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Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in France
3, Rue de Lota, 75116 Paris, France
Tel: + 33 1 443 40200;
Fax: + 33 1 475 56104
Email: [email protected]

 
  

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TRAVEL


  1. The Weather
  2. Visas & Immigration
  3. Airports
  4. Airlines
  5. Customs
  6. Special Events
  7. Ramadan
  8. Hotels
  9. Transport
  10. Travel Tips


THE WEATHER

For today’s weather and the forecast for the next few days in various areas of the UAE CLICK HERE.

Choose a link to see the latest satellite images of the weather conditions in the Middle East and Europe.

Mean monthly maximum temperature (Bateen airport, Abu Dhabi) and national mean monthly rainfall 1971/72–1988/89. °C and mm.

  Jan Feb Mar April May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
Temperature in °C 24 25 29 33 38 39 40 40 39 35 30 26
Rainfall in mm 11 38 34 10 3 1 2 3 1 2 4 10
Source: The National Atlas of the United Arab Emirates (UAE University, 1993)

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VISAS & IMMIGRATION

  1. Visas
  2. Immigration Departments
  3. Foreign Embassies in Abu Dhabi
  4. Foreign Consulates in Dubai
  5. AE Embassies and Consulates

VISAS

Check with the UAE Immigration Services for the latest information on visit visas. At the time of writing, citizens of the following countries are eligible to be issued with a free-of-charge VISIT VISA on entry to the UAE: UK, France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Cyprus, Finland, Malta, Spain, Monaco, Vatican, Iceland, Andorra, San Marino, Liechtenstein, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong. Citizens of other countries should apply to their nearest UAE embassy.

Up-to-date information on visas is available from the UAE Immigration Services.

IMMIGRATION DEPARTMENTS

Abu Dhabi
Saeed bin Tahnoon St.
Abu Dhabi
Tel: 02 4462244

Al Ain
Aditaba Road
Tel: 03 7625555

Dubai
Department of Naturalisation and Residency
Trade Centre Road,
Tel: 04 3980000

