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Abu Dhabi is well-supplied with a vast number of metered taxis offering very reasonable fares; these are the best way of getting around in town, and outside of it. There are unmetered taxis too, and when using these it is best to agree on a fare up front. Most taxi drivers speak English. It is worth noting that a surcharge can be added for air-conditioning in the taxi. But as temperatures in summer are sweltering, this may still be a better option than walking. There is a limited bus system, but it does not follow fixed routes. Most hotels offer bus services to principal destinations, including the airport. Car and limousine rental is slightly more expensive than in the West, but of course petrol is cheap! Driving in the Emirates, however, is a hair-raising experience, with an established hierarchy as to who has right of way, so unless you are fearless and aggressive behind the wheel, it is best to hire a vehicle with a local driver. There is also the Abu Dhabi Metro Rail system which is convenient and aims to relieve traffic congestion. It provides optimal connectivity between Abu Dhabi Island and the suburbs.
Electrical current is 220/240 volts, 50Hz. The most frequently used plugs are the round two-pin type.
The currency of the United Arab Emirates is the Dirham (AED), which is divided into 100 fils. There are no currency regulations in the UAE and all major currencies are readily exchanged at banks and large hotels. The Dirham is fixed against the US Dollar. The best exchange rates are found at private moneychangers who operate throughout the territory, particularly in the more popular souks (markets) and shopping centres. Most major credit cards are accepted. ATMs are common throughout the UAE. Banking hours are generally Saturday to Thursday from 8am to 3pm, but some are also open until 8.30pm, after a midday break.
The International code for the United Arab Emirates is +971. Local mobile phone networks provide wide GSM coverage throughout the country. Guest starter packs, including a SIM card and credit, can be bought on arrival at the airport, providing three months of cellular access. Internet cafes are widely available, and most hotels have high speed internet access. The internet is censored to filter out any material and websites deemed undesirable by the authorities.
The green and white A1 bus goes to the city and stops outside Arrivals at Terminals 1 and 2. It departs every 40 minutes, 24-hours a day, and a single ticket costs AED 4. Travel time to the city is approximately 40 minutes according to traffic. Alternatively, CityHoppa runs shuttle vans and private cars from the airport to Abu Dhabi city centre.
Car rental companies represented at the airport include Thrifty, Avis, Budget and Europcar.
Metered airport taxis are readily available outside the arrivals hall and trips to the city centre cost around AED 75. The journey to Abu Dhabi takes approximately 30-35 minutes.
Abu Dhabi Airport has a city terminal where passengers can check in up to 12 hours before a flight, and then be shuttled to the actual airport. The three terminals at the airport are within walking distance of each other.
The City Terminal offers a business centre with internet access, showers, ATMs, a duty-free shop, restaurants, and a VIP lounge. Facilities at the airport itself include duty-free shops, a meet and assist service, a VIP lounge, pharmacy, medical service, ATMs, bureaux de change, restaurants and cafés, a business centre and post office.
There are many parking options at Abu Dhabi International Airport: short-term parking is conveniently located near the terminal and costs AED 20 per hour; daily parking is available for rates ranging from AED 800 for four days to AED 1,200 for a week; and long-term parking is charged at AED 120 per day (the long-term lot, which is further away, is serviced by free shuttles to the terminals).
Abu Dhabi International Airport offers free wifi access.