Enjoy The United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates exist as an independent state since 1971. The two main emirates are Dubai and Abu Dhabi; the others are: Ajman, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Qaiwain. Today, U.A.E. play a significant role in Middle-East politics, being essentially pro-Western, although the invasion in Iraq in 2003 was received negatively by most of the population.
UAE is modern country, rich in history and culture; many visitors choose to visit it first - especially Dubai, before exploring the rest of Middle East.
One of the most significant archaeological sites in the United Arab Emirates is the archaeological site at Jumeirah and Heritage Village in Diera (Dubai). Liwa Oasis with its sand dunes is absolutely worth visiting, as well “the Garden City of the Gulf” – an ancient oasis Al Ain, close to the border with Oman. On its outskirts you will find the 1240 m high mountain Jebel Hafeet, which top can be reached by car. Imagine the view...
Do not miss the oasis Green Mubazzarah with hot-water springs, at the foothills of the mountain.
Things to Do
Shopping in very Western malls and spending days on white-sand beaches is the two primary things visitors do in U.A.E.
The waters here are beautiful, clean and of course warm. Snorkeling and diving is a genuine joy, particularly along the eastern coast. Riding fast-driven safaris on the desert and admiring amazing, dramatic views of the rocky mountains is another “must”. But why not go skiing too? Ski Dubai in Dubai Emirates Mall is the world's third largest indoor ski slope - 400 meters high; it uses 6000 tons of snow.
Dubai and Abu Dhabi offer a vast spread of international food, as well as Arab cuisine like for instance Shawarma. The nightlife in Dubai is quite up-and-coming (except the month of Ramadan of course); even Abu Dhabi is slowly catching up. Alcohol is available in liquor stores, 5-star hotel restaurants and bars in all emirates except Sharjah. Tourists of non-Muslim faith are permitted (by getting a license) to buy alcohol in bars and restaurants to drink there.
A slight hotel shortage makes them rather expensive; some of them, for instance the Tower of the Arabs in Dubai are called “7-stars” hotels.
Getting here and getting around
Visas can be obtained on arrival by citizens of many industrialized countries (Israeli citizens are banned from entering the country). A vast mixture of different nationalities living in U.A.E makes English to be the lingua franca.
The main hub for air transport is Dubai, which is served by several major airlines, mostly by Emirates. Also Abu Dhabi has excellent international connections.
Within the country, getting around by car (beware though of fast-speed drivers everywhere!) or intercity buses is an option, since there are neither railways here, nor domestic flights. In the cities of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah, taxis are widely available and rather cheap.
Time zone: GMT+4.
Currency: Arab Emirate Dirham (AED)
Climate: desert, sub-tropical. Warm and sunny winters, hot and very humid summers (in June - September the daytime temperature reaches 45°C/113°F). Short showers can occur in winter, but rain is generally very rare.