Reviewed on 25 Mar 2021
Reviewed on 14 Apr 2021
Reviewed on 13 Apr 2021
Go dune-bashing on a desert safari, camp beneath the stars, take a dinner cruise on a dhow and bargain for gold and spices in traditional souks. The United Arab Emirates are the crossroads of Middle Eastern and Western culture, where vast deserts contrast with luxury shopping malls, fine dining and beautiful stretches of beach. The Emirates are made up of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al-Quwain, Ras al-Khaimah and Fujairah. Visit famous shopping malls and luxury hotels, as well as desert culture and history.
The Emirates’ capital, Abu Dhabi, is packed with historic sites such as the Al Ain Palace Museum, Al Jahili Fort, Al Qattara Arts Centre, the fossil-filled Hili Archeological Park and Heritage Village, where traditional crafts are displayed. Visit a camel market. See the Arabian Oryx deer and free-roaming eland at the Arabian Wildlife Park or take a boat ride to Saadiyat Island to enjoy pristine beaches and resort getaways.
Discover the unusual attractions of Dubai’s malls, from indoor skiing runs to enormous aquariums and zoos. Learn about Dubai’s history in the 18th-century Al Fahidi Fort, now the home of the Dubai Museum. Appreciate the beautiful architecture of the Jumeirah Mosque. Along Dubai Creek, see historic wooden ships and board a dhow for a dinner cruise. Explore the souks to pick up traditional crafts, hand-loomed carpets, spices or gold jewelry. Have an inexpensive seafood dinner at the fish market or try multicultural street food in the souks.
Enjoy hot summers and warm winters on the golden sands and clear waters of the United Arab Emirates. Women have restrictions regarding swimsuit lengths on public beaches, but on private beaches and pools owned by hotels, Western bathing suits are accepted.
Dive among colorful coral beds with reef fish, sharks and turtles in Fujairah on the east coast. Underwater caves off Dibba and shallow reefs and wrecks off Abu Dhabi are also popular sites for adventurous divers.
See the stunning sunsets over the desert on a dune-bashing expedition. Stay overnight beneath the stars and awake to a cooked breakfast with morning light spreading over the dunes.
Fly into large international airport hubs in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and make use of the Emirates’ excellent road network to get around.