UNITED ARAB EMIRATES TRAVEL GUIDE

INTRODUCTION

Most people think of Dubai when one mentions the UAE - the city with iconic skyscrapers, palm-shaped islands, city-sized malls, indoor ski slopes and fancy beach resorts. There are, however, six more emirates to explore - each with its own culture and allure. Our last visit was more than the usual stop-over and we took some time to absorb more of what of this interesting area has to offer.

 

UAE is a union of seven sovereign sheikhdoms that were formed in 1971 when the British withdrew from the Gulf. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has a unique blend of traditional Islamic culture and values alongside a modern cosmopolitan living environment.

COVID-19 TRAVEL STATUS

Updated:

The United Arab Emirates has restricted the entry of most non-residents. However, there is a separate set of regulations specifically for entering Dubai, which was announced on June 21 and is now in effect for Dubai residents and visitors.As of August 12, UAE residents no longer need to pre-register before returning to the country. However, all travelers (including citizens, residents, tourists, and transit passengers) entering the UAE must have a negative COVID-19 test result before flying to the country. This must be a negative COVID-19 PCR (nasal swab) test result taken within 96 hours of departure, and must be shown in order to board commercial flights to the UAE. More information on this is available here.Children under the age of 12 and those with severe and moderate disabilities will be exempted from the test requirement. Those entering the country may also be asked to take a further PCR COVID-19 test on arrival and will be required to self-isolate for 14 days and required to wear a medically approved wristband for the duration of their quarantine. The wristband will be provided at Abu Dhabi airport after clearing immigration. Arrivals under the age of 18, over the age of 60, diplomats or those suffering from a chronic disease will be exempt from having to wear the wristband. For entry to Dubai, new procedures were set in place on June 21 for returning residents. Dubai residents overseas are now able to return to Dubai.Dubai Residents must apply for a permit to return on the Dubai Government General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs website. Before they fly returning residents will also be required to complete a Health Declaration Form and a Quarantine Form. Both forms need to be printed, completed and handed over to Dubai Health Authority staff on arrival. Further information about how to book a flight for returning residents is available on the Emirates Airline website. On their return to Dubai, returning residents will have to undergo a PCR Covid-19 test at the airport and register their details on the Covid-19 DXB App. Returning residents must isolate at home until their test results are available. Those who test positive for Covid-19 must self-isolate for at least 14 days and adhere to any rules issued by the Dubai authorities.Visitors to Dubai who are non-residents will be able to travel to Dubai from July 7. Further information about what visitors need to do before they travel and what will happen on arrival in Dubai is available on the Government of Dubai website, including information about testing on arrival and quarantine.Before visitors fly to Dubai, they will also be required to complete a Health Declaration Form and a Quarantine Form. Both forms need to be printed, completed and handed over to Dubai Health Authority staff on arrival. Visitors to Dubai will also have to register their details on the Covid-19 DXB App.Visitors must have international health insurance before traveling and must show that they have had a negative PCR Covid-19 test a maximum of four days before their departure date.Passport holders from certain countries including the US, Canada, and the UK may be able to receive a tourist visa on arrival in Dubai, typically valid for 30 days. To see more information on this and other regulations for travel to Dubai, check this page.

 

TRAVEL ADVISORY

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United Arab Emirates

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United Arab Emirates

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QUICK FACTS

  • Capital: Abu Dhabi
  • Government: Elective Monarchy
  • Currency: Emirati Dirham (AED)
  • Area: 83,600 km2
  • Population: 9,631 million (2018)
  • Language: Arabic (official), Persian, English, Hindi, Urdu Somali
  • Religion: Muslim 94% (Shi'a 16%), Christian, Hindu, and other 6%
  • Electricity: 220/50Hz (UK plug)
 

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UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

  • 6 August, Accession of Sheik Zayid ibn Sultan Al Nuhayyan
  • 2 December, National Day

Business openings and work schedules may be significantly affected by Islamic holidays.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

 

WEATHER SYNOPSIS

Desert; Cooler In Eastern Mountains

United Arab Emirates

TOURIST SEASONS

Most destinations have different times of the year when they’re more or less popular with tourists. 

Peak Season

Shoulder Season

Off Peak Season

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AUGUST

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SEPTEMBER

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OCTOBER

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NOVEMBER

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DECEMBER

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SPORT & ACTIVITIES

SNOW:

If you're desperate for some snow sports while in The United Arab Emirates, you can visit the indoor ski area of Ski Dubai in The Mall of the Emirates!

HIKE & CYCLE:

You should be able to find a hiking route somewhere in The United Arab Emirates throughout the year. Just note that it is always hot and dry, so make sure you are correctly prepared. Most hiking is done through organised tour groups for your safety.

BEACH:

The best time to visit beaches in The United Arab Emirates are the months of March, April and October, when the weather is pleasantly hot. Generally from October to April, the weather is pleasant with sunny and clear skies. From June to September it is extremely hot and humid and you will most likely prefer to be inside an air-conditioned shopping mall!

WIND:

You can find suitable conditions for kitesurfing in Dubai from December to April and the best spots for kitesurfing in Dubai are Kite Beach and Nessnass Beach.

SURFING:

While surfing in The United Arab Emirates is still only gaining popularity, there is no shortage of waves and swells. The beaches in Fujairah and Kalba and Al Khan Beach in Sharjah are some of the top surf spots from November to March. Of course, there is also Kite Beach, Sunset Beach and North Beach, all in Dubai,

 
 

HEALTH

Be aware of possible health risks in 

United Arab Emirates

For the latest travel health notices and recommended precautions click

 
 
 

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