United Arab Emirates Travel Information
The Emirates has decided to stop all passenger air
traffic in and out of the country for two weeks. Neither
transit will be allowed. The decision comes into force
on Wednesday 25 March. The measure will be reassessed in
two weeks. For more information about coronavirus and
entry, see the section Health.
Traveling in the FAE is considered relatively safe.
There is little crime and theft, but travelers should
nevertheless be cautious, take good care of passports
and valuables, and use safes whenever they can.
As a result of recent events in Iraq (January 2020),
there is a tense situation throughout the region.
Norwegians traveling in the United Arab Emirates should
be vigilant, stay abreast of media developments and
avoid public gatherings. All Norwegians are also
encouraged to enter and update information on their
travel and stay in the United Arab Emirates on the
website (about travel registration) listed below.
FAE authorities take security issues very seriously.
The security measures have been strengthened, partly as
a result of the regional situation. The FAE participates
in the US-led coalition against the terrorist group Isil,
and is involved in the conflict in Yemen. This makes the
FAE a potential terrorist target for Islamist
extremists, and threats to the FAE have been published
on Islamist websites.
The road standard in FAE is good, but high speed and
reckless driving style lead to many traffic accidents.
It is recommended to drive defensively and pay close
attention when traveling in traffic. Many motorists do
not pay attention to pedestrians.
The taxi industry is closely monitored and considered
safe. Make sure the tachometer is turned on.
For desert excursions, several cars with four-wheel
drive should run together. It is important to bring the
necessary equipment, including water, food, maps, mobile
phone and shovel. Travel plans should be shared with
family or friends before departure.
The probability of major natural disasters such as
earthquakes, floods and monsoon rains is small.
- Countryaah: Abu Dhabi is the capital
of United Arab Emirates. Check to find information of population, geography, history,
and economy about the capital city.
Sandstorms and fog occur, and can result in greatly
reduced visibility and dangerous traffic situations.
Because of. a poorly developed drainage system can cause
even smaller rainfalls to cause flooding in the larger
cities, especially filling up tunnels. You should avoid
driving in such conditions and exercise great caution if
you are still on the roads. Exploration of wadier by car
should be avoided after rainfall.
Extra caution should be exercised when fishing and
boating in the border areas near Iran. This is
especially true in the waters around the disputed Abu
Mousa and Tunb Islands, which are controlled by Iran.
Finnish, German and French tourists who have lost their
way into these waters have been arrested by the Iranian
Coast Guard. Some have been sitting in Iranian prisons
Anyone who travels is himself responsible for
familiarizing himself with the current rules of entry
into the FAE, and for ensuring that his own travel
documents are valid for entry. Please note that entry
rules may change at short notice. The Norwegian Foreign
Service is not responsible for any consequences if the
FAE authorities change the rules mentioned below:
Norwegian citizens must have an ordinary passport
with at least six months validity upon entry into the
FAE. It is not necessary to apply for a visa in advance.
An entry stamp with 90 days validity (over a period of
180 days) is issued free of charge in the passport
Provisional passport (green color) ,
emergency passport (orange color), refugee travel
document (green travel document) or travel document for
people on humanitarian grounds (blue travel document)
are not accepted as an entry document in the FAE. In the
case of a stopover, emergency passports can be used, but
travelers with emergency passports will not be able to
leave the international zone, for example. delays or
Anyone who has an Israeli visa or stamp in the
passport can be denied entry.
For more information on visa regulations, see the
official websites of the Emirate. For import
regulations, see the official websites of the Emirate.
Prohibited goods: The import and use of drugs is
prohibited and severely punished. It is illegal to
import pork and pornographic material. Videos, books and
magazines can be checked and censored.
It is a criminal offense to be intoxicated in a
public place, including airports. Emirati law on
intoxicants also applies to transit passengers at the
travelers should keep abreast of the development of the
coronavirus. Feel free to follow the local authorities'
advice, guidance and instructions on how to deal with
the situation. See, for example, the websites of the
Dubai Health Authority and the Abu Dhabi Department of
The authorities are introducing new entry
restrictions on March 19. The new temporary entry rules
cover all nationalities and Norwegian citizens will not
be able to obtain a visa on arrival.
You can find more information and guidance from the
Norwegian health authorities on the website of the
Norwegian Institute of Public Health. See also UD's
answers to frequently asked questions about travel and
The climate is very hot and humid in summer. In the
period May to October, the scale can show 45-50 degrees,
and the humidity can rise to 90-100 percent. This can
cause health stress. It is important to get plenty of
fluid and protect yourself from direct sunlight.
Drinking water is recommended purchased on a bottle. In
winter (October to April) the temperature is more like
nice Norwegian summer weather, and the humidity is
Eating places and grocery stores are controlled by
the authorities and normally maintain good hygiene
It is a high standard in most doctors and hospitals.
Prepayment may be required. Valid travel insurance is
required to guard against expensive hospital stays.
