The United Arab Emirates is one of the most visited tourist destination in the Middle East. The presence of the exciting city of Dubai is one of the reasons behind this. However, the UAE has six other Emirates including Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah and Umm Al Quwain. Although not as popular as Dubai, each of these Emirate cities has something to offer to the tourists. The best part is that these are less crowded and so if you want to take a breather from the crowd of Dubai, you can visit the other Emirate cities. If you are planning to visit the UAE in the near future for business or pleasure, here are some of the best places that you can visit in the country (including in Dubai).
UAE is home to the tallest building in the world. The Burj Khalifa is located in Dubai and has 163 floors and two 360o observation decks. You can buy the entry tickets to Burj Khalifa online or at the entrance. The tickets would take you to the observation deck either on the 124th floor or the 148th floor, from where you can see the entire city, including the numerous buildings and also the desert and the ocean.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
UAE is an Islamic country and you would find several amazing mosques in all of the Emirates. But the largest and the most fascinating is Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which lies in Abu Dhabi. This mosque brings together traditional and modern Islamic architecture. Made of pure white marble, the place is embellished with mosaic tiles, gold and glass work. You would also be able to see the crystal chandeliers and the huge carpet, which is known to be the largest handmade carpet in the world.
Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization
Interested in knowing about Islam? There is no better place than the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization for the same. The museum has exhibits that gives you information about the Islamic history and culture, and is not focused on a particular region. On the other hand, it traces the journey of the religion through several Islamic civilizations and empires till today. You would get to see rare Islamic documents and manuscripts in the museum. A visit to this museum would be an educational one.
Dubai Miracle Garden
The last thing you expect to see in Dubai is a garden full of flowers. But you would be surprised to know that the Dubai Miracle Garden is one of the largest flower gardens with more than 50 million flowers, in different shapes and colours. But what would take your breath away is the marvellous designs and exhibits of the garden. With so many beautiful creations, you would not have time to switch off your camera at all.
After visiting the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, the Al-Bidyah Mosque may seem too small or insignificant. However, this is a must visit place because it is the oldest mosque of the country. Located in the Emirate of Fujairah, this humble mosque has its unique charm. Moreover, the surrounding area is also an archaeological site where metal and pottery artefacts of the past have been excavated. Check out this mosque if you want to learn about the architecture of the Arabs in the 15th century.
The capital city of Abu Dhabi is a prime location for everything related to entertainment and leisure. This manmade island is home to some of the best attractions of the city. It houses the Ferrari World, the F1 theme adventure park, which has great thrilling rides, the Formula Rossa being the best. There is also the Yas Waterworld, a water park with more than 45 rides, slides and other attractions. Recently, the island has also opened Middle East's first Warner Bros theme park, the Warner Bros. Abu Dhabi. If you are looking for unlimited fun during your holiday, this is the best place to go to.
Al Ain Zoo
The Al Ain Zoo is where you would be able to see more than 200 species of animals in their natural habitat. Home to different species of mammals, reptiles and birds, this is a great place to visit with children. Apart from giving a chance to view its inhabitants, the zoo also offers some unique experiences like Watching Animal Feedings, Animal Rides, Dinner with the Lions, Lemur Walk, Parrot Show, etc. This zoo is interesting as well as educational.
You cannot escape the desert when you are in the UAE. This is where the Arabs lived before they moved to the cities. In fact, there are several tribes that still live in the desert. One of the best ways of enjoying the desert is going on a desert safari. You can go for the regular evening desert safari or maybe the private desert safari for luxurious experience. Morning desert safari and overnight desert safari are also good options. Desert safari is available in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Fujairah, each offering adventure, entertainment and great food.
Dubai Gold Souk
The Dubai Gold Souk, situated in Deira, is a traditional Arabic market, with almost 300 stores selling gold and diamond jewellery. The best part about this place is that you get to buy different varieties of gold jewellery at great prices. Not only is the price of gold in Dubai cheaper than in other countries, you can also bargain on the making charges. Apart from the gold souk, you would also find perfume souk and spice souk in Deira and textile souk in Bur Dubai (on the other side of Dubai Creek).
The UAE offers several natural and manmade attractions, making it a great spot for your annual holiday. Make sure you have a valid UAE visa which would give you access to travel to all the seven Emirate cities.