Travel From UAE to Turkey in 2024: Your Full Guide

Travel from UAE to Turkey in 2023

Turkey is one of the most popular travel destinations for UAE citizens and residents. Whether you plan to explore Istanbul's vibrant streets, Antalya's tranquil beaches, or Cappadocia's rock formations, Turkey has something for every traveler. 

In this comprehensive guide, we'll cover everything you need to know about visiting Turkey in 2023, whether you live in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, or any of the other Emirates.

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cappacodia in turkey

Turkey Visa Requirements for UAE Residents and Citizens in 2023

There are two options to apply for a Turkey visa from the UAE.

  • Turkey Visa Application Centres: Depending on your passport, you may need to secure a Turkish Tourist Visa through the Turkey Visa Application Centre. You can visit the Visa Application Center if your passport isn't eligible for an e-visa. 
  • E-visa: Otherwise, you can apply for a Turkey e-visa online.

Turkey E-Visa  

The easier way to apply for a Turkey visa is through the e-visa system. However, this is valid for a select number of nationalities, so check your eligibility before applying.

You’ll need several documents to apply for a Turkey visa from UAE. This may include a valid passport, accommodation and flight bookings, health insurance, proof of financial security, your residency, and any other documents such as proof of accommodation.

mosque in turkey

Best Time To Visit Turkey

The best times to travel from UAE to Turkey are from April to May and September to October. During these months, the warm climate is perfect for walking and exploring. They're also not busy with tourists, so it's more relaxed and less costly. 

On the other hand, the peak tourist season is from June to August. It’s also not uncommon to run into another UAE-based friend if you travel to Turkey during Eid! On the other hand, Turkey’s low season is between November and March. Despite it being cold during those months, it's a fantastic time for budget travel and ski resorts!

Here's a detailed rundown of Turkey's weather all year round.

Spring (April To May)

Turkey basks in the beauty of blooming flowers and warm weather. While most parts of the country, including Istanbul, are inviting during these months, be cautious about visiting the Turquoise Coast as some resorts might be closed post-winter. Spring also sees the International Istanbul Film Festival in April and the Hidrellez Festival in May, a celebration of spring with traditional music.

Summer (June To August)

This is when it's the most hot and crowded. Tourists flock to Turkey during this time of the year to enjoy their summer vacations. It's especially hot inland, but the coastal areas offer the perfect weather. Enjoy the beach, and attend the Aspendos International Opera and Ballet Festival.

Fall (September To October)

Shorter, cooler days are ahead! This is a great time to appreciate Turkey's cultural heritage along the Silk Route or hike the Lycian Way. However, the Kurban Bayrami holiday in early September brings crowds. 

Winter (November To March)

This is the low season due to colder temperatures, except in the southeastern region near Antalya. 

While it's not the best time to tan, it's the perfect time to ski, particularly in Erzurum or Kartepe. This season also offers quieter city experiences, particularly in Istanbul. If you're visiting in December, make sure to enjoy the Mevlana and Whirling Dervish Festival in Konya.

shop in turkey with lanterns

Top Places To Visit in Turkey

Visiting Turkey is like walking through history. Here are the top cities to visit in Turkey and the most popular places to explore during your trip.

Ankara, Turkey


As Turkey's capital, Ankara ranks high on the list of cities attracting travelers, especially those interested in historical and archaeological tourism. It's known as the city of art and culture in Turkey thanks to its ancient museums and extensive art exhibitions. Here are the top attractions to visit in Ankara:

  • Kocatepe Mosque: Ankara’s largest mosque.
  • The Old Quarter and Fortress: A historic neighborhood with old houses, narrow streets, and the Ankara Fortress at its heart.
  • Museum of Anatolian Civilizations: Houses extensive collections from the Paleolithic era to the Byzantines, offering a deep insight into Turkey's history.
  • Mausoleum of Ataturk: The final resting place of Ataturk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, renowned for its grand architecture.
  • CerModern Art Museum: Ankara's primary contemporary art venue hosting exhibitions, performances, and workshops.

