Before You Depart

Deluxe Dubai & Abu Dhabi


Your flights between the U.S. and UAE will be on the below airlines. Please make sure to allow sufficient time for clearing customs and immigration if you are planning a connecting flight. We recommend at least three-and-a-half hours. Please note that flight schedules are subject to change without prior notice.

Date Airline Airport Depart Return
2024: Jan. 23, Feb. 6, Nov. 5 Etihad Airways New York (JFK) 1:40 PM 3:55 PM
2024: Mar. 19 Etihad Airways New York (JFK) 2:40 PM 4:55 PM
2024: Apr. 2 Etihad Airways New York (JFK) 3:30 PM 4:15 PM
2024: May 7, Jun. 11, Jul. 23, Sep. 3, Oct. 15, Oct. 22 Etihad Airways New York (JFK) 3:30 PM 4:55 PM
2024: Apr. 23 TBA New York (JFK) TBA TBA



The above airlines do not assign seats in advance. Seat assignments can only be arranged at the airport upon check-in. If you have a preferred seating choice, please make sure you check-in for your flight as early as possible.


Booking your own flights has advantages like flying from your home airport, choosing your own seats, upgrading your seats, and using and collecting airline miles. Tour-only travelers are responsible for arranging their entry and exit flights, as well as their arrival and departure transfers. Unused land services including those caused by air schedule changes and delays are non-refundable and smarTours cannot be held responsible.

When booking your flights, please note that our tour starts in Abu Dhabi and ends in Dubai. We recommend that you:

  • Fly into Zayed International Airport (AUH)
  • Fly out of Dubai International Airport (DXB)

The distance between the Abu Dhabi and Dubai airports is approximately 80 miles and it is a common option to fly round-trip into your preferred airport.


When and where you’ll meet the rest of the group depends on if you purchased our air-inclusive package with group flights from/returning to the U.S. or our tour-only package.

  • smarTours Group Air Travelers: Upon arrival in destination, please proceed through customs and immigration. Our Tour Director will be waiting for you at the airport upon arrival in the arrivals area near the point you clear customs with a smarTours sign.
  • smarTours Tour-Only Travelers: We recommend you arrive around 4 PM to settle in before joining the welcome orientation and dinner on Day 1. Hotel check-in is generally not before 4 PM.


The final end point for your tour depends on if you purchased our air-inclusive package with group flights from/returning to the U.S. or our tour-only package.

  • smarTours Group Air Travelers: On our last day, we’ll transfer to the airport for our return flight to the U.S.
  • smarTours Tour-Only Travelers: The tour ends after breakfast on the last day. Generally, hotel check-out is prior to 12 PM (noon).


Travelers must be in possession of a passport valid for at least 6 months after the date of travel. A visitor visa is required for U.S. passport holders and may be obtained upon arrival at no cost. All visitors must have at least one blank visa page in their passports for the UAE entry stamp. As of October 13, 2020, the UAE government requires visitors to show proof of their hotel accommodation booking and return flight upon arrival. Before your trip, review travel requirements and restrictions by country including passport and visa requirements. You can also learn more about passport and visa services. Please remember that it is your responsibility to obtain the necessary travel documents before the trip.

If you are a citizen of a foreign country that requires a visa to the UAE, we are able to secure the visa through our UAE land operator at a cost of $100 USD (included on your invoice and paid directly to smarTours with your final payment). You must email the following to no later than 75 days prior to your departure and include your travel dates in the subject line. Unfortunately, we cannot accept the below documents by mail. As an added security measure, Immigration Authorities are now conducting random eye screening for visitors. Visitors asked to proceed for eye screening are required to present a hard copy of their visa or a printed version of the visa number confirmation page at the screening counter. If you do not have a copy with you, a charge of AED 30 per copy applies – payable only in AED.

  • Clear, scanned color passport copy (photograph of passport not allowed)
  • Passport-size (2″ x 2″) color picture in JPEG format, with a file size less than 38 KB (no zip files)

Please remember that it is your responsibility to obtain the necessary travel documents before the trip.


Final instructions, documents, and travel tips will be emailed to you 10–14 days before the scheduled start of your tour. If you have not received your final documents, please check your spam folder or contact smarTours.


Immunizations are not currently required; however, you should consult your personal physician, local public health authorities or the Center of Disease Control (CDC) as to their suggestions.


The UAE has a very warm climate, and we recommend that you bring comfortable clothing. Certain religious sites require a dress code (specifically, long sleeve shirts and long pants or floor length skirts). The temperature in January and February is in the mid 60’s; March, April, November, and December is in the 70’s; May and October is in the 80’s, and September is in the low 90’s.


Your Tour Director will be happy to offer suggestions for restaurants for non-included meals. The average cost for dinner (excluding drinks) in a restaurant is about $20-25 per meal, per person. Your hotels will accept credit cards for non-included meals.


The official currency of the United Arab Emirates is the United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED). For the best exchange rates and convenience, we recommend withdrawing local currency at an ATM once you arrive. There are also Exchange Houses located at malls. Visa and Mastercard are also widely accepted.


The United Arab Emirates operates on 230 volts/50 Hz and uses plug type G. Learn more about plug types, adapters, and converters.


Each passenger may bring one piece of checked-in luggage and one carry-on piece. Please check with the airline for the maximum weight and size for luggage. We recommend that you do not over-pack and that you take a variety of separates with climate and comfort in mind.