Most people think of Dubai when they think of UAE or the United Arab Emirates. While Dubai is an important part of the city, it is not the only one. On the other hand, this Arab country is an amalgamation of seven Emirate cities which are Abu Dhabi (the capital), Dubai, Sharjah, Fujairah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah and Umm Al-Quwain. Dubai and Abu Dhabi do not need any introductions as most people know about it and millions of people choose these cities for their annual holiday destination.
However, UAE is not just about Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The other Emirates, maybe not as developed as Dubai or Abu Dhabi, do offer some exciting places to see and things to do. Let us check out some of the best places that you should not miss while holidaying in the UAE.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, UAE
Known to be the largest mosque in the UAE, the Grand Mosque beautifully combines both the ancient and modern styles of Islamic architecture. Made in white marble and adorned with mosaic tiles, gold embellishments, glass work and crystal chandeliers, the mosque is a sight to see, both during the day and at night. One of the highlights of this place is that it is home to the largest handmade carpet in the world. Do not forget to spend time by the pool to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the place, especially in the evenings.
Burj Khalifa, UAE
The Burj Khalifa is a part of the world records as it is the tallest building as well as freestanding structure in the world. While you can see this building from anywhere in the city (as it stands out from all other skyscrapers in the city, it is also possible to visit the Burj Khalifa. Consisting of 162 floors, the observation decks on the 124th, 125th and 148th floors are open for the public. From the observation deck, you would get to have an incredible view of the entire city. Moreover, during your visit, you would be able to have a ride on the fastest and longest elevator in the world.
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Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization
If you want to know more about the history and development of Islam, there is no better place than Sharjah Museum of Islamic civilization for the same. It is a one-of-a-kind museum that traces the history of Islam not just in a particular region but across regions. You would be able to learn about Islam, different Islamic empires, rare manuscripts and religious documents at this museum which is located along Sharjah’s Corniche Street.
While the UAE is known for its luxury, it is important to know that the country is not devoid of natural beauty. If you want to spend time outdoors amidst nature as well as indulge in some outdoor activities, the Hajar Mountains is a great place to visit. Endowed with picturesque wadis, roller coaster roads, Hatta rock pools and dry river beds, the Hajar Mountains is a unique place to explore. You would also be able to visit traditional villages here. It is a great place to enjoy hiking, trekking and even bird watching.
The UAE is home to several amazing themes and adventure parks but the Ferrari World Abu Dhabi surely takes the cake. One of the main reasons is that it is based on Formula One race and has some cool rides. One of the star attractions of the Ferrari World is the Formula Rossa, which is the fastest roller coaster in the world, as it runs at a speed of 240 km/hour. Apart from this, there are Ferrari car expositions and a racing simulator. You also get to learn about how to assemble a Ferrari during a ride. There is also a store that sells Ferrari themed gifts and souvenirs.
The Bastakiya Quarter
Contrary to popular belief, Dubai is not all about its tall buildings and glamorous vibes. On the other hand, the Bur Dubai area of the city still preserves a memory of the times gone by with the Bastakiya Quarter. Complete with narrow lanes, sandstone buildings, wind towers and beautiful interiors, the Bastakiya is a fine example of Arabian architecture and style. Apart from walking around the lanes of the Bastakiya Quarter, you can check out the interiors of a few of the buildings and homes that house the Dubai Museum, the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, Ostra (art gallery). Arabian Tea House, Majlis Gallery, XVA (art house and gallery). Walking in the Bastakiya Quarter would take you away from the chaos of the modern city and is something you must experience.
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The popular mosques of the UAE are huge and extravagant. However, if you want to experience a simpler version of the mosque in the country, you must visit the Al-Bidyah Mosque in Fujairah. It is the oldest mosque in the UAE and is modest in both size and design. However, it is beautiful in its own and also a significant historical monument of the city. This mosque has been preserved well and you would be able to see the original shaft patterns on the walls. Moreover, you would also be able to see an archaeological site where many metal artefacts and pottery have been excavated in the past.
Warner Bros. World
The Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi is an indoor amusement park dedicated to Warner Bros. characters and shows. This amusement park has six zones or lands including Metropolis, Gotham City, Cartoon Junction, Dynamite Gulch, Bedrock and Warner Bros. Plaza. Each land is true to its name and offers rides and attractions based on its theme. You would be able to enjoy 29 thrilling rides, interactive attractions and live entertainment during your visit to the park. The Warner Bros. World is a park that would be enjoyed by both kids and adults alike.
Every Emirate city has huge malls and shopping centres where you can buy products from all over the world. However, if you want to enjoy a traditional shopping experience, you must visit the souks which are present in all the Emirates. Dubai has some of the best souks which include the Gold Souk (where you can bargain while buying gold jewellery), the Textile Souk, the Perfume Souk and the Spice Souk. There are also some modern versions of the souks (Souk Madinat is one of them) in the city. The Central or Blue Souk is known for its affordable shopping experience as well as its unique architecture and design. Abu Dhabi is home to the Carpet Souk where you would find more than 100 shops selling beautiful carpets from Afghan and Persian. You should also visit the Camel Souk in Al Ain to experience its traditional vibe. The best part about shopping in the souks is that you get to buy a variety of local products and handicrafts at reasonable rates.
This list of places to visit in UAE does not do justice to this Arab country. In fact, it has many more natural and manmade wonders that one must see during your UAE holiday. The Al Ain Zoo, the Ras Al Khaimah National Museum, Jebel Hafeet, Ski Dubai, Dubai Marina and Creek, Sir Bani Yas, etc. are a few more places to see in the country. Moreover, the dhow cruise, desert safari, water and adventure sports are some of the things to do during your UAE tours. With so much to see and do in UAE, make sure to make a visit to this Arab country at least once in your lifetime.
Priya is an avid travel writer who specializes in adventurous travel writing. Her blogs and articles give deep insight about various tourist places and act as a perfect travel guide for someone who is traveling to a place for the first time. Priya has exemplary research, writing, and editing skills which make her easily match the reader’s intellect and interest. She has blogged extensively about her travel experience while traveling to several places like Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Europe, Dubai, USA, Canada, etc.
Being resident in the Persian Gulf region for a long time, and having been employed int the travel industry for most of my career, (I have been grounderd now) I have been fortunate to have traveled to a many countries and being a history buff, have enjoyed using all my spare time seeing and experiencing all that the country has to offer. There are so many varied sights and experiences in most of this region that it would take and has taken years to explore and we have only scratched the surface.
Spending a few days in the desert during vacation time with a local family is the ultimate experience.
Thanks for sharing your experiences, Louise. Would love to read more about your travel experiences. Would you like to share in an article about your love with the Middle-East or the Persian Gulf region?
Very interesting. Thanks.
Thank you. Happy New Year, Coral. 🙂