UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Fun Facts From Globus Tours
- Topping speeds of 149.1 mph, Abu Dhabi’s “Ferrari World” theme park is home to the fastest roller coaster in the world, Formula Rossa.
- 80% of Dubai’s residents are foreigners
- Average annual precipitation is only about 13 centimeters
- Dubai has erected over 400 skyscrapers since 1991
From its traditional mosques and souks, pristine ocean and sand, desert climate and state of the art architectural wonders, you will be dazzled and astounded by the cities of the United Arab Emirates. Dubai is one of seven emirates and is the most modern and progressive of the UAE. Desert meets ocean and engineering meets its match in this enterprising capital of the Middle East.
At the center of it all is Dubai, a highly ambitious city and incomparable in its lavish surroundings. This economic super power is a dazzling display of high-tech buildings and futuristic architecture that has impressively risen up from the desert landscape in the last 20 years. There is enough activity here to fill your days between the sands, sun, warm waters, and home to both the tallest building and the most luxurious hotels in the world.
Dubai is also a great place to pick up a little souvenir at the souks (markets). The gold souk is incredible with walls and displays draped in sheets of gold jewelry from the very lavish to the very simple. An abundance of spices, any cook’s dream, are available at the spice souk – where endless rows of barrels and boxes overflow with exotic flavors.
VISAS, PASSPORTS, AND OTHER ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
You are responsible for obtaining and paying for all entry documents (visas, etc.) and for meeting all health requirements (inoculations, etc.) as required by the laws, regulations, or orders of the countries you will visit. We cannot accept liability if you are refused entry onto any transport or into any country for failure to carry correct documentation.
A visa for your visit to United Arab Emirates is not necessary for US citizens. If you hold a passport from another country, check with your local consulate about requirements for travel to United Arab Emirates.
All passengers traveling internationally are required to have a passport. Most countries require that the passport be valid for at least six (6) months beyond the conclusion of your trip, so please check the expiration date carefully. It is also recommended you have a minimum of three blank pages in your passport when traveling, as many countries require blank pages. Please carry proper identification (your passport) on you and do not leave it in your suitcase or hotel room. Most countries have laws that require you to carry your passport with you at all times.
The country code for United Arab Emirates is 971. When calling to United Arab Emirates from overseas, dial your international access code (011 from the US/Canada), followed by the country code, area code, and phone number. Phone numbers in United Arab Emirates are 8 digits in length. Dialing from the US/ Canada: 011 971 # ### ####.
In the United Arab Emirates the local currency is the Dirham.
- Banknote denominations: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000 Dirham
- Coin denominations: 25 Fils, 50 Fils, 1 Dirham As a general guideline, bring a variety of payment means, particularly in the event that you have difficulties with your preferred method of payment.
For initial convenience we recommend you bring some local currency with you from home in case you are not able to immediately access a money exchange or ATM. ATMs are the most convenient way to obtain money in UAE as they are readily available throughout the country.
For the most current exchange rates, please go to our website at Globusjourneys.com/Currency.
Credit cards are accepted in United Arab Emirates and you should have no trouble using them. Visa and MasterCard are most accepted. Smaller shops most likely will ask you to pay in cash or have a minimum amount required to use a credit card. If you use a credit card for your purchase, you will be debited in the local currency, and your bank will establish the rate of exchange on the debit. Traveler’s checks Although a secure means of carrying money, traveler’s checks unfortunately are becoming very hard to use. Due to this we recommend you plan on using cash and credit cards only.
Mon. – Wed., 8:00 am – 1:00 pm
Sat. – Thurs. – 8;00 am – 12:00 pm
Fri., Sun. – Closed
BUDGETING AND SHOPPING
- The following budget guidelines are just approximate values or starting values for meals and are per person. Actual prices will vary widely by restaurant and city within a country but below are some averages as provided by our experienced personnel.
- The approximate cost of a soft drink/mineral water/coffee is 3 Dirham.
- An average lunch consisting of a salad or sandwich and a soda or water starts at approximately 30 Dirham
- Dinner at a mid-range restaurant with dessert and a non-alcoholic beverage starts at approximately 100-150 Dirham.
Prices are as marked in department stores, though in markets it is customary to barter. Start negotiating with an offer at one-third or half the vendor’s initial price.
