With its combination of gorgeous sandy beaches, picturesque mountains, and thriving cities, the United Arab Emirates is an ideal travel destination. However, while most travelers would probably assume it’s easy to get around this small country (its population is under 10 million, after all), things are a little different there. If you’re planning on visiting the UAE in the near future but aren’t sure what to expect when it comes to logistics and getting around, we’ve got some insider tips that will make your trip much smoother. The UAE might be small in size, but when it comes to travel there are definitely some challenges. And with everything from visa requirements to local etiquette being different than what many travelers are used to, it can be pretty overwhelming. Luckily for you, we have the insider information you need to plan and execute an amazing trip!
If you’ve been to the UAE before, you probably already know that it’s a very safe place for travel. In fact, it has been named the safest country in the world for travel by Forbes magazine for several years running. There are no dangerous animals, infectious diseases, or natural disasters to worry about. So basically, the only risk factors for travel in the UAE come from man-made issues (like scams or theft). There are no health or vaccination requirements for entry into the UAE, but you will need to show proof of a valid passport at the border. You can travel freely between the UAE and other countries, but you will need a visa in order to enter the UAE. See our section below on UAE visa requirements to learn more.
Unless you are fortunate enough to be staying in one of the few hotels that offer complimentary airport transfers, once you arrive at the airport, you will need to locate a taxi to take you to your hotel. It’s a good idea to have your hotel or hostel’s address printed out in Arabic, or to have the address saved on a device in case you lose your paper copy. There are several options for airport transportation once you have your bags. Some travelers prefer to take a taxi, and others prefer public transportation, such as the metro. It’s a good idea to read about the options for transportation and plan your trip ahead of time to make sure you arrive at your destination smoothly.
It’s always a good idea to brush up on local etiquette before visiting a new country, and the UAE is no exception. Generally speaking, the UAE is a very conservative country, so remember that certain types of public displays of affection (not to mention drinking alcohol) are frowned upon. There are also some specific things you should know about before visiting. For example, don’t touch someone else’s head as it is considered a sacred part of the body, and don’t touch someone else’s feet. Also, when dining with locals, know that you will be expected to eat with your right hand only.
The UAE has a wide selection of beautiful luxury hotels, but there are also plenty of budget-friendly places to stay as well. In general, the UAE is very well-known for its 5-star luxury accommodations. These include the Burj Al Arab, the Dubai Marriott, the Hilton Dubai Creek, and many more. If you’re looking for a bit less luxury, there are plenty of mid-range hotels in the UAE and budget-friendly hostels. You could even rent out an apartment or villa if you’d prefer a more home-like environment while you’re in the UAE. If you’re looking for a specific hotel or hostel, you can use the Hotels Combined website to find the best deals on hotels in the UAE.
The UAE has excellent public transportation, so if you decide to stay in one place for your whole trip, you can easily get there. The metro is the most efficient way to get around the largest cities (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah). However, taxis and buses are also reliable options for getting around smaller cities and towns. If you’re planning to rent a car, know that you need an International Driving Permit in addition to your regular driver’s license. If you’re under 25 years old, there is also a minimum age restriction for renting a car.
The UAE has a wide array of delicious food options, with everything from Lebanese to Mexican, Italian, and Indian cuisine available in just about every city. As far as Arabic food etiquette goes, it’s best to eat with your right hand as forks are used very rarely in the UAE. If you’re dining with a local, they may try to feed you with their hand, so be prepared! Find out more information about the United Arab Emirates and its culture before you travel there. It will make your visit that much more enjoyable and memorable!
The UAE is a gorgeous country with many attractions for visitors to enjoy. When you’re planning your trip, it’s a good idea to check the weather forecast, as the UAE experiences very extreme temperatures (including very cold winters and very hot summers). It’s also important to keep in mind that the UAE is a Muslim country, so certain rules and customs may be different from what you’re used to. It’s best to do a little research before you go so that you can be prepared and make the most of your trip! With its combination of gorgeous sandy beaches, picturesque mountains, and thriving cities, the United Arab Emirates is an ideal travel destination. However, while most travelers would probably assume it’s easy to get around this small country (its population is under 10 million, after all), things are a little different there.