Home' Abu Dhabi Tourism : Explore Abu Dhabi Contents Abu Dhabi: At A Glance
AT A GLANCE
CAPITAL OF THE UAE
The emirate of Abu Dhabi is the capital of the
United Arab Emirates (UAE), the wealthiest
of all the emirates, and makes up more than
80% of the country’s landmass. Abu Dhabi
city is located on an island with suburbs
extending to the mainland, and is just an hour
and half drive from the smaller, neighbouring
emirate of Dubai.
With close to 50 direct flights between
Australia and Abu Dhabi each week, getting
there has never been easier. Abu Dhabi city
is just 38 km from Abu Dhabi International
Airport (code: AUH) - home to the national
carrier of the United Arab Emirates, Etihad
Airways - and a mere 90 minutes from Dubai
International Airport making access from
there convenient, too.
The local currency is the United Arab
Emirates dirham (AED) divided into 100 fils
and pegged to the US dollar (US$1 = AED
3.6725). Credit and debit cards are widely
accepted. Cash and travellers’ cheques can
be exchanged in licenced exchange offices,
banks and hotels. A passport is required.
‘Bureau de Change’ offices are found in
major malls and popular shopping districts
right across Abu Dhabi. Many hotels will also
exchange money and travellers’ cheques at
standard rates. Cash is the always best
option in souks (markets) or smaller shops.
Australian passport holders receive a
free-of-charge 30-day visitor visa-on-
arrival entry visa at Abu Dhabi
International Airport. Cruise passengers
can apply now for a multiple- entry visa
for just AED 200 (US$55).
Taxis are well-priced, plentiful and easily
recognised by their silver livery and
yellow roof sign. They can be flagged at
the roadside, booked by phone or via the
Abu Dhabi Taxi app.
Local car rental operators require a copy
of your passport, credit card, a valid
international driving licence or driving
licence from your home country.
ATMs around Abu Dhabi typically
recognise American Express, Cirrus,
Global Access, MasterCard, Plus System
and VISA. ATMs are found in all shopping
malls, major supermarkets and petrol
stations, and at the airport.
Tipping in Abu Dhabi is not expected,
but is commonly practised and entirely
at a customer’s discretion. Fine dining
and high-end restaurants may add a
10% service charge and a tourism levy
of 6% to your bill. These charges are
often included in and denoted on menu
prices when they are.
Abu Dhabi uses 230-volt electricity, and
three-pronged Type-G electrical plugs as
commonly found in the UK, Ireland, Malaysia
THE WORKING WEEK
The work week for both the public and private
sectors runs from Sunday to Thursday, with
weekends being a Friday (holy day) and
With a sub-tropical, arid climate, Abu Dhabi
enjoys year-round sunshine, little rainfall and
near perfect winter temperatures. Rainfall
averages just 12cm annually across the
emirate, falling mainly in winter (November
to March), and most commonly in the ‘Oasis
City’ of Al Ain due to its proximity to the Hajar
mountains. Temperatures range from
average evening minimums of 13 °C in winter,
to highs in the vicinity of 42 °C in the heat of a
summer’s day. The cooler months - November
to April - are lovely, with temperatures around
24 °C during the day and mid-teens at night.
WHAT TO WEAR
Lightweight summer clothing is suitable for
most of the year, but something slightly
warmer may be needed for the winter
months. No matter when you visit, it’s
advisable to bring a light jacket or sweater
as the air conditioning can be brisk. Fairly
liberal attitudes towards dress prevail in
Abu Dhabi but, like anywhere, respect for
local customs is recommended particularly
when out and about. Short or tight clothing
may be worn, but it will attract attention -
most of it unwelcome. It is especially
recommended that visitors dress more
conservatively during Ramadan, ensuring
knees and shoulders are covered when
34 EXPLORE ABU DHABI
Practical travel information and the answers to just about every Abu Dhabi travel question
we can imagine.
A STRICT DRESS CODE APPLIES WHEN VISITING
THE SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE.
Refer to the Ten Top Things section of this guide for details.
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