As soon as the Arab Emirates was liberated from British influence in 1971, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan the founder of the United Arab Emirates immediately devised a multi-year plan to develop the country. One of the main branches of which was tourism. The first Emirate to develop a tourist destination was Dubai. The second place in terms of tourist traffic belongs to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE.
Let’s touch a bit on the dry statistics available on the vastness of the Internet. Millions of tourists visit the UAE every year. Tourist traffic peaked in the docklands in 2019. Then for a few years, for obvious reasons, people traveled less. And now, it’s October 2023 and the number of tourists from all sorts of countries is breaking all records. People go to the Arab Emirates to spend an unforgettable vacation; to see the desert and unusual nature for the eyes of the average strip; to spend the winter in a warm climate; to conduct and develop their business.
Russians ranked second in the number of tourists in the United Emirates. India, Oman, Saudi Arabia and England are ahead. In the first few months of 2023 alone, Russians visited the Emirates 75 times more than in all of 2019. And we will remind you that this was the most visited year for the country of UAE.
Due to the growth of the dollar, Russians began to choose Emirates more often than Turkey. The cost of rest is almost the same, but the service is many times better, as noted by travelers themselves.
This vacation destination is chosen not only in summer, when the UAE is a season of discounts, but now also actively book tickets and hotels for November holidays and even New Year holidays.
The country of the United Arab Emirates is open to tourists and strive to make the rest of each traveler unforgettable, full of emotions and impressions.
We can praise this country for a long time, which is what we are actually doing. But, in the meantime, I would like to touch a little on the history of the state and tell you, dear readers, the main landmark characteristics of this country. Let’s go!
The United Arab Emirates is located in the Middle East, in the east of the Arabian Peninsula. The country consists of seven Emirates: Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Ras al-Khaimah, Umm al-Qaiwain, Fujairah, and Sharjah.
The territory of the present Emirates was inhabited as early as the 7th century. The locals were engaged in fishing, pearl mining. Later, they were already in the trade. Then, in the eighteenth century, Great Britain came to these lands and monopolized the possibility of trade through sea routes. Since then, the Emirates have been under the influence of the European state. In the early 1920s, the richest oil fields in the Arab Emirates were discovered. Mining was still run by Great Britain. And only on December 2, 1971 a new independent state was formed – the United Arab Emirates. It first included the 6 Emirates and then the 7 Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah joined.
Now the UAE is the richest country in the world, which is rapidly developing in all directions. In just 50 years, big cities with tall skyscrapers, the best hotels, diverse distinctions, and large malls have grown out of the golden sand desert. Everyone dreams to visit this country at least once to see the Eastern flavor, excellent service, and future technologies.
UAE on the map/Emirates on the map
As we have previously written, the Emirates is located in the Middle East. They border the following states: Oman, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Qatar. The territory of the UAE is washed by the Persian Gulf.
The UAE has an area of 83,600 square kilometers. A large area of the country belongs to the desert, and the whole city is built in the desert, just everything is built in such a way that you can comfortably live a person. In addition to the Gulf Coast and the Rub al-Khali Desert, the Arab Emirates also has mountainous areas. Thus, on the territory of the Emirate of Ras al-Khaimah is located the largest mountain of the UAE – Jebel Jais. It is twice as tall as the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa.
UAE Weather / Emirates Weather
Such wonderful weather in the Emirates practically all year round. A fairy tale for vacationers!
The weather in the Emirates is gorgeous all year round. About 350 days a year the sun shines in the Emirates. There are often sandstorms in the summer, but this phenomenon is quite short-lived. We honestly didn’t even always realize there was a sandstorm outside. We only learned from the news. What can’t be said for the rain. Despite the fact that the rains here are very rare, literally a few days a year and only a few days, the strength of them is very great. For the inhabitants of the middle zone it is a very unusual sight. It has been pouring rain non-stop all day with unchanging force, visibility is literally 0.
As for the air temperature, it varies from month to month. Thus, January is considered to be the coldest month of the year. The temperature during the day is only +24, and at night it drops to +13 degrees Celsius, there are constant and quite strong winds. The hottest month is July, with daytime temperatures around +42 degrees and nighttime temperatures around 35 degrees.
The water is very warm all year round, with temperatures rarely dropping below 18 degrees Celsius. Water temperatures by season look like this:
- winter (December to February): 21 to 24 degrees Celsius;
- Spring (March to May): 24 to 28 degrees Celsius;
- in summer (June to August): 28 to 34 degrees Celsius;
- In the fall (September to November): 27 to 29 degrees Celsius.
