Capital: Abu Dhabi.
Geography: Abu Dhabi coordinates: latitude – 24o26 ′, longitude – 54o39 ′, height above sea level – 27 m. The United Arab Emirates is located in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula and borders Qatar, the Sultanate of Oman and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The shores of the state are washed by the waters of the Oman and Persian Gulfs. The area of the UAE is 83.6 thousand square kilometers .
Climate In the UAE, dry subtropical climate. The average annual number of rainy days is 5. The most favorable time for a trip to the UAE is the period from October to May, when the temperature ranges from 18 ° C to 30 ° C. During this period (especially in February) slight rains are possible. Most often precipitation falls on the east coast of the UAE in the territory of the Emirate of Fujairah. In summer, temperatures can reach 50 ° C, high humidity. With the exception of the summer hot period, the climate in the UAE is almost perfect.
The landscape of the UAE is very diverse, which varies from huge sandy deserts to rocky mountains, from peaceful wadis (these are dried up river beds) to azure waters washing magnificent fabulous beaches.
The population is 2 million 407 thousand people. Major cities include Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al-Quwain, Ras al-Khaimah and Al Fujairah. Arabs live in the Emirates (about 30% of the population) – Indians, Pakistanis, Iranians (70%).
The official language in the UAE is Arabic, but English, Hindi, Urdu and Farsi are also commonly used. In recent years, due to the large influx of tourists from the CIS, a huge number of signs and announcements in Russian have appeared in Dubai. Many salespeople and hotel workers have mastered the basics of the Russian language.
Islam is the state religion of the UAE, but the Christian religion is very respectful here, there are 2 churches in Dubai.
The UAE currency unit is a dirham equal to 100 Fils. In circulation are coins of 5 and 1 dirham, 50 and 25 fils; banknotes of 5, 10, 50, 100, 200 and 500 dirhams. US dollars are generally accepted for payment, but paying dirhams is somewhat more profitable. Banks are usually open from 8:00 to 13:00 from Saturday to Wednesday. Some also work from 16:00 to 18:30. On Thursdays, banks are open from 8:00 to 12:00, Friday – day off. Exchange offices – from 8:30 to 13:00 and from 16:30 to 20:30. They are at airports, hotels, on the streets and in tourist centers, they work late. In Dubai, everywhere take dollars, pounds and euros. An ATM network is developed, major credit cards are accepted for payment: Visa, American Express, Master Card and others.
Entry into the UAE may not be allowed to unmarried women under the age of 30; women under the age of 30, arriving in the country with their spouses, but do not have the name of her husband. For children under 18 years old, departing with one of the parents or accompanied by a third party, notarized export permits from the parent (s) are required.
Printed and video products of an erotic nature, as well as those that could offend the religious feelings of Muslims or are perceived as unfriendly to the state, are prohibited from being imported into the country. Customs officers may temporarily withdraw imported video tapes or printed materials for viewing. The import of spirits (2 liters of wine, 2 liters of spirits, and in Sharjah only 1 bottle of one or the other), tobacco products (2000 cigarettes, or 400 cigars, or 2 kg of tobacco), perfume and cologne are strictly controlled. (150 gr.) Drugs and weapons for importation are prohibited. Officially, alcohol is served only in restaurants and bars of the airport or hotels (a can of beer costs about 3 €). Any currency can be imported or exported without any restrictions.
What to see / where to go
The United Arab Emirates is one of the most attractive tourist destinations from all over the world, high-class hotels and the azure warm waters of the Persian Gulf; a country that connects Europe with the Indian Peninsula, the Far East with Africa. The Emirates are the land of sheikhs and oil magnates, it is one of the highest world standards of life and social security of the population; these are urban creations, adjacent to ancient mosques. The UAE is a three-lane highway and deserted desert with camels and bedouins, these are modern shopping centers and traditional eastern markets, this is a vibrant nightlife and strict worship of the laws of Islam. In short, the United Arab Emirates is a unique fusion of East and West, a mixture of many nations living and working side by side, a 1000 and one night tale that has become a reality! Nothing in this ancient land will leave you indifferent. Is it possible to resist the splendor of the Red Sands zone, the rocky peaks of the Al Hadjars massif, the key lakes of volcanic origin, coral reefs and golden sands. You say that the sands are not unusual for us? And we say that everything is relative. Dubai.
