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10 Things To Keep In Mind When Travelling To The Emirates

10 Things To Keep In Mind When Travelling To The Emirates

The United Arab Emirates, a federation of seven emirates, is a top travel destination known for its luxurious cities, cultural richness, and vibrant landscapes. Whether you’re planning a leisurely vacation or a quick business trip, keeping certain things in mind can ensure a pleasant and trouble-free stay.

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Know the Best Time to Visit
Visiting the Emirates during the right season makes a significant difference. The period from November to March is ideal due to the cooler weather, making outdoor activities and desert safaris more enjoyable. Additionally, aligning your visit with cultural festivals like Dubai Shopping Festival or Abu Dhabi Grand Prix can offer unique experiences.

Understand the Local Laws and Customs
The Emirates has strict laws which, if violated, can lead to heavy fines or imprisonment. Dress conservatively, especially in public areas and religious sites. Public displays of affection are frowned upon, and alcohol consumption is restricted to licensed venues.

Plan Your Budget Wisely
Despite its reputation for luxury, traveling in the Emirates can be done on a budget. Dining at local eateries, choosing budget accommodations, and using public transport can help manage expenses effectively.

Choose Your Accommodations Strategically
Location is key in the Emirates. Staying in central areas can reduce travel time and costs. Hotels range from luxurious resorts to budget-friendly hotels, catering to all preferences.

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Transportation Options
The Emirates boasts a well-developed public transport system including metros, buses, and taxis. However, renting a car can offer flexibility, especially for visiting less accessible sites.

Health and Safety Tips
No specific vaccinations are required for the Emirates, but standard travel vaccines are recommended. The country has high-standard healthcare facilities; however, travelers should ensure they have adequate health insurance.

Must-Visit Attractions
From the stunning Burj Khalifa in Dubai to the majestic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, the Emirates offers countless attractions. Don’t miss the historical sites in Sharjah and the natural beauty of the desert landscapes.

Dining and Cuisine
Emirati cuisine is a blend of Middle Eastern and Asian influences. Try local dishes like Shawarma, Falafel, and Al Harees. Also, be mindful of the strict food and drink rules during Ramadan.

Shopping in the Emirates
The Emirates is a shopper’s paradise. From sprawling malls like the Dubai Mall to traditional markets such as the Gold Souk, there are ample opportunities to shop both luxury and local products.

Cultural Etiquette and Interaction
Understanding local customs is crucial. Always greet with a polite 'As-salamu alaykum' and wait for guidance on handshakes or other forms of greeting, respecting local traditions.

Language and Communication
Arabic is the official language, but English is widely spoken. Learning a few basic Arabic phrases can be beneficial and is appreciated by locals.

Technology and Connectivity
The UAE is technologically advanced. Tourists can easily purchase local SIM cards for access to excellent mobile coverage and high-speed internet.

Emergency Information
Familiarize yourself with emergency numbers and the location of your country’s embassy or consulate for safety.

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Check Visa Requirements
Most travelers need to apply for a visa before arrival, with some exceptions. Check the latest visa requirements and processes well before your planned travel.

Best Time to Visit the Emirates for Cooler Weather
The ideal time to visit the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for cooler weather is during the winter months, from November to March. During this period, the temperature is pleasantly mild, usually ranging between 18°C to 30°C (64°F to 86°F). This cooler climate is perfect for outdoor activities, sightseeing, and exploring the numerous attractions without the extreme heat that characterizes the summer months in the region.

Must-Try Local Foods in the Emirates
The culinary scene in the Emirates offers a delightful mix of flavors and dishes that reflect its rich cultural heritage. Here are some must-try local foods:

Shawarma - This popular Middle Eastern dish consists of thinly sliced cuts of meat, like chicken or lamb, wrapped in a pita bread with vegetables and sauce.
Falafel - Deep-fried balls made from ground chickpeas or fava beans, usually served in a pita and dressed with salads, pickled vegetables, and tahini-based sauces.
Al Harees - A traditional dish of wheat mixed with meat and cooked until smooth and creamy, typically served during Ramadan and Eid.
Al Machboos - A flavorful and aromatic rice dish cooked with meat or seafood, seasoned with traditional spices and dried lemon.
Luqaimat - Sweet, small doughnuts that are crunchy on the outside and soft inside, typically drizzled with date syrup or honey.
Essential Things to Know About Local Laws in the Emirates
When visiting the Emirates, it's important to be aware of local laws that might differ significantly from those in Western countries:

Dress Code - Dress modestly in public areas. Shoulders and knees should be covered, especially in mosques, markets, and public buildings.
Alcohol Consumption - Drinking alcohol is allowed only in licensed venues such as hotels, bars, and private clubs. It's illegal to drink or be intoxicated in public.
Public Behavior - Displays of affection, such as kissing and hugging, are considered inappropriate in public and can lead to fines or detention.
Photography - Avoid taking photos of government buildings, military installations, and local people without their permission.
Staying Connected with Internet and Mobile Services
To stay connected in the Emirates, consider the following options:

Local SIM Cards - Purchasing a local SIM card is straightforward and can be done at the airport, malls, or specialized stores. Providers like Etisalat and Du offer various plans for calls, texts, and data.
Wi-Fi Access - Most hotels, cafes, and shopping malls provide free Wi-Fi services. High-speed internet is widely available, and connectivity issues are rare in urban areas.
Health Precautions to Take
While the Emirates has no specific health threats that require unusual precautions, here are some general tips to stay healthy:

Vaccinations - Routine vaccines such as influenza, chickenpox, polio, and measles should be up to date. Depending on your travel plans, vaccines for hepatitis A and typhoid might be recommended.
Sun Protection - The sun can be extremely strong, even in cooler months. Always use sunscreen, wear a hat, and drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
Medical Insurance - Ensure you have adequate health insurance that covers international travel. The Emirates offers high-quality medical care, but it can be expensive without proper insurance.
These insights should help you prepare thoroughly for a trip to the Emirates, enhancing both your experience and safety during your stay.


Traveling to the Emirates can be an enriching experience with proper preparation. By keeping these key points in mind, your visit can be both enjoyable and comfortable.

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