United Arab Emirates

Essential Travel Information

Entry/Exit Requirements

U.S. citizens need a valid passport and visa to travel to the UAE. Passports should be signed and valid for at least 6 months beyond the completion of your trip. U.S. citizens may obtain visitor visas at the port of entry for no fee if he or she is traveling for personal travel of 30 days or fewer. For stays longer than 30 days, all travelers must obtain a visa before arrival in the UAE. U.S. citizens are subject to all UAE immigration laws, which can be complex and demanding, and should familiarize themselves with such laws before traveling to the UAE.  Make sure that you have enough empty pages for entry and exit stamps in your passport to ensure your entry and exit. Travelers should be careful not to stay beyond the date permitted on their visas in order to avoid difficulties when departing the country.

Please be aware that in support of the growth of tourism and industry, and for the international marketing and promotion of the Emirate of Dubai, a ‘Tourism Dirham’ (TD) fee will be in place effective 31 March 2014, which represents a minimal charge upon check-out for the guest. Approximately, the charge is AED 20 per bedroom, per night.

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Please note:  Each traveler is fully responsible for bringing and acquiring travel documents (e-tickets, hotel and travel vouchers, etc.) necessary for his or her itinerary. If you are not a citizen of the United States, your entry requirements may vary—please contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the country or countries to be visited and obtain the specific requirements for entry.

Arrival Information

A GLOBOTOURS local representative or driver will meet you at the arrival hall after customs and immigrations, holding a placard with a Globotours signboard and your name. If in the event that you are unable to locate our representative, please call the local contact number as specified on your voucher or confirmation itinerary.

Map of U.A.E.

Country Information


Capital: Abu Dhabi

Population: 5.48 million

Location: Middle East

Largest Cities: Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Al Ain

Religion: Muslim (Islam- official) 96%, other (includes Christian, Hindu) 4%

System of Government: Federation with specified powers delegated to the UAE federal government and other powers reserved to member emirates



The United Arab Emirates operates on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), plus 4 hours.


At 9:00 am anywhere in the UAE, it is:

  • 12:00 am the same day in New York- Eastern Standard Time (EST).
  • 11:00 pm the previous day in Chicago- Central Standard Time (CST).
  • 9:00 pm the previous day in San Francisco- Pacific Standard Time (PST).
  • 7:00 pm the previous day in Hawaii- Hawaii Aleutian Standard Time (HAST).


*Note: Add one hour to local time during Daylight Savings Time.

Practical Information

A good source of health information for travelers is the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website.


You should be up to date on routine vaccinations while traveling to any destination. Please ensure that we are aware of any physical disability or frequent of ongoing medical requirements. Sightseeing may require, at minimum, the ability to walk at a moderate pace for a mile or two, and the balance and agility necessary to climb stairs, enter and exit buses and boats, and navigate uneven or cobble-stoned streets. Some sightseeing stops do not have elevators or wheelchair access. Bring medications in their original, clearly labeled containers. A signed and dated letter from your physician describing your med­ical conditions and medications, including generic names, is also a good idea. If carrying syringes or needles be sure to have a physician’s letter documenting their medical necessity. Most hotels will provide complimentary bottled water and additional bottled water can be purchased throughout your trip.

The UAE’s unit of currency is the Dirham, which is subdivided into 100 fils. It is available in the following denominations: Banknotes: 1, 5, 10, 50, 100, and 1,000 dirham; Coins: 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 fils, and 1 dirham. Foreign currency and traveler’s checks can be exchanged only at authorized agencies such as banks, exchange offices, and hotels. ATMs are located on most major streets, in shopping centers, and at some hotels. All major credit cards are accepted. The exchange rate is constantly fluctuating, but it can be found to be approximately 1 USD = 3.5 AED. For the most updated exchange rate, please check www.xe.com.

Electrical service in the UAE is supplied at 220 volts and 50 hertz. Bringing an adaptor is a good idea if you are planning on using electronics (i.e. cell phones, laptops, cameras, etc.) during your trip.

The cuisine in the United Arab Emirates can be described as a mixture of Middle Eastern and Asian cuisines. Today, you can easily find dishes from all over the world as part of their daily diet. Traditional foods consist of meat, grain, dairy, vegetables, and seafood. Meats that are commonly used are chicken or other small fowl, lamb, and goats; however, due to the Muslim religion, not many people eat pork, so it will not likely be included in Arab menus.

Saffron, cardamom, turmeric, and thyme are main ingredients that can be found in Emirati cooking and help give it its unique blend of flavors. Do not forget to try popular dishes such as the kabsa, camel meat, shawarma, falafel, al jabab bread, khabees, and dates while visiting the UAE. Beverages such as the red tea or gahwah (Arabic coffee) are popular and will be sure to give you that extra pick-me-up when needed.

