Useful information on the United Arab Emirates, including all the things to know before leaving for a trip or vacation in this state of Southwest Asia.
United Arab Emirates in a nutshell
- Capital: Abu Dhabi
- Area in sq km: 83,600
- Population: 4,380,439 (2007)
- Muslim religion
State of Southwest Asia, the United Arab Emirates are located in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula.
The state faces the Persian Gulf and includes the seven emirates of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al Qaiwain, Ras al Khaimah and Fujayrah.
It borders on Saudi Arabia and Oman.
The territory of the country is occupied for the most part by a desert lowland formed by sand, alternating along the coast with salt flats.
Along the border with Oman the territory rises with the Al-Hajar Mountains reaching 1000 meters above sea level.
The desert soil is not suitable for cultivation, except for a very small part corresponding to less than 3% of the total area.
The water for domestic use comes almost entirely from desalination plants.
The climate of the United Arab Emirates is tropical desert type, with extremely low rainfall.
The few rains are concentrated in the winter and early spring months.
In summer the temperatures are very high; on the coast a high humidity rate determines a sultry climate, while in the hinterland a torrid hot climate dominates.Recommended readings
- United Arab Emirates: useful information
- Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates): what to do and see in the capital
- Middle East: meaning, list of states
- Persian Gulf: what are the countries
- Dubai (United Arab Emirates): what to see
In winter the temperatures are milder and more pleasant.
The indigenous population composed mainly of Arabs corresponds to about 20% of the total, the remainder comes from other states of southern Asia and the west, who arrived in the country following the significant economic growth due to the discovery of oil.
In the United Arab Emirates, the time difference is 3 hours ahead of Italy, (2 hours ahead when daylight saving time is in effect in Italy).
The official language of the United Arab Emirates is Arabic. English is spoken everywhere and is the commercial language.
The great resources of the United Arab Emirates are oil and natural gas, from which proceeds correspond to the majority of government revenues.
Abu Dhabi is the largest of the emirates and the first oil producer, ca. 90% of the reserves, followed by Dubai and to a much lower extent by Sharjah and Ras al-Khaimah.
Dubai is the second emirate of the country and also the most important city of the same emirate, its wealth derives only in part from the oil industry, the main income comes from tourism and from the air of Jebel Ali, the port city located 35 km south-west of Dubai where important and impressive construction works were built.
When to go
The best time of year to visit the United Arab Emirates is from November to April. It is very hot during the summer months.
To enter the United Arab Emirates you need a passport with a residual validity of at least 6 months from the moment you enter the country.
EU citizens do not need an entry visa for stays of less than 60 days.
Upon arrival, guests are asked to fill in a form valid for 30 days, possibly renewable.
- The international code to call from Italy to the United Arab Emirates is: 00971
- The international code to call from the United Arab Emirates to Italy is: 0039
It is possible to find internet services and call using the international roaming service for GSM phones provided by Italian operators.
The electric current is 220 V 50 Hz. An adapter for power outlets is recommended.
The official currency of the United Arab Emirates is the Dirham. The main credit cards are commonly accepted.
How to get
The airline of the Emirate of Dubai, Emirates Airlines, offers direct flights departing from the airports of Rome Fiumicino, Milan Malpensa and Marco Polo in Venice to Dubai international airport.
The federal flag carrier Etihad Airways makes direct connections between Milan Malpensa airport and the airport of the capital Abu Dhabi.
From Italy, other airlines connect Italy to the United Arab Emirates with an intermediate stop: British Airways, Klm, Turkish Airlines, Qatar, Air France, Swiss Airlines.
No mandatory vaccinations are required to enter the country. In the UAE there is a risk of hepatitis A and typhoid.
Hepatitis B is endemic.
Prevention with vaccinations are to be evaluated with the doctor on a case-by-case basis.It is recommended to eat only cooked food, personally peeled fruit, drink sealed drinks without adding ice.
Before departure, it is advisable to take out health insurance that covers, in case of need, medical expenses and a possible repatriation.
The United Arab Emirates was born in 1971, when seven sultanates joined on the occasion of the British army's abandonment of the Persian Gulf.
Since then these small states have experienced an unceasing development also from the tourist point of view with the enhancement of natural landscape resources and local traditions.
These territories offer varied landscapes, composed of mountains, deserts, oases and beaches along the coasts.
Among the most widespread traditions worthy of mention are the camel races in the desert, the markets held by the Bedouins and the sale of goods sold carriage free.
In the United Arab Emirates there are excellent tourist infrastructures, although notoriously an exclusive destination for money tourists, there is no shortage of accommodation available to everyone.