The most famous city and resort of the Persian Gulf with unique opportunities for a great vacation at sea and shopping. Perhaps only here you can find an unimaginable number of super-modern shopping centers with low prices for goods from global brands. Only here every year is held the famous shopping festival. Jumeirah is ideal for a beach holiday. It is a multi-kilometer sandy beach with hotels of the highest level. Have you ever heard of the existence of six and seven-star hotels? And in the Emirates, you can also see them (“Bursh El Arab” and “Jumeirah Beach”). Or even stop – the top of luxury! This is really a rest worthy of kings! Dubai is a riot of modern architecture, striking the courage of engineering and design. These are traditional clothes of people, magnificent parks, golf courses, many fashionable restaurants and bright discos. In Dubai, interesting are also the ancient Arab buildings of Bastaki, the fort of Al Fahidi, the Jumeirah Mosque, the Palace of Sheikh Sayd, as well as the Zoo and Wild Wadi – one of the largest water parks. Since December 2005, Dubai has become interesting not only for its magnificence of a beach holiday, but also … for the amazing capabilities of the Ski Dubai ski resort! This is the only ski resort located in the desert and covered with real snow!
The oldest and most severe emirate of the country with restrictions on the sale of alcohol, even in the best hotels. Sharjah is only 20 minutes from Dubai International Airport. Sharjah is the place where, like in Dubai, it is very convenient to combine business with pleasure: sea holidays plus shopping. But in contrast to the neighboring ultra-modern Dubai, in Sharjah there are more historical sites and architecture in the Arabic style, here the East is more clearly felt.
The capital of the UAE is one of the most modern cities in the Persian Gulf. He grew up on the ground lifeless desert. Now it is the largest banking and political center of the country, its financial capital. It is here that the President of the UAE lives and develops the world’s largest national flag. It is in the vicinity of the capital of the UAE that the lion’s share of the country’s oil is extracted. Along with this, Abu Dhabi has a lot of modern high-class hotels, sandy beaches and a modern shopping center Marina Mall. Here you will find fascinating excursions to the historic town of Al Ain and to Oman, jeep safari and camel racing.
Locals, as well as tourists, use hired or private cars, taxis or transfers (tourist buses) to get around the city streets. The rest of the transport is used for the transport of workers, in fact, it is the shift buses, and it is not recommended to use them. Cars are leased under the following conditions: for persons over 21 years old (expensive car brands – over 24 years old); · If you have a passport (to issue a temporary driving permit); · No less than 24 hours.
In large companies, the UAE’s driver’s license (the rights of the CIS countries and Europe are not valid; if they are available, you can get the rights that will be valid on the roads of the UAE) and a credit card for a certain amount. In small companies as a deposit, you can leave the original passport. In large companies, you will get a car, depending on the brand, starting from $ 60 and ending with $ 300 per day. Private offer for $ 30 -50 $, but without insurance .
The roads in the UAE are wonderful, the quality of the coating is beyond praise. The organization and rules of the road in the UAE are almost the same as in Russia; the only difference is the many roundabouts. The most intensive traffic occurs on Friday, when there is a day off in the UAE and many people go to the beaches or go shopping. Road signs are also similar; The inscriptions are in English and Arabic. Drivers are required constant vigilance and careful reading of road signs. Foreign tourists who rent cars to travel around the city often get into accidents, as they are accustomed to a certain culture of driver behavior in Europe. However, the one who is used to driving in Moscow is unlikely to feel unusual. The size of the fine depends on speeding, the minimum is 100Dx. You may be deprived of rights for violating traffic rules, and for offering a bribe to a police officer – to be subject to criminal liability .