Sharjah
Department for Naturalisation and Residence
Tel: 06 5726777

Umm al-Qaiwain
Tel: 06 7666419

Ajman
Tel: 06 7422255

Ra’s al-Khaimah
Tel: 07 2273333

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FOREIGN EMBASSIES AND CONSULATES IN ABU DHABI

Country POB Tel: (02) Fax: (02) Website / email address
Democratic & Popular Republic of Algeria 3070 444 8949 4447068  
Republic of Argentina 3325 443 6838 4431392 [email protected]
Australia 32711 634 6100 6393225 www.austembuae.com
Republic of Austria 3095 626 7755 6267133 [email protected]
State of Bahrain 3367 665 7500 6674141 [email protected]
Republic of Belarus 30337 445 3399 4451131 [email protected]
Kingdom of Belgium 3686 631 9449 6319353 [email protected]
Republic of Benin 3910 449 0999 4444354  
Bosnia & Herzegovina 43362 644 4164 6443919  
Federative Republic of Brazil 3027 666 5352 6327727 [email protected]
Brunei Darussalam 5836 449 1100 4491567 [email protected]
Canada 6970 445 6969 4458787 [email protected],
www.canada.org.ae
People’s Republic of China 2741 443 4276 4436835 [email protected]
Czech Republic 27009 678 2800 6795716  
Arab Republic of Egypt 4026 444 5566 4449878 [email protected]
State of Eritrea 2597 633 1838 6346451  
Republic of Finland 3634 632 8927 6325063 [email protected]
Republic of France 4014 443 5100 4434158 [email protected]
Federal Republic of Germany 2591 443 5630 4455712 [email protected]
Greece 5483 665 4847 6673010 [email protected]
Republic of Hungary 44450 666 0107 6667877 [email protected]
Republic of India 4090 449 2700 4444685 [email protected]
Republic of Indonesia 7256 445 4448 4455453 [email protected]
Islamic Republic of Iran 4080 444 7618 4448714 [email protected]
www.iranembassy.org.ae
Republic of Italy 46752 443 5622 4434337 [email protected]
Japan 2430 443 5696 4434219 [email protected]
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan 4024 444 7100 4449157 [email protected]
Republic of Kenya 3854 666 6300 6652827 [email protected]
www.kenyaembassy uae.org
South Korea 3270 443 5337 4435348 [email protected]
State of Kuwait 926 444 6888 4444109  
Republic of Lebanon 4023 449 2100 4493500 [email protected]
Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya 5739 445 0030 4450033 [email protected]
Malaysia 3887 4482775 4482779 [email protected]
Islamic Republic of Mauritania 2714 446 2724 4465772  
Kingdom of Morocco 4066 443 3963 4433917 [email protected]
Kingdom of Netherlands 46560 632 1920 6313158 [email protected]
Kingdom of Norway 47270 621 1221 6213313 [email protected]
Sultanate of Oman 2517 446 3333 4464633  
Islamic Republic of Pakistan 846 444 7800 4447172 [email protected]
State of Palestine 841 443 4652 4434363  
Republic of the Philippines 3215 634 5664 6313559 [email protected]
Republic of Poland 2334 446 5200 4462967 [email protected]
www.plembassy.gov.ae
State of Qatar 3503 449 3300 4493311  
Romania 70416 666 6346 6651598 [email protected]
Russian Federation 8211 672 1797 6788731 [email protected]
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 4057 444 5700 4448491  
Republic of Senegal 42052 667 8544 6678355 [email protected]
The Slovak Republic 3382 632 1674 6315839 [email protected]
Republic of Somalia 4155 666 9700 6651580 [email protected]
Republic of South Africa 29446 633 7565 6333909 [email protected]
www.southafrica.co.ae
Kingdom of Spain 46474 626 9544 6278974  
Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka 46534 642 6666 6428289 [email protected]
Republic of Sudan 4027 666 6788 6654231 [email protected]
Switzerland 46116 627 4636 6269627 [email protected]
Embassy of Sweden 31867 621 0162 6394941 [email protected]
www.swedenabroad.com/abudhabi
Syrian Arab Republic 4011 444 8768 4449387  
United Republic of Tanzania 43714 665 0226 666 1613  
Kingdom of Thailand 47466 642 1772 6421773 [email protected]
Republic of Tunisia 4166 681 1331 6812707 [email protected]
Republic of Turkey 3204 665 5421 6662691 [email protected]
Ukraine 45714 632 7586 632 7506 [email protected]
United Kingdom 248 632 6600 6318138 www.britain uae.org
United States of America 4009 02 4436691 02 4435441 [email protected]
www.usembabu.gov.ae
Republic of Yemen 2095 02 4448457 02 4447978 [email protected]

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Making a Palm Boat
Palm Trees
Dubai Exhibition centre
Dubai International Boat Show 2007
Korean Construct
Maritime City Model
Motor Show
Northern Emirates

FOREIGN CONSULATES IN DUBAI

Country POB Tel: (04)
Australia 9303 331 3444
Bangladesh 4336 272 6966
Bulgaria 72535 344 1367
Canada 52472 352 1717
China 9348 398 4357
Comoros   228 9655
Denmark 2988 222 7699
Eritrea   222 0323
Egypt 2575 397 1122
Finland 1042 282 3338
France 3314 332 9040
Germany 2247 397 2333
India 727 397 1222
Iran 2832 344 4717
Italy 24910 331 4167
Japan 9336 331 9191
Jordan 2787 397 0500
Kazakhstan 14180 224 2462
Kuwait 806 228 4111
Lebanon 7800 397 7450
Libya 33577 344 4709
Lithuania 53859 344 1644
Malaysia 4598 335 5528
Netherlands 7726 352 8700
Norway 8612 353 3833
Oman 1898 397 1000
Panama 2121 226 3366
Pakistan 340 397 0412
Qatar 1877 398 2888
Romania 1404 394 0580
Saudi Arabia 1876 397 5222
Singapore 15144 222 9788
South Africa 34800 397 5222
Somalia 23900 222 3030
Spain 9350 331 3565
Sri Lanka 51528 398 6535
Sweden 9219 345 7716
Syria 7801 266 3354
Switzerland 9300 329 0999
Thailand 51844 349 2863
Turkey 9221 331 4788
Uzbekistan 53432 394 7400
Vietnam 11457 349 6817
Yemen 1947 397 0213
United Kingdom 65 397 1010

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UAE EMBASSIES AND CONSULATES WORLDWIDE

Algeria
19 Freis Bel Hafid Hydra Alger
POB 165, Algiers, Algeria
Tel: + 213 21549677; Fax: + 213 21549666
Email: [email protected]

