Arab heritage and hyper-modern cities
One of the fastest-growing countries in the world, the UAE is a tricky place to pin down. Settled in the Persian Gulf, its seven emirates provide a whirlwind of futuristic cityscapes, sun-baked desert and mountain scenery.
The picturesque coast has pushed the country forward as a five-star beach destination, with up-and-coming resorts like Ras Al Khaimah settling luxury hotels and yachting marinas on its silky white shores.
Next door to Ras Al Khaimah, you have Dubai. The UAE’s poster child, Dubai has spent the past couple of decades creating world record breakers from its sand-dusted traditions, boasting the biggest structure in the world, the largest shopping malls and the most luxurious hotels – and creating one of the world’s most stylish, diverse and exciting cities in the process.
Flight time from the UK to the UAE is around 6 hours 30 minutes.
Emirati summers are classic of the Middle East: long, hot and humid. Average temperatures are in the high 30s and early 40s pretty much from May through to September, when humidity can top 80%. Winter is a more comfortable time to visit, with temperatures between November and April sticking around the mid-to-high 20s with little chance of rain.
British citizens will be granted a free 30-day visa upon arrival in the UAE.
In most tourist destinations in the Emirates (such as Dubai and Ras al Khaimah), it’s customary to leave a 10% cash tip in restaurants. Small tips are appreciated for other services; aim for five to 20 UAE dirhams for porters bringing your bags to your room and for taxi drivers.