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Emirates Airlines. Emirates flies to more than 70 destinations worldwide
Arab Emirates is a constitutional federation of seven emirates; Abu Dhabi,
Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al-Qaiwain, Ras al-Khaimah and Fujairah. The
federation was formally established on 2 December 1971. The United Arab
Emirates (UAE) occupies an area of 83,000 sq km along the south-eastern
tip of the Arabian Peninsula. Qatar lies to the west, Saudi Arabia to
the south and west, and Oman to the north and east. The capital and the
largest city of the federation, Abu Dhabi, is located in the emirate of
the same name.
It also has the most relaxed entry regulations in the region, the best tourist infrastructure and, despite promoting itself exclusively to tourists with a buck or three (or four) to spend, it's extremely accessible to independent budget travellers.
When to Go
The best time of the year to visit the UAE is between November and April, when the weather is at its best. The rest of the year you're more likely to be running from one air-conditioned environment to the next instead of getting out and about and exploring. Ramadan, the muslim month of fasting, is strictly adhered to in the UAE; that means no eating, drinking or smoking in public from sunrise to sunset. Places that normally serve alcohol stop serving it during this month. Ramadan is in December-January for the next couple of years.
Money & Costs
Currency: UAE Dirham
The UAE is not a low-budget country, but it is possible to keep costs under a semblance of control. Plan on spending around US$50 a day for budget to mid-range travel; perhaps half that in Dubai and Fujairah, which have good youth hostels, and perhaps double that in Abu Dhabi, which has no cheap hotels.
You can change money at moneychangers or banks; moneychangers sometimes offer better rates than banks but they can be fussy about changing traveller's cheques. The best currency to bring is US dollars, followed by British pounds. Credit cards are widely accepted and there are plenty of ATMs connected to one or more of the global ATM systems.
Tips are not generally expected in the UAE, but they are certainly appreciated as most waiters earn extremely low salaries. The service charge added to your bill usually goes to the restaurant, not the serving staff. Most hotels are willing to negotiate discounts but virtually all other prices in the UAE are fixed.
country name: United Arab Emirates
Facts for the Traveler
British citizens and nationals of most Gulf countries do not require visas;
Gulf citizens can stay as long as they want, Britons for up to three months.
All other visitors are required to have visas. Your hotel can sponsor
you for a 15-day, nonrenewable transit visa or a one-month renewable visit
visa. Note that if your passport shows evidence of travel to Israel you
will be denied entry to the UAE.
Religious holidays are tied to the Islamic Hijra calendar, so dates vary from year to year. Eid al-Fitr (the end of Ramadan), Eid al-Adha (Pilgrimage), Lailat al-Mi'raj (the Ascension of the Prophet), the Prophet's Birthday and the Islamic New Year are the main celebrations. Secular holidays include New Year's Day (1 January) and National Day (1 December).