But it’s worth taking into account that temperatures vary slightly from Emirate to Emirate. Thus, the coldest Emirate is considered to be Fujairah. The hottest weather was recorded in the Desert at 52.1 degrees in Abu Dhabi. In Dubai, the record is 47.8 degrees. It is important to note, the closer to the bay, the higher the humidity and vice versa. And as we know, temperature feels different when it’s humid. So, for example, 42 degrees in summer can easily turn into 52 degrees Celsius by feel. It doesn’t get any easier after the sun goes down in the summer, the temperature stays high and the humidity increases. It’s an unforgettable feeling, it’s like being covered with a warm and soft blanket.
How many Emirates
The Arab Emirates consists of 7 Emirates: Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Ras al-Khaimah, Umm al-Qaiwain, Fujairah, Sharjah. Each Emirate has its own ruler, but they all report to the President of the United Arab Emirates, Emir Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Abu Dhabi is considered to be the capital of the UAE. It is the largest Emirate by area. We will tell you more about this Emirate in our separate article.
The Emirates is a multicultural country that is tolerant of all kinds of holidays. The New Year is equally celebrated here both according to the Gregorian Calendar. This is the one we celebrate on the night of December 31 to January 1. But also important to UAE residents is the new year according to the Islamic calendar. The calendar is based on the lunar calendar, meaning everything depends on the moon. Because of this, many holidays do not have a fixed date and “float”, depending on the lunar calendar. According to the Muslim calendar, chronology began on July 16, 622 CE. when the migration of Prophet Muhammad and the first Muslims from Mecca to Medina took place. So, according to this calendar, 2023 is the year 1445.
However, all documents use Gregorian calendar dates. Therefore, you will have no questions when making and booking hotels and tickets, for example.
The national monetary unit in the UAE is the Dirham AED. It was introduced in 1973. The dirham is pegged to the dollar. Depending on the dollar exchange rate, the dirham to dollar ratio also varies. So on average, 1 USD = 3.6725 AED. As for rubles, at the moment (fall 2023) 1AED=26.5 rubles. Keep an eye on the current dollar and dirham exchange rate.
The Arab Emirates welcomes tourists from all over the world all year round. But the main tourist season is considered to be from October to May. In summer, the weather is too hot and the sun is scorching, which can be too uncomfortable for tourists. Also, it is during the summer when many outdoor activities and recreational facilities are closed.
The most popular Emirates with tourists is, of course, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, here you can combine both beach vacation and other platforms for entertainment. If you want to take a break from mass entertainment and noisy companies, then safely choose another Emirate. Vacationing there will be more budget-friendly, and if you want, you can easily travel to another Emirate to visit the sights. Many hotels even offer bus tours and shuttles.
Of course, many people go to the Arab Emirates to enjoy a beach vacation with golden sand, clear and warm water. There are many different beaches in the Emirates, both city and private. You can easily find a beach to suit your taste. In addition to just beach vacations, many water activities are offered: scuba diving, self-drive boat, jet skiing, flyboarding, jetpacking and much more.
For those who are looking for other activities in addition to beach vacations, many different places are presented. Each of which is worthy of a separate article.
- Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi;
- Dubai Mall;
- Jumeirah Palm;
- Burj Khalifa;
- Ski Dubai;
- Jumeirah Mosque;
- Burj Al Arab Hotel;
- Etihad Museum;
- Safa Park
- Dubai Eye Ferris Wheel;
- Legoland in Dubai;
- Dubai Miracle Garden Dubai Miracle Garden;
- The massive Global Village Fair;
- The deepest pool in the world;
- Safari Park;
- Desert Safari;
- Dubai Mall Aquarium;
- Ice rink;
- Pearl Village;
- Saadiyat Island
- The Wild Wadi Water Park;
- Ferrari World amusement park;
- And there’s tons of other stuff for all tastes and wallets.
All in all, don’t be afraid to wish and want experiences, any idea you have can easily be realized in Dubai. Helicopter flight-easy, crab fishing-already set up, desert photo shoot-already set up!
You can get to the UAE either by air or by sea. Of course, the most common way to arrive in the country is by airplane.
Guests from all over the world are welcomed by 7 airports located in different Emirates:
The Emirate of Dubai has two airports, Dubai and Al Maktoum.
Abu Dhabi has two international airports Abu Dhabi International Airport and Al Ain International Airport.
The Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah is home to an airport of the same name.
There is also one airport each in the Emirates of Sharjah and Fujairah.
