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United Arab Emirates - Traveling

Contents extracted from the comprehensive atlas of international trade by Export Entreprises

Entry requirements

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: Maporama

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.
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

Traveling by yourself

Recommendation: 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.


Different forms of tourism

Historical: -Dubai Museum , mosques and old forts of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Cultural: Project for partnership with Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi. This would involve the opening of a branch in this country.
Nature: 4x4 tours of the desert.
Religious: One of the little religious tourism to share can be the huge Sheikh Zayed mosque in Abu Dhabi.
Thermal: Therapeutic spa tourism is less developed.
Beach: 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.
Shopping: It is possible to take advantage of the gold market and reduced tax trading centres of Dubai.
Tourism organizations:

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.
For further information on sanitary conditions: World Health Organisation website

Time difference and climate

Map of the time zone: Abu Dhabi, Dubai (GMT+4)
Summer time period: No summer time
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.


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).
Drinks: 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 taboos: 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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