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UAE

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

General Information

Population

Approximately 8,000,000

Language

The official language is Arabic, but English is widely spoken and understood

Currency

UAE Dirham divided into 100 Fils US$ 1 = Dhs 3,67 Notes: 1000, 500, 200, 100, 50, 20,10, 5
Coins: 1 Dirham, 50 Fils, 25 Fils

Credit Card

Major credit cards such as American express, Visa, Mastercard and Diner’s Club are available through global network branches and accepted in shopping areas as well as hotels and some restaurants.

Geography

The UAE is situated north of the Equator on latitudes between 22-28.5 N and longitudes 51-58 E. Bordered to the North by the Arabian Gulf, to the East by the Gulf of Oman and Sultanate of Oman, to the South by Saudi Arabia, and to the West by Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The total area of the country is 83,600 square kilometers. This includes an archipelago with an area of about 5,900 square kilometers. The coastline is 650 kms.

Climate

The UAE is one of the best world winter resorts. Between November and March, warm sunny days with an average temperature of 26° C/78.8° F and cool nights with an average temperature of 15° C/59° F. Hot temperature and high humidity increase between June and August. The average temperature is 38° C/100.4° F during the summer. Rainfall is infrequent falling mainly in winter.

Ports

Abu Dhabi/Dubai/Sharjah/Fujairah/Ras Al Khaimah

International Airports

Abu Dhabi/Dubai/Sharjah/Fujairah/Ras Al Khaimah

Dubai Metro

The Red Line and Green Line connect major areas in the city, including Dubai Airport, various tourist attractions and major shopping malls.  Dubai Metro operates Sunday to Wednesday (05:50hhrs to 00:00hrs), Thursday (05:50hrs to 01:00hrs), Friday (13:00hrs to 01:00hrs) and Saturday (05:50hrs to 00:00hrs). All timings are subject to change.  The trains run every 4-8 minutes, depending on day/time of the day.  Major Metro stations are served by feeder buses that will carry the metro passengers to and from communities around the stations.  The metro tickets are called NOL cards and can be purchased from metro stations and selected outlets.

Customs

There are no exchange restrictions. No customs duty is levied on personal effects when entering the country. Visitors are allowed to bring in the following free of duty : 2000 cigarettes plus 400 cigars plus 2 kg tobacco, 2 litres wine or 2 litres spirits. A reasonable quantity of perfume is allowed.

Local Time

GMT + 4 (Winter), GMT + 3 (Summer)

International Access Number

++971

Dress Code

Lightweight summer clothing is suitable for most of the year, but sweaters or jackets may be needed for the winter months, especially in the evenings.
Good quality sunglasses are advised, and photo-chromatic lenses for those who wear spectacles. Hats or some protection for the head are advisable when in direct sunlight.
The United Arab Emirates has conservative dress traditions. Swimwear should be confirmed to the beach and hotel pools. Men and women should ensure shoulders and knees are covered when in public, especially in souks, shops and villages.

Religion

Islam is the official religion. Other religions are respected.

Alcohol

Alcohol is freely available in hotel restaurants and bars, but not outside hotels. It is not allowed to consume alcohol in public areas. In the Emirate of Sharjah alcoholic beverages are not permitted.

Photography

Normal tourist photography is acceptable, but it is considered offensive to photograph Muslim women. It is also courteous to ask permission before photographing men. Photographs of government buildings or military installations are forbidden.

Health and Medical Facilities

Hospitals, pharmacies and health clinics are available throughout the United Arab Emirates. Modern hospitals with state-of-the-art equipment can contend with any emergency.

Electricity

The electricity supply is 220/240 volts at 50 cycles. Adapters are available in the hotels.

Water

Tap water is quite safe to drink but visitors usually prefer locally bottled mineral water and this is generally served in hotels and restaurants.

Telecommunications

Telecommunications are excellent, both within the United Arab Emirates and the outside world. International direct telephone dialing, telex and fax facilities are available in all major cites in UAE. Telephone booths (phone cards) are available in abundance for international and local calls. Most hotels offer guests internet access. Access is also available at internet cafés. 

Tipping

Tipping practices are similar to most parts of the world. Where no service charge is included, 10 per cent is adequate.

Bargaining

Bargaining is expected in the souks. Vendors will usually drop the price and often quite substantially, particularly for a cash sale (Bargaining is normally not possible in shopping malls)

Postal rates

Dhs 3 for postcards / airmails

Postcards

Hotel bookshops

Working hours

Government :
From Sundays to Thursdays from 07:30 am to 02:30 pm.
Private Sector :
From Saturdays to Thursdays from 08:00 am to 01:00 pm and from 04:00 pm to 07:00 pm. Many companies close at 01:00 pm on Thursdays.
Banks :
From Sundays  to Thursdays  from 08:00 am to 01:00 pm. Thursdays from 08:00 am to 12:00 noon.
Exchange houses :
From Saturdays to Thursdays from 08:30 am to 01:30 pm and from 04:30 pm to 08:30 pm. Fridays from 04:30 pm to 08:30 pm.
Souks/Markets :
From Saturdays to Thursdays from 09:00 am to 10:00 pm.
Fridays from 04:00 pm to 10:00 pm.

Major Malls :
From Sunddays to Wednesdays from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm.
Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays from 10:00 am to midnight.

Above timings are not applicable during Ramadan.

 

Holidays & Islamic Events in the UAE Arab Emirates 2014/2015

Occasion

2015

2016

Weekend Holiday

Friday-Saturday

 Friday-Saturday

New Year

01 Jan

 01 Jan

Prophet Mohammed’s Birthday*

13 Jan

 03 Jan

Lailat Al Mi’raj*

26 May

 16 May

Ramadan*

28 Jun - 26 Jul

 18 Jun - 16 Jul

Eid Al Fitr*

27 - 28 Jul

 17 - 18 Jul

Eid Al Adha*

04 - 06 Oct

 22 - 24 Sep

Islamic New Year’s Day*

25 Oct

 15 Oct

UAE National Day

02 - 03 Dec

 02 - 03 Dec

* Islamic Holidays and these are subject to change