India and the UAE enjoy strong cultural and trade relations. The largest expat population in the UAE is the Indian community, which makes up 35% of the country's 10 million residents. Having been to the United Arab Emirtes plenty of times for Business & Holiday, I thought I would share some of my experiences about eh Must go places and some insider's travel tips to enjoy this little gem in the Middle east
The United Arab Emirates (or UAE) has quickly begun to top many bucket lists. The Main reason is the geocentric location & it is the mother of hubs for all major flights throughout the world. The country consists of seven independent city-states, which are Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras al Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al Quwain. We don't think other than Dubai & Abu Dhabi because of the popularity
Despite all the odds, the UAE has taken the appropriate actions, which has helped to make this oil-rich desert nation popular among tourists. There is undoubtedly more to the UAE than what we see in the media.
Things to Know before you Go
Visa: Prior Tourist Visa has to be arranged for Indian passport Holders. This kind of visa only permits you to enter the country once and stay there for a total of 30 days; it does not permit subsequent entries. Indian citizens can apply online for a Dubai visa if they wish to travel to the United Arab Emirates.
Currency: The local currency is Emirati Dirham. 1 AED is equivalent to about 22 Indian rupees.
Climate & Seasons:
The greatest time to visit the UAE is between November and Early March because it offers mild weather and is also the busiest travel period. If you decide to be there for Christmas & new year, plan well ahead. The United Arab Emirates' summer months, from April to October is the time to avoid. These are the best months to visit the UAE only if you enjoy shopping or want to go for water activities.
The United Arab Emirates is an absolute federal monarchy in Western Asia that shares maritime borders with Qatar and Iran in addition to land borders with Oman and Saudi Arabia. Seven emirates make up the legally recognised United Arab Emirates (UAE), including Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ajman, Fujairah, Sharjah, Umm al-Quwain, and Ras al-Khaimah. More than 9 million people call it home. Only about 1.5 million of them are actually Emirati, though. The remainder of them are foreigners.
Abu Dhabi serves as the UAE's capital. Dubai is the biggest city, nevertheless. Both cities have a reputation for having skyscrapers and futuristic settings.
Travelling around UAE:
Distances in the UAE are relatively short. The roads are generally in excellent condition. Best option is to rent a car, prices are relatively cheap, including the fuel.
Most cities' public transit is still basic. Dubai is constructing substantial metro, monorail, and tram networks and has recently made significant investments in the regional bus network. There isn't much public transit available in the other emirates.
In the cities of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah, taxis are widely available. They are relatively cheap in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.
Travel Tips, Cost, Do's & Dont's
UAE is cheap in terms of Food, Accommodation, Travelling around, drink!!! but you can also extend your budget from Backing to Luxury options. It is home to some of the expensive hotels and luxury resorts.
Around 80 AED (1700 INR) is spent every night for a bed in a dorm room with 6–8 other people. Expect to pay roughly 175 AED (3750 INR) per night for a private room with an Ensuite. Dubai & Sharjah are so close you can travel between them in less than 20~30 mins. The Hotels in Sharjah are relatively cheap. There are lots of Airbnb options in Dubai. A private room averages about 165 AED per night, while entire homes and apartments start at 350 AED.
Hummus, shawarma, shish tawook (grilled kebabs), and knafeh are well-liked foods in Dubai . A meal out costs approximately 65 AED, A combo meal at a fast-food restaurant like McDonald's should cost roughly 30 AED. There are plenty of Kerala restaurants & takeaways which are the most economical ones I found.
Drinking is pricey outside of happy hours and all-you-can-eat brunches, so if you're on a tight budget, I recommend cutting back on your drinking during your visit.
Tours & Activities:
The beach is one of the key attractions for tourists, in addition to shopping. For individuals from less arid climates, the waters of the UAE are still wonderfully warm, clean, and lovely. Ski Dubai launched in the Dubai Emirates Mall, is the third-largest indoor ski slope in the world. Home to the world tallest building, world’s longest zipline, the Warner Brothers amusement park, Ferrari World and much more to see and explore
Water: Do get bottled water and is inexpensive.
Wifi & Mobile data: Dubai would be the one location in the world where visitors may travel without a local SIM card. There is fast, reliable Wi-Fi available literally everywhere. In reality, The Dubai Mall asserts to boast the FASTEST PUBLIC WIFI IN THE WORLD. The local sim cards/traveller sim are not cheap. 2 GB data will cost you 1000 INR. But I would recommend to buy this in case of emergency.
Credit Cards and ATMs: Most restaurant and retailers in the big and small cities will accept credit cards as payment. If you need to draw cash, you can find ATM’s almost everywhere; bank lobbies, on the streets, shopping malls, convenience stores and petrol stations
What to Wear: The dress code in United Arab Emirates is fairly liberal and contemporary. Once you arrive in the nation, there are no specific dress codes given to you. Always dress modestly by covering your upper body, your shoulders, and your knees with shorts or a skirt. Reiterating that they are quite modern, Emirati people will only really request that you cover yourself when you are in a sacred space.
Although it goes without saying that common sense must be used, the United Arab Emirates has a very low crime rate. Theft of your belongings and drug use provide the greatest threats. You can prevent 90% of crime by keeping an eye on your valuables, avoiding any contact with narcotics, and abstaining from morally offensive acts towards the local laws/traditions. The vast majority of crimes encountered by visitors fall into those three categories. Another one to watch out is the road accidents.