The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a union of seven sovereign
Sheikhdoms, formed when the British withdrew from the Gulf in 1971. It boasts
mountains, beaches, deserts, oasis, camel racing, Bedouin markets and the
legendary duty free shopping of Dubai, all packed into a relatively small area.
It also has the most relaxed entry regulations in the region, the best
tourist infrastructure and, despite promoting itself exclusively to tourists, it
is extremely accessible to independent travellers.
With a dry, sub-tropical climate - there is very little annual rainfall. The
Emirates are a all-year-round holiday destination, hot in summer and pleasantly
warm in winter.