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United Arab Emirates

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES TOURS

For some people, the United Arab Emirates is only made up of the ultra-modern city of Dubai, boasting towering skyscrapers, massive shopping malls and idyllic beach resorts, however, it offers much more than that.

The country is made up of seven separate emirates, most notably, its capital city of Abu Dhabi - an oil-rich haven which has become a melting pot of unique cultures and is a hub for various sport and leisure activities.

Our tours to the United Arab Emirates explore the city of Dubai, where you can enjoy a spectacular Dhow cruise on Dubai Creek, feasting on board while listening to live music and watching mesmerising Tanura dancers.

We'll also explore Dubai's sandy deserts, with dune riding, sunset photography, belly dancing just a few activities that you can experience with us.

TOP United Arab Emirates TRAVEL DEALS & UPCOMING TOURS

Tour Name Tour Type Days Start Date Price

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What type of climate can I expect in the United Arab Emirates?

The United Arab Emirates is primarily hot and dry, with occasional rain sometimes seen from November to February. It gets extremely hot and humid during the summer time. The autumn period, from around October to March, generally sees the most agreeable weather; temperatures range between 15°C and 27°C (63°F and 85°F).

What can I see and do in the United Arab Emirates?

Despite being a small country, the United Arab Emirates has lots to offer in terms of natural phenomena. With both wet and dry habitats, it is a wonderful combination of contrasts. The east coast features some lovely beaches, while the inland oasis city of Al Ain is home to green palms and natural springs. The north of the country features isolated valleys, while in the west you will find some of the planet’s biggest sand dunes.

Besides all this natural splendour, the United Arab Emirates is also best known for being one of the premier commercial and shopping destinations in the world.

What is the official language of the United Arab Emirates?

Although Arabic is the official language of the United Arab Emirates, English is extremely widely-spoken, especially in the main commercial centres such as Dubai, where foreign populations outnumber Arab ones.

Many Emiratis have at least a rudimentary grasp of English, although you will come across people who speak Arabic only, especially in the northern part of the country. Trade, commerce, and tourist activities are generally conducted in English.

What currency is used in the United Arab Emirates?

The dirham is the United Arab Emirates’s currency, officially called the United Arab Emirates dirham. Its truncations are “dhs” (local) and “AED” (international). It comprises both notes and coins. Note values range from 5 AED to 1000 AED. Coins include a one-dirham coin, as well as the fractional unit, which are called “fils” and come in values of 5, 10, 25, and 50. One dirham equals a hundred fils.

Payments can easily be made using cash, travellers’ cheques, and credit cards, which are taken in most places. It is generally easy to find an ATM, most of which accept all major cards.

What type of food can I expect to eat in the United Arab Emirates?

In the major cities of the United Arab Emirates, you will find a selection of food options covering a range of origins and budgets. Fancier, more upmarket restaurants are found in many hotels and malls, while roadside cafes and small restaurants are widespread. These are mostly run by the many immigrants that live in the United Arab Emirates. Common types include Pakistani, Indian, Syrian, Lebanese, and Jordanian eateries, offering a range of traditional dishes.

Many major international restaurant and fast food chains also operate in the United Arab Emirates. As the UAE is so cosmopolitan, it isn’t very common to find traditional Emirati options at restaurants.

TOUR REVIEWS

My contact with Encounters representative was a pleasure, she answered my questions promptly, provided a quotation and changed it quickly when different flights were preferred. Both by e-mail and phone the response was very timely.

Encounters Travel did such a superb job in organizing this tour. I had never heard of them before going on the Maldives Magic tour, however now I will recommend them to friends/family and use them for my future planned trips.
Our tour is what made the trip that much more memorable. Rather than being plopped at a westernized resort, we were able to get a taste of how the locals live, eat and entertain themselves. We stayed in quaint guesthouses on the islands amongst the locals, ate authentic Maldivian cuisine (one day even with a Maldivian family who made us breakfast), and viewed a traditional dance/singing performance which was absolutely delightful. This was a trip of a lifetime that I will never forget.

Conscientious in early communication; knowledgeable, humorous and caring tour guides; an exemplary itinerary that was well organized yet flexible; an overall extraordinary experience. I'd recommend them enthusiastically.

This is our first travel through Encounters Travel and so far the arrangement is working very well. Our travel is not until April 2017 so I am more than hopeful all will continue to run as smoothly as it has so far.