In the UAE, the official language is Arabic. The Gulf dialect of Arabic is spoken natively by the Emirati people. Since English is the primary lingua franca and is a requirement for most jobs in the country, finding English-speakers should be rather easy. Other common languages spoken are Persian, Hindi, Pashto, and Tagalog.


The United Arab Emirates experiences a sub-tropical climate where the weather is usually hot, sunny, and humid throughout the year. There is no real significant difference in weather throughout the country, except perhaps inland (the desert) where nights are cooler in the winter and the air is slightly less humid in the summer. During the summer months between June and September, temperatures reach its hottest as it can soar up to 113 degrees Fahrenheit. The months of December through March are considered the cooler months where occasional spells of rainfall can occur, but does not happen often.

Average Temperatures

All temperatures in Fahrenheit (°F)

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Other Information

This will be contingent on your own personal preference and the time of year you are traveling. Generally, we suggest that travelers pack lightly and to bring comfortable, casual clothes in natural, “breathable” fabrics because of the humidity. Choose versatile styles that can be layered. A lightweight (preferably non-plastic) raincoat or poncho is a good idea, as well as a sweater or lightweight jacket for early morning/evenings and air-conditioned buildings.  A sturdy, comfortable pair of walking shoes is a must, as sandals may not be comfortable for some sightseeing activities. Some hotels have pools, so you may want to pack your swimming suit. Do not forget to bring sun block, sunglasses, insect repellent, pocket packs of tissues, a sunhat, an umbrella (for both the sun and rain), and any medications you may need. Most hotels offer reliable laundry and dry cleaning services.

Deciding what to wear in the United Arab Emirates can be challenging if you are trying to dress for the desert heat while also trying to respect Islamic traditions. Always wear what you are most comfortable traveling in, but a reasonable amount of modesty ought to be exercised. Knowing what to wear relies heavily on which part of the UAE you are traveling to. Although Dubai, for example, is considered to be a bit more liberal than other parts of the country, it is still an Islamic state that adheres to traditional values. Be respectful when deciding what to wear and dress in clothes that would not offend the local culture. In most areas, comfortable, casual clothes such as short sleeved shirts, polo shorts, long skirts, etc., are great for sightseeing. Remember that temperatures are likely to be hot and humid so wearing light, loose fitting fabrics is a good idea.


When walking around and visiting shopping malls or souks, women are to be covered from their shoulders to their knees. Long sleeve tops, short sleeve T-shirts, and three-quarter trousers are acceptable. Also, no tight, revealing, or see-through clothing should be worn. This means that one should avoid tank tops, spaghetti straps, shorts, mini-skirts, etc. Signs at the entrances of shopping malls and souks remind visitors to dress modestly. When visiting more traditional souks, women should dress a little more conservatively as to avoid attracting unwanted attention.


When visiting a mosque in the UAE, bear in mind that these are places of worship, so one should dress politely in modest and conservative clothing as they would at any other religious place. Clothing such as short sleeve T-shirts, polo shirts, and bottoms or skirts that cover the knees are acceptable.

For both men and women, plan to cover most of your body, including your shoulders, upper arms, and legs.


Women: Women should have all skin covered; knee-length skirts or pants are required. Sleeves should reach each wrist and the hair should be covered by a headscarf. Pants or skirts that are too revealing, clingy, or tight should not be worn.


Men: Men should wear long pants and plain shirts without messages or slogans when visiting mosques. Short-sleeved shirts are acceptable as long as the sleeves are not shorter than average. If in doubt, wear long sleeves.


Socks are also a good idea since you will have to remove your shoes before entering a mosque as part of the Muslim tradition. Usually a robe or shawl will be provided for those with inappropriate clothing attire, but it may be a good idea to bring your own as they are always being reused.

Hotels may impose a hefty charge on international calls. Check your hotel’s policy before placing any calls. To avoid hotel markups you can use a calling card from your local long-distance carrier. A number of United States cell phones manufactured today have the ability to operate overseas on the GSM (Global System for Mobile) standard. We recommend that you contact your cell phone service provider to determine if your phone operates on the GSM and what, if any, activation may be required. In the UAE, reception on any cell phone can be unreliable and unpredictable. In some locations, transmission is not possible at all. If access to e-mail is of critical importance during your trip, please check availability in advanced. Most hotels have business centers or in room WI-FI service, surcharges may apply.

The nationwide emergency phone numbers are:

Ambulance: 998, 999

Fire: 997

Police: 999, 112


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