United Arab Emirates Travel Guide
No official change has been brought forth by officials, but travel agents and tour operators are telling the media that they've been informed of the changes and are beginning to pass on the information to their clients.
The goods news for us Americans, though, is that we still don't need a visa to enter the U.A.E. so long as the stay will be for less than 30 days. If you plan to stay longer than a month, you'll need to do some paperwork.
$200 for a roundtrip flight half-way across the world? This little fantasy came true yesterday for many who chanced upon some ridiculously cheap airfares on Abu Dhabi-based airline Etihad.
The dealfirst reported by TheFlightDeal in the earliest hours of Christmaslasted for nearly 20 hours, a lifetime when it comes to "mistake fares." It might not have been a mistake, and while there's no telling how many lucky travelers went all the way through to booking tickets, there was however enough attention to drag travelers away from their families and to the computer to book the flights on a holiday.
Judging from comments on the deals, the most popular destinations ended up being Abu Dhabi (of course, it was cheapest), Johannesburg, several cities in India, and even Hong Kong. One of the best deals, for those willing to pay a little more, was flying all the way from the USA to the Seychelles for under $600, an itinerary which typically costs around $1,500.
Google Street View / Google / United Arab Emirates Travel / Dubai / DXB / Dubai Travel / Travel Technology / → All Tags
Wandering around for the finest falafel or searching high and low for the coolest kebab shop might be a thing of the past in Dubai thanks to Google Street View. Now a trip to the Middle Eastern nation can be as simple as heading to your laptop to plan the finer details of your itinerary.
It seems this is the first Arab country to allow Google's camera-clad cars to drive around collecting images, which now include the world’s tallest tower, largest mall, the seven-star Burj Al Arab hotel, and even some of the beaches of the Arabian Gulf.
In-Flight Wifi / JetBlue / Nok Air / Emirates / → All Tags
We've been following the development of in-flight Wifi since its initial takeoff, but most recently, we've been focused on airlines that have begun to roll out free Wifi. JetBlue was the first American carrier to make the leap, and just a month ago Nok Air became Asia's first airline to let passengers surf the Web for free.
Last week, Dubai based Emirates entered the discussion. The airline's President Tim Clark said that free Wifi is something we will eventually see become standard throughout the global airline industry, as it is definitely a service that customers want. In response, Emirates has been spending about $20 million a year on the installation and operation of in-flight connectivity, he said.
A380 / Emirates / Kuwait Travel / Dubai Travel / First Class Travel / Emirates A380 / DXB / KWI / Videos / → All Tags
Emirates' EK857 & EK858 are currently the world's shortest Airbus A380 flights at 1 hour, 25 minutes and 1 hour, respectively. They travel between Dubai, UAE to Kuwait City, Kuwait, a route which saw the Boeing 777 up until mid-July, when the superjumbo took over and this video was made on the inaugural.
The switch to the A380 coincides with Emirates' 25th Anniversary of service to Kuwait, so the video concludes with all the pomp and circumstance that surrounds such a milestone.
Airport News / Customs / Immigration / Dubai Travel / DXB / Airports / → All Tags
The global passport party is on the move yet again, as it now sounds like the folks over in Dubai are eager to get in on some of the loving the US Customs and Border Protection has been handing out.
Abu Dhabi got in on the US customs pre-clearance fun earlier in the year, and there’s been rumblings that Doha could be in discussions for the same; however, all eyes are on Abu Dhabi's Emirati neighbor Dubai, as it's also hoping to set up another pre-clearance facility.
It has happened before, and now it looks like it is happening again—someone is trying to build a Six Flags over in Dubai. This time the necessary bits and pieces seem to be in order, and as long as there’s not another global economic crisis things should finally get off the ground.
A group of rich people think roller coasters and a theme park are just what the region needs, and if they get their way the latest Six Flags venture will be rubbing elbows with all the skyscrapers of Dubai.
Dubai Travel / Emirates / A380 / Malls / Airplanes / AvGeek / Flight Simulators / → All Tags
The massive Dubai Mall may seem like it has everythingthere's an ice rink, aquarium, waterfall, gold souk, luxury hotel, and the title of "world's largest mall (by total area)"but up until recently it's been lacking the one interactive exhibit it needed the most: a flight simulator.
Of course, this being Dubai and all, it can't be just any flight sim; the rig is that of an Emirates Airbus A380 cockpit, complete with flight instructor. Seeing as how Emirates is currently the world's largest operator of A380s, such a superjumbo flight sim only adds to the Mall's UAE cultural attractions and obsession with the superlative.
If high-performance airplanes zooming through an obstacle course of pylons while traveling at speeds up to 230 mph only 50-80 feet above water sounds good to you, then listen up.
2014 marks the return of Red Bull Air Race, on hiatus since 2010, and the season kicks off tomorrow, for two days (February 28 - March 1) of zipping and zooming above the coastline of Abu Dhabi. Already the event has been turning heads, as the Red Bull racers practice around the domes of mosques and even the “Ferrari World” theme park of the Emirati city.
If Abu Dhabi is a little out of your way for a quick weekend trip, keep in mind that the Air Race is a traveling event, with further stops later this year in Malaysia, Poland, UK, China, and two dates in the US. more ›
The Little Things / Emirates / In-Flight Meals / Airline Lounges / First Class Travel / Dessert Travel / Food Travel / → All Tags
In the midst of the bustle of travel, it's all too easy to overlook the details. We're talking about special touches others have stressed over just so you can enjoy a unique experience, whether you know it or not. Every so often we'll highlight The Little Things like this, so now you will know.
The Little Thing: Emirates' First Class bite, Bateel figs stuffed with almonds.
Emirates, which is known to be über-luxurious on the ground as much as it is in the air, presents guests with a little treat before flying: a wooden box filled with Khidri dates from the prestigious Bateel gourmet confectionery of the U.A.E. Dates are considered a perfect after dinner desert to top off a delicious feast and Bateel is known to have some of the best.
Not only are guests in the lounges treated with a box on each counter, but First Class passengers onboard flights are offered a plate of these delicious fruits as a pre-arrival snack. Similar to a piece of chocolate prior to landing, the figs are a sweet end to a sumptuous flight experience and keep your belly from grumbling through immigration.
Long gone are the days when flying was an event and passengers "dressed to the nines" to be wined and dined at 30,000 feet. Despite cost-cutting and the spread of air travel to more than just the moneyed, a few modern airlines manage to pull off bits of those glamor days still. One of these is Emirates, because traveling on one of their A380s is one of the more civilized experiences, stretching from boarding to deplaning. On our own recent flight, however, it was the full bar that wowed us most.
The airline's superjumbos feature separate First Class and Business Class bars, both fully stocked with top-shelf liquors, fine Champagnes, and light bites to lubricate passenger relaxation and socializing. Just after take-off, while the cabin crew are prepping for meal service, a few crew members are tasked with setting up this flying perk that is unique to only a few carriers.
Flight Reviews / Emirates / UAE Travel / A380 Airbus / Business Class Travel / Airplane Food / In-Flight Cocktails / BNE / AKL / → All Tags
We booked a Business Class seat on one of the world's most sought-after airlines, on a bit of an odd route. An Emirates super jumbo A380 actually flies from Brisbane to Auckland. It's a trip of a little over three hours, but that's plenty time to enjoy a little extra luxury.
As you can expect, everything from time in the Emirates lounge to sitting back in our lie-flat seat on the upper deck contributed to our lack od desire to leave the plane upon arrival in Auckland.