Abu Dhabi Safety, security and travel

Table of Contents
  1. Introduction
  2. Things To Do in Abu Dhabi
  3. Safety and Travelling in Abu Dhabi
  4. Weather in Abu Dhabi

How Safe Is Abu Dhabi?

Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a position that suitably makes it the epicentre of finance, culture, and industry in the Middle East.

It is a giant among the seven Emirates of the UAE. Its skyline is lined by some of the world's most iconic buildings, its streets with the safest roads, and its people of the friendliest nature.

Every day, several tourists vacation in this royal city to experience the wonders of Abu Dhabi. While tourists go about their various adventurous activities, the city's ever-vigilant security systems are always on the lookout for any breach in security. Abu Dhabi's security systems are so highly efficient that Gallup's Law and Order 2021 report lists Abu Dhabi as the city where people feel more secure walking at night than any other place in the world.

According to the Ministry of Economy report, tourism made up about 11.6% of the country's income. Because it's a country that thrives on the proceeds of tourism, amongst other things, visitors are treated like royalty, irrespective of origin. According to the Numbeo safety index, Abu Dhabi spends a good deal on security, making it the safest place in the world to live, invest, and work.

How Safe is Abu Dhabi For Women?

Despite the chaos in the Middle East bordering on women's safety and infringement of their rights, unsurprisingly, Abu Dhabi isn't tainted by this menace. According to the Women, Peace and Security Index issued by Georgetown University, Abu Dhabi was ranked the safest place for women to walk alone at night.

Records reveal that about 40 to 60% of women have experienced some form of sexual harassment on the streets of the Middle East. However, Abu Dhabi seems to be far removed from the realities of this region. A study published by the Global data website, Numbeo, ranks Abu Dhabi as the safest city in the world to reside in.

The rate of rape in the UAE is 18 times less than in the United States of America. One can see that the popularity of the UAE is increasing among tourists due to this city's investment in security.

Families and loved ones are guaranteed total security of their lives and property by Abu Dhabi's efficient security systems.

Is Abu Dhabi safe for women who are travelling solo? Yes! Although travelling solo as a woman is rarely without its accompanying risks. However, compared to their contemporaries in the West, females travelling solo are much safer in Abu Dhabi. If you observe the necessary precautions, you can count on this city to keep you safe as you explore.

How Safe Is Living In Abu Dhabi?

For the sixth time in a row, Abu Dhabi has secured a spot as the safest city in the world to reside in. Two other Emirates of the UAE, namely Dubai and Sharjah, make up the list of the top ten safest cities in the world.

With an assigned safety index of 88.4%, Abu Dhabi is a haven for people to grow, work, raise their families, and enjoy life. Similarly, Abu Dhabi boasts of an almost nonexistent crime rate. Burglaries and robberies occur 13 times less and 11 times less consecutively than in the United States. Tourists can go about their activities without the fear of being mugged or robbed. Substance abuse and sale are also at a low in this mega city, owing to stringent measures put in place by the authorities.

In addition to this, terrorism is highly prohibited in Abu Dhabi, and the government set up agencies to curb extremism and educate its citizens against extremism.

Is Abu Dhabi Free From The Influence Of Isis?

Yes, Abu Dhabi is free from the influence of Isis. In the bid to counter terrorism in the UAE, the Emirate established the Higher Committee for Crises and Terrorist Acts Management (HCCTAM). This body prevents terrorism in the city by banning suspicious funding, securing the borders of the UAE, preventing the recruitment of fighters, etc.

In furtherance of their objective, the government also put in place Antiterrorism laws that mete out severe punishment to people deemed to be extremists. Therefore, tourists can rest assured that they are unlikely to fall victim to terrorism.

Is Abu Dhabi's Airport Safe?

Abu Dhabi's airport is 100% safe for anyone coming into the city or leaving it. The city has a population of which about 80% are expats or foreigners, so it caters well to the entry and exit point of the Emirate.

The international airport in the city is an impressive, state-of-the-art facility that is even made more alluring because of its safety. The facility has an inbuilt hotel where individuals in transit can lodge.

To top it off, the home base of the award-winning airline Etihad Airlines is in Abu Dhabi! A good part of the Emirate's money went into investing in this airline, and they are reaping the great benefits.

Natural Disasters In Abu Dhabi

The UAE is relatively safe regarding natural disasters because of the stable climate. However, there are natural disasters that periodically plague this city.

The recurring natural disaster that plagues Abu Dhabi is extremely high temperatures that can exceed 50°c. We advise tourists to wear sunscreens and drink enough water while in the city.

Tropical cyclones are organized systems of thunderstorms that have also occurred in Abu Dhabi over the years. However, the impact of these storms is very little compared to neighbouring regions.

There is also a history of droughts and landslides in the UAE. Floods have also been known to occur in the city. Overall, the incidence of natural disasters in the UAE, while not insignificant as to be dismissible, shouldn't discourage you from visiting this city.

