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Abu Dhabi - Experience the Magic

Ahlan Wasahlan
Welcome to Abu Dhabi and experience the magic in the Federal Capital of the United Arab Emirates; It is the largest of the seven emirates as well as the Financial, Oil and banking capital of the Middle East; and home on the magnificent Emirates Palace - An Arabian business haven.

Latest Abu Dhabi Tourism News

No Fees to Pay by Credit Card – It’s the Law
If you are planning to travel to Abu Dhabi and like to pay using your credit card, you would be pleased to know that there will be no additional fees when you pay for purchases across the Emirate following instructions from the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development.
In a statement issued on 24 July 2016, the department announced that it has issued a circular to all businesses across the Emirate warning them not to collect any extra fees when consumers opt to pay by credit cards.
The circular is a reinforcement of the recent resolution by the Supreme Committee for Consumer Protection banning any collection of extra fees from consumers when they pay for goods or services with credit card. This applies to both private businesses and government sectors.

Follow developments of the Abu Dhabi Yas Water World

Despite Abu Dhabi's status in the Emirates, it was only until September 2004 that a Ruler’s Decree was established to create a Tourism Authority. It is intended that tourism will play an important role in promoting friendship, goodwill and understanding and, quite right too, because the City has a lot to offer the discerning visitor apart from friendship and goodwill.
His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority led the celebration of the grand opening of the new Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority UK office at No.1 Knightsbridge, London, SW1.

With a sub-tropical, arid climate, it hardly rains! Abu Dhabi has always been a special place; it is one of the world’s safest travel destinations because street and hotel room crimes are practically non-existent. Apart from the eternal sunshine, the city offers state-the-art conference facilities, many first class hotels and restaurants offering a diverse range food and beverage. Restaurants cover everything from coffee shops to fine dining and specialty outlets. The standard of international cuisine in Abu Dhabi is high.

The good news for Lady executive travellers is that whether travelling alone or with their families, you will experience no special restrictions or dress or behaviour in your day to day activities. Women play a full and active part in the life of the country ( up to and including Government Minister level) and foreign women visitors can be assured they will be readily accepted and welcomed.

Apart from being a sun-seekers delight, Abu Dhabi is fast becoming a sports lover’s destination. It has three distinctive golf courses each with immaculate greens, clubhouses and lush fairways, making it a perfect destination for golf novices, enthusiasts and professionals.

The Al Ghazal golf Club is an 18-hole, 6,487 yard par 71 sand gold course that recently hosted the first international golf tournament to be played on sand attracting major golf professional s and spectators alike.

For those who like adventure, the thrill of dune-driving or wadi-bashing is recommended. This is an exciting desert experience. Driving on sand is not as easy as it looks and expert instruction is essential before the any novice sets out in a hired four wheel drive. Wadi Bashing is the ultimate get-away-from-it-all experience, heading off the beaten track along dry creek beds (wadis) or any uncharted terrain in on off-road vehicle.

After all this you can meet a family of Bedouin, discover a mountain pool or waterfall,, sight a gazelle or have some real experience with organised desert safaris.

Other adventure sports are boat racing, horse racing, sand skiing, scuba diving and deep sea fishing, racing the camels or following the falcon.

Falconry is the training of wild falcons which are then launched at wild prey. Once a means of obtaining fresh meat without having to slaughter valuable livestock, falconry is now part of the local heritage and Abu Dhabi offers various facilities of interest to falcon enthusiasts including the Emirates Falconers Club which protects falcons while preserving the popularity of falconry and the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital . Abu Dhabi even hosts a falcon beauty contest at the annual Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Show.

The other members of the UAE are Dubai , Sharjah, Ajman , Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah . The President and Ruler of Abu Dhabi is His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Abu Dhabi is the richest of the emirates and a global economic powerhouse in its own rights especially as it owns about 10% of the world’s known oil reserves.


