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Travel & Tourism . Tourist Guide to the Country

United Arab Emirates Travel Requirements

Banking hours
Banking hours, are from 0800-1200 Saturday to Wednesday and 0800-1100 Thursday. Some banks also open from 1600-1730 on the above days.

Travelers cheques
These are widely accepted. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take travellers cheques in US Dollars or Pounds Sterling.

Credit cards
American Express, Diners Club, Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted. Check with your credit card company for details of merchant acceptability and other services which may be available.

The currency for the United Arab Emirates are UAE Dirham (Dh) = 100 fils. Notes are in denominations of Dh1000, 500, 200, 100, 50, 10, 5 and 1. Coins are in denominations of Dh1, and 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1 fils.

The passports are required by all. Passports must be valid for a minimum of 3 months from date of arrival for visitors and tourists, and 6 months for those seeking residence or employment. Often a sponsor will hold a visitor's passport. In these case a receipt will be issued.

The visa is required by all except the following:
(a)Nationals of the UK with the endorsement'British Citizen' for a maximum of 30 days.
(b)Nationals of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
(c)Transit passengers, provided holding valid onward or return documentation and not leaving the airport.

Duty Free
The following items may be imported into the United Arab Emirates without incurring customs duty:
(a)2000 cigarettes or 400 cigars or 2kg of tobacco.
(b)2 litres of spirits and 2 litres of wine (non-Muslims only).
(c)a reasonable amount of perfume for personal use.

The prohibited items are:
(b)Unstrung pearls except for personal use.
(c)Firearms and ammunition.

Health care
Medical facilities are of a very high quality, but are extremely expensive. Private health insurance is essential.

Getting there
The national airlines are Emirates (EK) and Gulf Air (GF). Emirates operates international flights to and from Dubai; Gulf Air serves all UAE airports. Emirates is expanding services to the Far East. 72 airlines operate scheduled services to Dubai.

The main international ports are Jebel Ali, Rashid and Zayed (Abu Dhabi), Khalid (Sharjah), Saqr (Ras al-Khaimah) and Fujairah. Cruises call at Abu Dhabi, and there are passenger/cargo services to the USA, the Far East, Australia and Europe.

There is a good road into Oman and a fair one into Qatar which connects with the Trans-Arabian Highway on the overland route to Europe.

Getting around
A daily flight now links Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Flights can also be chartered and there are small landing fields throughout the United Arab Emirates.

Commercial and passenger services serve all coastal ports. A water taxi travels between Dubai and Deira across the creek.

There are good tarmac roads running along the west coast between Abu Dhabi and Dubai, Sharjah and Ras al Khaimah; between Sharjah and Dhaid; and linking Dubai with other Northern States and the interior. Traffic drives on the right and the speed limit in built-up areas is 60kph (38mph) and 80-100kph (50-63mph) elsewhere.

Limited services link most towns. However, most hotels run their own scheduled bus services to the airport, city centre and beach resorts.

Available in all towns. In Abu Dhabi, urban journey fares are metered, whilst fares for longer journeys should be agreed in advance. There is a surcharge for air-conditioned taxis. Many travellers find taxis to be the quickest and most convenient method of travel from Abu Dhabi to Dubai.

Car hire
Most international car hire companies have offices at airports or hotels. Renters must produce their passport, two photographs and either a valid international or national licence.

Social conventions
Muslim religious laws should be observed. Women are expected to dress modestly and men should dress formally for most occasions. Smoking is the same as in Europe and in most cases it is obvious where not to smoke, except during Ramadan when it is illegal to eat, drink or smoke in public.

Most hotels, restaurants and clubs add fairly high service charges to the bill, therefore tipping is not necessary including taxi drivers.


Acknowledgements: ASIATRAVELMART.COM

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