Of course, Dubai and Abu Dhabi airports are the most popular. They are located relatively close to the city. The city can be accessed using public transportation or cab services. The Dubai Airport Building (DXB) has easy access to the metro.
Population of the UAE
The indigenous population of the United Arab Emirates is Arabs. According to the latest census, they make up about 11% of the country’s population. The 2020 data tells us that there are a total of 9,890,400 people in the Emirates. Of course, hundreds of thousands of residents from all countries have recently moved there for permanent residence. The bulk of people move here in search of work, so more often people from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Philippines, Egypt and other countries come here. The bulk of residents live in the three Emirates of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.
Despite the diversity of peoples, everyone lives very friendly and tolerant. Many holidays are celebrated in the same “lavish” manner.
You can fly to the Arab Emirates for a variety of visit purposes.
There are several types of visas in the UAE depending on the purpose of the visit:
- Tourist Visa: issued for those who plan to visit the UAE as a tourist or visitor. This visa is usually issued for up to 180 days and can be extended for a further 30 days. Residents of many countries can obtain a visa on arrival. Only a passport with at least 6 months validity is required.
- Business Visa: issued for those who plan to visit the UAE for the purpose of making deals or establishing business contacts. This visa is usually valid for 14 days and can be extended for another 14 days.
- Work visa: issued for those who plan to work in the UAE. To obtain such a visa, you must have an invitation from an employer in the UAE. The duration of the visa depends on the length of the contract, but is usually 2-3 years.
- Family Visa: issued for spouses and children of UAE nationals or foreign nationals working in the UAE.
- Transit Visa: issued for those traveling through the UAE and spending no more than 96 hours in the country.
- Other types of visas: in addition, there are visas for medical and educational purposes, and, in addition, long-term visas for investors and business owners.
Cellular communication in the Arab Emirates
5G internet is available throughout the country. Many public places such as airports, shopping malls and shopping centers have free wi-fi. On the plus side, you will also be given a free tourist SIM card when you pass through passport control upon arrival in the country. The amount of GB will be enough to surf the internet, call a cab or route app. If you will need a local SIM card throughout your vacation, it can be recharged in any cellular salon, choosing the appropriate tariff. It is important to have your passport with you.
Sometimes it happens that you run out of travel sim cards at the airport, don’t feel bad. In this case, you will need to go to any communication salon with your passport and you will be able to purchase a communication card.
There are a total of 2 cell phone operators in the country, Etisalat and Du. They’re state-run. Their rate plans are about the same. Communication salons are located in many shopping centers and even in metro stations.
You can also use your usual operator, but it is recommended to familiarize yourself with the tariff plans that apply when visiting abroad.
Religion in the United Arab Emirates
Islam is the state religion of the UAE and has a significant impact on society. That said, the UAE government places a high value on tolerance and respect for other religions. The country has laws that protect minority rights, including the right to freedom of religion. However, it is important to observe local customs and traditions, especially when visiting places of religious significance. Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism are officially accepted in the country, and everyone has the right to practice their religion.
Still, most people in the UAE are practicing Islam, and they adhere very strongly to religious customs and traditions. The country has many mosques where Muslims pray five times a day, and important religious holidays such as Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr are very meaningful to the locals.
The UAE has enacted laws that regulate behavior and moral standards related to Islam. For example, alcohol and pork are prohibited, but they may be available in special places reserved for non-Muslim foreigners and tourists. The country has a set of rules and measures governing the practice of religion, including visiting mosques, wearing Islamic dress, and conducting religious rituals.
Language in the Emirates
The official language of the UAE is Arabic, which is used in government offices, schools and the media. However, due to the high proportion of foreign population in the country, English and languages of other nationalities are widely spoken.
English is a widely used language for communication between foreign nationals, businessmen and tourists, as well as in educational institutions, especially in higher education.
Communicating in Arabic can help in interacting with the local population and in understanding the culture and traditions of the UAE.
In general, it is not necessary to know Arabic, but it is very important to know English. Basically, all tours, museum, hotels, subways, stores, provide information in English and Arabic.
What a tourist needs to know/ Prohibitions in the UAE
The UAE has a number of prohibitions, violation of which can result in punishment.
- It is forbidden to consume alcohol in public places or to be under the influence of alcohol in public places. Alcohol consumption is only allowed in special places such as bars, clubs and restaurants with a liquor license. Tourists can carry alcohol bought in Duty Free, but in limited quantities. There is no alcohol in regular stores in the UAE.
- Tobacco smoking is prohibited in public places, on the grounds of public buildings, including shopping centers, restaurants and hotels.