Austria
Peter Jordan Strasse 66, A/1190, Vienna, Austria
Tel: + 43 1 3681455—56; Fax + 43 1 3684485
Email: [email protected]

Bangladesh
House No 41, Road No 113, Gulshan Model Town
Dhaka 1212, Bangladesh
Tel: + 880 2 9882277; Fax: + 880 2 8811983

Brazil
Shis Qi 05, Chacara 18, Brasilia, DF
PO Box 71600–790 CCP, Brasil
Tel: + 55 61 248 0717; Fax: + 55 61 248 7543
Email: [email protected]

China
191 Ta Yuan Diplomatic Office Building
Beijing, Peoples’ Republic of China
Tel: + 86 10 653 27561; Fax: + 86 10 845 14412
Email: [email protected]

France
3, Rue de Lota, 75116 Paris, France
Tel: + 33 1 443 40200; Fax: + 33 1 47 55 61 04
Email: [email protected]

Hong Kong
Consulate General of the UAE
Unit 2205–6, Mass Mutual Tower, 38 Gloucester Road,
Wan Chai, Hong Kong Island
Tel: + 852 2866 1823; Fax: + 852 2866 1690

Indonesia
JI Singaraja, Block C–4, KAV, 16–17, Kuningan Timur
Selatan 12950, PO Box 4859
Jakarta 12048, Indonesia
Tel: + 62 21 5206518; Fax: + 62 21 5206526
Email: [email protected]

Italy
Via Della Camilluccia 551, 00135 Rome, Italy
Tel: + 39 06 3630 61005; Fax: + 39 06 3630 6155
Email: [email protected]

Jordan
22 Tawfiq Abu Al Huda, 3rd Circle, PO Box 2623
Amman Mountain, Amman, Jordan
Tel: + 962 6 593 4780; Fax: + 962 6 593 2666
Email: [email protected]
Cultural Attache
Tel: + 962 569 6634; Fax: + 962 567 6635

Kuwait
Al Istiqlal Street, Embassy Area, Qaseema 7
Al Assaffa, PO Box 1828
Postcode 13019, Kuwait 13019
Tel: + 965 252 6356; Fax: + 965 252 6382
Email: [email protected]

Libya
Qar Qaresh, Kilometre 7,
POB 8726, Sidi Humooda Post
Tripoli, Libya
Tel: + 21 821 4832595; Fax: + 21 821 4832598
Email: [email protected]

Mauritania
House No. 401, Tafarugh Zeena Quarter
Nouakchott, Mauritania
Tel: + 222 5251 089; Fax: + 222 525 0992

Netherlands
Tel: + 3170 4162636; Fax: + 3170 4162752

Pakistan
Plot No. 122, University Road
Diplomatic Enclave, PO Box 1111
Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: + 92 51 2279052; Fax: + 92 51 2279063
Email: [email protected]

Philippines
2nd floor Renaissance Building
215 Salcedo St. Legas PI Village
Makati, POB 2221
Metro Manila, Philippines
Tel: + 632 817 3906; Fax: + 632 818 3577

Russia
Ulofa Palme Str., 4 Moscow – CIS, Russia
Tel: + 7 095 2374060; Fax: +7 095 2344070
Email: [email protected]

Singapore
600 North Bridge Road,
# 09-01/05 Parkview Sq.,
Singapore 188778
Tel: 0065 6238 8206; Fax: 0065 6238 0081
Email: [email protected]

Spain
c/o Capitan Haya, 40-28020 Madrid, Spain
Tel: +34 91 570 1001; Fax: + 34 91 571 5176
Email: [email protected]

Sudan
Al Amarat Extension, Street No. 3
POB 1225, Khartoum, Sudan
Tel: + 249 11 471094, Fax: + 249 11 471110

Syria
Al Mahdi bin Buraka Street
Abu Rumannah, Damascus, Syria
Tel: + 963 11 3330308; Fax: + 963 11 3327961
Email: [email protected]

Tunisia
9 Ashtrat Street, North of Hilton Hotel
Belvedere 1002, POB 25, Tunis, Tunisia
Tel: + 216 717 88888; Fax: + 216 717 88777
Email: [email protected]

Turkmenistan
Tel: + 99 312 450801; Fax: + 99 312 450784
Email: [email protected]

