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  Introduction
  Facts for the Traveler
  When to Go
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  Environment
  Getting There & Away
  Getting Around


 
United Arab Emirates

Getting There & Away

The country's main international airports are in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, though an increasing number of carriers are servicing Sharjah as well. Smaller international airports serve Ras al-Khaimah, Fujairah and Al-Ain. There are daily services to most major European cities from Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and also to major Middle Eastern and Gulf cities. There are also connections to the USA, North Africa, the Indian Subcontinent and Australia. There's no airport departure tax.

There's a daily bus service between Dubai and Muscat in Oman, though the lack of a UAE border post on the road used by the bus can present visa problems for travellers. Regular bus services operate between both Dubai and Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province, though there are no bus or taxi services to Qatar. Boats ply between Sharjah and Bandar-é Abbas in Iran; the voyage takes 12 hours each way.


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Getting Around

There is no inter-city air or bus service between the seven emirates, so if you don't have your own car the only way to travel between emirates is by service taxi. These can be cramped but they're cheap and a great way to meet locals. The main problem is that they take a while to fill up, except on the main Abu Dhabi-Dubai route. Between these two cities, you also have the choice of slightly cheaper minibuses.

The UAE is one of those countries where having your own wheels can often mean the difference between having fun and spending much of your time planning transport options from A to B. Car rental is only slightly more expensive than in the West, and is relatively easy to arrange in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Main roads are in pretty good shape and, in theory, you should drive along them on the right. Driving standards are not particularly high and fatalism reigns supreme; if you have the slightest inclination towards self preservation, be sure to drive defensively - especially at roundabouts.

Only Dubai and Al-Ain have public bus networks useful to travellers. Note that taxis in Abu Dhabi and Al-Ain have meters but those in Dubai and the other emirates do not.

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