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United Arab Emirates (UAE) is often synonymous with grandeur, luxury, and modernity. With its beautiful deserts, stunning coastline, and rich cultural heritage, the UAE offers an unforgettable travel experience.
This travel guide has compiled the best things to do in the United Arab Emirates and key travel advice to make the most of your visit to this mesmerizing country.
- Best Things to Do in the United Arab Emirates
- 1. Qasr Al Watan
- 2. Burj Khalifa
- 3. Ferrari World Abu Dhabi
- 4. Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood
- 5. Emirates Heritage Club Heritage Village
- 6. Al Jahili Fort
- 7. Louvre Abu Dhabi
- 8. Wahat AlKarama
- 9. Fujairah Fort
- Where to stay in the United Arab Emirates
- How to Get Around in the United Arab Emirates
- Travel Tips for Visiting the United Arab Emirates
- Respect Local Customs and Dress Code
- Prepare for the Desert Climate
- Explore Beyond Dubai and Abu Dhabi
- Take on the Local Cuisine
- Abide by the Alcohol Regulations
Best Things to Do in the United Arab Emirates
1. Qasr Al Watan
Qasr Al Watan, located in Abu Dhabi, is a remarkable tourist attraction that showcases the authentic essence of Arabian culture and heritage. This architectural marvel offers a unique insight into Emirati governance and craftsmanship. Its stunning design, exhibitions, and interactive experiences make Qasr Al Watan a crucial place to experience in Abu Dhabi.
2. Burj Khalifa
Undoubtedly, Burj Khalifa tops the list of places to visit in Dubai. This architectural masterpiece is the world’s tallest building, offering a panoramic view of the city’s skyline.
Don’t forget to visit the observatory deck on the 148th floor to witness the fantastic vistas or soak in the glamour of Dubai while dining at the world-class restaurant at the summit. If you plan to visit Dubai, you must spend a day here. It’s unlike anywhere else in the world.
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3. Ferrari World Abu Dhabi
Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is an exhilarating theme park that offers thrills and entertainment for visitors of all ages. This theme park is ideal for adventure seekers and motor enthusiasts with adrenaline-pumping roller coaster rides, interactive attractions, and live shows.
4. Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood
Take a trip down memory lane while exploring the Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood in Dubai. This old quarter reflects the traditional architecture and lifestyle of the Emirati people. Walk through the narrow alleys, visit the numerous museums and art galleries, and experience old Dubai’s ambiance.
5. Emirates Heritage Club Heritage Village
Discover Emirati culture and heritage at the Emirates Heritage Club Heritage Village in Abu Dhabi. This open-air museum offers a glimpse into traditional Bedouin life through its exhibits, including ancient weapons, traditional pottery, and iconic wind towers. It’s an enlightening experience that showcases the rich history of the United Arab Emirates.
6. Al Jahili Fort
Situated in Al Ain, Al Jahili Fort is a testament to the region’s military prowess and architectural brilliance. Built-in 1891, this historic fort is a prominent cultural landmark and offers visitors a fascinating insight into its historical significance and the region’s strategic importance.
7. Louvre Abu Dhabi
Art enthusiasts cannot afford to miss the Louvre Abu Dhabi. This sensational museum exhibits the creative expression of humanity through a stunning array of artworks from various cultures. The exhibition center’s unique architectural design and exquisite collection make it crucial to experience, hence the UAE.
8. Wahat AlKarama
Pay homage to the bravery and sacrifice of UAE’s heroes at Wahat AlKarama, an impressive war memorial in Abu Dhabi. This solemn complex is a profound symbol of the nation’s gratitude towards its fallen soldiers and features an amazing sculpture called “The Memorial” by British artist Idris Khan.
9. Fujairah Fort
Explore the historic Fujairah Fort, a crucial landmark that showcases the region’s ancient defensive architecture. Surrounded by lush greenery and stunning mountain ranges, this fort offers an enthralling view of the city’s topography and makes for an ideal weekend getaway.
Remember to fully immerse yourself in the experience while visiting the United Arab Emirates, as each destination boasts its own story and charm. Explore the hidden gems, indulge in local delicacies, and appreciate the unique blend of old and new as this one-of-a-kind country leaves an indelible mark on your journey.
Where to stay in the United Arab Emirates
Finding the perfect place to stay in the United Arab Emirates isn’t difficult, with its grandeur and luxury in every corner. From high-end luxury resorts to cozy boutique hotels, visiting United Arab Emirates promises a memorable experience. Here are the top accommodations to consider during your visit:
- Burj Al Arab
- Jumeirah Zabeel Saray
- Palazzo Versace Dubai
- Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa
- The Ritz-Carlton Dubai
- Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara
- Nurai Island, Saadiyat
- Rosewood Abu Dhabi
- The St. Regis Dubai
- The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal
How to Get Around in the United Arab Emirates
Navigating the United Arab Emirates can be a breeze, thanks to its well-developed transportation system. The public transport options include buses, taxis, and the ever-reliable Dubai Metro. But, if you prefer the freedom and flexibility to explore at your own pace, consider renting a car.
With countless car rental agencies in the country, finding the right vehicle for your adventures around the UAE is simple. Visit RentalCars.com to browse a range of options and secure the best deal for your journey.
Travel Tips for Visiting the United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, a melting pot of cultures, offers a memorable encounter for excursionists keen on exploring its rich history, incredible architecture, and captivating landscapes.
To make the most of your journey, take note of these crucial travel tips, including securing comprehensive travel insurance from VisitorsCoverage.com before your adventure begins. This can help you navigate unforeseen events to arrive at your final destination, as well as ensure your travel safety.
Respect Local Customs and Dress Code
Visiting the United Arab Emirates means engaging with a diverse population that adheres to traditional values and customs. Respecting these norms as a guest is crucial, especially when dressing modestly.
Both men and women should avoid revealing clothing in public spaces. Women, in particular, should cover their shoulders and knees and consider wearing a headscarf when visiting religious sites.
Prepare for the Desert Climate
The desert climate in the UAE can be pretty unforgiving, with scorching temperatures during the day and cooler evenings. When planning your wardrobe, opt for light, breathable fabrics to keep comfortable in the heat.
Don’t forget to pack sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat to shield yourself from harmful UV rays. Also, remember always to stay hydrated and carry water with you.
Explore Beyond Dubai and Abu Dhabi
While Dubai and Abu Dhabi are the epitome of luxury and modernity in the United Arab Emirates, there is more beyond these key cities. There are seven emirates in total, and these two cities are located in just one of them, so don’t miss out on the other six emirates.
Consider visiting the picturesque Fujairah, the garden city of Al Ain, the Ras Al Khaimah region’s idyllic setting, or the cultural hub of Sharjah. You’ll appreciate the country’s diverse landscape and heritage more by venturing beyond the main cities.
Take on the Local Cuisine
The UAE’s culinary scene is a fusion of Middle Eastern, Asian, and African flavors, reflecting its multicultural population. To genuinely soak in the authentic Emirati experience, savor local dishes like shawarma, Al Harees, and Machboos. Visit traditional food markets and indulge in the rich spices and ingredients of the UAE’s gastronomic identity.
Abide by the Alcohol Regulations
Alcohol consumption in the UAE comes under strict regulations, especially during the holy month of Ramadan, when public consumption of alcohol is prohibited. Most hotels, resorts, and licensed restaurants serve alcohol, but drinking in public places or being intoxicated is frowned upon and could lead to severe penalties. Follow the rules and enjoy your beverages responsibly.
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Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He’s a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he’d heard.
Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he’s learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.
He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time.