United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates is a federation of seven emirates on the eastern side of the Arabian peninsula, at the entrance to the Persian Gulf. It has coastlines on the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf, with Saudi Arabia to the west and southwest, and Oman to the southeast and also on the eastern tip of the Musandam Peninsula as well as an Omani enclave within its borders. It is a country rich in history and culture and an easy starting point for travels in the Middle East. Airline Travel Tips
Regions:The seven emirates ( imarat , singular – imarah ) that make up the UAE are: Abu Dhabi ( Abu Zaby ), Ajman, Fujairah ( Al Fujayrah ), Sharjah ( Ash Shariqah ), Dubai ( Dubayy ), Ra’s al Khaymah, Umm al Quwain. The largest of these is Abu Dhabi, while probably the most well known is Dubai.
Culture: The United Arab Emirates is a federation of seven emirates, and as a result the rulers-or Sheikhs (pronounced: “shake”)–of each emirate can radically affect the way of life in his respective Emirate. The ruling sheikhs of Ajman and Sharjah are more conservative, thus the rules are more strict concerning religion, alcohol, drugs and general living conditions.
Climate:The country is extraordinarily dry, getting only a few days of rain a year. The weather from late October through mid-March is quite pleasant, with high temperatures ranging from the upper-20s C (mid-80s F) to lows in the mid-teens C (low 60s F). It is almost always sunny. In the summer, the temperatures soar — it is widely suspected that the officially reported temperatures are “tweaked” to cut off the true summer highs, which can reach 50 C, or around 120 F, or higher!
People: The population is incredibly diverse. Only some 20% of the population of the Emirates is from the Emirates; the rest come from the Subcontinent-India, Pakistan, or Bangladesh (some 50%); other parts of Asia, particularly the Philippines, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka (another perhaps 15%); and “Western” countries (UK, Europe, Australia, USA, South Africa)(5-6%), with the remainder from everywhere else.
Citizens of most industrialized countries as well as all Gulf Cooperation Council countries will received a 60-day visa on arrival in the United Arab Emirates. The precise list:
Australia, Andorra, Austria, Brunei, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom (including HK/China overseas passports), United States of America and the Vatican.