Many people think of the sparkling high-rise skylines of Dubai and Abu Dhabi when they think of the United Arab Emirates, but the region actually consists of seven different emirates, each with their own appeal. Experience glitzy beach resorts, huge shopping malls and seven-star hotels one day and enjoy camel rides through the desert and traditional Bedouin feasts the next.
Visit the stunning island capital of Abu Dhabi, which is packed with famous landmarks and luxury hotels. Wander around the stunning white Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, one of the world’s largest mosques. Scream your way around the collection of roller coasters at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, which is great fun for all the family. Yas Waterworld, a futuristic waterpark with over 43 rides, is another family favorite.
Take a four-wheel drive tour through the Arabian Wildlife Park on Sir Bani Yas Island, where more than 13,000 animals roam free. If you want to go faster, drive a race car around the track of the Yas Marina Circuit, home to the Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Discover Dubai, one of the United Arab Emirates’ most popular vacation destinations. Wander around the Burj Al Arab, a luxury hotel considered to be one of the best in the world. Head to the observation deck at the top of the Burj Khalifa, currently the world’s tallest building. Enjoy a spot of shopping in the Mall of the Emirates, which features an indoor ski resort.
Explore the culture of Sharjah, one of the more low-key and conservative emirates. Watch the dancing fountains at the Al Majaz Waterfront and marvel at the architecture of the Al Noor Mosque.
Fly into the international airport of Dubai or Abu Dhabi for the best flight connections and largest range of airlines. Ride the metro, buses and water taxis around the major cities. Several of the large hotel chains may also provide their own free shuttle bus service to certain attractions. Visit during fall, winter and spring to avoid the hottest temperatures.
The United Arab Emirates is one of the Arabian Peninsula’s most fast-rising tourist destinations.