Turkey
Mahmut Yesari Sok No 10 Cankaya
Ankara, Turkey
Tel: + 90 312 447 5222; Fax: + 90 312 447 5545
Email: [email protected]
Istanbul:
Altzeren Sok No. 7, I. Levent, PO Box 105
Istanbul, Turkey
Tel: + 90 212 2798062; Fax: + 90 212 2790500

United States of America
3522 International Court, NW Washington DC 20008
Tel: + 1 202 363 3009; Fax: + 1 202 243 2432
Website: www.uae-embassy.org
Cultural Division:
Tel: + 1 202 243 4444; Fax: + 1 202 243 4422
New York:
Tel: + 1 212 371 0480; Fax: + 1 212 371 4923

Australia
12 Bulwarra Close, O Malley,
ACT 2606, Canberra, Australia
Tel: + 612 62 868802; Fax: + 612 62 868804
Email: [email protected]

Bahrain
House No. 221, Road 4007 — Complex 340
Manama, Bahrain
Tel: + 973 17 748333; Fax: + 973 17 717724

Belgium
73 Av. F. Roosevelt 1050, Bruxelles, Belgium
Tel: + 32 2 640 6000; Fax: + 32 2 646 2473

Canada
45 O’Connor St, Ste 1800,
Ottawa, Canada
Tel: +1 613 5657272; Fax: + 1 613 5658007
Email: [email protected]

Egypt
4 Ibn Seena Street, Giza, Cairo, Egypt
Tel: + 20 2 760 9722; Fax: + 20 2 570 0844
Email: [email protected]

Germany
Hiroshimastr. 18–20, D-10785, Berlin, Germany
Tel: + 49 3051 6516; Fax: + 49 3051 6900
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.uae-embassy.de
Bonn
Tel: + 49 228 267070; Fax: + 49 228 267 0775
Munich
Tel: + 49 89 419 770; Fax: + 49 89 41079450

India
E.P. 12 Chandra Gupta Marg
Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110021, India
Tel: + 91 11 2467 0830; Fax + 91 11 2687 3272
Email: [email protected]
Mumbai
Tel: + 91 22 5636 9543; Fax: + 91 22 5634 0404

Iran
Wali Asr Street
Shaheed Waheed Dastakaardi Street No. 355
Tehran, Iran
Tel: + 98 21 8788515; Fax: + 98 21 8789084
Bandar Abbas
Tel: + 98 761 38712; Fax: + 98 761 575080

Japan
9–10 Nanpeidai-Sho, Shibaya-Ku, Tokyo 150
Japan
Tel: + 81 3 5489 0183; Fax: +81 3 5489 0813
Email: [email protected]

Korea
5–5 Hannam-Dong–Yougsan-Ku, Seoul, Korea
Tel: + 82 2 790 3235; Fax: + 82 2 790 3238
Email: [email protected]

Lebanon
Al Jinah–Ramlat Al Baidha, Beirut, Lebanon
Tel: + 961 1 857000; Fax: + 961 1 857009
Email: [email protected]

Malaysia
12 Jalan Kenanji 2, 55000 Kuala Lumpor
Malaysia
Tel: + 603 4253 5221; Fax: + 603 4253 5220
Email: [email protected]

Morocco
POB 478, Al Alaween Street
Rabat, Morocco
Tel: + 212 37 702035; Fax: + 212 37 724145
Email: [email protected]

Oman
Diplomatic Area, Al Khuwair
POB 551 code 111 and PO Box 335 code 113
Muscat, Oman
Tel: + 968 600302; Fax: + 968 602584
Email: [email protected]

Karachi
UAE Consulate
84 Clifton, Shahrahe Iran
POB 8523, Karachi, Pakistan
Tel: + 92 21 5824016; Fax: + 92 21 5824015

Qatar
22 Al Markhiyah Street, Khalifa Northern Town
POB 3099, Doha, Qatar
Tel: + 974 4838880; Fax: + 974 4836186
Email: [email protected]

Saudi Arabia
Diplomatic Area, Abu Bakr Al Karkhi Zone
Amr bin Omayad Street, POB 94385,
Riyadh 11693, Saudi Arabia
Tel: + 966 1 4826803; Fax: + 966 1 4827504
Jeddah:
Osman Ibn Affan Street
Al Sharqiyah Street, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Tel: + 966 2 651 1557; Fax: +966 2 651 3246