Please be warned that if you buy items on tour to be shipped to your home, customs import charges are hardly ever included in the price. Sales tax or GST (Goods & Services Tax) is normally already included on price tags; GST refunds, if applicable, are processed at the departing airport from the relevant country.
Tipping is at your discretion. Most restaurants will add a 10% service charge but waiters will expect some loose change. Restaurants that don’t add a service charge will expect a 10% tip. Restroom attendants and taxi drivers are happy to accept tips.
ELECTRICITY AND ELECTRICAL OUTLETS
Voltage for outlets is 230. North American voltage is generally 110V. Some, but not all, hotels feature multiregion outlets that accept different types of plugs. Due to this, for dual voltage electronics, we still recommend you bring an adapter. If you have single voltage electronics (110V) a converter is also required. Bathroom outlets are usually for razors only.The outlets look like:
Dubai really only experiences two seasons: hot and hotter. During the winter months, the city sees blue skies and more reasonable temperatures. During summer months triple-digit temps and high humidity are the norm. To help you plan, below are average low and high temperatures.
To convert to Celsius, subtract 30, then divide by 2. While not exact, this simple formula will give a close estimation.
Emirati cuisine is a blend of both Asian and Middle Eastern influences, but as it attempts to cater to so many different styles, you can find food there from all over the world. Common staples of the Emirati diet include: grains, dairy, fresh seafood, chicken, lamb, vegetables, and dates. It’s also known for its distinctive spices like: saffron, cardamom, tumeric, and thyme. Tea and coffee are an essential part of the culture as well.
While Dubai’s tap water is potable, most people prefer to drink bottled water. For sightseeing and excursions, we recommend you purchase bottled water to bring with you. Bottled water is also common in restaurants.
CUSTOMS AND CULTURE
Please be particularly mindful of your attire when in public areas (this includes malls and restaurants). Women are advised to carry a shawl to cover their shoulders when wearing sleeveless dresses, and avoid wearing shorts.
In Islamic culture, the left hand is considered unclean, so remember not to eat or offer food or other items with your left hand. Showing the soles of your shoes is also considered impolite. Try to avoid sitting in a way where the bottom of your shoes ends up pointing at someone (for ex., when crossing one leg over the other).
Public displays of affection are strongly frowned upon, and holding hands (in public) is only acceptable for married couples.
RAMADAN: During the Holy Month of Ramadan (timing varies year to year) all Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. During daylight hours visitors are requested to refrain eating, drinking and smoking in public areas. Alcohol will not be served during this time. However, alcohol is served in restaurants and bars after sunset for non-Muslims. Live entertainment, loud music and dancing are not allowed and conservative dress should be worn in public. Most businesses and shops open only for a few hours in the morning and re-open after sunset until well after midnight. Hotels make concessions for their guests and keep a restaurant open during the day for resident guests only. Sunset marks the start of Iftar, which is the breaking of the fast. Smoking is common in Asia so locals tend to be less sensitive to issues regarding smoking around others and often ignore “non-smoking” signs.
FEW WORDS OF THE LOCAL LANGUAGE
Arabic (pronounced as):
Good morning: Sabah el khair, Good evening: Masaa el khair, Thank you: Shokrun, Please: Men Fadluck, Do you speak English?: Be’tetkalem englizi?, I don’t understand: Ana mosh fahem, Please write it down: Ekteb hali men fadlak, How much is this?: Bikam dah?, 1: Wahed, 2: Ethnein, 3: Thalàtha, 4: Arba’a, 5: Hamsà, 6: Seta, 7: Seba’a, 8: Thamània, 9: Tesa’a, 10: Ash’ra, 20: Eshreen, 30: Thalatheen, 40: Arbae’en, 50: Hamseen, 60: Seteen, 70: Sabèen, 80; Thamanen, 90: Tesa’een, 100: May’a, 150: May’a u hamseen, 200: Metein, Where is…?: Fain…?, Telephone: Telephone, Bathroom: Hammam, Bottled water: Maya maadaneya, Tea: Shaay, Coffee: Ahwa.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE COUNTRY INFORMATION
Additional country-specific information for US citizens can be found on the US Government’s website www.travel.state.gov. Here, you can find the most up-to-date information about destination descriptions, passports/visas, safety and security, transportation, travel local laws, alerts/warnings, vaccinations, and more. For citizens of other nations, we recommend you consult your local consulate for travel information, regulations, and requirements.