United Arab Emirates
The population of the UAE has grown dramatically over the last two decades and was estimated at approximately 9.3 million in 2014.
- GST (Gulf Standard Time) or GMT +4 (Greenwich Mean Time)
Arabic is the official language of the UAE, but English is widely spoken and understood due to its large foreign national population. Both languages are commonly used in business and commerce.
If your country of nationality appears on the list below, no advance visa arrangements are required to visit the UAE. Simply disembark your flight at Dubai International Airport and proceed to Immigration, where your passport will be stamped with a 30-day visit visa free of charge. This can be extended for an additional 30 days at an additional charge. (List below includes US and Canada):
Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America, Vatican City.
Travelers from countries not listed above will need to arrange a visa in advance of travel.
The currency in UAE is known as the Arab Emirate Dirham, denoted by AED or more commonly, Dhs. One dirham is divided into 100 fils. The dirham is held constant against the US dollar at a mid-rate of approximately $1 = Dhs3.679.
The electricity supply in the UAE is 22-/240 volts at 50 cycles. US made appliances may require a transformer or universal adapter which most hotels can provide.
A subtropical climate ensures clear blue skies almost throughout the year. Winter may see a few infrequent rain showers. Temperatures vary from season to season. January can fall to a low of 15C/59F, while July can rise to a high of 48C/118F.
Alcohol is available in licensed hotels and restaurants across the UAE. Meaning, visitors can enjoy a glass of wine with their meals. However, the Emirate of Sharjah forbids the consumption of alcohol. Restaurants located outside of Hotels and clubs are not permitted to serve alcohol.
Tap water is quite safe to drink. Locally bottled and international mineral water is served in hotels and restaurants along with being available in supermarkets.
The UAE have varying degrees of tolerance to clothing styles from around the world and how to dress. There are legal guidelines as to what is not acceptable in Sharjah which has its own decency laws. In general, residents, visitors, and tourists can mostly wear what they like within reason. However to be respectful of the UAE culture, it is better to cover knees and shoulders and everything in between. Women do not have to cover their hair, faces, heads with a scarf or similar in public, except when entering religious monuments while touring such as mosque.
Islam is the official religion of the UAE with a large number of mosques throughout the country. However, other religions are equally respected, with many churches and places of worship representing various denominations.