In the event of an accident, you must call the police by calling 999 and receive a certificate of the accident, without which you cannot get insurance and permission to repair the car. On the same phone should call if you have not found your car. Where left. He could be towed to the traffic police for non-compliance with parking rules. Possible fine on the spot – 5O-75 Dx. In cities almost everywhere paid parking with price for 1 hour. A parking receipt must be placed under the windshield so that it can be seen. Failure to pay for parking is punishable by a fine of 150 dirhams, a notice of this will be placed under the “janitor”. Parking is not required to pay from 13 to 16 hours. At the entrance to the paid parking (2 Dx / hour), press the button on the automatic barrier panel, after which, if there are free places, the barrier will open, and you will receive a control pass from the slot next to the button. According to the time stamped on it will be calculated on the road. In the case of a short parking – parking is free. If you used the parking with a gun, then lower the 2dx into the coin acceptor and get a ticket.
· In the UAE, right-hand traffic, it is customary to give way to pedestrians and move along the central lanes, leaving extreme for special occasions.
· At intersections, it is often customary to go around the rings, each of which has its own name, orienting along them as well as by street names. · It is impossible to transport alcohol in the car without the corresponding permission.
· Mandatory rule – wear seat belts.
· It is customary to warn the rear of the car with a turn signal by the presence or absence of ahead overtaking obstacles.
· The speed adopted in the city – 60-80 km / h, on the highway – 100-120 km / h. Radars are installed on the roads, and fines are issued and sent directly to the company where you rented a car.
In the UAE, there are two types of taxis – with a counter (2 dirhams for landing + 1 dirham for each kilometer) and no counter (the minimum cost of a trip is 5 dirhams). To stop a taxi at a hotel or hotel is always a few dirhams more expensive than just outside. Traditionally, women sit in the back seat of a car. In the taxi is not to leave a tip
Important for ladies
You can only stop cars with taxi markings (checkered signs and a sign on the roof). Quite often, ordinary cars slow down driving past the ladies and inviting a ride. No one is engaged in private carrying in the UAE, and your landing in the car to a stranger will be perceived by him quite definitely. This is east, it is not accepted here.
In 2009, the first metro was opened in the UAE – in Dubai. The opening took place on the “round” date: 09.09.09. The stations of the Dubai Metro resemble a shopping center hall – you will not see the rails and the approaching train: they are hidden behind a mirrored showcase with sliding doors. You will not see a driver in the Dubai metro either – the computer controls the movement automatically. Most of the stations are above ground, located on ramps high above the ground. It consists of only 5 cars. The cars are ordinary, with seats along the walls, and there is a luxury with leather seats installed as in an airplane, in the direction of travel. To travel, they require silver or gold tickets, respectively, the cost of which differs by 2 times. In each car there is a controller who checks the passengers for the compliance of the ticket with the car class. For women and children in the train has a separate car. The speed of the train is about 100 km / h, but at the stops the train costs several minutes, therefore the average speed of the train is much lower. The train waiting time (for March 2010) is up to 10 minutes, since not all trains are working on the line yet. All stations and trains are air conditioned. Wireless internet is available for a fee. For schoolchildren, students and retirees there are discounts on tickets. Smoking, food and drinks are prohibited on the territory of the metro. Entrance with animals and bicycles in the metro is prohibited. Tickets must be saved until you exit the subway, otherwise you will not be able to go through the turnstile.
The network voltage is 220/240 V., 50 Hz. Standard are English-style sockets with three pins. For electrical appliances made in the USA, an adapter may be needed.
To call from the hotel to the city you need to dial the number “9”, hearing the dial tone – the number of the called subscriber. To call within the hotel is enough to dial the number of the desired room. You can call from the hotel to another country through “9”, after dialing, dialing the country code and the number of the subscriber you need. Such a conversation can be ordered to the dispatcher by typing “0”. A call from the hotel will be quite expensive. An international phone call is 4-5 times cheaper than from a hotel. The most profitable communication in the Emirates is mobile.The leading mobile operator “Ettisalat” all incoming calls, including international, free.
Shops / prices
Shopping has become one of the entertainment in the Emirates. Usually burdensome activity turned into pleasure. Without exaggeration, we can say that Dubai is a paradise for those who like to shop. In it you can find everything or almost everything that is now produced in the world, and at the most favorable prices. Dubai is an open port with very low import duties and low shipping costs – hence low prices. In addition, there are no taxes. Due to this, in Dubai, the goods of the best world firms are much cheaper than in the manufacturing country itself!
