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flag United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates: Travelling

In this page: Entry Requirements | Organizing Your Trip | Visiting | Living Conditions | Eating | Paying | Speaking | Useful Resources


Entry Requirements

Passport and Visa Service
Emirates Federal government website giving information on visas and other formalities for entry.
Address of the Ministry of Culture and Information on Emirates.
Diplomatic Representations
Website of the UAE Embassies abroad
List of diplomatic representations of different countries abroad.
IATA Travel Center

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Organizing Your Trip

Means of Transport Recommended in Town

The best means of travelling in the cities of Emirates remain the personal car and the taxi. Taxis are a bit costly, but easy to find and numerous. Majority of them know a sufficient level English to follow directions and journeys. Local transports are still less developed except in Dubai which has an urban bus service. A trip to Dubai, costs between 1 and 3.5 AED and there is a pass system. A metro line is under construction in Dubai since 2006. River taxis enable to cross the Dubai Creek for 12 AED.
Maps of Urban Networks
UT Library on line

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Transportation From Airport to City Centre:






Car Rental
Abu Dhabi Intl (AUH) 38 km / 21 miles AED 70 / 30-35 min AED 5 / 40 min - Available
Dubai Intl (DXB) 5 km / 3 miles AED 40 / 10 min AED 2 / 15 min - Available

Means of Transport Recommended in the Rest of the Country

Personal vehicle or shared taxis are the best means of travelling between different Emirates. There are buses and minibuses assuring links between Emirates. A monorail project is under consideration between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. A seaplane service already connects Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Rail Companies
There are no trains within Emirates.

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Name Type Domestic Flights International Flights
Emirates Major yes yes
Etihad airways Major no yes
RAK Airways Major no yes
Air Arabia low cost no yes

You Can Consult the List of Airlines Banned Within the EU. Look Also at the rating of the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

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Traveling By Yourself

The road network is excellent, but the traffic can be dangerous (excess speed, sudden stoppages of taxis in cities). For a tour in the desert, it is imperative to have a 4X4.
Road Maps
Website giving access to free cards
Find an Itinerary
Portal of via michelin, then choose the country

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Different Forms of Tourism

-Dubai Museum , mosques and old forts of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Project for partnership with Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi. This would involve the opening of a branch in this country.
4x4 tours of the desert.
One of the little religious tourism to share can be the huge Sheikh Zayed mosque in Abu Dhabi.
Therapeutic spa tourism is less developed.
Beaches around Dubai are very beautiful and the hotel complexes developed around them are high class. Ladies are formally recommended not to wear bikini on public beaches. Topless and nudism are prohibited on all beaches of the country.
Winter Sports
Artificial indoor ski station under in Dubai.
Outdoor Activities
It is possible to play golf in Dubai which is a prized destination for followers of this sport. Also, under sea diving is pleasurable to discover the rich marine depths. It is also standard to practice fishing as a sport. Finally, the UAE is reputed for its horse riding.
It is possible to take advantage of the gold market and reduced tax trading centres of Dubai.
Top Highlights in the Main Cities
Guide on Dubai
Guide on Abu Dhabi
Top Highlights of the Country
Main things to do in Emirates.
Tourism Organizations
Abou Dhabi Touristic Authority

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Living Conditions

Health and Safety

Health Precautions
No requirement for vaccination for international journey. Malaria is almost non existent except in some stagnant water oasis. Prophylaxis is not prevalent among the expatriates. Obtaining residence visa is subject to presentation of a non-HIV positive certificate.
International Hospitals
Most of the westerners are treated in private hospitals.
For Further Information on Sanitary Conditions
World Health Organisation website
Ministry of Health of Emirates website
For Further Information on Safety Conditions
Government website.

Emergency Numbers

Police 999
Fire stations 997
Ambulance 998

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Time Difference and Climate

Time and Time Difference
It is %T:%M %A In Abu Dhabi, Dubai (GMT+4)
Summer Time Period
No summer time

Map of the Time Zone

Time zone

Type of Climate
There are two seasons: the temperate season from November to April (from 12 deg to 30 deg), the hot and humid season from May to September with temperatures reaching till 50 deg. There are sand storms in the month of March and April.
For Further Information
Emirates Meteorological department website

Average Annual Temperatures and Rainfall



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Food Specialties
Specialties of the Middle East like the mezzes (assortment of salads and sauces in which the pitas are dipped), grilled meat specialties, matchoub (spicy lamb), mensaf (lamb dish served with a white cheese sauce and rice).
Consumption of alcohol is permitted for non Muslims in Emirates except in Sharjah. Consumption of alcohol is prohibited during Muslim festivals as well as offering it to Muslims.
Dietary Restrictions
Pork is prohibited. Eating, drinking or smoking in public places during the month of Ramadan are not allowed. Muslims are not served in the restaurants and hotels during hours of fast.

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Domestic Currency
UAE Dirham
ISO Code
To Obtain Domestic Currency
It is difficult to exchange traveler's checks outside big residential areas. On the contrary the Euro checks can be exchanged in all the banks. It is more profitable to exchange Euros in Exchange bureaus. It is also possible to directly withdraw cash in various DABs.
Possible Means of Payment
It is possible most of the time to pay by bank card. However, the trader may take commission on the transaction which can be 2% of the purchase amount.

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Official Language
Other Languages Spoken
Persian, Urdu and Hindi in relation with expatriate communities.
Business Language
Getting Some Knowledge
Speak 7
Free Translation Tools
Ectaco :
Im Translator :
Babylon :

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Useful Resources

To Find an Accommodation
2 - 3 star hotels
5 star hotels
Website on hotels in Emirates.
To Find an Apartment
Portal giving access to rental agencies

Website for ads. on rentals and joint tenancies
Ads for sale and rental of apartments
Ads for apartment rentals in Dubai
To Find a Job
Portal of job offers on internet
Job offers in all Emirates
Search engine for jobs in the Emirates

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Last Updates: October 2014