Within this remarkable federation of seven cities, history, food, architecture and religion await an eager traveller.
Dubai is a city of luxury shopping, skyscrapers, ports, beaches and big business. The city straddles the southern shores of the Persian Gulf and has morphed into suburbs renowned for astonishing skyscrapers that escalated Dubai into an architectural town of wonders. Take a stroll along Sheikh Zayed Road to view just a few.
On the western side of the city see human-made islands. Palm Jumeirah is the shape of a palm tree while the group called ‘World’ resemble a map of the world. Both are quite the spectacle and visible from space. There are city-sized malls where shoppers are in heaven, indoor ski slopes, and fine dining to add to your list. Not to be missed is Old Dubai with its maze of alleys like those in the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood.
A two-day National holiday held December 2 marks the formation of the UAE with one of the biggest celebrations in Dubai. There are fireworks, parades, dancing and a fabulous opportunity to experience Emirati culture.
Beyond the wealth and glitz of Dubai are the other six emirates. Each allure with their unique character and charms. Abu Dhabi is the capital of the UAE and is a city rich in culture and history. Admire the marble Sheikh Zayed Mosque. Abayas - long dresses with a scarf - are required for women to enter and are provided, or you can wear your own. The Corniche and Qasr Al Watan Palace are another two beautiful sites. Car racing fans will love Ferrari World. Sharjah region is the art and heritage centre, Ras Al Khaimah is all about the beach and relaxing, Al Dhafra district is the home of the Rub Al Khali (Empty Quarter) where deserts stretch to the horizon.
For adventurers, there is four-wheel driving fun, and camel rides across endless dunes. The drive to Jebel Jaisalong along a switchback road has magnificent views across eroded mountains, and Viewing Deck Park near the summit will have everyone taking a photo or maybe take the adrenaline-pumping world’s longest zipline.
Exploring, experiencing and enjoying the wonders of the United Arab Emirates is easy and stress-free. Arabian charm and hospitality are seductive, don’t be surprised if you plan a return visit.
The United Arab Emirates typically experiences a subtropical-arid climate with hot, dry summers. August is considered the hottest month and January the coolest.
While the Emirates fall within the Tropic of Cancer, they are far from tropical. Dust storms even blow the fine particles off the dunes into the cities reducing visibility. Peak tourist times are from October to February while June to September is hot and humid, there are summer sales and the best time to go diving.