UNITED ARAB EMIRATES TRAVEL GUIDE
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.
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UNITED ARAB EMIRATES 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
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.
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES WEATHER SYNOPSIS
Desert; Cooler In Eastern Mountains
SPORT & ACTIVITIES
SNOW SPORT IN UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
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!
HIKING & CYCLING IN UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
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 OPTIONS IN UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
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!
SURFING IN UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
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,
KITESURF IN UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
You can find suitable conditions for kitesurfing around the UAE from December to April and the best spots for kitesurfing in Dubai are Kite Beach and Nessnass Beach.