United Arab Emirates travel guide

United Arab Emirates Tourism | United Arab Emirates Guide

You're Going to Love United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates, situated within the sand dunes of the Arabian Peninsula, consists of seven Emirates. The country offers a glimpse into the past, with ancient fishing villages and forts, as well as an opportunity to become immersed in modern luxury.

What to do in the United Arab Emirates

1. Enjoy Luxury Shopping

The United Arab Emirates, especially Dubai, lends itself to shopping sprees that are difficult to replicate elsewhere. The malls are modern and boast brands from all over the world.

2. Go on a Beach Vacation

The country has beautiful sandy beaches where it is possible to enjoy activities such as snorkeling, diving and relaxing in the sun.

3. Go on a Desert Safari

This can include 4x4 trips over the dunes, the opportunity to ride on a camel, and sitting down at sunset to an Arabic buffet to sample the foods of the region.

4. Discover the Traditional Markets

Visit a Souk and enter another world with the smell of incense permeating the atmosphere and various stalls selling gold, jewelry and other trinkets typical of the region.

5. Explore the Natural Beauty

Emirates, such as Ras al-Khamiah, offers opportunities to explore the more rugged areas of the country.Venture into the Hajar Mountains or visit some of the wadis (dry river beds) in the region.

1. Enjoy Luxury Shopping

The United Arab Emirates, especially Dubai, lends itself to shopping sprees that are difficult to replicate elsewhere. The malls are modern and boast brands from all over the world.

2. Go on a Beach Vacation

The country has beautiful sandy beaches where it is possible to enjoy activities such as snorkeling, diving and relaxing in the sun.

3. Go on a Desert Safari

This can include 4x4 trips over the dunes, the opportunity to ride on a camel, and sitting down at sunset to an Arabic buffet to sample the foods of the region.

4. Discover the Traditional Markets

Visit a Souk and enter another world with the smell of incense permeating the atmosphere and various stalls selling gold, jewelry and other trinkets typical of the region.

5. Explore the Natural Beauty

Emirates, such as Ras al-Khamiah, offers opportunities to explore the more rugged areas of the country.Venture into the Hajar Mountains or visit some of the wadis (dry river beds) in the region.

When to visit the United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates in July
Estimated hotel price
AED 475
1 night at 3-star hotel
United Arab Emirates in July
Estimated hotel price
AED 475
1 night at 3-star hotel

It is advisable to visit between October and April, as temperatures are milder and touring around will be more pleasant than in the summer months when temperatures are frequently higher than 113°F.

How to Get to the United Arab Emirates

Entry Requirements

Canadian, US, UK, Australian and EU passport holders will be issued a 30-day visa (free of charge) upon entering the country. EU passport holders will be issued a multiple entry visa that is valid for 90 days.

Plane

The main airports into United Arab Emirates are Dubai International Airport and Abu Dhabi International Airport, both of which operate a number of international flights to and from major destinations.

Car

It's possible to enter the United Arab Emirates by car from Sila, in Saudi Arabia, and Hatta, or Hili in Al Ain, in Oman. These neighboring countries may have different entry requirements, so make sure to research in advance.

Boat

Cruise ships stop at both Abu Dhabi and Dubai and passengers can disembark here to visit the cities. There is also the option to travel on one of the dhows (a traditional sailing vessel) that travel around the Gulf.

Entry Requirements

Canadian, US, UK, Australian and EU passport holders will be issued a 30-day visa (free of charge) upon entering the country. EU passport holders will be issued a multiple entry visa that is valid for 90 days.

Plane

The main airports into United Arab Emirates are Dubai International Airport and Abu Dhabi International Airport, both of which operate a number of international flights to and from major destinations.

Car

It's possible to enter the United Arab Emirates by car from Sila, in Saudi Arabia, and Hatta, or Hili in Al Ain, in Oman. These neighboring countries may have different entry requirements, so make sure to research in advance.

Boat

Cruise ships stop at both Abu Dhabi and Dubai and passengers can disembark here to visit the cities. There is also the option to travel on one of the dhows (a traditional sailing vessel) that travel around the Gulf.

Popular airports in the United Arab Emirates

Popular airlines serving the United Arab Emirates

Lufthansa
Good (4,686 reviews)
KLM
Good (837 reviews)
SWISS
Good (956 reviews)
British Airways
Good (4,657 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (2,235 reviews)
Delta
Good (4,564 reviews)
Iberia
Good (1,604 reviews)
Air France
Good (985 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (2,104 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (2,411 reviews)
United Airlines
Good (4,995 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (6,026 reviews)
Brussels Airlines
Good (228 reviews)
Finnair
Good (850 reviews)
LOT
Good (680 reviews)
Scandinavian Airlines
Good (798 reviews)
Singapore Airlines
Excellent (933 reviews)
TAP Portugal
Good (1,177 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (841 reviews)
Ethiopian Air
Good (412 reviews)
Show more

Where to stay in the United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates has a broad range of accommodation for visitors, ranging from super luxury hotels, such as the Burj al-Arab and the Jumeirah Al Qasr, to plenty of budget-friendly options. The United Arab Emirates Youth Hostel Association has hostels in Dubai, Sharjah and Fujairah.

Where to stay in popular areas of the United Arab Emirates

Most booked hotels in the United Arab Emirates

Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach
5 stars
Excellent (9.4, Excellent reviews)
AED 421+
Burj Al Arab Jumeirah
5 stars
Excellent (9.3, Excellent reviews)
AED 4,105+
Five Palm Jumeirah Dubai
5 stars
Excellent (9.2, Excellent reviews)
AED 606+
Atlantis, The Palm
5 stars
Excellent (9.1, Excellent reviews)
AED 1,099+
JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai
5 stars
Excellent (8.6, Excellent reviews)
AED 366+
Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights
5 stars
Excellent (8.3, Excellent reviews)
AED 268+

How to Get Around the United Arab Emirates

Public Transportation

Dubai has a growing metro and tram network, but in other emirates, such as Abu Dhabi, the main form of public transport is by bus, with trips starting at around AED 2 (0.54 USD). Taxis are widely used and are relatively inexpensive in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah with fares calculated by distance. A taxi ride in Abu Dhabi should cost approximately AED 77 (21 USD).

Car

An international driver's license is required to drive in the United Arab Emirates. The road network is modern, with the main roads displaying signs in English as well as Arabic.

Public Transportation

Dubai has a growing metro and tram network, but in other emirates, such as Abu Dhabi, the main form of public transport is by bus, with trips starting at around AED 2 (0.54 USD). Taxis are widely used and are relatively inexpensive in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah with fares calculated by distance. A taxi ride in Abu Dhabi should cost approximately AED 77 (21 USD).

Car

An international driver's license is required to drive in the United Arab Emirates. The road network is modern, with the main roads displaying signs in English as well as Arabic.

The Cost of Living in the United Arab Emirates

Hotel stays can be pricey as occupancy is always high. Grocery shopping can cost around AED 6.26 (1.70 USD) for a quart of milk and approximately AED 9.30 (2.50 USD) for a dozen eggs. Eating out can cost anywhere from AED 30-200 (8-54 USD), depending on if you choose an inexpensive restaurant or a middle-range restaurant.

All major debit cards are accepted in the United Arab Emirates and ATMs are easy to find. Credit cards are also accepted; however, accepting the "dynamic currency conversion" option on the card machine will cost more. Cash can be exchanged at foreign exchange bureaus in airports and shopping malls.