United Arab Emirates

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ShermansTravel experts rely on years of collective travel experience to bring you the best money-saving tips for your vacation. We take a discerning look at all the attraction passes, public transportation options, and other local bargains to make sure you get the most bang for your buck while traveling.

United Arab Emirates Money-Saving Tips

Prayer Time

In the UAE, Friday is recognized as a day off. Don't plan on doing much this day, as it is a time for rest and prayer.

Photo No No's

Out of respect for Emirati customs and traditions, do not photograph local women unless you receive their permission.

Taxi Around

Taxis are easy to find, especially at hotels and shopping malls. They’re also your best bet as public transportation is practically non-existent and reckless drivers and terrible parking make renting a car a nightmare.

Alcohol and Drug Laws

Alcohol is legally served on hotel premises only. Drugs are illegal everywhere. Don’t take any chances – here you are guilty until proven innocent.


Women should wear modest clothing in public out of respect to local customs. Female sunbathing is allowed, however, on hotel beaches.

Tourist Visas

Most nationals can receive a visa upon arrival at no extra charge. Check airport websites to verify.

Dubai International Film Festival

Every December for the past four years, Dubai has played host to one of the region’s most elaborate film festivals. It’s a great opportunity to see films from the Middle East.

Sharjah Biennial

Biennially between April and June, conservative Sharjah holds one of the Gulf’s most innovative cultural events. International artists display their work, which is connected to a theme chosen by the event’s curators (e.g. non-traditional artworks).

Dubai World Cup

For the past eleven years the world’s equestrian community has turned an eye toward Dubai for its annual World Cup event. As of 2004, winners go home with a six-million-dollar prize, making it the world’s richest horse race.


Although a 10% service charge is typically added, it rarely ends up with your server. Instead, leave an additional 10% tip in cash on top of the total. For taxis and barmen round up to the nearest dirham.

Art Dubai (Formerly The Gulf Art Fair)

Inaugurated in 2007, this fair hosts upwards of 40 local and international galleries as well as debate forums. This is a great opportunity to dive deep into the UAE’s burgeoning art world.

Sweet Spot Savings

From mid-September to mid-October, regional visitors take advantage of holiday discounts, filling hotels and attractions. And if you can stand the heat, hotels offer great deals in June through September.

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