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.

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 for months.

Major Landmarks in United Arab Emirates


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 control.

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 cancellations.

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 country’s airports.


Coronavirus/covid-19: Norwegian 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 Health.

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 coronavirus.


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 mostly lower.

Eating places and grocery stores are controlled by the authorities and normally maintain good hygiene standards.

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 trip.

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.

Practical information

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 country.

Emergency telephones
Police: 999
Ambulance: 998/999
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 lighting.

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 Ramadan.

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 government officials.

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 deportation.

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 otherwise. According to allcitycodes, United Arab Emirates area code is +971.

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.