South Africa
980 Park Street–Arcadia 0083
POB 57090–Arcadia 0007
Pretoria, South Africa
Tel: + 27 12 3427736; Fax: + 27 12 342 7738
Email: [email protected]

Sri Lanka
Tel: + 9411 2565053; Fax: + 9411 2564104
Email: [email protected]

Switzerland
58, Rue de Moillebeau, 1209 Geneva
Switzerland
Tel: + 41 22 9180000; Fax: + 41 22 7345562
Email: [email protected]

Thailand
82 Sengthong Thani Building, 25th Floor
North Sathorn Road, Bangrak
Bangkok 10500, Thailand
Tel: + 66 2 639 9820; Fax: + 66 2 639 9818
Email: [email protected]

United Kingdom
30 Prince’s Gate
London SW7 1PT
Tel: +44 20 75811281
Fax:  +44 20 75819616
Email: [email protected]

Yemen
Circular Lane, Behind Central Security Building
POB 2250, Sana’a, Yemen
Tel: + 967 1 248778; Fax: + 967 1 248779

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AIRPORTS

Airport Airport

Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH)
(02 5757500, flight enquiries: 02 5757611)
Website:

Dubai Airport (DXB) (04 2245555)
Enquiries: (04 2066666)
Website: www.dubaiairport.com

Sharjah International Airport (SHJ) (06 5581111)
Enquiries: (06 5581000)
Website: www.shj-airport.gov.ae

Ra’s al-Khaimah International Airport (RKT) (07 2448111)
Website: www.rakairport.com

Fujairah International Airport (09 2226222)
Website: www.fujairah-airport.com

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AIRLINES

The national airlines Etihad Airways (www.etihadairways.com) and Emirates (www.emirates.com) offer comprehensive air services to the UAE’s six international airports at Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Dubai, Sharjah, Ra’s al-Khaimah and Fujairah

Emirates airplane

Abu Dhabi

Etihad Airways (02 5058000)
Emirates (02 5757474)
 Gulf Air (02 6332600, airport 5757083)
Air India (02 6322300)
British Airways (02 6225777)
KLM (02 6323280)
Oman Air (02 6266800)
Royal Jordanian (02 6225484)
Singapore Airlines (02 6221110)

Dubai

Emirates Airlines (04 2144444)
Gulf Air (04 2713111)
British Airways (04 3075555)
Air India (04 2276787)
Cathay Pacific (8004343)
KLM (04 3355777)
Qatar Airways (04 922290)

Ra’s al-Khaimah

RAK Airways (07 2075000)
Egypt Air (07 2335000)
Gulf Air (07 2210033)
Indian Airlines (07 2221789)

Sharjah

Air Arabia (06) 5580000
Egypt Air (06 5735535)
Gulf Air (06 5685366)
Indian Airlines (06 5610505)

Fujairah

Gulf Air (09 2226969)
Indian Airlines (09 2231989)

The information on the following website is directed at pilots and flight planners: Government Civil Aviation Authorities

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CUSTOMS

Customs clearance in the UAE is fast and efficient. No customs duties are applied to personal belongings. However, since the UAE is an Islamic country, religious propaganda, potentially offensive printed matter, CDs videos or films should not be brought into the country. All pornographic material is banned. Since strict copyright laws are being enforced in the UAE, pirated video and audiotapes or illegal computer software will be confiscated.

Needless to say controlled substances such as cannabis, opium etc, are banned and the penalties for handling these drugs are severe. If a blood test for illegal drug usage proves positive, you can be charged with a criminal offence – even if you used the drug before arrival in the UAE. The importation of firearms and dangerous weapons is also restricted.

Duty free allowances
2000 cigarettes; 400 cigars; 2kg tobacco; 2 litres of spirits and 2 litres of wine (non-Muslims only) and perfume. It is prohibited to import alcohol into Sharjah and you are generally not allowed to bring alcohol into the country if you are travelling by land.

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Golf
Shopping Festival
Camel

SPECIAL EVENTS

Many special events are staged in the UAE throughout the year.
Dates may change so check before you travel.

