In the Country

flag United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates: In the Country

In this page: Accommodation | Eating Out | Getting Around | Time and Time Difference | Climate | Electrical Standards and Measurement Systems | Paying | Speaking | Emergency Numbers | Communications

 

Accommodation

Youth hostels
Boarding in dormitories, economical.
Hostels
Average quality hotels
2 or 3 star hotels.
2 - 3 star hotels
Luxurious hotels
These are big modern and luxurious hotels recently constructed to make the Emirates a tourist destination.
5 star hotels
Hotel Rules
Couples must be married. Civil unions (e.g. the French PACS) are not recognised.
For Further Information
Hotels in the UAE
Listing of UAE hotels
 

Price Indications

Economy Room less than EUR 46
Medium Price Room from EUR 46 to EUR 84
Good Quality Room EUR 125

Source: Lonely Planet

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Eating Out

Categories of Restaurant
 
  • International restaurants
The UAE has numerous international restaurants.
  • Arab restaurants
Serve specialties of the Emirates and the Middle East.
  • Local food stands
These stands offer shawermas (grilled minced meat sandwiches accompanied with tomato, pepper, onions and served in pita bread), falafels (doughnuts of beans and chick peas served with aubergines). These stands are often located in cafes where one can smoke shishas (water pipes) while drinking tea or other non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Fast food restaurants
Most large international chains are present, with KFC being especially popular.
Rules For Eating Out
It is recommended to tip even if service is technically included in the bill (at 10% of the amount in Dubai and 16% in Abu Dhabi). Restaurants generally serve from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm and from 7:00 pm  to 12:00 midnight. Meals are paid at the end.
 

Price Indications

Economy Meal EUR 4 to 5
Medium Price Meal EUR 13.5 to 24
Good Quality Meal EUR 55
 
Food Specialties
Middle Eastern specialties like mezze (assortment of salads and sauces in which flat bread is 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 the Emirates, except in Sharjah. Consumption of alcohol is prohibited during Muslim festivals, as is offering alcohol to Muslims.
Dietary Restrictions
Pork is prohibited. During the month of Ramadan, eating, drinking or smoking in public places is not allowed. Muslims are not served in the restaurants and hotels during hours of fast.
Table Manners
Emiratis use their right hand to eat. Using the left hand is considered poor manners.

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Getting Around

Means of Transport Recommended in Town

Recommendation
The best means of transport in the cities of the Emirates remain the personal car and the taxi. Taxis are cheap, easy to find and numerous. Most drivers speak enough English to understand directions. Public means of transportation are still less developed, except for Dubai, which has an urban bus service and metro system. River taxis enable crossings of the Dubai Creek for AED 12.
Maps of Urban Networks
UT Library online map archive
Bing
Urban Transport Agencies
Geography and map of the United Arab Emirates
Online map of the Emirates
Taxi Companies
Dubai Taxi Agency
 

Transportation From Airport to City Centre:


Airport

Distance

Taxi

Bus

Train

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

Recommendation
Personal vehicle or shared taxis are the best means of travelling between different emirates. There are buses and minibuses connecting different emirates. A train connection between Dubai and Abu Dhabi is under construction. A seaplane service already connects Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Rail Companies
An extensive train network (1,200 km) is under construction in the Emirates.
 

Airlines

Name Type Domestic Flights International Flights
Emirates Major yes yes
Etihad Airways Major no yes
Air Arabia Low-cost no yes

You Can Consult The EU Air Safety List. Look Also at the rating of the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

 
 
 

Travelling By Yourself

Recommendation
The road network is excellent, but the traffic can be dangerous (speeding, sudden stops of taxis in etc). It is mandatory to wear a seat-belt; traffic is right-hand. For a tour in the desert, you have to use a 4X4.
Driver's License
It is essential to obtain a local license (especially if resident). The procedure is easy: you have to submit a passport copy and your home licence, certified by your embassy and accompanied by an Arabic translation to the traffic police, who will issue the local license after 10 to 15 days. This procedure costs EUR 49.
Conditions For Renting a Vehicle
To rent a vehicle, one must be 18 years and present the following documents: an international license, home license, two photos and a passport copy. It is possible to present only the home license, but in this case, one must be a resident of the country that issued the license.
Tolls or Taxes
Third party insurance is necessary from a local agency. An "all risks" insurance is highly recommended.
- limited third party insurance: from EUR 92 to EUR 183 depending on the value of the vehicle
- "all risks" with deterrent fee: 4.5% of the estimated value of the vehicle and a deterrent fee btw EUR 61 and 915 EUR depending on the value of the vehicle.
- "all risks" without deterrent fee: 5 to 7% of the estimated value of the vehicle.
Road Maps
UAE Google Map
Find an Itinerary
Michelin Route Planner
Parking Facilities
There are many parking facilities; charges apply.
 

