United Arab Emirates: Introduction
About United Arab Emirates
Clustered along the northern edge of the Arabian Peninsula, the United Arab Emirates is a federation of seven emirates, comprising Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Fujairah, Ajman, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Quwain. A fascinating land, where traditional culture meets western sophistication, the UAE ranks among the world's fastest-growing, safest and most welcoming destinations. Exhilarating desert scenery abounds throughout, from wadis to huge sand dunes, but you’ll also encounter unbelievably lush oases, rugged mountains and white sandy beaches with great snorkelling potential, as well as coastal cities whose futuristic skylines hold some of the world’s best hotels and shopping complexes.
Capital: Abu Dhabi
Area: 83,600 square kilometres (just over one third of the UK)
Population: 4 million (one fifteenth of the UK)
Religions: 57% Muslim (44% Sunnis, 10% Shias, 3% Ibadi), Christian (24% Roman Catholics, 6% Protestants), 11% Hindu, 1.5% Baha’i
Languages: Arabic is the national language, though English, Hindi and Urdu are all widely spoken
Time: +4 hours (GMT)
When to Go
The best time to travel to the UAE is between October and May, with daytime temperatures in November, December, January and February reaching about 25º. The temperatures reach the low 30s in March and April, and the high 30s in May and October. June to September can be particularly hot, with temperatures soaring to the high 40s.
The UAE is served from the UK by the internationally acclaimed Emirates Airline, along with British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and the UAE’s national carrier, Etihad Airways. Both Emirates and Etihad offer convenient onward flights to many destinations in Asia, Australasia and Africa, along with other countries in the Middle East.
Private Transfers and Sightseeing
Our transfers in the UAE are based on private chauffeur-driven vehicles, with a representative to meet you on arrival at the airport. Sightseeing and excursions are in a chauffeur-driven vehicle (a shared 4x4 is used for desert safaris).
There are no internal flights, but regional flights link the UAE’s major airports to neighbouring states.
The UAE has a good network of internal roads. When going off the beaten track the roads can be a lot rougher.