- The use of narcotics and other drugs is prohibited. Violation of this prohibition can result in imprisonment, fines, and even the death penalty. In addition, it is prohibited to bring narcotic drugs into the UAE that may be authorized in other countries. If you use certain medications on a regular basis, it is recommended that you discuss them with your doctor and obtain the necessary authorizations and documents to bring them through UAE customs.
- The UAE has strict laws regarding pornography, same-sex relationships, and even sexual relations between a man and a woman outside of marriage. Violation of this prohibition can result in imprisonment and deportation.
- Theft and fraud are strictly prohibited, which can also result in jail time and fines.
- It is worth noting that the UAE has strict laws regarding respect for local religion and culture. Violation of this prohibition can result in imprisonment and fines.
- Pork is not a common food and its consumption is limited. Muslims, who make up the majority of the UAE’s population, do not consume pork for religious reasons. It is worth remembering that it is not advisable to eat pork or display it in public places as it may offend the sensibilities of the locals.
- Performances in the streets and other public places are prohibited without proper authorization.
- The UAE has strict traffic regulations, violation of which can result in fines and in some cases arrest.
- Illegal possession, transportation and carrying of weapons is prohibited in the UAE and violations are punishable.
- Animals and plants, except those that have received the appropriate permits and certificates, may not be imported into or exported from the country.
It is important to remember that the list of prohibited items may change over time. It is better to familiarize yourself with the current list of prohibited items before you pack your bags and fly out.
Dubai Metro / UAE Transportation
In general, the transportation system in the UAE is quite diverse and allows residents and tourists to move around the country at a convenient time and in a convenient way.
The state has modern infrastructure including high-speed roads, subways, ports and airports.
Cars are the most common mode of transportation in the UAE, and many residents use them for their daily commute to work and other places. In addition, the Emirates has a developed network of highways and highways that connect different cities and regions of the country.
Cabs are available in all UAE cities and can be hailed over the phone or via mobile apps. In addition to private companies, there is also the state-run RTA cab service. Such machines have a single color, conspicuous lettering. Each car is equipped with a meter that will show the cost of the trip at the end.
Probably the most unusual is the air cab. The cockpit of the helicopter can accommodate only 1 person besides the pilot. Such a cab functions more as a sightseeing transportation.
Buses are also a popular mode of public transportation in the UAE. There are many bus routes that cover most of the country.
Dubai has a modern subway system. The UAE Metro is one of the most modern and fastest metro systems in the world. It provides a reliable and convenient transportation network that allows you to get around the city quickly and safely.
The metro line in Dubai consists of two branches: “red” and “green”, the total length of which is more than 75 kilometers. The metro in Dubai utilizes an automatic train control system to achieve high speed and accuracy in train movement. All metro stations in Dubai are air-conditioned and equipped with elevators and escalators to ensure a comfortable journey for passengers.
In addition, there is a monorail in Dubai. The Dubai Monorail was launched in 2009 and has two lines: the first line connects Dubai Airport Terminal 3 and the Atlantis Hotel on the Palm Jumeirah, while the second line connects the Palm Jumeirah to the Dubai Exhibition Center.
The Dubai Monorail offers a unique travel experience, allowing passengers to enjoy panoramic views of the city and the bay, as well as fast and convenient transportation around the city.
An interesting feature of the subway in the UAE is that different types of cars are used
- The most common, of course, are standard railcars. These wagons are open to anyone who wants to be in them. Travel in this type of car has a minimal cost.
- Wagons for women and children under 10 years of age. They are marked with special signs on the platform and in the car. Such railcars are created to ensure the safety of women and children during crowded hours.
- Gold Class coaches: these are luxury coaches that are designed for passengers who want to travel in maximum comfort. Gold Class cars have softer seats, more space. Tickets for such coaches are more expensive than for standard coaches.
- The UAE also has various modes of water transportation such as ferries and water cabs that are used to move between different ports and places on the shore.
The Arab Emirates, and Dubai in particular, will leave no one indifferent. Some say that they did not like the vacation, first of all it concerns the climate. Unbearable heat during all hours of the day in summer, lack of even a small breeze. With the strong operation of the air conditioners in the room. The water temperature in the bay exceeds 33 degrees in the summertime. Lack of pedestrian areas, from one area to another you have to get only by transport. High prices on everything.
On the other hand, a lot of tourists admire the country and vacationing in it. Many hotels have pools that cool off in the summer. Great service, hospitable residents. Great shopping, plenty of different stores to suit every wallet. You’ll be able to find something fun to do, no matter how sophisticated a traveler you may be.
Come to the Arab Emirates!