Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) in Abu Dhabi, UAE
This Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) section about Abu Dhabi should answer all of your common questions regarding your travel and stay in the emirate. Click on the most appropriate category to you, and you will see that question and the answer. The questions listed here, and their respective answers are meant only as a general guide to help you plan and organize your trip to Abu Dhabi.
Q: How safe is Abu Dhabi for tourists?
Generally, the UAE is an extremely safe place to be, however, it is wise to take normal precautions about locking doors and closing windows when out and to make sure that you never leave handbags unattended.
Q: Can a visitor drive a vehicle with a driving license possessed from his own country?
No, an international driving license is required to drive a vehicle.
Q: Can a visitor drive any vehicle owned by his parents or friends?
A visitor can drive any vehicle pertaining to his relatives and also a rental vehicle provided that he incurs an international driving license.
Q: Can an expatriate visitor from a GCC country drive a car with his driving license?
Yes, people from GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries can drive up to three months (the visiting period) with the driving license from their country of residence.
Q: What is the best way of transportation to get around Abu Dhabi?
Abu Dhabi Department of Public Transport has launched bus services all over the emirate, as well as in the city. Taxis are the most preferred way of transportation by tourists and easily obtained in Abu Dhabi.
Q: How fast and reliable is the local mobile, landline and internet network?
The telecommunications infrastructure is of a high standard and very sophisticated. Phone calls within Abu Dhabi are free of charge. Long distance and international calls are relatively pricey, but there are cheap rate periods. The use of mobile phones is widespread in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The network is GSM compatible and most international GSM phones with roaming facility work flawless. If your service provider from your home country has an existing international roaming service agreement with Etisalat, you can conveniently make calls using your own mobile phone while in Abu Dhabi. Internet network is widespread and most reliable in the emirates.
Q: Can I use my cash and credit cards while in Abu Dhabi?
Most ATMs in Abu Dhabi bear the Cirrus, Maestro or Plus logos and so credit card owners can withdraw cash against their accounts using these ATMs. All major credit cards (Visa, Master Card, American Express etc.) are accepted throughout the UAE in most hotels and shops. There are many banks in the UAE, but it is probably advisable to open an account with a bank which is affiliated with an international network.
Q: Can I buy alcohol from outlets?
According to the alcoholic beverage law, it is illegal to purchase and consume alcohol without a liquor license. You are required to hold a liquor license by law in order to purchase alcoholic beverages legally from an alcohol shop.
Q: What is the electricity supply standard in Abu Dhabi?
The electricity supply is 220/240 volts at 50 Hz in Abu Dhabi. Square three-pin sockets are standard.
Q: Are non-Muslims welcome in Abu Dhabi?
Though Islam is the official religion, Abu Dhabi, like any other emirate of the UAE, is tolerant of other religions. Abu Dhabi residents and visitors who profess a different faith are allowed to perform their religious duties such as attending worship services or mass in churches or chapels.
Q: Is English widely spoken in Abu Dhabi?
Q: How much do I give for tips?
Tipping is not compulsory in Abu Dhabi and it is at your discretion. Some people choose not to tip at all and some others give tips up to 10% in restaurants when the service is worth recognizing. Taxi drivers do not expect to be tipped. Supermarket bag carriers and windscreen washers at petrol stations are generally given a tip.
Q: How about the working hours and holidays in Abu Dhabi?
Government offices are open from 7:30am to 3pm, Sunday to Thursday, while private companies generally operate between 8.30 am and 5.30 pm. Friday and Saturday for holidays for government offices and most private companies. There are, however, certain offices that remain open on Saturdays and work half-day (until 1pm or 2pm) on Thursdays.
Q: What articles should I not bring when visiting Abu Dhabi?
Abu Dhabi and the entire UAE, has very strict laws pertaining import of illegal drugs or controlled substances (e.g. opium, cannabis). Those who possess these items or banned medicines will be immediately arrested at the port of entry. Potentially offensive printed matter, CDs, videos or films, firearms and other dangerous weapons are also banned in the Emirate.
Q: Can I photograph the city?
You are requested to get permission before photographing people in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Avoid taking photographs of Muslim women and do not try to photograph airports, docks, telecommunications equipment, government buildings, military and industrial installations.
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