Experience United Arab Emirates
For most people, the United Arab Emirates means just one place: Dubai, the sci-fi-esque city of iconic skyscrapers, palm-shaped islands, city-sized malls, indoor ski slopes, and palatial beach resorts. But beyond the glitter awaits a diverse mosaic of six more emirates, each with its own character and allure. Not only a luxury place, but UAE is also a melting pot of cultures, where visitors from around the world come to experience the warm hospitality and vibrant energy of this unique destination.
Experience the glamour of Dubai, home to the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, and the iconic Burj Al Arab hotel. Relax on pristine white sand beaches, shop at luxury malls, and dine at world-class restaurants. Take a thrilling desert safari tour or ski on real snow at the indoor ski slope. Abu Dhabi, the capital city, is a must-visit destination for culture enthusiasts. Explore the majestic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, one of the largest mosques in the world, and visit the Qasr Al Watan Palace, a stunning architectural masterpiece that showcases the country's rich heritage.
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UAE's Top 5
Deira & Bur Dubai
Straddling the creek, Deira and Bur Dubai offer an eye-opening peek into the city’s past. Bur Dubai’s neatly restored Al Fahidi and Shindagha historical quarters are wonderful for late-afternoon strolls, while a quick abra (traditional ferry boat) ride away, dazzlingly multicultural Deira is most famous for its cacophonous souqs and the colorful dhow wharfage. Loaded with everything from air-conditioners to chewing gum and car tyres, dhows are traditional trading vessels that have plied the waters between here and Iran, India, and other far-flung locales for centuries.
Known as a luxurious resort in Dubai, UAE, known for its stunning architecture, impeccable service, and world-class amenities. The heart of the resort is the Souk Madinat Jumeirah, a charming shopping and dining complex that captures the essence of traditional Arabia. Here, you can stroll through narrow alleyways and browse stalls selling everything from jewelry and textiles to spices and souvenirs.
Sharjah Desert Park
One of the main attractions at Sharjah Desert Park is Arabia's Wildlife Centre, which is home to over 100 species of native animals, including Arabian leopards, sand gazelles, and oryx. The center features indoor and outdoor exhibits, as well as interactive displays and educational programs. Another highlight of the park is the Arabian Desert Life Museum, which showcases the traditional lifestyle and culture of the region's Bedouin tribes.
About two hours east of Abu Dhabi, Al Ain is fed by natural springs and set among oases and plantations, garnering it the nickname ‘Garden City’. Visitors flock to its forts, museums, zoo, Unesco sites, and central date palm oasis. A highlight is a drive up the mountain road serpentining to the top of Jebel Hafeet, treating you to sweeping views of the arid splendor that is the Empty Quarter along the way.
One of the main attractions in Khor Fakkan is the beautiful beach, which stretches for several kilometers and offers pristine white sand and crystal-clear waters. Visitors can enjoy a range of activities, such as swimming, sunbathing, and water sports. It also hosts a range of cultural and entertainment events throughout the year, such as concerts, plays, and festivals. Visitors can also take a trip to the nearby Hajar Mountains, which offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape and a range of outdoor activities, such as hiking, camping, and rock climbing.
When to travel
For those looking to enjoy the warm weather and the beaches, the best time to travel to the UAE is from May to September.
The winter months, from November to April, offer cooler temperatures and a more pleasant climate for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and sightseeing.
The UAE is a great destination for families, offering a range of activities and attractions such as amusement parks, water parks, and indoor entertainment centers.
The UAE offers many opportunities for adventure travel, such as dune bashing, skydiving, and scuba diving.
Burj Khalifa At the Top Sky, Dubai
At 555m this elevation deck, the highest in the world, is as near as you can get to flying without leaving the ground.
Jebel Jais Drive, Ras al Khaimah
Corkscrewing to the top of the Emirates’ highest peak, this new road ascends to almost 2000m and is dusted in snow in winter.
The Al Fahidi Historic District
Located in Dubai, this historic neighborhood features traditional Arabian architecture, narrow streets, and wind towers.
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
This beautiful mosque in Abu Dhabi is one of the largest in the world and features stunning architecture and intricate design details.
Abu Dhabi Louvre, Saadiyat Island
Inspired by the pattern of light in a palm plantation, this remarkable building designed by Jean Nouvel will hold an international collection of fine art.
First Time Visit
What To Pack
Hat and sunglasses – the sun is ferocious year-round
Modest clothing – essential for all
A warm layer – locals like their malls chilly
Sturdy, closed shoes – desert hiking is a highlight, and there are scorpions about!
What To Wear
For men, it’s unacceptable to be seen anywhere in public, including hotel foyers and souqs, in shorts and vests. Avoid wearing local thobes and dishdashas (floor-length shirt dresses).
For women, dressing ‘modestly’ means covering the knees, upper arms, shoulders, and neckline. It also means wearing a bra and loose, climate-suitable clothing.
Make a point of staying in the desert. Organized desert camps and opportunities for driving off-road make it easy to visit this varied landscape.
Accept coffee and dates if invited. Whether in city shops or mountain villages, you’re bound to be asked to pause for a chat.
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