Venue

Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is the capital and the second-most populous city of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after Dubai. Abu Dhabi is also the capital of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, one of the seven emirates that comprise the UAE federation. Situated on a set of islands in the Arabian Gulf, Abu Dhabi is a cosmopolitan city with a very large international presence (90% of residents). English is the lingua franca.

To find out more, please visit this page.

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Conference Venue

EMNLP 2022 will take place in the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC). ADNEC is a multi-award-winning venue offering organizers of exhibitions, conferences, and events outstanding facilities spread over a total space of 151,000 square meters. ADNEC is just 15 minutes away from the rapidly expanding Abu Dhabi International Airport which serves over 50 airlines and 100 destinations in 46 countries around the globe. It is only 20 minutes from downtown Abu Dhabi and 90 minutes from Dubai International Airport.

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Transportation

International Flights

Over 88 airlines operate direct flights into the UAE international airports, covering more than 200 cities around the world.

The country’s two major carriers, Etihad Airways and Emirates Airline are the fastest growing in the world and provide non-stop service to all continents in the world with the exception of Antarctica. The UAE also boasts three low-cost carriers: Wizz Air, Fly Dubai and Air Arabia, the three combined provide nonstop services to over 145 destinations.

Abu Dhabi International Airport is one of only a handful of airports outside North America that offer the US Customs and Border Protection Pre-clearance facility. Having cleared Customs and Border Protection, guests can check through their baggage to their final destination in the US. When they arrive, they will be treated as domestic passengers, meaning they will save time connecting to other flights or on to their final destination.

Local Transportation

  • ADNEC is just a 20-minute car ride from Abu Dhabi Airport. From Abu Dhabi Corniche, ADNEC is located just 15 minutes away.
  • Taxis are available throughout Abu Dhabi and they are quite convenient and affordable. Abu Dhabi’s taxi network is operated by TransAD. You can book a taxi in advance by either using the Abu Dhabi Taxi App (AppStore, Google Play) or by calling 600 53 53 53. A number of taxis are available from ADNEC at the adjacent Aloft Hotel entrance. UBER is also available in Abu Dhabi but it is generally a bit more expensive than taxis.
  • Buses are also available around Abu Dhabi and ADNEC is serviced by bus number 040, seven days a week. For more information on bus routes, services and fares please see the Department of Transport website.

COVID-19 Regulations

The COVID-19 global situation is continuously changing. For the latest information on Abu Dhabi regulations, please visit this page.

Accommodation Information

Abu Dhabi has an extensive range of modern and traditional hotels featuring internationally recognized brands from budget-conscious to 5-star luxury.

More details coming soon!

Welcome Reception and Social Event

More details coming soon!

Childcare

Please check with the specific hotel where you plan to stay for childcare support.

Places to Visit

Abu Dhabi Landmarks

Emirates Palace

Located in the heart of Abu Dhabi, Emirates Palace is one of the capital’s most well-known landmarks. It is known for its enchanting Arabesque style, award-winning five-star hospitality, and wonderfully unique and authentic local experiences. Directions can be found here.

Louvre Abu Dhabi

The iconic Louvre Abu Dhabi is the first universal museum in the Arab World, translating and fostering the spirit of openness between cultures. As one of the premier cultural institutions located in the heart of the Saadiyat Cultural District on Saadiyat Island, this art-lovers’ dream displays works of historical, cultural, and sociological significance, from ancient times to the contemporary era. Directions can be found here.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

The impressive and inspiring Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is one of the world’s largest mosques and the only one that captures the unique interactions between Islam and other world cultures. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Founder of the UAE, had a very specific vision for this mosque: to incorporate architectural styles from different Muslim civilizations and celebrate cultural diversity by creating a haven that is truly welcoming and inspirational in its foundation. The mosque’s architects were British, Italian, and Emirati, with design ideas borrowed from parts of Turkey, Morocco, Pakistan, and Egypt, among other Islamic countries. Directions can be found here.