World Cup Indoor Trials January
Dubai Shopping Festival January
Abu Dhabi Golf Championship January
Abu Dhabi Film Festival February
Al Ain Air Show February
Al Ain Classical Music Festival February
Dubai Desert Classic (Golf) February
ATP Men’s Tennis Open & WTA Tournament February/March
Abu Dhabi Shopping Festival March
Dubai World Cup (Horse racing) March/April
Dubai to Muscat Sailing Race March
Dubai Pro Beach Soccer Tournament April
Dubai Summer Surprises July/August
UAE Desert Challenge Motor Rally November
Dubai Film Festival December
UIM Formula One Power Boat Championships December
UIM Class One Power Boat Championships December
Dubai International Rugby Sevens December

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RAMADAN

During the holy month of Ramadan (the exact dates move forward by approximately 11 days each year) Muslims do not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset and visitors are requested not to eat, drink or smoke in public places. Most restaurants are closed during the day, although food will be available from hotel room service or in a designated area of your hotel. In general, alcohol is only available to hotel guests after sunset.

Despite these restrictions, there are certain advantages in visiting the UAE at this time. You may be able to obtain discount rates on some hotels and once the daily fast is broken (by the iftar meal after sunset) the streets are a hive of activity, which lends a carnival atmosphere to the towns.

Approximate dates for commencement of Ramadan

  • 13/09/07
  • 02/09/08
  • 21/08/09
  • 10/08/10

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HOTELS

Accommodation in the UAE is of a very high standard and many of the world’s top hotel chains run five-star hotels in the major emirates, the pieces de resistance being the seven-star Burj al-Arab in Dubai and Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi. For more detailed information on hotels in the UAE access the specialised websites listed in the links section, most will take online bookings:

USEFUL LINKS

Hotel

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TRANSPORT

  1. Car Hire
  2. Taxis & Public Transport
  3. Driving
  4. Maps
  5. Street Names

CAR HIRE

Most of the large car hire firms are represented at airports and hotels. Some local firms also operate car hire services (http://www.yellopages.net.ae/).

TAXIS & PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Taxis are readily available and reasonably priced – not all have meters so check the cost before embarking on a journey. Well-maintained, air-conditioned buses operate within and between the emirates and to neighbouring Oman. A new metro system is also under construction in Dubai.

Dubai Municipality Bus Information (800 4848)
Click on http://www.dm.gov.ae/ for route plans, timetables and fares.

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DRIVING

There is an extensive high quality road network throughout the Emirates and unleaded petrol is cheap. Driving is on the right.
The rules relating to driving licences differ from emirate to emirate. However, once you have been issued with a temporary driving permit from one emirate you can drive throughout the UAE.

If you wish to hire a car in the UAE you will be issued with a UAE temporary driving permit by car hire companies on presentation of valid national or international driving licences (the latter is required in Abu Dhabi), two photographs and a passport.

Traffic regulations are strictly enforced. It is illegal to leave the scene of an accident without police permission. Under no circumstances can you drink and drive. Even a small amount of alcohol will put you over the legal limit. Seat belts are compulsory. Children under 12 are prohibited from travelling in front seats of vehicles.

Contact The Arabian Automobile Association (800 4900; 04 2669989) www.cyberwebz.com/aaa for additional information.

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MAPS

Most hotel shops, bookshops and supermarkets sell printed city street and road maps for each emirate. Digital maps are also available and GPS is used for car and boat navigation.

Click here for an interactive map of the UAE.

STREET NAMES

Almost all street and road signs are written in English and Arabic. Official and commonly used names may differ. In general, directions are given by reference to landmarks, particularly roundabouts or indeed landmark buildings, of which there are many.

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TRAVEL TIPS

  1. Security
  2. Tipping
  3. Photography
  4. Clothing
  5. Opening Hours
  6. Public Holidays
  7. Communications
  8. Health & Emergencies
  9. Currency & Exchange
  10. Food & Drink

SECURITY

The UAE is one of the safest places in the world to visit. Nevertheless, it is prudent to take the normal precautions to safeguard yourself and your valuables.

PolicewomenPolice Headquarters
Abu Dhabi 02 4461461
Dubai 04 2292222
Sharjah 06 5631111
Ajman 06 7436000
Umm al-Qaiwain 06 5656662
Ra’s al-Khaimah 07 2333888
Fujairah 09 2370000

Dubai Police hotline (Al Ameen service) 8004888 [email protected]

Emergency Numbers
Ambulance 998 or 999
Fire 997
Police 999
Coastguard 04 3450520
East Coast Coastguard 09 2380380

Helicopter Service
If you dial 999 or 04 2821111, Dubai Police guarantee that in an emergency a police helicopter will be with you within 8 minutes.

