Discover the United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven states (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Umm Al-Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah & Ajman) situated along the east coast of the Arabian Peninsula; a very safe Middle East destination. You can soak up the atmosphere of the heritage areas or the magnificent mountain scenery of Hattah. You can haggle over souvenirs in the souks of Sharjah or head out to Abu Dhabi’s desert sands for a camel ride under a star-filled sky.
The UAE is one of the world’s fastest growing tourist destination for a reason. It simply has the right ingredients for an unforgettable holiday. Who would want more than sun, sand, sea, sports, unbeatable shopping, top-class hotels and restaurants, intriguing traditional culture, history, amazing architecture and a safe welcoming environment?
The UAE has a unique mix of tradition and modernity, relaxation and adventure. A destination known for its excellence in just about everything!
Facts | Important to know
VISA Australian passport holders will be stamped with a 30-day visit visa upon arrival, free of charge.
LANGUAGE Arabic but English is almost universally used.
CURRENCY United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED), NZD 1.00 = AED 3.07
ELECTRICITY 220V 50Hz
TIME DIFFERENCE UTC/GMT +4 hours
Facts | Helpful Information
WEATHER The best time to visit the UAE is in the months of October, November, February and March. Temperatures then hang around the mid-20s and the humidity is under control. Although temperatures rise during the summer months, the beaches are always a great escape for a breezier climate.
PUBLIC HOLIDAYS 2014
1 January, New Year’s Day
13 January, Prochet Mohammed’s Birthday (PBUH)
27 May, Israa & Miraj Night
29 July, Eid Al Fitr
4 October, Eid Al Adha
25 October, Al Hijra (Islamic New Year)
2 December, National Day
COST A cup of Coffee is approx. AED 7.50 = NZD 2.37
PAYMENT OPTIONS Most ATM machines accept cards from all over the world. UAE is generally a cash society, but credit cards are accepted in most major department stores, restaurants, and in the gold souks (markets).
RELIGION Islam is the official religion of the UAE.
THINGS TO DO Although the UAE is known for its opulence and business market, it has an abundance of activities on offer for people on holiday.
From private safari adventures to indoor skiing, from city tours to unbelievable shopping, you won’t run out of activities.
It’s a perfect combination of history, modern architecture, beach and adventure.
Its array of delectable cuisines are unmatched in the region so it’s definitely the place to be if you’re a foodie that enjoys the vibrant ambiance.
Dubai by Night City Tour
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Sharjah Classic Car Museum
Al Jahili Fort
Iceland Water Park
THINGS TO SEE We’re suckers for trivia, so let’s kick off by telling you that the lobby of Burj al-Arab is so high, the Statue of Liberty would fit quite nicely into it. Or that the sail-shaped building tops out at 321m, just a few metres shorter than the Eiffel Tower. And here’s one more: 1600 sq metres in the hotel are sheathed in gold leaf.
For a historical wow, check out the Dubai Museum located opposite the Grand Mosque. This low-key museum explores Dubai’s history, culture and traditions and, although the emphasis on cutesy dioramas seems more geared towards school trips, it’s definitely worth a visit.
The Deira Souqs are a must visit along with the city within the city, Madinat Jumeirah. Finally, top off your holiday with a visit to the world’s largest acrylic viewing panel at the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo.
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