United Arab Emirates, Middle East - Tullys Travel
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United Arab Emirates

The UAE is a constitutional federation of seven emirates. Abu Dhabi city is the capital of the UAE. The UAE is a politically and economically stable country and holds the 25th position globally in Global Competitiveness Report 2019 by World Economic Forum. In addition, it stands out as one of the 10 largest donor states in officeal development aid (ODA). Recognised as a tolerant country, the UAE hosts more than 200 nationalities doing business, living, learning and touring the UAE. Residents enjoy freedom of civil rights and practice of religion.  Abu Dhabi is the capital of the UAE Federation. 

The UAE is located in Asia. It is situated in the southeastern region of the Asian continent, and in the eastern part of the Arabian Peninsula. It overlooks the Arabian Gulf on the north and northwest, borders the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the west and south and the Sultanate of Oman to the southeast.  

Islam is the official religion in the UAE; practice of other religions is allowed. Besides mosques, the UAE is also home to several churches and temples where worshipers practise their religions in an atmosphere of safety, security and mutual respect.

Information & Facts


Government and semi-government offices operate from Sunday to Thursday.

Some private companies are closed only on Fridays while others are closed on both Fridays and Saturdays


The UAE maintains a desert climate. It is warm and sunny in the winter and during the summer, it is hot and humid. It is generally cooler in the eastern mountains.



 International dialling code: +971

The dialling codes for the emirates/cities are:

  • 02 for the emirate of Abu Dhabi
  • 03 for Al Ain city in the emirate of Abu Dhabi
  • 04 for the emirate of Dubai
  • 06 for the emirates of Sharjah, Ajman and Umm Al Quwain
  • 07 for the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah
  • 09 for the emirate of Fujairah and city of Khor Fakkan.



The UAE is a modern country that welcomes visitors from around the world. Courtesy and hospitality are important virtues in the UAE; visitors will enjoy the friendliness and warm welcome provided by locals.

However, visitors are obliged to abide by their social responsibility while in the UAE. It is important to consider certain factors in terms of behaviour and etiquette respectful of the local culture. Some of the things to which they are expected to be socially aware and responsible are mentioned below. Following the below practices would be polite and appreciated.


Etiquette - Public displays of affection should be minimal; holding hands is acceptable but kissing and hugging in the public is not.

Noise disruptions, bad language, making obscene gestures and showing disrespect in any way to the UAE, its leaders or religion are all forbidden and may land you in legal trouble and deportation.


Alcohol - It is a punishable offence to drink alcohol without a licence or to be under the influence of alcohol in public.

In the emirate of Sharjah, drinking alcohol is illegal.

Passengers in transit through the UAE under the influence of alcohol may also be arrested


Food - If you are sharing a meal with your host, accept food and refreshments before moving on to matters of business.

If you are about to eat, it is considered polite to offer food. The offer might be politely declined, but it is important to extend the offer.

It is customary to accept food and drink with your right hand; this is also the hand you should eat with. The act of food sharing is a considered as an expression of friendship in the Arab countries


Meetings -If you are invited to a majlis, remove your shoes at the entrance. Males and females will probably be escorted to different sections.

It is important to stand up for new guests and older or higher-ranking people.

When greeting a member of the opposite gender who is Muslim, do not offer to shake hands unless they extend their hand first. Both men and women (more commonly women) may prefer not to shake hands with the opposite gender due to religious reasons.

If you are sitting in front of an important guest, it is considered rude to cross your legs. Do not point with your finger. If you need to use a hand gesture, use the whole hand.


Dress code - Visitors to the UAE should dress modestly, particularly in conservative areas and public places like shopping malls.

Clothing should not be transparent, indecently exposing parts of the body or displaying offensive pictures or slogans.

Both men and women might feel more comfortable wearing loose-fitting clothes that cover shoulders, arms and legs.

Women traveling in the UAE are not expected to cover their heads or wear the traditional Muslim attire.

When visiting a mosque, women will be asked to respect the Muslim tradition and wear an abaya and cover their heads. Often, these would be provided at the mosque.

Any form of nudity is strictly forbidden; including topless sunbathing. Swimwear should not be worn in any other area outside the beach, water parks or swimming pools.

Emiratis dress conservatively in traditional dress and can be offended when people dress inappropriately or not in accordance with Islamic values.


Photography - Photography of certain government buildings and military installations is not allowed. Do not photograph people without authority

Duty Free

You can enjoy the benefits of duty-free shopping at Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah airports.


Domestic supply is 220 volts. Sockets suitable for three-pin 13 AMPs plugs of British standard design are the norm. Appliances have two-pin plugs attached.

In 2017, the total installed capacity of electricity in the UAE reached 30371 megawatts (MW), which utilises natural gas

Getting Around

Motorists drive on the right hand side of the road.

Toll roads

The emirate of Dubai levies a toll (salik) of AED 4 when vehicles pass through the toll gates.

In Abu Dhabi, a toll of AED 4 is levied on every vehicle passing the toll gate during peak hours from 7 to 9 am and from 5 to 7 pm from Saturday to Thursday.


Major highways

E11 - it is the longest road in the UAE. It stretches from Al Silah in the emirate of Abu Dhabi to the boundary of Ras Al Khaimah.

It has various alternate names: Sheikh Maktoum Road in Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai and Sheikh Muhammad bin Salem Road in Ras Al Khaimah.

E311 or Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road, which was known as Emirates road - the road links Dubai to the rest of the emirates.

E611 or Emirates Bypass road - it has a length of 110km.

Sheikh Khalifa highway - it links Dubai and Fujairah.


Tourists are required to be cautious about medicines they carry from their home countries. Some medicines may contain substances that are banned in the UAE, leading to the arrest of those carrying them.

Hence, people should not only carry the doctor's prescription, but also ensure that the quantity of tablets justify normal use during their scheduled duration of stay. They are also advised to get a certificate from the respective embassies.

Customs authorities in the UAE regularly update the list of medicines banned in the UAE. People visiting the UAE must check their websites before travelling.


In case of an emergency, you can call the following numbers while anywhere in the UAE:

  • 911 for Police
  • 998 for Ambulance
  • 997 for Fire Department (Civil Defence)
  • 996 for Coastguard
  • 991 for electricity failure
  • 922 for water failure.


The official language of the UAE is Arabic.  English is widely spoken. All road and traffic signs and signs on commercial outlets are in Arabic and English.




The currency is the dirham, which is shortened to AED (United Arab Emirates Dirham). One dirham is divided into 100 fils. The dirham has been pegged to the US dollar for since 1997, meaning the exchange rate never changes. One US dollar is worth AED3.67.

Passport Visa

Most nationalities can simply get a visa on arrival at the airport but visitors should check their visa requirements before arriving.


The UAE is 4 hours ahead of GMT


To tip or not to tip? The short answer is, there are no rules when it comes to tipping in Dubai. How much you tip varies from profession to profession and is also largely down to personal preference. It is customary to tip in most cases, but it certainly isn’t compulsory. Everyone arrives in Dubai with their own customs and expectations but one thing that's really consistent is the high level of service.

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