There are so many incredible things to do in the United Arab Emirates. So when you visit, you need a bucket list! The UAE has a booming tourist industry… despite its strict laws. Perhaps most famous for Dubai; home to the spectacular Burj Khalifa tower, luxurious shopping malls, palm-shaped islands and glamorous beach resorts. Whether you want to explore the vast Arabian desert or check out the other 6 emirates, the UAE has something for everyone. So here is what we consider to be the top things to do in the United Arab Emirates, certainly worthy of a place on that Bucket List anyway.
Here’s our pick of the top things to do in the United Arab Emirates
Burj Al Arab, Dubai
More than just a stunning hotel, the Burj Al Arab is a symbol of modern Dubai and has gained a reputation as “the world’s most luxurious hotel.” Set on a man-made island, the Burj Al Arab is famous for its striking sail-shape design, and the lavish suite, which is one of the most expensive hotel rooms in the world, with an average price tag of $24,000 a night.
Burj Khalifa, Dubai
Burj Khalifa is the tallest tower in the world and therefore one of the top attractions to visit when in Dubai. This world famous skyscraper has redefined what is possible in the design and engineering of super-tall buildings. With a total height of 829.8 m and a roof height of 828 m, the Burj Khalifa is a great place to visit for the extravagant luxurious opulence and the panoramic views at the top.
Jabal Hafeet is a mountain in the region of Tawam, on the border of the United Arab Emirates and Oman, which may be considered an outlier of Al Hajar Mountains in Eastern Arabia. Rising 1,240 metres, Jebel Hafit is the emirate’s highest peak, and UAE’s second. This towering rocky height, which stands guard over Al Ain and borders Oman, is forged out of craggy limestone that has been weathered over millions of years. Over 500 ancient burial tombs dating back 5,000 years have been found in the Jebel Hafeet foothills. A smooth 12 km road leads to the majestic Jabeel Hafeet and a few cafes that sit on its summit.
Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi’s star attraction, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, is also one of the world’s favorite landmarks. Located in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates and the largest mosque in the country, during Eid, it may be visited by more than 41,000 people. This is the key place of worship for daily, Friday and Eid prayers.
Etihad Antiques Gallery, Abu Dhabi
The Etihad Antique Gallery is found in a villa in Al Bateen, and is home to a wide collection of Islamic, European, Arabian and Middle Eastern antiques. Run by a friendly German-Syrian named Mohammed Khalil Ibrahim, this incredible antiques gallery is frequented by art enthusiasts, collectors, antique-lovers and window shoppers. On display is a grand collection of Middle Eastern and Arabian antiques and art, some Orientalist paintings from the 18th century, wooden doors with brass work, coffee and teapots from 300 years ago, Persian and Ottoman Swords and lots of other exciting objects to gawk at.
The Arabian Desert, also known as the “Empty Quarter”, lies in the south-western portion of the UAE, within the emirate of Abu Dhabi. Go on dune-buggy journeys and four-wheel drives, try sand-boarding, camel trekking or hiking. The majority of the UAE’s desert trips leave from Dubai, but Fujairah and Abu Dhabi also provide a great base for exploring the Arabian desert. A must for any desert adventure is a Bedouin-style dinner under the stars.
Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai
Madinat Jumeirah the Arabian Resort is a 5 star resort and considered “the jewel of Dubai”. It is the largest resort in the Emirate, spreading across over 40 hectares of landscapes and is a destination in itself. Combining tradition with luxury, there are 3 grand hotels, a souk and 50 plus restaurants here! Step into the magical world of Madinat Jumeirah, with meandering waterways and wide open seascapes on a tour around this spectacular resort.
Experience Arabian luxury on an Emirates Palace Tour in Abu Dhabi. and soak in the stunning architecture and Arabian inspired decor. Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi is a 7-star hotel and roughly Dhs 11 billion was spent in the construction of this grand hotel that has 392 suites and about 1000 crystal Chandeliers. Visitors are permitted to check this place out without having to check-in as it is the cultural hub of Abu Dhabi. Other nearby attractions include Qasr Al Watan (0.5 miles), Etihad Towers (0.4 miles), and The Founder’s Memorial (0.4 miles).
Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization
The Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization is a museum in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. The museum, opened in 2008, covers Islamic culture, with more than 5,000 artifacts from the Islamic world. Just about everything you’d want to know about Islam is addressed in this museum set in a stunningly converted souq. Find this museum in the historical heart of the city on the Majarrah Waterfront, right on the shore of the Sharjah Creek.
UAE Best Beaches
The UAE isn’t all about shopping malls and skyscrapers. Situated on the edge of the Arabian Gulf, Dubai is also a beachgoer’s paradise, famous for its pristine beaches such as JBR, Sunset, and La Mer to name a few. However, apart from the iconic Sheikh Zayed Mosque and the famous Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi has also got some of the most beautiful beaches in the UAE. If you fancy feeling some sand between your toes consider checking out Corniche Beach, Yas Beach, Saadiyat Beach, Al Bateen Beach, Al Sahil Beach, Al Mirfa Beach or Beach Rotana. There is a beach for every day of your trip in Abu Dhabi too!
More cool things to do in the United Arab Emirates
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There is so much more to see and experience in this amazing country. Plan ahead so that you can take your time exploring and be prepared to be flexible because sometimes travelers you meet along the way will have the best suggestions for undiscovered gems and awesome things to do in the United Arab Emirates.
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