Travelling from the UK to the United Arab Emirates
If you’re embarking on your first visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), you’re highly likely to be concerned about the cultural, lifestyle and travel difficulties you could face. You’ve probably read or heard about some of the newspaper “horror” stories regarding UK travellers arrested and detained in Abu Dhabi or Dubai for charges related to prescription drugs or allegedly in possession of small amounts of cannabis, and these stories could fuel some fears about travel to the Emirates.
One thing you have to keep in mind is that the United Arab Emirates has emerged as a major, major tourist destination in recent years and the World Travel & Tourism Council anticipated almost 15 million international tourist arrivals in the year 2015, which is anticipated to increase to almost 40 million by the year 2025. Browse our travel tips for visiting the United Arab Emirates to learn more about this fascinating travel destination and its federation of seven totally different emirates, situated at the entry to the Persian Gulf.
You won’t need a visa to travel to the Emirates, as British citizens can obtain a 30-day visa on arrival, you’ll find more information about travelling on the UK Government website. If it should come to questions from UAE customs officials about any prescription medications you may be taking, the Foreign Office do advise you take a letter from your GP confirming your requirement for these drugs. All being well, you’ll make it into the UAE safely, and presumably arrive in Dubai, the gateway to the Emirates for most tourists.
Don’t be surprised at the incredible wealth and ostentatious appearance of Dubai. It’s truly what it’s all about. You’ll be treated to the most superb service, in every outlet you visit! Just keep in mind that although Dubai has a cosmopolitan appearance and is home to expats from almost every corner of the globe, the Muslim law is still paramount. The modern, ultra-chic malls of Dubai offer every possible purchasing opportunity, but don’t neglect to cover shoulders and arms when visiting. As long as you’re constantly aware of the cultural differences within Muslim countries, your trip to the UAE could be one of the most wonderful visits in your life. Three simple rules to bear in mind at all times should ensure total enjoyment throughout your trip:
1. Don’t go out in public if you’ve drunk too much alcohol;
2. Don’t make public displays of affection towards a partner, or even friends;
3. Check local customs and rules regarding clothing when visiting any attraction in the United Arab Emirates, particularly mosques and places with religious significance.
Although drinking alcohol isn’t allowed for Muslims, you can obtain a license to prove you’re a Western visitor and alcohol is not forbidden. This makes it easy to drink in bars, clubs and hotels where drink is sold across the counter and allows you to buy drinks in all the supermarkets that stock different types of alcohol. You don’t strictly need a license to drink, but it may make it easier for you as you travel around Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the United Emirates.