United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates Destinations
United Arab Emirates Overview
As one of the world’s fastest growing tourist destinations, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has all the ingredients for an unforgettable honeymoon: sun, sand, sea, sports, supreme shopping, luxurious hotels and restaurants, captivating cultures and welcoming people. It is easy to see why it is a popular destination for honeymooners.
A getaway to the UAE offers a diverse mosaic of seven territories, each with its own character and allure. Dubai, the most well known, offers iconic skyscrapers, breathtaking islands, large malls and even indoor ski slopes. Beyond the glitter of Dubai, honeymooners will find romantic delights that offer unforgettable experiences. Abu Dhabi, set on islands in the dazzling Persian Gulf is the country’s capital and becoming not only a modern playground, but also the cultural hub. Sharjah offers the country’s best museums, while quaint Ajman and Umm Al Quwain provide glimpses of life in the pre-oil days. Head across the Hajar Mountains to Fujairaj for the best swimming and diving in the clear waters of the Gulf of Oman. For romantic nights, take a visit to Liwa Desert where the limitless landscapes teems with Middle Eastern promise and the nights are lit by canopies of stars.
Sultans and sheiks once ruled shimmering palaces, which are now exclusive resorts that exude romance, mixing the finery of the old world with the new. Accommodation in the UAE is of the highest standard. Most of the world’s top hotel chains run five-star hotels in all seven emirates and locally based companies operate luxurious and popular resorts. Several of these hotels are terrific examples of modern architecture at its finest, with exceptional decor and amenities throughout. Most waterfront hotels have excellent beaches and extensive water-sport facilities. If you are looking for budget-friendly alternatives, you can find wonderful hotel options that also offer plush accommodations.
Amidst a stunning backdrop of towering skyscrapers, ultra modern resorts, striking islands and bustling shopping malls, the UAE offers a selection of romantic rendezvous. There are fascinating nature trails, swanky restaurants, lavish hotels and an array of Arabian specials. Imagine a honeymoon spent strolling the waterfront hand-in-hand in Abu Dhabi, visiting museum, galleries and monuments to learn more about the culture, perusing the boutiques of Dubai, or taking a desert safari by camel. Marvel at the stunning Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, one of the largest mosques in the world with its eighty-two marble domes. Or spend a day at your resort where a private beach cabana can be reserved for a romantic dinner, followed by hookah for two. With a wide coastline and sandy seashores, beach activities range from powerboat races to sand skiing to scuba diving. And the shopping is a great delight in this country! Don’t forget to buy souvenirs for your family back home.
The UAE is a truly luxurious destination with countless spans of gold coastlines, miles and miles of sand dunes. The eternal sun, endless white sand and turquoise seas have helped attract lovebirds for many years, but it is the UAE’s unbeatable shopping, first-class hotels, superb restaurants, intriguing culture, and welcoming people that lure visitors back time and time again.
- DINNER UP ABOVE: You’ll fall in love with the view when dining on the 122nd floor of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. If the dinner doesn’t take your breath away, the spell binding views of Dubai will.
- SADDLE UP: The UAE is known for their royal sporty extravagances, which includes their love for horses and camels. Enjoy an easy afternoon on the back of an Arabian horse or head to the desert for a camel back ride.
- DESERT TOURS: For those adventure-seeking honeymooners, head to the desert. Yes, the desert. Adventure desert safari tours allows honeymoons to have a hearty day of escapades that starts with surfing the sands and ends with an evening bonfire, traditional Arabic cuisine and belly dancing! It is a date like no other.
- LOVE IS IN THE AIR: Sail through the skies on a hot air balloon ride, witnessing a stunning sunrise with the majestic desert as the backdrop. When you return home, photos just won't do the experience justice.
- CRUISE THE CREEK: Spend an intimate evening cruising along the scenic views of the Creek in the warm settings of ‘The Bateaux’. This lavish floating restaurant offers a multi-cuisine menu – a delectable treat honeymooners will not want to miss.
Tips and Advice
- CAPITAL: Abu Dhabi
- AREA CODE: +971
- LANGUAGE: Both English and Arabic are the most widely spoken languages in the UAE, though because of its diverse population, travelers may also hear Urdu, Hindi and Pashtu.
- TIME ZONE: GMT + four hours
- CURRENCY: The dirham
- ELECTRICITY: 220 volts. Sockets suitable for three-pin plugs are the norm.
- GETTING THERE: The UAE has three major national airlines with an extensive network of local, regional and international flights: Etihad Airways, based in Abu Dhabi, Emirates Air, based in Dubai, and Air Arabia, based in Sharjah. Direct services are available from the United States and many other locations. In addition, most of the major global airlines fly to and from the UAE. Nonstop flights from the United States range from 12 to 16 hours.
- GETTING AROUND: Most tourists visiting use the ubiquitous and inexpensive taxis for sightseeing and shopping, and local tour companies for more extended trips. The Metro in Dubai is also an excellent way of getting around that city. However, cars and four-wheel drives are readily available for hire, the road network is excellent and there are intriguing places to visit far from the cosmopolitan cities.
HELPFUL HONEYMOON HINTS:
- BEST TIME TO VISIT: October through April.
- WEATHER: The UAE is warm and sunny in winter and hot and humid during the summer months. Winter daytime temperatures average 79 degrees, although nights can get relatively cool, with temperatures between 53 degrees to 60 degrees on the coast, and less than 41 degrees in the desert or mountains. Summer temperatures linger around 110 degrees, but can get higher inland. Be aware of the humidity, which can touch over 90 percent in summer in the coastal areas. Rainfall is sparse and intermittent. It tends to rain during the winter months, usually in February or March. These winter rains take the form of short sharp bursts, and summer can see the occasional thunderstorm.
- ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: U.S. citizens with a U.S. passport valid for more than six months do not need to obtain a visa prior to entry to the UAE if the duration of their visit will be lass than a month. This includes U.S. citizens with visas or entry stamps from other countries in their passports.
- MONEY: Currency exchange offices such as UAE Exchange, Al Rostamani or Travelex sometimes offer better rates than banks. Not all accept travelers’ checks. ATMs can be found all over the country - at banks, shopping malls, and some supermarkets and big hotels. Major credit cards are widely accepted. Debit cards less so.
- CULTURE: Middle Eastern society is generally considered both more formal and more traditional than Western society. Travelers should be aware of the different rules of etiquette.
- CLOTHING: Respect for local culture and customs is highly desirable: bikinis, swimsuits, shorts and revealing tops should be confined to beach resorts. Men should not be bare-chested away from the beach and women are advised not to wear short skirts and to keep their shoulders covered. Note that in Sharjah women are prohibited from wearing swimsuits on public beaches.
- FOOD: Some tips when eating: Do not eat with you left hand, which is considered unclean. It is considered polite to leave a bit of food on one’s plate. Do no ask for pork or pork products as Muslim traditions frowns on consuming pork. Arab hosts will most often offer tea or coffee. A gracious guest will accept this gesture. Observant Muslims do not drink alcohol or smoke. In the UAE, alcohol is served in most hotels but may not be available in local restaurants. If alcohol is not offered, it is better not to request it.
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