Shopping in Dubai comes from all over the world, especially during the shopping festival. The shopping festival attracts amazing discounts (up to 70%!), Extensive entertainment programs and various lotteries. Shopping in Dubai can be carried out in state-of-the-art air-conditioned shopping centers or in the numerous Bar-Oak shops and Deira markets. The main shopping districts of Dubai are Bani Yas Square, Al-Rigt Street, Al-Dyyaf Street, Bar Dubai and Deira markets, Al-Karama district. But before you go to the shops that amaze your imagination with your goods and prices, you should remember a few simple “rules of buyer behavior in Dubai” in order to spend your money profitably and remain satisfied with shopping.
Rule number 1. Do not be in a hurry to get a wallet and pay for the thing you liked before you don’t know the prices in the neighboring stores.
Rule number 2. Bargain with pleasure and a smile on your face! Do not hide that you liked the product. So sellers are more likely to meet your offer to reduce the price. It is clear that both the seller and the buyer participate in one performance, just each of them has their own role. And never get angry: it’s a sign of weakness.
Rule number 3. In the process of bargaining ask: “What is your last price?” What is your last price (How much is finally our way?)? In Dubai, it is a magical formula, like a sim-sim in the fairy tale Ali Baba and 40 Thieves. Only in this case and only then the seller will say how much he really wants to get for his goods. Lower the price he will never lower. Further bargaining does not make sense – you need to either buy or leave. But you should never begin to bargain with this phrase, as we sometimes do at home.
Rule number 4. Remember that you can even bargain in shopping centers, where prices are fixed and price tags hang everywhere. Just ask for a discount, a discount. Most likely, the price will be reduced, and “only for you”. Shops open until 22.00. On Friday, as a rule, they are closed (or closed the first half of the day). The mode of operation changes during Ramadan.
As for the cost of hotel rooms, it should be said that it varies depending on the season (in the summer, prices fall almost twice) and location. Beach hotels in Dubai are distinguished by the highest standards and rates, and for those who want to combine inexpensive vacation on the shores of the Persian Gulf with the possibility of visiting the nearby emirate, hotels in Sharjah and Ajman are the most reasonable option.
Tips in many restaurants are included in the cost of service (“Service charge”, 15%). If the mention of this is not in the menu, then it suffices to leave 10% of the total amount. Tipping is necessary only in case of good service. Porter at the airport or at the hotel, you can leave 5-10 dirham, depending on the amount of luggage. In the taxi tip is not accepted.
In the Emirates, it is not customary to eat standing or on the move, and also to face the person who is eating. Bread is usually broken by hand. Take food, money and things with the right hand. The soles of the feet should not be pointed in any direction. During the handshake one should not look into the eyes of the interlocutor, nor can one hold his other hand in his pocket or swing it intensively in the air (especially with a cigarette). It is considered impolite to refuse the offered coffee. To refuse additional servings of coffee, you should shake with an empty cup or say “shukran”. You can not bypass the worshipers in front. When entering the mosque and the house should be removed shoes. If the owner of the house goes in front of you and goes into the shoes himself, then this prohibition is lifted.
Food and drinks should be given and taken with the right hand. If there are no forks, rinse the water with your right hand and take food with a pinch. Prohibited any gambling. Alcohol is also banned. But for foreigners, indulgences are being made. The only emirate in which the “dry law” operates is Sharjah. Strictly punishable act is considered to be in a public place while intoxicated. It threatens the violator with a large fine or arrest and deportation. In all the emirates, there are only a few shops where foreigners can buy alcohol. Taking out alcohol on the street can be considered by the police as selling it and severely punished. Alcoholic beverages can be purchased at the restaurant or bar at the hotel, but only those living in this hotel, as well as visitors. In Ramadan, one should not eat, drink or smoke, and chew gum on the streets and in public places before sunset. Disrespect for tradition can lead to fines and even imprisonment.
A conversation with an Arab begins with questions about the state of health, about the health of family members. Citizens of this country do not hurry, do not like to take risks. Businessmen are fluent in English, business documentation is compiled in the same language.
