Earlier I published a blog post dedicated to a stopover in Dubai, a guide that I hope was helpful for you guys. This post will be dedicated to a more immersive experience in the UAE. This country is an amazing tourist destination that can give all sorts of attractions from ambient historical monuments to breathtaking nature sights to the cutting edge theme parks.
Let’s take a look at what the UAE has on its plate for tourists.
HISTORY & CULTURE
If you’re a fan of history, you’ll enjoy one of the country’s oldest mosques – Al-Bidyah Mosque in Fujairah emirate. The building is tiny and modest. And yet it gives you that feeling of solemnity and tranquility that you can only get from sights that stood for centuries.
To complement the experience, I suggest visiting one of the oldest castles in the country, the Fujairah Fort, and the Fujairah Museum of archeology and local history. There are a lot of things to do in Fujairah.
Next on our agenda is the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization. In contrast to Al-Bidyah, the museum’s grandiose building offers visitors over 5000 unique artifacts of Islamic culture. It’ll take you a while to see each exhibit, but if you want to learn more about Muslim civilization you definitely need to pay a visit.
Those of you who prefer architecture to artifacts can take a walk along narrow streets in the Heritage District of Sharjah and visit the restored Sharjah Fort.
Btw, Dubai has an old town district too. Located at the left bank of Dubai Creek, The Bastakia quarter is a labyrinth of picturesque buildings with typical wind-towers (the Medieval air conditioning systems). Relax in a tea house, look at the local contemporary art in the galleries, and buy some souvenirs at a local souk.
If you’re more into global culture, I’d pay a visit to Louvre Abu Dhabi. They have some decent collections of both Asian and European antiques. The building itself gives you that WOW experience… a perfect blend of bold and gigantic modern architecture and tiny shards of old times when humanity made its first step to the global civilization.
When visiting the capital city of the UAE, make sure to take a look at the luxurious Sheikh Zayed Mosque. White as the snow of the Earth’ ice caps? Plated with gold, this grandiose house of prayer will make you feel really small.
Now to my favorite part. Most people would think that the United Arab Emirates just like any Middle East country are all about the Desert and tiny oases. The reality is far more fascinating. Yes, there are many deserts here each of them unique. Many tourists visiting the country rent a car in Dubai or other large cities to take a ride in the dunes.
In this post, however, I’ll be talking about the natural sites you’d hardly associate with the UAE. And our first destination is the Hajar Mountains. Located in the North East of the country they are a perfect place for camping, trekking and transcendent experience. The view of those bare hills with scarce flora gives you an extraterrestrial vibe. It’s almost impossible to believe that people lived here for centuries, but multiple archaeological sites prove they actually did.
One more popular trekking destination is Jebel Hafeet, a stand-alone outiler of The Hajar Mountains located on the Oman border. The place is more “crowded” than Al-Hajar. There are many restaurants, shops, hotels and even theme parks. The mountain has a complex cave system inside and hot springs at the foot of the mountain.
Yet another miracle of the Hajar Mountains is Hatta Pools, a series of turquoise reservoirs of clean water surrounded by greyish rocks.
Now to the coast. UAE has many marvellous spots for scuba-diving, Martini Rock and Dibba Rock to name a few. These are tiny islands you can get on boat to. Apart from corals, both sites have sharks and turtles to look at.
If you want to stay on an island a bit longer, I suggest Sir Bani Yas. The place is renowned for its amazing wildlife and offers a vast variety of outdoor activities from lazy lying on a white-sand beach to taking a safari tour (Which is something we talked about in Review of G Adventures) to kayaking to watching pink flamingos.
The last, but not the least part of my article is dedicated to the cutting-edge experience you can get in the UAE. Almost every big city in the country has grandiose architecture projects like Burj Khalifa or Palma Jumeirah, amazing theme parks and attractions. Here’s my personal list:
Musdar City is a sustainable eco city near Abu Dhabi.
Ferrari World is a park for the fans of sports cars.
Capital Gate is a “leaning” skyscraper (Arabian Pisa Tower).
Legoland – a theme park dedicated to almost every kid’s dream present – Lego.
The Dubai Fountain is a 30 acre watershow in the artificial Burj Khalifa Lake you wouldn’t want to miss.
Dubai Opera speaks for itself.
IMG Worlds of Adventure – is a huge indoor park with all sorts of attractions.
That’s it for today. I hope you will find the experience to your liking in this amazing country. It’s worth definitely visiting and exploring.
Hi, I’m Stephen Schreck (pronounced like Shrek; but don’t worry, I’m not green.)
At 21 I fell in love with travel. Since then my adventures, inspired by quotes about adventure, have taken me to over 80 countries in 8 years.
Now my biggest passion is helping people just like you, reach their travel dreams!
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