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TIPPING

Tipping is not expected but is common practice. Most restaurants add service charges to the bill.

PHOTOGRAPHY

Ask permission before photographing people in general. Avoid photographing Muslim women and do not photograph airports, docks, telecommunications equipment, government buildings, military and industrial installations. 

CLOTHING

Lightweight summer clothing is ideal. Bring a wrap, sweater or jacket for cooler winter nights and air-conditioned premises. Since you are visiting a Muslim country, bikinis, swimsuits, shorts and revealing tops should be confined to beach resorts. Women are usually advised not to wear short skirts and to keep their shoulders covered. Note that in Sharjah women are prohibited from wearing swimsuits on public beaches.

Jewellery shopOPENING HOURS

Shops/Banks
Normal shopping hours are from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. However, many shops, particularly in Dubai and Abu Dhabi stay open all day. Most shopping centres open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. – frequently later. Some supermarkets stay open for 24 hours. Shopping centres and most shops are open on Friday, the Islamic day of rest, but they all close for Juma (Friday) prayers from 11.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. Banks are open from Saturday to Thursday.

Offices
Government offices open at 7.30 a.m. and close at 3.00 p.m. Private offices tend to keep longer hours, coming back to work in the evening after an extended mid-day break. Some private businesses open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. All government offices close for the weekend on Friday and Saturday. Many private corporations also recognise this two-day weekend.

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PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

The dates outlined below for Islamic religious holidays are approximate. The precise dates are not announced until a day or so before they occur. If a public holiday falls on a weekend, the holiday is usually taken at the beginning of the next working week.

2007 2008 Public Holidays
01/01/07 01/01/08 New Year’s Day
20/12/07 09/12/08 Eid al-Adha (Feast of the sacrifice at the end of the pilgrimage to Mecca (the haj)
20/01/07 10/01/08 Ras al-Sana (Islamic New Year)
31/03/07 20/03/08 Mawlid al-Nabi (Prophet’s Birthday).
    Accession of HH Sheikh Zayed as Ruler of Abu Dhabi
10/08/07 01/09/08 Lailat al-Mi’raj (Ascension of the Prophet Mohammed)
    National Day
13/10/07 02/10/08 Eid al-Fitr (3 days at end of Ramadan)

COMMUNICATIONS

Phone BoothTelephone and Fax
The telephone network operated by telecommunication organisations ETISALAT and du (www.emirates.net.ae; www.du.ae) is superb: local calls are free and direct dialling is available to 150 countries.
The international dial code for UAE is +971. When dialing mobile numbers it is necessary to include the 050 prefix from within the UAE or + 50 when dialing from overseas.
Yellow page directories are available for each emirate (http://www.yellowpages.net.ae/).

UAE Exchange National Access Code International Access Code
Abu Dhabi 02 + 9712
Ajman 06 + 9716
Al Ain 03 + 9713
Dubai 04 + 9714
Fujairah 09 + 9719
Jebel Ali 04 + 9714
Khor Fakkan 09 + 9719
Ra’s al-Khaimah 07 + 9717
Sharjah 06 + 9716
Umm al-Qaiwain 06 + 9716
ETISALAT information service   144
Du information   155
Directory enquiries   180/181
Sharjah, Ajman and Umm al-Qaiwain share the access code 06 and Fujairah and Khor Fakkan the access code 09.

All hotels offer fax facilities. Faxes can also be sent from ETISALAT (www.ETISALAT.co.ae) offices throughout the Emirates.

Mobile phones
GSM services are available throughout the UAE. ‘Speak Easy’ is a GSM mobile service for visitors. Contact ETISALAT or du for details (www.emirates.net.ae; www.du.ae).

Internet
ETISALAT and du provide internet services in the UAE (www.emirates.net.ae; www.du.ae). Most five-star hotels offer guests internet access. Many cafes now offer wireless internet access.

Post
Emirates Post (EmPost) mail is usually collected morning and evening. Stamps can be purchased and post mailed from hotels. Express postal facilities are also available at post offices. Note that there are no telephone or fax facilities at post offices in the UAE and poste restante facilities do not exist.

