United Arab Emirates sometimes simply called the Emirates. This desert country is situated in Western Asia at the southeast end of the Arabian Peninsula on the Persian Gulf. Three-fourths of the federation’s total land area is under largest Abu Dhabi emirate, which is also the center of its oil industry. Historically there were many individual Arab clans and families which were influenced by Persian culture, as well as, Portugal and the Netherlands who extended their holdings in the region but retreated when British grew their naval power there. In the 19th century emirates started uniting to form the Trucial States. In 1971 United Arab Emirates were formally united with the city of Abu Dhabi serving as the capital.
Inside this comparatively small country you can find a mixed environment of rocky desert, coastal plains and wetlands, and even waterless mountains. Birdwatchers from all over the world enjoy the seashore where they can spot many migratory waterfowl. As do travelers who rest in on of many grand resorts built here, everyday visiting different unspoiled beach.
Modern, technological and highly developed capitals of emirates as geographic and historic crossroad now posses so many different nationalities and ethnic groups. Here you can witness blend of ancient customs and modern technology, insularity together with cosmopolitanism, as well as, want and wealth.
Our first trip to United Arab Emirates was very short, we only visited three out of seven Emirates and stayed just a bit more than a week. We believe that you need more time to experience this country, however, we already had our flight tickets to India. We know that someday we will come back and explore more during another adventure.
What to expect
The currency in United Arab Emirates is UAE dirham. Even if you do not have dirhams, it is considerably easy to get it changed from your currency in any bank you visit. If you use Revolut, you can withdraw money from any ATM in whole country and up until your plan limit for free.
A desert country where climate is subtropical-arid with hot summers and warm winters. On coastal plain you can experience average maximum temperature of 45 °C and above during July and August. While average minimum temperatures of 10 to 14 °C can be experienced in January and February. The average annual rainfall in the coastal area is less than 120 mm. The region is prone to occasional, violent dust storms, which can severely reduce visibility.
The official language in United Arab Emirates is Arabic. However, there was no problem communicating in English, also you can always use translator.
Well we think that the best time is from late autumn to early spring. The weather is perfect for outdoor adventures. And during summer months the place is quite hot with high humidity levels. On top of that, there is not rainy season, which makes weather in the winter very pleasant.
We did not buy local SIM card as our visit was very short, however, it is not hard to find free WiFi in public places.
In some internet sources you will find that tap water is good to drink in bigger cities like Dubai or Abu Dhabi. However, we would recommend consulting with locals if tap water is drinkable in the place you are staying. We did not risk it as out host had a water machine.
Hitchhiking in United Arab Emirates was the not complicated at all. We hitchhiked from one emirate to another without any troubles. However, after we did it, from our lovely host we got to know that begging is punishable by jail and hitchhiking could be associated with it. Thus, we do not recommend doing it unless you have no other choice.
United Arab Emirates has by far some of the largest cities where you can find hotels, resorts or vocation homes. However, here you also have super multicultural society and many of your friends might also be here. This was our case, we stayed with our friend who hosted us for whole 8 days. It was lovely stay and we are glad to use this opportunity to catch up!
However, if you do not have friends here, prices for hotels drop during summer months as heat might become unbearable.