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Best time to travel to the UAE

When your travel agent tells you that Abu Dhabi has all round sunshine they certainly are not lying to you. The issue is that the summer sun hits 50 degrees Celsius, so any time longer than 5 minutes in the sun and your skin will fry. The heat and humidity can become unbearable at times, especially in July and August. Rain is not usual, but on occasion, it can rain during the non-summer mont…

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Visas in the UAE

UAE Visas

Getting a visa for the UAE differs depending on your nationality, as per any other country. We refer only to tourist visas. There are three categories: No Visa required for entry to Dubai, Abu Dhabi and all other Emirates in the UAE If you are from the GCC (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar), you do not require a visa to enter the UAE, whether you are entering by air, land or …

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Money in the UAE

The Dirham is the currency used in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and the UAE. The UAE Dirham which is the official name of the currency. This is referred to as Dhs or AED. Each Dirham consists of 100 Fils. N…

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Foreign Exchange in the UAE

The Dirham is pegged to the US Dollar at a rate of 3.6724 Dirhams to the Dollar and has been since 1980. (The technical bit is that "The UAE is officially pegged to a special drawing right at the rate of SDE1=4.7619 UAE Dirhams, with a margin 7.25% on either side) And so currency fluctuations ar…

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Electricity in the UAE

Electricity is stable and power cuts are less rare than in the West. As far as sockets go, the UAE uses 220-240v – 50Hz current. That’s essentially the same as the UK with 3pins, and with an adapter, everything from Europe should work fine. You’ll require a transformer if you are coming from the…

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Internet Access in the UAE

Internet availability and banned sites.

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Safety in the UAE

There is so much bad press about the Middle East and Arabs that you would think there is a huge amount of crime going on. In actual fact, the UAE is probably one of the safest places in the world. With many people here to make more money than they can at home to give their families a better life, no-one wants to jeopardise their income generating potential.  So, crime is pretty low. Obviousl…

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Toilets and Water

Important questions covered like - can you drink the water in the UAE - and what are the toilets like - but not can you drink the water from the toilet.

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Recent Articles

Getting to Dubai

Because of its central location, Dubai is the major hub of the United Arab Emirate and is easily accessible from most major cities across Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Dubai International Airport is ranked in the list of the world's top 10 airports and can accommodate over 14 million travellers …

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Customs information for the UAE

There are some obvious restrictions with regard to customs in any country, but it would make sense to take note in the UAE, as the penalties can be harsh.  Prohibited Items in the UAE - Firearms, weapons, ammunition, replica, guns, toy guns- Alcoholic beverages, including expensive wine collection…

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Banned Medicine

Not all drugs are accepted in the UAE, and some only with prescription, although some are administered in UAE hospitals. You should also read our more comprehensive drug list if you want to check out a specific, but drugs that are banned include: codeine, amphetamines, methadone, robitussin, vali…

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Banned Drugs in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Don't even think about getting involved with narcotics. Penalties are severe, and with any proof in your bloodstream, even before you were in the UAE constitutes an offence of trafficking. There is zero tolerance for drugs – and before you know it you’ll be in jail for 4 years. Not all drugs are ac…

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Language of the UAE

The official language is Arabic, with Gulf Arabic being specific dialect. English is widely spoken and is the lingua franca between all the different nationalities in the UAE, so you’ll be fine if you can speak English.  English is used in most places, but less so, the further you go away from t…

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Tipping in the UAE

How much are you expected to tip when in the UAE? It's always a tricky question. Tip too much, and you waste money. Tip too little and you may get a grunt of disapproval. The fact of the matter is …

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Telephones in the UAE

The international code for the UAE is +971. The local code for Abu Dhabi is 02, Al Ain 03, Dubai 04, Sharjah 06, Amman 06, UAQ 06, RAK, 07, Fujairah 09. There are two telecoms providers, Etisalat and du.  Mobile numbers are preceded by 050 or 055. The numbers are usually 7 digits in length, and between Emirates local codes should be dialled. Within each Emirate the code should be dropped, an…

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Time in the UAE

What time zone does the UAE fall in?

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Smoking in the UAE

Are you allowed to smoke in the UAE?

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TV in the UAE

What English channels can you get in Dubai and Abu Dhabi?

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