Excellent from the initial planning to every step along the way on the trip! Worry free in every way! Islam, Hussein and Mahmoud were the greatest! Please check out my review on Trip Advisor! FIve stars from this girl!
Excellent

ratings

United Arab Emirates Country Guide

United Arab Emirates Country Guide Flag

Factfile


Time: GMT+4
Dial Code: +971
Area: 83,600 km²
Elevation: The lowest point in the United Arab Emirates is the Persian Gulf at 0m | The highest point in the United Arab Emirates is Jabal Yibir at 1,527m (5,009 ft.)
Population: 9,541,615 (2018)
Capital: Abu Dhabi
Governemnt: Federal presidential, Constitution monarch
Language: Arabic

The United Arab Emirates also referred to as the Emirates, is a country in Western Asia at the southeast end of the Arabian Peninsula on the Persian Gulf. The country is bordered by Oman to the east, Saudi Arabia to the south, Qatar to the west and Iran to the north.

The sovereign absolute monarchy is a federation of seven emirates, encompassing Abu Dhabi (which functions as the capital), Quwain, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Ras al-Khaimah and Umm al-Quwain. A ruler governs each emirate, and one of the rulers is the President of the United Arab Emirates.

The official religion is Islam, and Arabic is the official language of the United Arab Emirates. The oil reserves of the United Arab Emirates are the seventh largest in the world while its natural gas reserves are the world's 17th largest. Dubai is the most populous city and the nation is a regional and middle power.

The climate in the United Arab Emirates is subtropical-arid with blisteringly hot summers and warm winters. The temperatures in the Al Hajar Mountains are much lower given the increased elevation. In the summer months, a humid southeastern wind known as Sharqi ('Easterner'), results in the coastal region temperatures being unpleasant.

The culture of the Emirati is based on Arabian culture and has been influenced by the cultures of East Africa, Indian and Persia. The United Arab Emirates has the second largest economy in GCC (after Saudi Arabia), and is extremely reliant on oil. Dubai is the top tourism destination in the Middle East.

Highlights

  • Al Wathba Race Track – this track is popular for camel racing, which is part of the Middle Eastern culture.
  • Dubai – a city and emirate known for modern architecture, lavish hotels and luxury shopping.
  • Abu Dhabi – the capital, located off the mainland on an island in the Persian Gulf.
  • Jebel Jais – the tallest mountain in the United Arab Emirates, situated in Musandam Governorate, Oman.
  • Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque – the largest mosque in the country, and a significant place for worship and daily prayers.
  • Burj Al Arab – a luxury hotel, and the third tallest hotel in the world on an artificial island.
  • IMG World's Adventures – the world's largest indoor theme park, with more than 20 rides and attractions.
  • Burj Khalifa – a palatial beachfront hotel with domed gatehouses, flying ramps and a private beach

Tips

  • Refrain from showing PDA in public, as this frowned upon in a conservative country.
  • Tipping is not expected, but it’s common practice, and most restaurants add a service charge.
  • Arabs and expats dine late, from about 10pm onwards, and restaurants stay open late.
  • Alcohol is only served in licensed places, and it’s illegal to be inebriated in public.
  • Electronic cigarettes are illegal in the United Arab Emirates and likely to be confiscated at the border.
  • During Ramadan, you cannot eat, drink or smoke in public between sunrise and sunset.
  • Never take a photograph of or with a stranger without asking permission.
  • During summer, it is not advised to go out in the extreme heat.

Shoestring United Arab Emirates TOURS

TAILOR-MADE United Arab Emirates TOURS

Map

Our tailor-made tours seek to create a personalised experience – one that is completely exclusive to you. By taking all your interests and requests into consideration, we design an itinerary that ticks off your specific boxes. If you are after adventurous exploration, cultural immersion, a relaxing escape or a balanced blend of everything, we can make it happen.

A highlight of our tailor-made tours is that the itinerary is flexible and incorporates plenty of free time – so you can do some exploring on your own. Our local, friendly guides, experts in their country’s history and culture, will be happy to adjust the activities or your schedule as you travel.

If you are a group of friends, a large family or a company, our tailor-made tours are an ideal, stress-free option. You can even select your own hotels or make use of our recommended accommodation. We have a varied selection of sample holiday itineraries to choose from, either as they stand or as a base for inspiration.

VIDEO FEATURE

Our video features aim to bring our adventure tours to life in a way that no photo can, giving you a great taste of the destination.

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