Country: United Arab Emirates
Where is it?: United Arab Emirates is in the Middle East, bordering the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf, between Oman and Saudi Arabia.
Why do people go here?: UAE is taking many active steps to court tourists to the country. It’s clean, safe, and has the beaches, culture, and shopping to make the experience great. Like Jordan, this is a good starter country for true Middle East traveling.
What are the main entry points?: UAE’s airport in Dubai is one of the best in the Middle East and is the best place for affordable flights. Going overland, there are connections by bus from Oman.
Currency used: Dirham
Country Code for Phones: 971
Area codes for Major Cities: Dubai 4
Religion: Muslim 96% (Shi’a 16%), Christian, Hindu, and other 4%
Population: 4.6 million
Ethnic Breakdown: 34% Arab (19% Emirati and 15% other Arabs), 8% Iranian, 50% South Asian, 8% other expats (Westerners & East Asians)
Government: Federal constitutional monarchy
Languages: Arabic (official), Persian, English, Hindi, Urdu
Major Cities: Dubai, Abu Dhabi
Attractions: Abu Dhabi, Dubai
Accommodation: UAE Hostels
Tourism Office locations and links: UAE Tourist Office
Health Issues: Brucellosis, HIV
Tips for Visiting
When to go: The heat in UAE is oppressive and you need to travel during the cooler months to enjoy this place. November into February are the best months.
Common Phrases: marHaba = hello; shukran = thank you; sabah al khair – good morning; masah al khair -good afternoon / evening; keef haluk? -How are you?; Aysh ismuk -what is your name?; Titakellem ingleezi -do you speak English?; Ana la atakellem al arabi -I don’t speak Arabic
Specific Events/Holidays: United Arabs Emirates is a federation of small Islamic kingdoms so holidays dates vary from year to year. The many events are Ramadan and Eid Al-Adha.
Getting Around: Getting around the UAE can be difficult. Taxis are your best bet. Otherwise, stick out your thumb or rent a car.
Good to know: United Arab Emirates is one of the richest countries in the entire world.
Cheapest airport to fly into: There are two main international airports serving travelers to United Arab Emirates. These are the Abu Dhabi International Airport and the Dubai International Airport. Choose one that is near your trip destination to obtain cheaper flights.
Need more information?: Check out the United Arab Emirates travel guide for more on what to see, where to stay, and how to get there.