Qasr Al Hosn

Over the centuries, Qasr Al Hosn has been home to the ruling family, acted as the seat of government, housed the National Consultative Council founded by the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founder of the UAE, as well as being a national archive. Today it stands as the nation’s living memorial and a narrator of Abu Dhabi’s history. Directions can be found here.

The National Aquarium Abu Dhabi

The largest aquarium in the Middle East, The National Aquarium in Al Qana is literally swimming with aquatic wildlife featuring over 46,000 animals from more than 300 unique species. Spread across 10 nautically-themed zones, from the UAE’s Natural Treasures, sunken sea wrecks, and Atlantic caves, right through to flooded forests, fiery volcanoes, and a frozen ocean, there are more than 60 attractions that will be sure to delight and excite the whole family. Directions can be found here.

Yas Island

This family-friendly entertainment hub is just a 30-minute drive from the city and a 15-minute drive from Abu Dhabi International Airport. Yas Island is home to an F1™ race track, several theme parks, an incredible links golf course, a beautiful beach, stunning hotels, an impressive mall and much more. It’s the perfect place to bring the kids, from toddler to teen, for a fun-filled holiday by the sea. Directions can be found here.

Jubail Mangrove Park

Jubail Mangrove Park is home to meandering boardwalks that allow you to wander through the mangroves, discovering a nature-rich side to Abu Dhabi and spotting an array of wildlife, from turtles to herons, gazelle, and more. Birdwatchers, nature-lovers, and photographers will be in their element here. Directions can be found here.

Abu Dhabi’s Corniche

Abu Dhabi’s Corniche stretches over eight kilometers of manicured waterfront that includes children’s play areas, separate cycle and pedestrian pathways, cafés and restaurants, and a lifeguarded beach. Directions can be found here.

Abu Dhabi Beaches

Soul Beach Saadiyat Island Tucked away in Saadiyat Island, Soul Beach is Saadiyat Island’s new captivating beachfront location, part of the Mamsha Al Saadiyat community.

Saadiyat Beach With pristine white sands stretching out along a generous shore, Saadiyat Beach maintains its reputation as one of the most desirable beach locations in the UAE.

Yas Beach Set on a majestic stretch of white sand, sun-seekers holidaying at any of Yas Island’s hotels and hotel apartments can enjoy complimentary access to the island’s crystal clear waters and natural mangrove surrounds.

Corniche Beach This beautiful beach isn’t just home to turquoise water and soft, white sand, it also has a beautiful seaside boardwalk, with well-kept walkways home to manicured gardens and benches overlooking the picturesque Arabian Gulf.

Dubai

Dubai is only 140km (1 hour and 20 minutes by car) away from Abu Dhabi. To find out more, please visit here.

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Important Information

Climate

Abu Dhabi has a northern-hemisphere subtropical, arid climate. November to March is the most appealing time of year, and it is also when infrequent winter rains occur. The temperature range in the winter months is between 56º F (13º C) and 75º F (24º C) with typically bright sunny days which correspond to the best kind of spring weather in the US.

Clothing

Summer clothing may be worn for most of the year, but during the winter evening temperatures may occasionally call for a jacket or light coat. While dress codes are fairly liberal, consideration should be given not to offend the sensibilities of others. Swimwear should be worn only on beaches or at swimming pools. Visiting shopping malls and other attractions, tourists should wear clothing that is not too tight or revealing. Certain attractions such as mosques or religious sites usually have stricter dress codes, requiring both men and women to cover up bare shoulders, arms and legs, and women to wear headscarves.

Communications

The international dialing code for incoming calls to landlines in the UAE is +971 and 02 for Abu Dhabi. Calls to and from landlines within Abu Dhabi are free. Direct dialing is possible to over 170 countries. UAE has two mobile networks, Du and Etisalat:

  • Both offer temporary SIM cards for tourists and business travelers, including data and calls, and these can be purchased at outlets across the UAE, including at the airport and malls.
  • Roaming services are also available for most visitors if they wish to use their existing number and phone.

