If you’re looking for the ultimate desert experience, look no further than the United Arab Emirates. Constantly breaking city records and always building something new, the UAE is always making headlines for their ‘next best’ feature of the city.
When To Visit: No matter what time of the year you’re visiting the United Arab Emirates, expect extremely high temperatures with year round sunshine and very little rain. The UAE really only has two seasons – hot and very hot.
Visit between November and March to avoid the highest temperatures and the worst of the heat and humidity. It’s also a good idea to try and avoid the Ramadan period in UAE if you can, as stricter rules apply during this time around your behaviour in public places.
Language: The official language of the UAE is Arabic. Some people working in the tourism and hospitality industries will speak English, but you will struggle a little more with local markets, some shops and some taxi drivers.
International Airport: There are a number of international airports in UAE but the primary ones that are used for passengers travelling from Australia are Dubai Interantional Airport (DXB, the hub of popular airline Emirates and Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH), hub of airline Etihad.
Capital City: Abhu Dhabi
Time Zone: The United Arab Emirates follows the Gulf Standard Time Zone UTC +4. There are no daylight savings in the UAE.
Currency: The currency in the UAE is the Emirati Dirham AED or Dhs. At that time of writing, $1 AED converts to $0.39AUD, $0.27 USD or £0.22GBP.
Credit Cards & ATMs: Credit and debit cards are widely accepted at most places around the city. ATMs are generally accessible, although they can be extremely spread out around the city and might not be close by when you need one.
Driving: Always drive on the right side of the road in the UAE.
Power: In the United Arab Emirates the power plugs and sockets are of type C, D and G. The standard voltage is 220 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.
Internet Access: Most hotels offer excellent high-speed internet connections, however you will struggle to find wifi in restaurants and cafes or when your out and about around the city.
Visa Requirements: If you’re travelling to the UAE on an Australian passport you will be issued a 30-day visa on arrival. There is no cost for this visa. This is also the case for visitors from Canada, New Zeland, United Kingdom and USA, as well as a few other countries. As always, check your visa requirements before you leave for the UAE.