Welcome to the United Arab Emirates!
Let a fantastic world whisk you away!
The United Arab Emirates are in the northeast of the Arabian Peninsula and consist of 7 emirates that have joined together to form a confederation. The immense wealth on the coast is in stark contrast to the untouched naturalness of the hinterland. The emirates are covered by dry sand deserts with the rocky Hajar Mountains covering the eastern part of the land. Dubai is the modern centre of the emirates. The original fishing village has developed into a metropolis that abounds in superlatives. Sharjah is clearly more traditional than the other emirates, for example, no alcohol is served there. Ajman is the smallest emirate and Fujairah is the most beautiful. Characteristic is its picturesque location between the slopes of the Hajar Mountains and the romantic east coast on the Indian Ocean. The biggest and richest emirate is Abu Dhabi. The capital of the United Arab Emirates lies on a peninsula and is connected to the mainland by a bridge. Ras Al-Khaimah, the most northern emirate, has preserved a great deal of its originality and is suitable above all for those looking for relaxation.
The seventh Emirate, Umm al-Qaiwain, has as yet not been suitably developed for tourism.
The United Arab Emirates are a real inspiration owing to their unique landscape and the wonderful hospitality encountered there. See the contrasts of this breathtaking country and immerse yourself in a world of sheiks and Bedouins, foreign culture and tradition, exotic beaches and unbelievable wealth.
To make sure your holiday in the United Arab Emirates is a complete success, we have compiled some important information on the country:
General information on the U.A.E. as a destination:
Entry requirements/visa: Please find out about the current entry requirements before going on your holiday in the U.A.E., for example visit the website of the Foreign Office (http://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/DE/Laenderinformationen/00-SiHi/VereinigteArabischeEmirateSicherheit.html)
Currency: 1 dirham (AED) = 100 fils
1 euro = approx. 4.89 AED
- Tips on exchanging money:
- There is no limit to the amount of money you can take in or out of the country.
- Please make sure you find out from your bank before you start your holiday whether you can use your debit card to withdraw money in the U.A.E.
- ATMs are available in banks, shopping centres and sometimes in hotels.
- Credit cards are used extensively.
Customs regulations: There is no duty on items for personal use, tobacco, perfume and alcohol in reasonable quantities for your own consumption. There is an import ban on pornographic literature (almost all western magazines are considered to be such) and video films. There is also a ban on the import of fresh food, above all pork products and more than one bottle of alcohol.
Local language: Arabic, but English is widely understood.
Time difference: +2 hours to Germany, Austria, and Switzerland in the summer, +3 hours in the winter.
Climate and clothing: Due to the warm climate all year round, it is recommended to bring light, airy summer clothing as well as sun protection (sunglasses and headgear). Here, however, it is extremely important to observe that women should not wear short skirts and dresses, or tops with thin straps; the shoulders should be covered as much as possible. Men should also not wear short shorts. It is wise to bring light pullovers, jerseys or jackets for when you are indoors, because the air-conditioning can make it quite cool. Think about taking comfortable clothing for excursions as well as flat and sturdy shoes. Remember that bathing garments are only to be worn at the beach and at the pool and are otherwise not to be worn in public.
Filming and taking photographs: Please note that military facilities, shipyards, airports and public buildings may not be photographed or filmed. Mosques may be photographed from the outside, but tourists may not go inside. When photographing people, you should first ask men and children for permission. Taking photographs of Arabic women is not advised as it is considered to be immoral.
Illness on holiday: Although medical standards are very good in the U.A.E., it is recommended to have travel medical insurance. There is no social insurance agreement between the two countries. Therefore, medical insurance companies will usually not pay for treatment costs.
Sundays and holidays: Please note that the weekly day of rest in the U.A.E. is Friday.
17 June 2012 is Leilat al-Meiraj (ascension of the prophet), 18/19 August 2012 is Eid al-Fitr (end of Ramadan)
Ramadan: The Islamic fasting period (Ramadan) lasts approx. from 19.07.-18.08.2012. In that time, Muslims do without eating, drinking and smoking from sunrise to sunset. Moreover, live music and belly dance demonstrations are not allowed. During that time it is important to observe that eating, drinking and smoking are not allowed in public and outdoors. There may be additional restrictions because alcohol is only served after sunset and generally may be restricted. In addition, some bars and restaurants may be closed in the hotels. Since the lives of Muslims shift into the night time, the business hours of shops may also change accordingly with night time opening. Sights are not affected by these changes. During this period pay particular attention to wearing appropriate clothing.
No-smoking law: Please note that in the U.A.E. there is a complete ban on smoking in all public places. This includes restaurants, bars, shopping centres, universities and hotels. If you would like a “smoking room” in the hotel, then you can include this in your booking as a non-binding customer request.
Alcohol: Please note that a ban on alcohol is firmly anchored in the Muslim faith. Therefore you can obtain alcoholic beverages only in hotels. An exception to this is the Sharjah emirate where there is an absolute ban on alcohol.
Beach and sea: The U.A.E. is characterised by long sandy beaches with a generally good water quality. In the Fujairah region there are sometimes increased levels of red algae, which can lead to beach closures in extreme cases.
Power: 220 volts AC. You will need an adapter, but you can usually obtain one in your hotel.
Drinking water: Officially tap water is suitable as drinking water and there is no reason not to use it for brushing your teeth etc.
Tipping: Most premium quality restaurants and hotels add a service charge of 10%. Tipping for general services is usual and expected.
For more information, visit the website of the United Arab Emirates: http://www.uaeinteract.com/german/travel/#10