Rules of the Road

Minimum Driving Age
18 years
Side of the Road For Driving
Right-hand traffic
Speed Limits
Speed limits at 60 km/h in cities and at 100 km/h outside cities.
Safety Belts
Seat-belts mandatory in the front seats of the vehicle
Permitted Amount of Alcohol in the Blood
Tolerated amount of alcohol is 0g. In the case of an accident, blood tests are mandatory. If traces of alcohol are discovered in the blood of the driver, he or she incurs a fine of AED 2,000 and imprisonment up to three months.
National Roads Organizations
Roads and Transport Authority

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Time and Time Difference

Current Local Time
It is %T:%M %A In Abu Dhabi, Dubai
Summer Time
No summer time
 

Map of the Time Zone

Time zone

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Climate

 
Type of Climate
There are two seasons: the temperate season from November to April (with temperatures between 12° C and 30° C) and the hot and humid season from May to September with temperatures reaching up to 50° C. There are sand storms in the months of March and April.
 

Average Annual Temperatures and Rainfall

 

Climate

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Electrical Standards and Measurement Systems

System of Measurement Used
Metric system
Unit of Measurement of Temperature
Degrees Celsius
 

Use our service Measurement Converter.

 
Electricity
 
  • Voltage
220V
  • Frequency
50Hz
Type of Electric Socket
G
Type of Telephone Socket
British (Ajman and Abu Dhabi), US RJ-11
DVD Zoning
zone 2

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Paying

Domestic Currency
UAE Dirham
ISO Code
AED
To Obtain Domestic Currency
It is difficult to exchange traveler's cheques outside of the big cities. It is possible to withdraw cash directly from ATM machines, but depending on the exchange rate offered, it may be better to use an exchange office.
Possible Means of Payment
Bank cards are accepted in most cases. The trader may, however, take a commission on the transaction which can be 2% of the purchase amount.
 

To Find a Cash Machine Where You Need, Use the ATM locator

 

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Speaking

Official Language
Arabic
Other Languages Spoken
Persian, Urdu and Hindi in relation with expatriate communities.
Business Language
English
Getting Some Knowledge
Cias
Free Translation Tools
Google Translate :
Ectaco English-Arabic Dictionary :
Im Translator :
Lexilogos : Free English-Arabic-English traduction of texts and web pages
Ectaco : Free Arabic-English-Arabic dictionary

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Emergency Numbers

Police 999
Fire stations 997
Ambulance 998

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Communications

Quality of Communications
The Emirati telephone network is excellent. Local calls are free and you can call 150 countries. The entire territory is covered with third generation mobile phone services. Etisalat company offers AED 50, 100, 200 and 500 cards for international calls from mobile phones.
Telephone Codes
To Make a Call From the United Arab Emirates, Dial 00
To Make a Call to in the United Arab Emirates, Dial +971
Number of Digits of National Telephone Numbers
Nine in total: the regional code followed by seven digits. Take care for overseas calls - the 0 that always precedes the regional codemust be removed, .
Mobile Telephone Standards
GSM
National Mobile Phone Operators
There are two operators, Etisalat and du (Emirates Integrated Telecommunication Company).
 

Availability of Internet

Internet Suffix
.ae
National Internet Access Providers
Etisalat and DU
Access in Public Places
There are many Internet cafes at reasonable price in the Emirates. Etisalat company offers a wi-fi connection called 'i zone', which can be accessed in most shopping malls and cafes in Dubai. Dubai airport is equipped with wi-fi.
Access in Hotels
Most big hotels offer wi-fi connections. Medium range hotels also generally have internet access.

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Latest Update: February 2023