The best way to think of the United Arab Emirates (or UAE) is that it’s Las Vegas on steroids. The tallest buildings, the swankiest hotels, the glitziest malls, the largest man-made islands, and more superlatives than any other place on Earth can be seen here.
Travel to UAE is by no means restricted to only Dubai, though the emirate is undoubtedly the country’s top attraction. Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and Ajman are equally fascinating.
From desert safaris to duty-free shopping, the UAE offers you everything in a neat package. If you’re preparing for a trip to the UAE, don’t forget to buy
travel medical insurance or
to protect yourself against the unexpected.
Things to Do for Travelers in the United Arab Emirates
If you like big, blockbuster holidays that can provide you with splendid social media pictures, the UAE is the perfect destination for you. There is so much to do and see here that it would take you half a dozen vacations to experience it all. To make it less cumbersome, we have curated a short list of the best experiences to pack in during your time there:
- Visit the top of the world: In other words, take an escalator to the roof of Burj Khalifa—the tallest manmade structure in the world. Standing 828 meters (more than 2,700 feet) tall, the skyscraper looks futuristic and straight out of a science fiction movie. You can't travel all the way to the top, but you can easily get a ticket to the observation deck on the 148th floor. Expect a long queue, and when you get to the top, you can see at least 30 km (about 18 miles) out into the shimmering Persian Gulf on a clear day.
- Go skydiving: This has become quite popular and far better than boring bungee jumping elsewhere. Free-falling over the blue coastline with the huge emerald-like Palm Jumeirah under you is an exquisite experience. Of course, you do not need to have prior experience, but it helps. At almost $600, it is expensive but well worth it. You are in free fall for 60 seconds and reach 120 miles an hour (more than 190 kilometers per hour) before your instructor opens the chute.
- Head out to Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi is equally impressive. Head to Qasr Al Watan, the ruler's new palace, which demonstrates magnificent Islamic architecture and impeccably manicured gardens. After visiting the palace, head over to Yas Marina racing circuit and speed to 150 miles an hour (240 kilometers per hour) in a Formula 3000 racing car. If you are laid back, watch the hundreds of supercars from Bugatti Veyron and Ferrari Portofino to Aston Martin Vantage that the locals bring in to speed around the track over the weekend.
- Relax at Fujairah: Fujairah is near Oman and not as hectic as the big cities. If you want to give the adrenaline a bit of rest, take a trip here to relax, and eat succulent kebabs, and go fishing. Located where the sea meets the mountain, it is quite different from the rest of the UAE. Take time off and stroll through Fujairah Fort. Built in the 16th century, it looks straight out of an Indiana Jones movie set.
- Desert safari: There are numerous desert safaris organized by tour operators. From camel riding to quad bike racing, you can have your fill of adventure. The best ones last a full day and include the Liwa Oasis. Most of the travel is on expensive 4X4 vehicles specially outfitted for the desert. The food is sumptuous, with Middle Eastern barbecues being the hot favorite.
Travel Risks for International Travelers in the United Arab Emirates
UAE is a safe place to visit. But that should never make you complacent. When on a trip to the desert, you have to be careful about your activities in many ways. Travel to the UAE has a few risks that you must always be wary of.
- Dehydration is a problem. You won't even notice it since the desert is dry, and you would not recognize the sweat evaporating. But you are losing liters of water every hour, and you have to replenish it with water and oral rehydration salts (ORS) solution. Otherwise, you may fall severely ill and have to be admitted to a hospital.
- Sky diving and riding camels are fun, but they may cause bruises and broken bones. Ensure that you meet a minimum level of fitness before participating. If you are overweight or have high blood pressure and other similar ailments, it is best to watch from the sidelines.
- Be careful of crowds, and do not wander into congested local bazaars. Jumeirah Beach has a particular reputation as the site of petty theft.
- Be wary of local laws. UAE is a conservative Islamic nation with Sharia law. There is an extensive list of banned items, including anything made in Israel. A rude gesture with your finger will earn you a month in jail and whipping. Electronic cigarettes are prohibited, and appearing drunk in public would get you jailed or deported. Read a full list of what not to do in UAE before traveling and wear modest clothes that cover your body.
United Arab Emirates Travel Medical Insurance for International Travelers – FAQs
UAE is a beautiful place to visit. However, that does not mean you can't fall ill. With so many activities, it is possible to get exhausted in the searing heat. A desert safari may cause sunstroke and dizziness. Hospitals in Dubai are world-class, and public and private medical care are both expensive.
Do I need travel medical insurance for the United Arab Emirates?
UAE is one of the few places where you do need mandatory medical insurance to enter the country as a tourist. You must possess adequate coverage before you land at any of the nine international airports.
Why buy travel medical insurance for the United Arab Emirates?
A vacation filled with endless fun can turn to tragedy quickly. You could get a sudden rise of blood pressure while skydiving or fall from a camel and hurt your back. This requires immediate hospitalization, and that is expensive in the UAE. The locals receive free medical care, but not tourists. Before you arrive at Abu Dhabi, Dubai or Sharjah, always buy travel medical insurance to reduce your expenses in an emergency.
United Arab Emirates Trip Cancellation Insurance for International Travelers – FAQs
Sometimes trips get canceled at the last minute. It will make you upset, but what other option do you have when someone in the family falls ill the day before your departure? Not only are you frustrated, but you also have to worry about the financial losses arising out of trip cancellation.
Why buy trip cancellation insurance for the United Arab Emirates?
A trip to the UAE is expensive. The hotels and flights have been paid for in advance. Many tours and attractions also have to be booked beforehand. UAE vacation insurance would not be able to take away your disappointment, but it can reimburse you and give you a chance to take the trip later.
What all is covered under trip cancellation insurance for the United Arab Emirates?
Trip cancellation insurance is a wonderful way to de-risk your trip. Not only do you get compensated for trip cancellation due to severe weather conditions but also covered in case anyone close to you falls sick. Some policies also offer extended coverage for reasons such as political unrest and protests. The eligible reasons for trip cancellation benefits are listed in your policy’s certificate wording. Be sure to read the fine print to understand what situations are and aren’t covered. Always buy travel insurance to minimize financial loss.
Before You Travel to the United Arab Emirates - Do This
When you travel to the UAE, keep the following points in mind to remain safe.
Be informed about local culture and customs. Be respectful and friendly.
Always place your travel documents in a separate folder and keep it either with you or in a safe place.
Buy adequate travel insurance coverage to keep you and your family safe. Enter some basic information, compare a wide variety of options, and select the plan that fits the needs of this particular trip.