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United Arab Emirates Travel Advice

United Arab Emirates Travel Advice

Currency:


UAE Dirham (AED) = 100 fils. Notes are in denominations of AED1,000, 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of AED1, and 50, 25, 10 and 5 fils.

Currency Exchange:

Most hotels will handle the exchange of foreign currency as well as many major banks. Many of the large shopping malls have bureaux de change.

Credit/Debit Cards and ATMs:

American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted. ATMs are found across the UAE, mostly in the major cities of Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Custom regulation:

Each non-muslim adult can bring in four items of alcohol , eg four bottles of wine, or four bottles of spirits, or four cases of beer (regardless of alcohol content).

The UAE takes an infamously strict line on medicines, with many common drugs, notably anything with containing codeine, diazepam (Valium) or dextromethorphan (Robitussin) being banned unless you have a notarized and authenticated doctor's prescription. Visitors breaking the rules, even inadvertently, have found themselves deported or jailed.

Duty Free:

400 cigarettes and cigars up to AED3,000 in value (for personal use) and 2kg of tobacco.
4L of spirits or 24 cans of beer (non-Muslims over 18 years only).
A reasonable amount of perfume for personal use.

Note: It is prohibited to bring alcohol into Sharjah and this is usually not allowed if entering the UAE by land.

Prohibitive imports:

Firearms and dangerous weapons, religious propaganda, unstrung pearls except for personal use, raw seafood (only when visiting Dubai and/or Sharjah), fruit and vegetables from cholera-infected areas.

Museums:

Al Ain Museum

Run by the Department of Antiquities and Tourism It has two sections, archaeological and ethnographical.

The Dubai Museum

Museum housed in Al-Fahidi Fort it contains local antiquities along with artefacts from many African and Asian countries which traded with the Emirates.

Health:

The United Arab Emirates has one of the finest health care systems in the Middle East.

General Protaction:
  • Vaccinations: No special immunizations are required for visitors to the UAE, however a certificate is required for cholera and yellow fever if arriving from an affected area.
  • Immunization against polio and Hepatitis A is sometimes advised.
  • Avoid mosquito, sandfly and tick bites as it may cause diseases like Cutaneous Leishmaniasis and tick-borne typhus.
  • Food and Water: Tap water is desalinated and safe for drinking, but drinking bottled mineral water is good for visitors.
  • Milk is generally unpasteurised and should be boiled. Eat well-cooked meat and fish, while salads should be washed well before serving.
  • Sunburn: The sun can be fierce throughout the year so take precautions against heat exhaustion and sunstroke. Use sunglasses, hats and creams.
What to wear:

You will be most comfortable if you wear light coloured clothing made of natural fibres, since they allow your skin to breath. The breathability of your clothes is an important consideration, since the hot weather begins in April and continues to November. Even in the "cold" months, a lightweight jacket or a heavy sweater will probably sufficient for outerwear. An umbrella can be useful both to protect from the heavy occasional winter rain and to shield you from the sun in summer.

A hat and good sunglasses are necessary. Both can be purchased locally, but bring them with you if possible so that you will have them from the first day.

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