The Healthcare Industry In Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi's healthcare industry is ranked as one of the most competent healthcare delivery systems in the world. By current metrics, Abu Dhabi was graded as the 9th most visited country for medical tourism. This ranking was made by the Medical Tourism Index, which judges based on destination attractiveness, quality, and safety of care out of 45 global destinations for medical tourism.

It is true that Abu Dhabi's standard of healthcare is top-notch, and can accurately be compared to the standards obtainable in the West. Healthcare professionals in the city are highly qualified, and the city has been listed as one of the top places for qualified medical professionals to migrate to.

Who Regulates Healthcare?

Healthcare in the city is provided by the government and the private sector. However, the Ministry of Health and Prevention is the general overseer of the healthcare delivery system in the Emirate. However, the Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD) also exercises some degree of control in the capital city.

Over the years, specialities such as dermatology, dentistry, orthopaedics, and fertility treatment have been the major reasons for the influx of medical tourists.

Abu Dhabi has also been experiencing an increase in the number of outstanding medical specialists from all over the world. The city currently has about 181 doctors per 100,000 residents, which corresponds to the WHO recommended ratio.

How The Healthcare System Works

Healthcare in Abu Dhabi thrives on government support and the emerging private sector. All residents in this city can access healthcare either from state-owned facilities or private facilities. The private facilities tend to be costlier, but residents or expats who have medical insurance can get a discount on fees.

Both the public and private sectors provide top-notch care with state-of-the-art facilities in use by all sectors. English is the primary language for communication in private facilities as most healthcare professionals are foreign-trained.

Searching for a health professional in the UAE is largely done through online portals that are accessible every day of the week and every hour of the day. Information about the doctor and the hospital/clinic can be gotten from these sites.

Health Insurance in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi mandates every resident to have a health insurance plan. Your health insurance will depend on what type of plan you want, where you work, where you reside, and your income level. Generally, every employer is mandated by the government to provide health insurance for their workers. This insurance covers the worker’s spouse and three children that are under 18 years of age. If a worker has more than three children, the cost of care for these children falls solely on the employee.

Some of the insurance companies currently operating in Abu Dhabi include:

« Cigna Global

« Allianz

« APRIL International

Citizens of the UAE have their healthcare costs subsidized by the government. However, expats get their subsidies from their employers in the form of health insurance. Expats are expected to visit the hospitals and clinics that are covered by their health insurance. However, if they visit hospitals that are not covered by their insurance, the cost accrued may be reimbursed by their insurance company or they may have to pay out of pocket. This can be very expensive.

Varying Options Of Care

Options of care vary as you move from one emirate to another. However, the quality of care is fairly uniform across all regions.

Citizens of the United Arab Emirates

Healthcare is free or low-cost for UAE citizens. This is due to government support and subsidies.


For expats in the UAE, the cost of care may be expensive. Expats who are enrolled in an insurance plan may pay only a small amount for their care.

To enjoy the benefits of subsidized healthcare like UAE citizens, expats can apply for the national public health card through the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP). This allows them to enjoy a 50% discount on healthcare just like UAE citizens. The application for this card costs 500 AED and the card is accepted only at a few facilities.

Women And Children

The UAE offers specialized care to women and children. These facilities are staffed with only female professionals, and females who desire to receive care from only females can easily visit these facilities.

These facilities also provide various healthcare packages that are tailored to cater to the unique needs of women, neonates, and children. Expats should note that if a woman is not married, she cannot deliver her baby in the UAE. Women are mandated to provide proof of marriage before they are allowed to receive pregnancy care and fertility care. Abortion is prohibited in the UAE and is only allowed on the premise of a fatal genetic condition or if a woman’s life is at risk.

Health Facilities in Abu Dhabi

Health facilities in Abu Dhabi are either government-owned or privately-owned. As an expat, you will mostly be patronizing private facilities. These private facilities are equipped with state-of-the-art technology and are staffed with competent health professionals.

People hoping to visit Abu Dhabi as medical tourists can shop for doctors online and book their consultations with doctors before arriving in Abu Dhabi.

To further improve the healthcare delivery system in the UAE, the government created three health cities. These cities are dedicated to healthcare and are more like campuses that have several different specialties within them.

The three healthcare cities include

« Sheikh Khalifa Medical City

« Dubai Healthcare City

« Sharjah City

There are numerous pharmacies in Abu Dhabi, and many of them are open 24 hours a day. Be careful about the prescription medications you bring into the UAE because some prescription drugs are illegal in this country. Consequences are dire for individuals found with illegal medications.

What To Do In An Emergency In Abu Dhabi

In a health emergency, the number to call is 998. This number can be reached anywhere irrespective of your location in the UAE. The healthcare facilities in Abu Dhabi are equipped with state-of-the-art technology that can handle any health crisis at any time of the day. Care is offered promptly by highly qualified professionals, and expats are sure to receive quality care.

Once a patient has been stabilized by the emergency team, they may be transferred to other facilities where they can receive specialized care. The cost of care in emergency scenarios is free of charge. The only cost that may be accrued is further treatment by specialists.