Note that many travel insurance policies do not cover
damage that occurs when you are intoxicated.
There are no vaccination requirements for travel to
FAE, but Norwegian health authorities recommend certain
vaccines for longer stays, especially outside the
cities. For further information see the website of the
Institute of Public Health.
When applying for a residence permit, a medical test
for HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis must be performed. This is
done after arrival in the FAE.
There are restrictive provisions for the import and
possession of medicines and drugs into the United Arab
Emirates. The restrictions also apply in transit. The
penalties for possession and smuggling of drugs, even
small quantities, are severe. Having narcotics in the
blood is considered a possession. Some spices are
considered drugs. See the official websites of the
Emirates for more information. If in doubt, you should
contact the United Arab Emirates Embassy before your
See also the Norwegian Medicines Agency's " Medicines
on Foreign Travel " for further information.
Animal Health: It is a good veterinary offering in
Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
The United Arab Emirates is located in the Middle
East by the Arab Gulf, with borders to Saudi Arabia in
the west and south and Oman in the east. The capital is
Abu Dhabi. The country is a federal state made up of
seven independent Emirates: Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai,
Fujairah, Ras al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm Al Qawain. The
hotel capacity is good, especially in Dubai and Abu
Dhabi. There are tourist facilities available in many
places in the country.
Arabic is the official language. English, Hindi, Urdu
and several other Asian languages are widespread, as
there is a large labor immigration in the FAE, and
foreigners make up the majority of those living in the
UD's operational center: (0047) 23 95 00 00
The currency is the Emirates Dirham (AED), which has
a fixed exchange rate against the US dollar of USD 1 =
AED 3.6725. One dirham is divided into 100 fils.
There are many ATMs and most debit and credit cards
are accepted. Visa and Mastercard are more common than
Diners and Amex. Some credit cards from Norway have zone
protection which means that they cannot be used in the
FAE without contacting their Norwegian bank to have the
zone protection lifted.
In Dubai, the public transport (subway, tram, bus) is
well developed and cheap to use. In the center of Abu
Dhabi, buses are a cheap but inefficient alternative.
Car hire or taxis are used extensively and are cheaper
than in Norway. There are bus and taxi services
connecting the various emirates.
It is recommended to use only publicly registered
taxis using taximeter. Flagging taxis on the street is
usually not a problem. They can also be ordered by
phone. Dubai: (+971) 042 08 08 08. Abu Dhabi: (+971) 600
53 53 53
Addresses are used to a small extent. Landmarks and
known buildings are mainly used for orientation.
The roads between the major cities are of very good
quality. In other parts of the country, road quality
varies. The signage is varied and partly poor or
missing. Occasionally there may be a lack of road
Car hire: As a tourist you can rent
a car with a Norwegian driver's license (EEA models 1
and 2). For permanent residence in the country, a local
driver's license must be obtained.
Traffic conditions: FAE has zero
tolerance for driving in an affected condition. In the
event of accidents and arrests, fines can be risked and,
in the worst case, imprisonment if it turns out that you
have alcohol in your blood. This also applies to traffic
accidents that you are not guilty of.
In traffic accidents, one must follow the rules of
the emirate where the accident occurs. The police must
be called anyway. It is a criminal offense to leave the
scene of the accident before the police arrive. In Abu
Dhabi, you can move the vehicle to the side of the road
to avoid obstructing traffic if there is no personal
injury and the damage to the vehicle is minor. In Dubai,
the vehicle can be moved if it prevents other vehicles
from arriving. In other Emirates, the vehicles can only
be moved if they prevent other vehicles from arriving,
and the drivers involved agree on who is to blame.
In case of personal injury, one can be sentenced to
pay blood money. These can be very high sums.
Opening hours for shops, banks and
public offices: The emiratic working week is Sunday to
Thursday. Most shops are also open on weekends.
Stores are normally open from 8am to 5pm, and
shopping malls from 10am to 11pm. On Fridays, some malls
and shops open at 4pm.
During the fasting month of Ramadan (which is shifted
about twelve days from year to year), shops and malls
usually extend opening hours during the night.
Banks and public offices are normally open from 08:00
to 12:30 - 14:00.
National Holidays: National Day is
December 2nd, and Memorial Day (in memory of National
Martyrs) is November 30th. Muslim holidays are moving
from year to year.
The mains has a 220 V voltage. British plug (three
plugs). Adapter should be brought.
Good GSM coverage. Norwegian phones can be used.
Time difference to Norway: + 2 hours at summer time
in Norway, + 3 hours at winter time
Customs and rules: FAE is in many
ways a tolerant society, and privacy is respected in
most areas. However, some laws and regulations are quite
different from the Norwegian ones. FAE is a Muslim
country and local laws and customs should be respected.
This is especially true during the fasting month of
Public behavior: Some Western
behavior may be perceived as offensive to religion or
culture. One should act with respect and familiarize
oneself with local conditions. Emirati women are shown
great respect, and some of them do not greet.
