Visitor Essentials

CURRENCY

The local currency of Abu Dhabi is the Dirham (AED or Dhs). The Dirham is pegged against the US $ (US $ 1: AED 3.6725).

If you are carrying cash of more than Dhs 40,000 or its equivalent in foreign currency, you must declare it to airport customs control on entry.

MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Diners Club are all widely accepted in Abu Dhabi, as are travellers’ cheques. Visitors are advised to carry travellers’ cheques in US Dollar, UK Pounds Sterling or Euros.

WEATHER

Abu Dhabi is renowned for its sunny blue skies and high temperatures, which can be expected most of the year. Rainfall is rare, mainly occurring in winter months and averaging 12cms per year in most of the emirate. Temperatures can range from around 13C during the winter to around 42C in the summer. The most popular time for visitors is in the cooler months; November to April, when temperatures are around 24C during the day and 13C at night.

TIME DIFFERENCE

GMT + 4 hours

VISAS

Citizens of the below countries do not need a visa to enter Abu Dhabi as a tourist. Entry for these citizens is free of charge.

United Kingdom, United States, France, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Finland, Spain, Monaco, Vatican, Iceland, Andorra, San Marino, Liechtenstein, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and holders of Hong Kong SAE passports.

Citizens of other countries require a visa and a sponsor for their visit. Valid sponsors may include hotels and tourism companies. Please check with your local UAE Embassy before purchasing flights.

Embassies and consulates are generally open from 8.45 a.m-1.30 p.m. They are closed on Fridays; many also close on Saturdays. For more information visit:www.uaeinteract.com/travel/embassies.asp

DRESS CODE

Abu Dhabi is a place full of tradition and culture. Dress is important and visitors should respect Emirati culture and values and dress modestly, even in the hotter months. Beach clothing and swim wear should be restricted to within hotel grounds or Municipality-run public beaches. Shoulders and knees should be covered by women, especially in public places such as malls and hospitals. The majority of Emiratis wear traditional thobes and dishdashas.

BUSINESS HOURS & PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

The weekend in Abu Dhabi falls on Friday and Saturday. The normal hours for government offices are from 8.00am to 2.30pm, with most private companies working an 8.00am to 6.00pm day.

HEALTH

It is recommended to have health insurance before visiting Abu Dhabi, as the free public health system is only available for Emirati nationals (excluding cases of emergency). Health care facilities are in line with international standards in Abu Dhabi and most have English speaking staff.

WATER AND ELECTRICITY

The electricity supply in Abu Dhabi is 220/240 volts at 50 Hz. British style square, three pin sockets are standard. Most hotels can supply adapters but visitors should bring one just in case.

Tap water is perfectly safe to drink in Abu Dhabi, but if you prefer the taste of bottled water, locally bottled mineral water is readily available in supermarkets and grocery stores everywhere.