United Arab Emirates Travel Facts

By | June 9, 2022

The United Arab Emirates border directly on Oman and Saudi Arabia as well as on the coast of the Persian Gulf. The country in the Middle East attracts travelers and the rich from all over the world with its gigantic cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, but also has a lot to offer culturally. Since the end of the oil industry is in sight, the UAE has been focusing more on tourism for several years – especially in the luxury segment.

Capital City Abu Dhabi
Size 83,600 km²
Resident 9,267,000
Official Language Arabic
Currency UAE Dirham
Time Zone UTC+4
Telephone Area Code +971

Fast facts to know

  • The United Arab Emirates is a federal constitutional monarchy and consists of 7 autonomous emirates.
  • Islam is the rule in the UAE.
  • In Ramadan, the month of fasting (9th month of the Islamic calendar), restrictions in everyday life are to be expected. Eating in public is then also forbidden for non-Muslims with punishment (including chewing gum).
  • Arabs like to bargain.
  • The left hand is considered impure.
  • The snow-white, floor-length robe is called Dishdasha, the rule is: “the whiter, the purer”.
  • One of the safest countries in the Middle East.
  • The penalties for possession of drugs are severe.
  • The EU driver’s license is usually recognized, but an international driver’s license may also be required.
  • The shorter the phone number or license plate, the richer its owner is likely to be.
  • German citizens can enter with their passport.
  • The medical care is good, apart from the standard vaccinations, no special vaccinations are required.
  • 70% of the water supply comes from desalinated seawater.

Exciting cities in the UAE

  • Abu Dhabi
  • Dubai
  • Fujairah
  • Sharjah
  • Al Ain

History of the UAE

  • Proven settlement as early as the 4th millennium BC. Chr.
  • In 630 messengers from the Prophet Mohammed arrived from Mecca and converted the local tribes to Islam.
  • 16th century Ottoman Empire influence and later Portuguese control.
  • 1650 Portuguese driven out by Omani tribes.
  • Piracy against merchant shipping by the Qawasim Bedouins of the southern Gulf Coast.
  • After Sheikh Shakbuth bin Diab took over power, it developed into an important center for pearl fishing.
  • The decline of the pearling industry after the Great Depression of 1929 leads to military conflicts between the tribes.
  • Oil boom in 1960s leads to great wealth.
  • Merger of the 7 emirates into a union initiated by the rulers of Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
  • 1971 Britain grants independence to the Trucial States.
  • 1981 Establishment of the Gulf Cooperation Council with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman.
  • 1994/95 defense alliances with the USA and France.

Climate & travel weather in the UAE

  • Subtropical, arid and hot desert climate.
  • Significant temperature fluctuations between day and night.
  • It is cooler and wetter in the Hajar Mountains.
  • May-October hottest time.
  • Coastal areas are very humid with up to 90% humidity.
  • Recommended travel time:
    • November to April.
    • Avoid June-Aug due to temperatures above 40°.

Ideas for trips in the UAE

  • Abu Dhabi:
    • Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
    • Ferrari World
    • Louvre Abu Dhabi
    • Etihad Towers: Observation Deck
    • Al-Husn Palace
  • Dubai:
    • Palm Island Jumeirah
    • Dubai Marina
    • Burj Khalifa
    • Dubai Mall
    • Dubai AIN
    • Dubai Fountains
    • Burj Al Arab
  • Fujairah:
    • Wadi Wurayah
    • Fujairah Fort (Al Bithnah Fort)
    • Fujairah Museum
  • Al Badiya Mosque.
  • Paradise Gardens in Al Ain.
  • Take a dinner dhow cruise.
  • Experience desert safari with bedouin camp adventure.
  • Blue Souk in Sharjah.

Eating & Drinking in the UAE

  • Traditional Arabic cuisine mixed with diverse immigrant and guest worker cuisine.
  • Traditionally, you eat with your right hand, without cutlery.
  • Wash your hands again before eating.
  • Meat is eaten last, beginning with the side dishes out of courtesy.
  • Always leave a small amount of food on the plate.
  • Popular meat: lamb, chicken, rarely beef.
  • Meat is often marinated in yoghurt sauces and grilled over charcoal.
  • Also close to the coast: fish, sea creatures, lobsters, king prawns.
  • Very popular as a side dish are rice, vegetables, crispy flatbread.
  • Spices are used liberally, popular: cardamom, pepper, saffron, garlic, cinnamon.
  • Often used as a meat filling or side dish: dates, raisins, almonds, pine, pistachios.
  • Popular vegetables: eggplant, beans, pumpkins, carrots, cucumbers, cauliflower, chickpeas, fennel, chard.
  • Desserts are sweet, mostly high-calorie, often with honey, pistachios, almonds.
  • After eating, you drink coffee.
  • Traditional breakfast includes flatbread, black olives, goat cheese and yoghurt, served with black tea or coffee.
  • Juices like freshly squeezed mangoes, papayas, bananas, oranges.
  • Alcohol only in hotels, restaurants and clubs and quite expensive.
  • Tap water is drinkable, but tastes slightly sulphurous (desalinated sea water).
  • Typical dishes:
    • Hummus (chickpea and sesame puree).
    • Koussa Mashi (Stuffed Zucchini).
    • Ghouzi (roasted lamb on rice with nuts).
    • Mashwee samak (barbecue fish dish).
    • Shaurabat adas (traditional Arabic lentil soup).
    • Warak Enab (grape leaves stuffed with rice).
    • Makbous (spicy lamb with rice).
    • Baklawa (pastry with pistachios and honey).
    • Tabbouleh (bulgur wheat with parsley and mint).
    • Sambousa (meat filled dumplings).
    • Koufa kebab (grilled minced meat with pine nuts).
    • Shish kebab (grilled marinated lamb skewer).
    • Shish tawook (marinated, grilled chicken on a skewer).
    • Gambari (crab dish).
    • Ouzi (whole lamb grilled on a skewer with side rice stuffed with dried fruits and nuts).
    • Mehabaiya (pudding refined with raisin water and pistachios).
    • Aish asaya (sweet cheesecake).
    • Kabouli (rice dish with raisins and meat).
    • Halwa (dessert made of butter, starch, caramelized sugar, eggs).
    • Foul medames (cooked broad beans in a spicy tomato sauce, served with onions and vegetables).
    • Shawarma (thinly sliced ​​lamb or chicken with salad, served in a flatbread pocket).

Particularly scenic

  • Hajar Mountains
  • Wadi Shaam in Ras al Khaimah
  • Beaches:
    • Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi
    • Sir Bani Yas, Abu Dhabi
    • Jumeirah Beach, Dubai
    • ajman
    • Ras Al Khaimah

UAE Travel Facts