How To Get Around In Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi has an efficient and budget-friendly transport system. As a tourist, you can decide to choose any form of transportation from the myriad of commuting options available. However, because it’s an island city, you can easily get around on foot depending on where you stay, with no threat to your safety. 

So what are the transport systems available in Abu Dhabi? Which of the transport systems is the most budget-friendly? Which transport system is best for a family? All of these questions and many more will be answered in the body of this article.

Taxi Service In Abu Dhabi

Taxis are a favourite mode of transportation in Abu Dhabi among tourists. They are well regulated and affordable for everyone. When you land at the airport, you can simply take a taxi to your hotel. These taxis are always around the corner from hotels and popular places. They can be flagged down on the street or booked through an app called TransAD. This app permits you to book a ride within ten minutes of your current location. The TransAD app is available on iOS and Android and can easily be downloaded for use.

Their signature yellow roof signs and silver livery are always a giveaway. However, if you’re unable to find a taxi around you, the app comes in handy. These bookings extend to larger vehicles for families and wheelchair-friendly vehicles to accommodate disabled people.

The ride-hailing app called Careem is also available in this city. While taxi drivers understand the layout of this city well, the ever-changing street names and numbers can cause a bit of confusion from time to time. Therefore, it’s better to describe the landmark of where you’re going instead of giving them only the address.

Buses in Abu Dhabi

The bus service in Abu Dhabi is a fun and refreshing way to get around Abu Dhabi. Apart from the fact that you get to take in this beautiful city in the comfort of company, it can be free! You can get free bus passes if you buy attraction tickets via their hotel booking confirmation or the Visit Abu Dhabi platform.

The buses are usually air-conditioned and allow for wheelchairs. They stop at notable landmarks and hotels in Abu Dhabi, allowing passengers to view this beautiful city. Tourists can make use of the bus to visit several attractions in Abu Dhabi, such as Yas Island, Waned Bros Park, Sadiyaat Island, etc. Transport via a shuttle bus only costs about 2 AED for several locations. However, you will have to register for a temporary Hafilat card that can be gotten at the Central Abu Dhabi bus station for 5 AED.

Driving Yourself-Car Rental In Abu Dhabi

For tourists who love to explore a city at their own pace, renting a car in Abu Dhabi is a good way to go about it. This affords you the freedom to experience everything this city has to offer at any time you choose to. To rent a car in Abu Dhabi, you have to present your driver’s license, obtained either from your country of origin or internationally, a copy of your passport, and a valid credit card.

Many car rental services operate in Abu Dhabi. Most of them offer additional rental packages such as car insurance, 24-hour assistance, vehicle maintenance, and so on. These companies rent out only the most reliable vehicles in perfect condition for use. Cars in Abu Dhabi are left-hand drive and come with car seats for children under four years of age.

Drivers unaccustomed to the transport system in Abu Dhabi may encounter a bit of a challenge while driving. This is because there are several one-way systems in the city, traffic clears fast, and there is a lot of road construction and big trucks on the road to deal with. Therefore, if you want to rent a car, be sure that you’re confident and can deal with all of these.

Drivers can park their cars easily, thanks to Abu Dhabi’s paid parking system, called Mawaqif. Drivers are required to pay about 2–3 AED per hour based on their location. Drivers should be aware that tolls are added on roads that lead on and off the main island. Hence, any car you rent will come with a tag for tolls.

Biking in Abu Dhabi

Bikes are another fun and healthy way for tourists to get around Abu Dhabi. Using the Careem Bike app, you can discover and hire bikes from over 50 bike-share locations in Abu Dhabi. There are also independent companies operating in the city, such as Fun Ride Sports, that allow tourists to rent different types of bikes, such as city bikes and mountain bikes. You can pay for daily, weekly, or monthly use of bikes via these apps.

Getting Around by Walking

Walking in Abu Dhabi is a good and safe way to get to your destination. Getting by on foot is particularly helpful when you’re going downtown in Abu Dhabi. This way, you can take in the sights and feel of this delightful city. Walking is specifically beneficial if you’re passing through the Corniche, which allows tourists to walk even with a stroller. This corniche also has long stretches of land of about 8 kilometres and beaches that are suitable for strolling.

Despite this, some places do not make room for wheelchairs and strollers. You may also encounter pavements that are high and difficult to manoeuvre through and down ramps that have no connecting up ramps. The heat and sunlight may also be problematic for you, so endeavour to use sunscreen and carry a bottle of water before you set out on your walk.

Moving From Abu Dhabi Airport To Your Hotel

The best way to commute from the airport to your hotel is by taxi. The airport taxis use black Mercedes vans, and they’re easy to locate at the exit area. The taxis charge about 25 AED to move from the airport to the city. 

Taking the bus is also another way to get to your destination from the airport. They leave from the lower part of Terminals 1 and 3. These buses are coloured green and white, and they transit from the airport to the fish market.

To move to the airport from your hotel, you can either hail a cab in the city or make arrangements with a private airport transfer company.

Go To
  1. Introduction
  2. Things To Do in Abu Dhabi
  3. Safety and Travelling in Abu Dhabi
  4. Weather in Abu Dhabi

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