Planning Your Trip

Getting to the UAE

By Air

The UAE has two major international airlines with an extensive network of flights: Etihad Airways and Emirates Airline each have nonstop flights from 12 US cities to Abu Dhabi or Dubai. Additionally, most of the major global airlines offer connecting flights to the UAE from the US, including United Airlines, which offers nonstop between New York City (Newark Liberty International Airport) and Dubai.

The UAE has seven international airports in the cities of Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Dubai, Sharjah, Ra’s al-Khaimah and Fujairah. The major airports in Abu Dhabi and Dubai not only service the ever-increasing local tourist market but are established as major international hubs for flights connecting the Middle East with the Far East and the West.

By Land

Road access to the UAE from Saudi Arabia and Oman is excellent. Connections can be made with the Trans-Arabian Highway. There are daily bus services to Abu Dhabi and Dubai from Oman, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

By Sea

Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah are increasingly popular ports of call for international cruise lines, with nearly a million passengers visiting the country by cruise ship each year.


Straddling the Tropic of Cancer, the UAE is warm and sunny in winter and hot and humid during the summer months. Winter daytime temperatures average 79°F, although nights can be relatively cool, between 53–60°F on the coast and less than 41°F in the depths of the desert or high in the mountains.

Local north-westerly winds (shamal) frequently develop during the winter, bringing cooler windy conditions. Summer temperatures hover around 110°F, but can be higher inland. Humidity in coastal areas averages between 50 and 60 per cent, touching over 90 per cent in summer and autumn. Inland it is far less humid.

Rainfall is sparse and intermittent. In most years it rains during the winter months, usually in February or March, but occasionally earlier. Winter rains take the form of short sharp bursts, and localized thunderstorms occasionally occur during the summer.