Business Essentials

The UAE is a highly cosmopolitan well-educated society, familiar with the methods and means of doing business worldwide, however there are a few points which people new to the Arabian business environment should keep in mind.
Here, more than anywhere else, business is conducted on the basis of personal relationships and mutual trust. It is vitally important to build on these.
Although it is changing rapidly and large firms are structured as in the rest of the world, companies are often a family affair, with the ultimate decision-maker being the head of the family. Even if this is not the case, it is essential to clearly identify the decision-maker. However, your initial meetings will probably be at a lower level. These are also very important as a means of building mutual trust. Print your business card in English and Arabic and make sure that all brochures and presentation material are full-colour and well produced.
Good manners and courtesy are prized attributes. Nevertheless, although you should always arrive on time for a meeting, punctuality is not considered a virtue and you may be kept waiting before or during your meeting. Do not be impatient. Take the time to chat and drink the coffee, tea or soft drink that is always on offer and establish the relationships that will stand you in good stead. Do not be put off if your meeting is interrupted by other guests or telephone conversations. The upfront, hard-hitting approach is generally not welcome. Be aware that what may seem like evasiveness on the part of your host is usually an unwillingness to say no to your face. Nevertheless, once a deal, is made, orally or otherwise, an Arab businessman’s word is his bond and you are also expected to perform accordingly, even if the agreement is a verbal one. This can be disconcerting if you come from a business environment where verbal agreements are not binding.
Hospitality is a way of life in the Arab world and business is frequently conducted over lunch or dinner – more than likely in a hotel or restaurant. It is also considered polite to return the invitation.

Although Arabic is the official language, English is widely used in business transactions.
1. Westerners are welcome guests, as long as they respect Islamic culture. Western (dress, food, drink—including alcohol—and business behaviours) are accepted and understood, if they do not challenge an essentially conservative view of life and human relationships. You’re not expected to act like a local, but nor should you push the envelope.
2. Traditional Gulf hospitality requires endless rounds of coffee (dense and sometimes spiced) and tea, both usually highly sweetened. Do not refuse another cup; if you are done drinking simply lift the empty cup to your lips. You will also always be implored to eat more food: Refuse two or three times for politeness, then accept. If you do not want more food, leave some on your plate.
3. Remain flexible with time: Last-minute schedule changes are common, and meetings may take place at any hour of the day (or night). Build in more flex time, and expect to discuss many topics simultaneously.
4. Avoid using your left hand when passing important documents or food, or when greeting people. Never reveal the sole of your shoe when sitting. Never point or beckon with your index finger; instead, use your full upward-facing open palm. When beckoning people, use your open downward-facing palm at eye level, and wave all fingers up and down together.
5. Be respectful of the general patterns of Islamic life: Observant Muslims avoid alcohol and pork. Muslim holidays (especially Ramadan) and the Friday holy day are typically not good times to introduce important new business, and daily prayer times (there are five, three of which can occur during business hours) must be respected.
6. Businesswomen should dress modestly (loose-fitting business dress with arms covered to the wrist, legs covered to below the knee, a blouse that covers the shoulders), but should expect to be treated with as much credibility and authority as businessmen.

Visitors from

Andorra , Australia , Austria , Belgium , Brunei , Canada , Cyprus, Denmark , Finland , France , Germany , Greece , Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia , Malta , Monaco, The Netherlands , New Zealand , Norway, Portugal, San Marino , Singapore , Spain , Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States, Vatican Can obtain a visit visa on arrival.

All other visitors except nationals of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) require a visa to enter the UAE

Dress Code

Lightweight summer clothing is suitable most of the year, but some slightly warmer garments may be needed for the winter months, especially in the evenings. When visiting hotels, restaurants, shopping malls and cinemas it is a good idea to take a sweater or cardigan as the air-conditioning can be a little cold.

The attitude to dress in Abu Dhabi is relaxed, but visitors (men as well as women) should show respect for local culture and customs in public places by avoiding excessively revealing clothing.


The Official language is Arabic, but English is widely spoken and hotels have speaking in a wide range of other major European languages.


The monetary unit of the UAE is the dirham (Dhs. Or AED) which is divided into 100 fils. The dirham is linked to the US dollar at a rate of US$1 to Dhs 3.67. There are no foreign exchange restrictions and the currency is freely convertible.

Most shops, hotels and restaurants accept all major credit cards.


Tipping practices are similar to the rest of the world. Taxi drivers do not expect a tip but will appreciate a little extra. In restaurants 10 % is considered adequate if service is excluded.


Alcohol is permitted in Abu Dhabi and is served in hotel restaurants and bars except for some clubs and associations. It is not for sale elsewhere.

Getting Around

Taxis are plentiful and cheap in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. Individually registered taxis can be flagged down at the roadside.

Al Ghazal runs a fleet of upmarket cars and Mercedes limos that can be booked in advance by telephone.

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