictions of a dress code for visitors.
Summer clothing is suitable all year around with sweaters
or light jackets being needed at night in the winter months.
Even the smallest emirate is now equipped with a modern
hospital so there is no need to worry about the availability
of health care. Most major cities have several hospitals
and abundance of private clinics, should you be in need.