The fine for garbage thrown on the street is 500 dirhams, even if you just missed the urn. Excessive attention to the woman (as well as actions that can be considered as such) can lead to imprisonment or a fine of up to 60 thousand dirham (17 thousand dollars). Foul language in a public place or uttering threats to the interlocutor (even rhetorical!) Can end with a prison term of up to 7 years. Drug use is punishable by imprisonment for up to 5 years, and their importation and sale is the death penalty
Photographing government offices, palaces of sheikhs, military facilities and structures is strictly prohibited. You can not take pictures of local women, men should ask permission to take pictures. Remember this during the photo shoot! Clothing must be modest. Women should not wear defiant clothing. In accordance with Sharjah’s law, women should wear clothes covering their arms, neck and knees. Appearance in public places in sports or beach wear is considered extremely indecent. Even on the beach it is forbidden to appear in nude or “topless”. In Sharjah, women are forbidden to be in bathing suits on municipal beaches. Arabs long remember the insults. Vengeance erected in the genus of art. Revenge may follow in a few decades.
Mode of stay and movement: There are no special restrictions on movement in the country.
Although the purity standards of drinking water are observed in the UAE flawlessly, you should not drink water from the tap. Be sure to use protective creams against sunburn and drink more fluids, preferably mineral water or fresh juices. Because of the humidity in the hot months, glasses and lenses of cameras and camcorders mist over when leaving the air-conditioned premises. On the street will not be superfluous headgear, eyes should be protected with dark glasses that do not transmit ultraviolet light. Even under the beach awning, solar radiation, reflected from the surface, is quite high. The most dangerous time to be on the street is from 11.00 to 14.00. Do not forget about the dangers of air conditioners, which usually work at full capacity, and after a long stay in the sun, they easily “provide” a cold. Many local dishes can also cause an unexpected reaction in an unadapted organism.
Do not go to the UAE in the summer, unless, of course, you are going to dive and live in the water. Remember what summer is like in our country and add to this the increased air humidity. From November to April – this is the best time to relax in the Emirates. Living in a hotel of any category, you will not have problems with the rest on the water. As a rule, buses go to the beach in the morning and go first to the municipal beaches (free of charge), then to the paid ones. On well-maintained beaches (for example, Jumeira Beach Park, Al Mamzar Park) the entrance fee is 5 dirhams. The beach is open from 9 pm to sunset. On Wednesday and Sunday entrance is for women only, or women with children
Arabic cuisine is a real source of gastronomic pleasures and delights. Dishes that are typical only to the cuisine of the Middle East, you can not try. These are: kibbe (kibbe), which is made from minced meat, wheat and onions, hommes (hoummos) – sauce made from seasoned Turkish walnut, tabole (tabbouleh) – chopped mint salad, parsley and wheat, sweater (kofta) – baked meat on a spit. We can recommend the best Arabian dish – ozi (ouzi). This is a stuffed fried lamb on a rice dish with all sorts of spices. What is it fragrant delicious! Real jam! In the Emirates, you can see on sale and such a familiar dish as “shawarma” – trimming roast lamb or chicken mixed with salad and wrapped in a pitta bread. We recommend to try the cocktails of ripe, fresh exotic fruits that will be made with you. In some institutions, these cocktails look like real works of art. In a glass with a capacity of 0.5 liters, the layers of juices are not mixed, but gently turn on each other. Alcoholic beverages are served only in hotels and clubs.
Holidays and non-working days:
· January 1 – New Year;
· August 6 – the day of accession to the throne of Sheikh Zayed,
· December 2 – National Day;
as well as religious holidays, the calendar of which is changing:
· Eid Al Fitr – the Muslim holiday of breaking the fast, after the end of Ramadan;
· Eid al-Adha – the Muslim feast of sacrifice;
· New Year on the Muslim calendar;
· The birthday of the Prophet (Milyad en Nabi). Thursday (second half), Friday – days off. In addition to restaurants and cafes, almost all institutions are closed on Friday.
· Ambulance – 999
· Police – 999
· Fire department – 997
· Reference – 180;
· Exact time – 140
· Telegram by telephone – 130