Newspapers
Local newspapers are available in English and Arabic. The three English language dailies are Gulf News, Gulf Today and Khaleej Times. A number of local publications also have websites:

Gulf News www.gulfnews.com
Khaleej Times www.khaleejtimes.com
Gulf Business www.gulfbusiness.com
Gulf Today www.godubai.com/gulftoday
Al Khaleej www.alkhaleej.co.ae
Al Bayan www.albayan.co.ae
Al Ittihad www.alittihad.co.ae
Emirates Evening Post www.emirateseveningpost.com
Seven Days www.7days.ae

Magazines
Foreign magazines are available from newsagents and supermarkets. Local magazines such as What’s On, Time Out Dubai and Time Out Abu Dhabi have up-to-date information on activities, entertainments, restaurants, events, exhibitions etc.

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HEALTH & EMERGENCIES

(For more information on Health in the UAE please click here)

The standard of food hygiene and water quality is extremely high. Water is usually produced by desalination so it is normally safe to drink, although most people drink bottled water.

Hospitals in the UAE provide a high standard of care and medical procedures, including the use of sterilised needles and the provision of blood transfusions, are very reliable.

Vaccinations
No special immunisations are required. However, it would be wise to check beforehand if you are travelling from a health-risk area. Polio has been virtually eradicated in the UAE and hepatitis is very rare and can be avoided by taking precautions.

Malaria
There are very few mosquitoes in the cities and, since it is not considered to be a risk, malaria tablets are rarely prescribed for travel in the UAE. However, mosquitoes will find you if you are camping near the mountains or exploring wadis or date groves in the evening, so cover up and use a suitable insect repellent as it is always safer to avoid being bitten.

Sunburn
The sun can be fierce throughout the year. Adequate sunglasses, hats and high factor sun creams are essential, especially for children.

Health insurance
Medical insurance is recommended.

Pharmacies
Most medicines are readily available at pharmacies and each emirate has at least one pharmacy open 24 hours a day (listed in newspapers).

Dentists
Good dentists, including orthodontists, are readily available,

Ambulance service 998 or 999

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CURRENCY & EXCHANGE

Currency ExchangeThe UAE currency, the dirham is freely convertible. It is extremely easy to change money at banks and exchange houses throughout the country. Money laundering regulations are in force and transfers or cash withdrawals above a low threshold figure are subject to reporting to UAE authorities. Provided the source and purpose of funds is legitimate there are no problems.

Banks
There is an efficient banking network throughout the UAE. Banks open at 8 a.m. and close at 3.30 p.m., Saturday to Wednesday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursdays. They are closed all day Fridays and on public holidays.

Personal cheques
Although there have been major changes in recent years, the UAE is still a cash-driven society and personal cheques are not readily accepted.

Travellers’ cheques
Most travellers’ cheques can be cashed at hotels, some moneychangers and banks.

Credit cards
Most internationally recognised credit cards (e.g. VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Diners) are accepted. Nevertheless, carry some cash for general shopping and eating out at smaller establishments.

Lost credit cards
American Express 04 3365000
Diner’s Club 04 3498200
MasterCard International 04 3138888
Visa 04 3319690
HSBC 800 4420
Citibank 800 4000
Emirates Bank International 800 4080
Mashreq Bank 800 4010
Standard Chartered 04 3520455
Commercial Bank of Dubai 800 4474
National Bank of Dubai 800 4767/04 223 3166

ATM
ATMs are located at most local banks, shopping malls and some hotels. A transaction fee for cash withdrawal from ATM machines using a foreign bankcard may apply.

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FOOD & DRINK

Herbs & SpicesVisitors from many parts of the world along with a multi-ethnic resident community have ensured that a sophisticated and innovative food culture has developed in the UAE. Almost any type of food is available, from classic European to authentic ethnic, and there are many excellent restaurants. Gulf and Middle Eastern food is also available in a wide variety of venues, from expensive restaurants to local cafés. Local seafood is particularly good.

Alcohol
Alcohol is generally only served in hotel restaurants and bars (but not in Sharjah). Exceptions are some clubs (e.g. golf clubs) and associations. Restaurants that are not associated with hotels are not permitted to serve alcohol.
Check with What’s On, Time Out Dubai and Time Out Abu Dhabi for up-to date information on restaurants.


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