Currency & Living Cost

The monetary unit is the Dirham (AED), which is divided into 100 fils. The exchange rate is pegged to the US Dollar at the rate $1 = AED 3.675.

The average costs at an average coffee shop or restaurant are as follows:

  • Cup of coffee: 14-20 AED/$3.8-5.5 USD
  • Sandwich lunch: 15-30 AED/$5-8.2 USD
  • Evening meal: 30-50 AED/$8.2–13.6 USD

Electricity

The electricity supply in Abu Dhabi is 220/240 volts at 50 cycles. Standard British-type 13-amp square three-pin plugs are the norm in most hotels. European or US-made appliances may need a plug adapter.

Language

The official language of the UAE is Arabic. However, English is also very widely spoken throughout Abu Dhabi, especially in business, hospitality, retail environments, street signs, taxis, restaurant menus, etc. Urdu and Hindi are also widely spoken.

Security

As one of the most cosmopolitan and multicultural cities in the world, home to over 200 different nationalities, Abu Dhabi is an advocate for peace and stability, and proud to be a connecting hub between East and West.

  • Ranked in the 10 safest cities by Aon Hewitt, with low crime rates, a stable government, and a department of Abu Dhabi Police dedicated entirely to visitors.

Taxation

The UAE does not levy income tax on individuals. Value Added Tax is levied on a majority of goods and services.

Time Zone & Business Hours Abu Dhabi is GMT+4. Most businesses are open from 8 am to 6 pm, Monday to Friday, with Saturday and Sunday being official holidays for all government departments. Embassies, consulates, and government offices operate from 7:30 am to 2:30 pm, Monday to Friday.

Tipping & Gratuities

Tipping practices are similar to most other parts of the world. Most restaurants include a 10% service charge, but tipping, in general, is at the customer’s discretion.

Water

The tap water in Abu Dhabi is safe to drink. But locally bottled water is generally served in hotels and restaurants.

Visas Visa requirements vary by country of citizenship. Citizens of these countries do not require advance visa arrangements to enter the UAE and can obtain a visa upon arrival for 30 days with a 10-day grace period for extension. Citizens of these countries do not require advance visa arrangements to enter the UAE and can obtain a visa upon arrival for 90 days. More information about other passports is available here.

FAQs

Should I follow certain customs when visiting?

While the UAE is an Islamic country, its culture is shaped by the large number of expats from all over the globe (90% of the population from 150+ nationalities). That said, discretion and modest behavior in public spaces are generally expected. Public displays of affection between couples of all orientations and genders are generally discouraged.

Can I drink alcohol in the UAE?

The legal drinking age in the UAE is 21, except in the Emirate of Sharjah, where alcohol consumption is illegal. Sharjah is situated north of Dubai, about 1 hour and 45 minutes from Abu Dhabi by car. Being intoxicated in public is not permitted. Abu Dhabi has a zero-tolerance policy, and there are severe fines and penalties for those caught driving while under the influence.

Is Abu Dhabi dangerous?

Abu Dhabi’s general crime level is very low. Random, violent criminal acts are extremely rare. As in any other city, you should be cognizant of your surroundings and personal safety as you travel.

Is Abu Dhabi an accessible city?

Yes. Modern areas and establishments such as cultural sites, hotels, restaurants are fitted with adaptations and services for people with special needs or disabilities. Parking lots include designated spots, public spaces have been updated with proper facilities, and ramps are increasingly commonplace outside public buildings.

Would people identifying as LGBTQ+ encounter any issues?

We understand the concerns but do not anticipate any issues. The local organization team has been in touch with leaders of LGBTQ+ affinity groups to discuss how to make the venue most hospitable and answer any concerns they may have.

I have never been to the UAE before, and I have some concerns about traveling there. Who can I talk to?

The local organization team is happy to answer any questions and concerns by email or schedule Zoom sessions. Please email emnlp2022abudhabi@googlegroups.com.

We plan on updating the FAQ continuously