Cursing and abusive gestures are considered obscene
and may result in imprisonment or deportation. This is
especially true in the face of police and other
Showing love or affection in public should be
avoided. Married couples can hold hands, but there are
several examples of arrests for kissing (and more
performing activities) in public.
Dress code: You can initially dress
the way you want in the Emirates, but it is appreciated
if you dress somewhat more conservatively than in the
West. This means covering one's shoulders and knees.
Swimwear is only used on beaches (public and private)
or at the swimming pool. Bikinis are generally
tolerated, but women are advised to look at the
situation to avoid unwanted attention.
Financial crime: There are severe
penalties for financial crime, including the use of
uncovered checks and non-payment of bills, including
hotel bills. The penalty is usually jail and/or fine,
and FAE bank accounts can be blocked. Foreign nationals
are rarely released on bail. Usually, the debt must be
paid before being released.
Sexual intercourse outside marriage is prohibited.
Marriage between persons of the same sex is not
recognized. Homosexual activity is punishable, and
imprisonment can be sentenced, especially if someone
considers themselves offended or has done so publicly.
Transvestitism is also illegal.
Rape is rare, but victims will find it hard to
believe that what happened was not voluntary, especially
if those involved had been drinking alcohol and knew
each other before. Those involved risk imprisonment for
sexual intercourse outside of marriage and/or
Alcohol: It is a criminal offense to
be intoxicated in a public place and to drive in an
affected state (0-tolerance). Alcohol is banned in the
Emirate of Sharjah. In the other six emirates, alcohol
can be purchased in its own stores and in restaurants
and bars associated with some hotels. The law requires a
license to buy, transport and drink alcohol. The license
only applies in the emirate where it is issued.
Residents can apply to the authorities for the alcohol
license for a fee. The obligation to have a license also
applies to visitors, but the law does not provide rules
on how they can obtain a license. The Dubai Emirate has
introduced a rule that visitors can request alcohol
sales to issue a 30-day free alcohol license by
presenting the passport and signing a declaration that
they will comply with FAE's alcohol law. The other
emirates have not established a visitor alcohol scheme.
Normally, visitors are not asked to present an alcohol
license, but it has appeared that a lack of a license
has become an issue, among other things. by drunken
behavior in a public place. The age limit for drinking
alcohol is 18 years in Abu Dhabi (21 years in hotels),
and 21 years in Dubai and the Northern Emirates.
Pork can be purchased by non-Muslims in separate
parts of some grocery stores (except in Sharjah, where
pork is banned).
Non-marital relations: It is
forbidden to stay with, or share a hotel room with a
person of the opposite sex if you are not married or
have close relationships with the person in question.
Extramarital sex is illegal. You run the risk of
imprisonment and/or fines and deportation from the FAE.
A woman who becomes pregnant outside of marriage
risks imprisonment and/or deportation with the partner.
Doctors and hospitals that get a pregnant woman into
control or treatment may ask for a marriage certificate,
and are required to report to the police if the woman is
unmarried. The consequences can be anything from
imprisonment to fine and deportation.
An unmarried woman who gives birth to children in FAE
is not issued a birth certificate. Women who have been
married shortly before birth risk that the authorities
check the time of birth up to the time of marriage.
Ramadan: During the fasting month of
Ramadan, one should pay particular attention to the
local rules of conduct. Non-Muslims are expected to show
respect for the fasting. You should avoid eating,
drinking, chewing gum and smoking in public between
sunrise and sunset. Furthermore, one should be extra
careful about wearing decent clothes.
The working hours and opening hours of restaurants
and malls change during Ramadan. Alcohol serving and
concert offers are very limited.
The fasting month comes approx. twelve days earlier
each year on the Gregorian calendar. An overview of the
expected date of Ramadan can be found here.
Drugs: The authorities have zero
tolerance for drug-related offenses. Possession, use or
smuggling of illegal narcotics, even in small
quantities, is prohibited and can result in severe
penalties. This also applies to certain drugs classified
as narcotic drugs. See the official websites of the
Emirates for more information. The list uses generic
names for the medicines, which may have other names in
Norway. This means that a drug from Norway may be banned
even if it is not on the list. If in doubt, one should
investigate further before the journey takes place.
Photography: There are significant
restrictions on photography of public buildings and
military installations. One should always ask about law
before photographing private individuals. This is
especially true of photography by local women and
families. Hobbies such as birdwatching and fly-spotting
can be misunderstood, especially if it takes place near
military areas, public buildings and airports.
Social media: The legislation on the
use of social media is strict, and much that is not
punishable in Norway can be considered punishable by the
FAE. Statements that are perceived as critical or
insulting to the FAE, the authorities, leaders or
culture of the country may be punished. It is also
criminal to post photos of others on social media
without their consent. From June 2017, it has been
prohibited to show sympathy for Qatar on social media or
The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Oslo can
be contacted by email osloEMB@mofaic.gov.ae or by phone
0047 22 12 24 22.