Istanbul, Turkey


Istanbul, arguably one of Turkey's most important tourist destinations, boasts an array of historical and cultural sites. Whether you love adventure, shopping, art, and history, or consider yourself a foodie, you'll love Istanbul! The most notable tourist landmarks in Istanbul include:

  • The Blue Mosque: An iconic Istanbul landmark renowned for its stunning blue-tiled interior.
  • Suleymaniye Mosque: A grand 16th-century mosque offering beautiful views over the city.
  • Camlica Mosque: The largest mosque in Turkey, with modern architecture and incredible vistas of Istanbul.
  • Chora Church: Known for its mosaics and frescoes depicting biblical scenes, now serving as a museum.
  • Bosphorus Strait: A waterway providing spectacular views of Istanbul's coastline.
  • Maiden's Tower: A historical and iconic structure located in the middle of the Bosphorus.
  • Hagia Sophia Museum: Once a church, later a mosque, and now a museum, it's a symbol of Istanbul's rich history.
  • Istanbul Modern Art Museum: A museum dedicated to contemporary arts in Turkey.
  • Walls of Constantinople: Historic defensive walls offering a glimpse into Istanbul's Byzantine period.
  • Taksim Square: Istanbul's most famous square, known as a hub for entertainment and shopping.

Rize, Turkey


Love nature and want to unwind? Rize, known for its breathtaking natural scenery, is perfect for anyone looking to escape the city life. Explore nature and visit these popular landmarks in Rize:

  • Ayder Village: A mountain village known for its traditional houses, hot springs, and green landscapes.
  • Cagrankaya Peak: Offers incredible hiking opportunities and breathtaking views of the surrounding areas.
  • Rize Beaches: Known for pebble beaches and clear, blue waters of the Black Sea.

Antalya, Turkey


Recreational and historical travel meet in Antalya. Relax on beautiful beaches and clear sea waters, or explore historical sites. Here are the top attractions to visit in Antalya:

  • Hadrian's Gate: An impressive Roman-era gate adorned with intricate carvings.
  • Yivli Minare Mosque: Known for its unique fluted minaret and beautiful interior.
  • Sultan Mohammad Tekeli Mosque: An important historic mosque displaying a fine example of Ottoman architecture.
  • Murat Pasha Mosque: Famous for its hand-painted tiles and ornate decorations.
  • Old City: Antalya's historic city with well-preserved buildings, bustling markets, and charming cobblestone streets.
  • Konyaalti Beach: A beautiful pebble beach offering a perfect spot for sunbathing and water sports.
  • Antalya Archaeological Museum: One of Turkey's top museums showcasing extensive collections from the surrounding region.

Cappadocia, Turkey


Have you ever seen a picture of hot air balloons in Turkey? That picture was probably taken in Cappadocia! One of the top cities to visit in Turkey, Cappadocia’s landscape of eroded rock formations is known as "fairy chimneys." The region is famous for its history, underground cities, and rock-cut architecture. Some of the key attractions in Cappadocia include:

  • Göreme Open Air Museum: Famous for its monastic complexes carved out of rock.
  • Uçhisar Castle: A rock-cut castle offering panoramic views of the Cappadocian landscape.
  • Derinkuyu Underground City: Turkey’s largest excavated underground city.
  • Hot air ballooning: An iconic activity in Cappadocia, offering a bird's eye view of the stunning landscape.

Pamukkale, Turkey


Known for its mineral-rich thermal waters flowing down white terraces on a nearby hillside, Pamukkale is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Key attractions include:

  • Travertine Terraces: Natural pools formed by mineral deposits.
  • Hierapolis: A nearby ancient Roman city with well-preserved ruins.
  • Cleopatra's Pool: A thermal bath where you can swim amid ancient Roman ruins.

