We were fortunate to come and live and work in UAE as expats. It is a country that is not usually on anyone’s bucket list to travel to, but we have found it to be a fascinating place.
It allowed us to explore the Middle East as locals and foreigners and welcomed us with respect for all religions and people. UAE upholds traditions, embraces the modern, multicultural society and befriends people from many nations.
Emirati culture is a mix of Arabian, Islamic, and Persian cultures, with influences from East Africa and the Indian Subcontinent.
With an exceptional quality of life comprising modern, highly developed infrastructure and excellent private schools, UAE is consistently chosen by expats as a country to reside in.
And let us not forget the relentless sunshine, the famous vast golden dunes that roll on for miles, and some of the grandest, opulent building projects of modern times that make you proud and privileged.
The Middle East is a natural land bridge connecting Asia, Africa, and Europe. The core consists of the numerous countries of Southwest Asia and Egypt and Libya African nations. It can include Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco in the region.
THE BEST TIME TO VISIT
Mid-October and the end of February is the best time to visit UAE.
In contrast, the weather is sweltering in September, March or April, ideal for a beach vacation or staycation at a hotel with good air conditioning and luxurious pools.
The UAE has a desert climate, and the hottest months are from June to September, causing extremely hot daytime.
Humidity from the Persian Gulf can make the heat unbearable and reach 50 degrees Celsius!
The winters are milder from October to March, where a light jacket is usually required.
WHAT TO EXPECT
The majority of the countries in the Middle East are Muslim and have strict rules that men and women have to follow. Make sure you dress conservatively to respect the local people and read up on each country’s regulations so you don’t accidentally break any laws.
Kissing is forbidden in public places and is considered highly offensive, as is holding hands. Do not drink in public, only at bars and clubs and during Ramadan (a holy month of fasting and prayer for Muslims); eating in public is unlawful and disrespectful.
The official language is Arabic. However, English is widely spoken, including Persian, Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, and Chinese.
The official currency is the Dirham (AED), but the US dollar is also accepted in many places.
Banks & ATMs:
The leading banks in UAE are First Abu Dhabi Bank, Emirates NBD and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), to name a few. ATMs are widely available in the cities.
Plugs and Sockets:
The UAE uses the Type G style plug with three rectangular pins. The standard voltage is 230v and 50Hz frequency.
The UAE is considered very safe, and all petty theft crimes are low due to the high punishments imposed.