The United Arab Emirates is a small yet fascinating country, home to the Burj Khalifa, which is the tallest building in the world. The UAE is a famous tourist destination for many reasons filled with luxurious hotels, soaring skyscrapers, massive malls, the Formula 1 racing track, Ferrari World, and delicious Shawarma. The shimmering, futuristic skyline of Dubai is filled with world-class structures, glistening beaches, and fascinating attractions. The extensive desert of the UAE is filled with safari adventures, dune bashing, belly dancing, and overnight camp stays. Abu Dhabi is home to the magnificent majestic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, one of the most beautiful and picturesque locations in the entire world.
The stunning sights of Dubai feature the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world and the largest mall in the world along with the magnificent man-made islands of Palm Jumeirah. Abu Dhabi is the modern capital of the UAE, a dynamic city with a stunning skyline filled with skyscrapers, futuristic buildings, massive malls all on a spectacular T-shaped Island on the Persian Gulf. Fujairah features a stunning coastline that sits on the Gulf of Oman, home to the oldest most in the country along with other historical buildings, forts and castles.
October through April - The United Arab Emirates experiences two seasons: hot and hotter. Temperatures range from the upper 70s to the low 90s. A few rain drizzles may be expected here and there, but they are rare and short-lived. This is the high season when sun-seekers from around the globe flock to the Persian Gulf`s white sands and desirable weather. It is recommended hotel reservations be made in advance to ensure availability.
May through September - During these months the city`s temperatures rarely drop below 100 degrees. Although rainfall is scarce, humidity levels remain in the 90% range. Outdoor activities in weather like this can be unbearable and even dangerous. It is advised to stay away from the midday sun, wear sunscreen, and drink plenty of water to avoid heatstroke. Visitors who know they will be mainly indoors during these summer months should be able to manage the extreme heat. Hotel rates will generally be lower than they are during the high season, but not by a significant amount.
Ramadan - Ramadan is the 9th and holiest month in the Islamic calendar and lasts 29 - 30 days. Muslims fast every day for its duration and most restaurants will be closed until the fast breaks at dusk. Nothing (including water and cigarettes) is supposed to pass through the lips from dawn to sunset. Non-Muslims are exempt from this, but should still refrain from eating or drinking in public as this is considered very impolite. Working hours are decreased as well in the corporate world. The exact dates of Ramadan depend on local astronomical observations and may vary somewhat from country to country. Ramadan concludes with the festival of Eid al-Fitr, which may last several days, usually three in most countries.
We recommend 7-10 days based on what you want to see and do. We offer flexible vacation packages so you can select your number of nights in each city, desired hotel, and activities. We suggest a minimum of 3 nights in larger cities.
The best way to get around the UAE is by car on a good network of roads that are easily navigable. Airlines are limited to the largest cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi from other international destinations, therefore connecting to other cities can be done by renting a car and driving. The roads here are some of the best in the entire world with great signage in English and most cars are automatic with air conditioning. Distances between cities in the UAE are relatively short.
Distances in the UAE are relatively short. The roads are generally in excellent condition; however, signage is poor in some of the emirates.
By Car: Traveling around the UAE by car is a great way to see the different cities, sights, and attractions with affordable car rentals and cheap gas. A car will provide travelers the flexibility to see the surrounding areas at their own pace. An international driver`s license is required, a passport, and a major credit card along with comprehensive insurance to rent a car in the UAE. The roads here are very well maintained and signposted in English, driving is on the right-hand side of the road. Vehicles have air conditioning and many are automatic making driving conditions cool and easy.
By Minibuses: Minibuses travel between Dubai and Abu Dhabi and are convenient and very useful for visitors to connect from one city to the other
By Taxi: Getting around by taxi is one of the most convenient ways to travel around the UAE and commute between the cities and towns. The taxis in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain are metered, but in Dubai, they are not, make sure to negotiate and finalize the fares before traveling.
By Boat: There are options to get around different locations by the waterways especially in Dubai, onboard boats, traditional abras, dhows, ferries, and yachts. Abras cross over the Dubai Creek from Bur Dubai to Deira. Dhows also transport goods through the Gulf and India, calling at all cities in the UAE including Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
The official currency in the UAE is the Dirham also referred to as the prefix AED (Arab Emirate Dirham) or abbreviation Dhs which would follow the numeric amount. The dirham and the US dollar exchange rate is fixed at US$1 = Dhs 3.67.
There is a 10% service charge added to bills in hotels, restaurants, and bars, additional tips can be left in the amount of a few dirhams as most of the time the service charge goes to the restaurant and not the person who served you.
For more detailed information, consult our guide to tipping in UAE
The official language spoken in the UAE is Arabic; English is the most widely spoken language but it may be the second language. We recommend you get a good English-Arabic guidebook and familiarize yourself with common phrases such as hello, goodbye, thank you, excuse me, and the numbers 1 -10.