Ephesus, Turkey


Ephesus, an ancient city on Turkey's Ionian coast, was one of the most important cities of the Greek empire. The well-preserved ruins make Ephesus a must-visit destination. Its most famous attractions include:

  • Library of Celsus: An ancient Roman building.
  • Temple of Artemis: One of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

Bodrum in Turkey


Bodrum is a beautiful seaside city in Mugla Province, attracting tourists with its azure beaches, bustling nightlife, and historical sites. Its main attractions include:

  • Bodrum Castle: Also known as the Castle of St. Peter, it now operates as the Museum of Underwater Archaeology.
  • Ancient Theatre of Bodrum: One of the best-preserved ancient theatres in Turkey.
  • Mausoleum at Halicarnassus: The ruins of one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

shopping in Istanbul, Turkey

Shopping in Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul is a haven for shoppers. Did you know that some famous stores in Dubai are originally based in Turkey? This means items are much cheaper there! Many UAE residents and citizens fly off to Turkey with a main goal: to shop for a third of the price of the same item you'd find in the UAE. 

It's common for brides to order or travel to buy their wedding dresses from Turkey for a fraction of the price, with the same great quality. 

Grand Bazaar 

If you're planning to shop in Turkey, you must visit the Grand Bazaar, one of the world's oldest and largest covered markets. With over 4,000 shops across 61 streets, you can find everything from carpets, spices, jewelry, textiles, and ceramics. Haggling here is quite common.

Spice Bazaar 

For a unique shopping experience, head over to the Spice Bazaar. This fragrant market is a feast for the senses with its array of colorful spices, dried fruits, nuts, and Turkish delights. 

Designer Shopping

Istiklal Avenue and Nisantasi are perfect if you're looking for international designer boutiques and Turkish designer outlets.

You can also visit Istinye Park and Kanyon, two of Istanbul's luxury shopping centers housing international brands, cinemas, restaurants, and more.

spices in Turkey

Turkey Travel Tips for UAE Residents and Citizens

Before flying from the UAE to Turkey, follow these tips for a smooth trip.


The Turkish lira (TRY) is the local currency. You can use credit cards around Turkey, but carrying some cash for convenience stores and bazaars can be useful. Turkey also has a wide range of ATMs and currency exchange facilities.

Plugs and Adaptors

Turkey primarily uses two types of plug systems, Type C and Type F. Type C has two round pins, while Type F also features two round pins along with two earth clips on the side. The country operates on a standard voltage of 230V and a frequency of 50Hz. Since you're visiting from the UAE, which has a plug type G, we recommend you pack a compatible adapter for your electronic devices.

Getting Around

Navigating through Turkey is relatively straightforward. Public transport, such as local taxis and buses, are readily available, and services are generally reliable. 

For free spirits and adventurers, car rental services are available throughout Turkey. You can opt to rent a car if you plan to explore off-the-beaten-path destinations or remote terrains.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about traveling from UAE to Turkey.

How many hours does it take to fly from Dubai to Istanbul?

A direct flight from Dubai to Istanbul typically takes around four and a half hours to five hours.

What's the time difference between UAE and Turkey?

The UAE is ahead of Turkey by one hour. This means if it's noon in Dubai, it's 11:00 AM in Istanbul. 

Where can I buy a flight ticket to Turkey in Dubai?

You can purchase tickets to Turkey from a variety of sources, including online travel agencies, airline websites, or from a local travel agency in Dubai.

How long does it take to get a Turkey visa from Dubai?

The processing time can vary. However, the e-visa is typically processed within 24 hours. It could take longer if additional documents are required or if you apply via a Turkish embassy or consulate.

Please note that this information is subject to change, and it's recommended to check the official websites or contact the relevant authorities for the most current information.

Turkey Airalo eSIM

Turkey eSIM: Stay Connected With Airalo

Stay connected during your trip to Turkey with an eSIM from Airalo. An eSIM is a tiny SIM that's embedded in your device and works 100% digitally. You can download an eSIM for your destination and instantly connect to a mobile network. Save time looking for a SIM card vendor, managing multiple SIMs, or worrying about roaming fees. 

Here are some of the benefits of using an eSIM from Airalo on your upcoming trip:

  • Instantly connect to a mobile network at your destination.
  • Choose from flexible local, regional, and global data plans.
  • Say goodbye to expensive roaming charges.
  • Store multiple eSIMs on your device.
  • Need more data? Top up in the Airalo app.

Are you flying soon? Install a Turkey eSIM to stay connected throughout your trip!


Ready to try eSIMs and change the way you stay connected?

Download the Airalo app to purchase, manage, and top up your eSIMs anytime, anywhere!

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