20 places to see in the United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emiratesis one of the most visited countries in the Middle East.It is made up of seven emirates, each retaining moderate political, economic, and judicial autonomy.The most visited is the emirate of Dubai, made up of one of the most spectacular cities to see in the United Arab Emirates. But there are actually many more attractions in the country!The discovery of oil changed the history of this jewel located in the Arabian Gulf.In this post we tell you 20 essential places to see in the United Arab Emiratesbeyond Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Essential Places To See In The United Arab Emirates

Dubai and its contrasts

The Dubai Creek
The Dubai Creek

Dubai is one of the most modern cities on the planet.In recent decades, the city has grown by leaps and bounds thanks to the development of the oil industry.With this transformation, in the city you will be able to see some things that you will not find in any other city in the world.Its huge shopping centers such as the Dubai Mallor the Mall of the Emiratesare impressive, even in the latter there is a ski slope.Is incredible! However, we believe that the most interesting thing about Dubai is the contrasts between luxury and traditional life.If you move away from Downtown and go to the Dubai Creek area, there you can enjoy a much more authentic atmosphere.It was precisely there that the first settlers of Dubai settled. In that area there are also several traditional souks, which contrast with the huge shopping centers of Downtown. By the way, if you are looking to save, Deira and Dubai Creekare some of the best areas to stay in Dubai.

Also Read: How to get from Dubai to Abu Dhabi

The Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world

The Burj Khalifa
The Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world

The growth and expansion of Dubai has led the city to build buildings much more spectacular than shopping malls.The most prominent is the Burj Khalifa, which at 828 meters high has become the tallest building in the world. If it is incredible just to see it from the outside, you cannot imagine the feeling you will have when you go up to its viewpoints.It is a unique experience that will make you feel on top of the world. The highest observation deck is located on the 148th floor. From there you will have unique views of the sea and the desert.However, if you don’t want to spend that much money, you can also go up to the 125th floor. If you want to know curious facts about this construction, we leave you some curiosities of the Burj Khalifa. Without a doubt, one of the most spectacular buildings to see in the United Arab Emirates.

Also Read: 25 things to see in Abu Dhabi

Jumeirah Beach and the Burj Al Arab

The Burj Al Arab
The Burj Al Arab, the most famous hotel in Dubai

Thanks to its warm climate throughout the year, Dubai has become one of the bestdestinations to travel to in Decemberand in the coldest months in the rest of the planet.It has a great hotel infrastructure, beaches and, most importantly, many hours of sunshine! Jumeirah Beach is the most famous beach in Dubai.It has 7 kilometers of crystal clear watersthat will allow you to disconnect from the concrete jungle.At one end of the beach is the Burj Al Arab, another of the most emblematic buildings to see in the United Arab Emirates. In this case, it is the most luxurious hotel in the world.It has 7 stars!Its sailboat shape reaches up to 321 meters high, making it the tallest hotel in the world. To enter the Burj Al Arab you will have to stay at the hotel, eat in one of its three restaurantsor have tea in its Skyview.

The Palm Jumeirah, the most impressive artificial island to see in the United Arab Emirates

One of the most beautiful curiosities of Dubai to see from a helicopter
One of the most beautiful curiosities of Dubai to see from a helicopter

In this country there are incredible constructions even if they are artificial.The Palm Jumeirah is one of the largest man-made islands in the world. As its name suggests, it is shaped like a palm tree and is home to luxury apartments, hotels, and entertainment complexes. In the fronds of the palm tree there are private villas with direct access to the beach. The water is usually always very calm because at the top of the island there is a breakwater, where there are also several hotels.The most famous is the Atlantis The Palm. It is also home to the largest water park in the Middle East!If your budget allows it, we believe that sleeping a few nights there can be a nice experience.

Rub al-Khali desert

Rub al-Khali desert
The desert, one of the most spectacular places to see in the United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates is located in the Rub al-Khali desert, one of the largest in the world.So whether you are in Dubai, Abu Dhabi or any other destination, we recommend you take an excursion to the desert.The most common is to go to the desert from Dubai, so we recommend the best excursions for you to enjoy one of the best things to see in the United Arab Emirates.

  • Desert Safari with show and dinner
  • desert safari at sunrise
  • Luxury safari and overnight in the desert

Al Qudra Cycle Track, a unique place to see in the United Arab Emirates for cycling lovers

To enjoy the desert it is not necessary to hire any excursion or go in a 4×4.If you like to ride a bike, we think you can’t miss this place.It is an 86-kilometer bike path that runs through the desert.It is surrounded by dunes and is very quiet.Of course, make sure to avoid the hottest hours of the day because there are no shadows there and temperatures are usually extreme.The most beautiful thing is to go at dawn, those colors are difficult to match.

The Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi

The spectacular Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi
The spectacular Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is the second most important tourist destination in the United Arab Emirates.Partly because it houses the famous Sheikh Zayed Mosque, one of the most spectacular in the world.This religious building is dedicated toZayed bin Sultan Al Nahayan, who was the first president of the country. It is the largest mosque in the country and one of the largest in the world.Its interior is a delight for our retinas;It is full of details that will leave you speechless.Although there are plenty of things to do in the city beyond its mosque!

Also Read: 10 Best Tours and Excursions in Dubai

Many tourists visit it from Dubai in one day.If you have little time in the country, we will tell you how to go from Dubai to Abu Dhabion your own so that you can get to know one of the most beautiful buildings to see in the United Arab Emirates.

The Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi

One of the newest attractions to see in the United Arab Emiratesis the Louvre museum, the largest in the Persian Gulf.It houses more than 600 works brought directly from theParisian headquarters of the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay, the Pompidou center and even the Palace of Versailles.In addition to this huge collection of European art, it has sculptures, paintings and historical objects from the Middle East. The building that houses all these works is as imposing as the collection.It was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, who created a steel dome that plays with light and shadow.You can book museum tickets onlineto save time and money.

Also Read: Abu Dhabi desert safari

Yas Island and Ferrari World

Ferrari World from the air | Aziz J Hayat
Ferrari World from the air | Aziz J Hayat

We could say that Abu Dhabi has two faces.The city center is full of skyscrapers, offices, institutional buildings and large avenues.Half an hour by car is the artificial island of Yas.It is a huge entertainment complex with theme parks, the Yas Mall, very cool hotels, a luxurious sports marina and even a Formula 1 circuit. It is also one of the coolest areas to stay in Abu Dhabi if you are looking to relax. If you’re into strong emotions, you can’t miss FerrariWorld. It is a theme park dedicated to the legendary car brand.It has the fastest roller coaster in the world, which reaches 240km/h.

Al Jahili Fort in Al Ain

Al Ain and its forts
Al Ain and its forts

There is life beyond Dubai and Abu Dhabi! Al Ain is another of the main cities to see in the United Arab Emirates. Located in the middle of the desert, it maintains a much more traditional atmosphere.Its main attraction is the Al Jahili fortress, built in 1891. It was built to defend the city from attacks and has now been converted into a historical monument.You can walk on the towers and walls of the fort, as well as visit the exhibition of old photos inside.

Al Ain Oasis

The other great attraction of Al Ain is its oasis. There are more than 100,000 date palms that form a green space in the heart of the city.At the main entrance there is a museum dedicated to the importance of these palm trees throughout the history of the region. In addition, the traditional irrigation system that has been feeding the plantations for centuries is still used.Therefore, it is not a simple plantation, but also has a historical part.In any case, the oasis of Al Ain is perfect for a leisurely stroll, whether on foot, in a buggy or on horseback.

Also Read: 20 curiosities of the United Arab Emirates

Shuweihat Island

Not all the best places to see in the United Arab Emiratesare quirky cities and deserts.Shuweihat Island is a natural wonder that does not often appear in the country’s tourist brochures.And precisely for this reason you will be lucky enough to enjoy it with practically no one around you. The interior of the island is full of rock formations with fascinating shapes and colors, they seem from another planet!And on the coast, you can take long walks on the sandy beaches with crystal clear and shallow water. It takes about 2.5 hours to drive from Abu Dhabi.You can go and return the same day, although we recommend staying until nightfall because it is a great place to gaze at the stars.

Hatta Dam, one of the most impressive places to see in the United Arab Emirates

Hatta Dam
A spectacular place | Titony Thomas

This dam is located in a mountainous area about an hour and a half drive from Dubai.You can drive around the dam, where you’ll find several viewpoints for amazing photoswith the craggy peaks in the background. And if the adventure suits you, you can rent a kayak to paddle through the turquoise waters of the dam.Nearby you can also visit Hatta Heritage Village, one of the oldest villages in the country restored so you can see what a traditional Emirati village is like.

Moreeb Dune, one of the largest in the world

With so much desert territory, it is not surprising that the United Arab Emirates has one of the largest dunes in the world. The Moreeb Dune is more than 300 meters high and stretches for more than a kilometer and a half. One of the best sensations is feeling the hot sand on your bare feet.Although after a few meters climbed your legs will start to hurt!

Also Read: 25 things to see and do in Dubai

Fujairah Fort, the oldest to see in the United Arab Emirates

Fujairah Fort
Fujairah Fort

Fujairah is one of the seven emirates that make up the country.The capital of the emirate is also called Fujairah and is on the coast. It is known for having the oldest fort in the United Arab Emirates, built in 1670. It managed to withstand the shelling of the Wahhabis and the British.Now this monument is restored and can be visited.From the top there are great views of the coast.

Al Bidyah Mosque, the oldest in the country

Al Bidyah Mosque
Al Bidyah Mosque

We continue with another historical construction to see in the United Arab Emiratesthat is also in Fujairah.We are talking about the Al Bidyah mosque, the oldest in the country.It was built in the 15th century with stone and mud, as well as a plaster covering.It has a very unusual complex structure for the time.Quite a relic at a religious and architectural level! You also cannot miss the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Fujairah.It has the same name as the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi and is the second largest in the country.Non-Muslims can only see it from the outside, but it is impressive.

Jebel Jais, the highest mountain to see in the United Arab Emirates

If you plan to visit Ras Al-Khaimah, we believe that you cannot miss a visit to Jebel Jais. At 1,934 meters above sea level, it is the highest mountain in the United Arab Emirates. But Jebel Jais is much more than a mountain.In recent years it has become an important tourist center with various activities: along the road there are several viewpoints from where you can appreciate the landscape orseveral hiking trails to walkand enjoy the surroundings more quietly. However, if you are looking for an adrenaline rush, you can jump down the longest zip line in the world. They reach speeds of up to 120 kilometers per hour.We believe that it is one of the most interesting places to see in the United Arab Emirates.

Also Read: Where to stay in Dubai

Sharjah Blue Souk

Another iconic place to see in the United Arab Emirates is Sharjah. The city has the famous Souk Azul, with more than 600 shops selling all kinds of things.Strolling through the souk you can find jewelry, clothes, souvenirs, handicrafts… This market is a great place to see a traditional atmosphere with few tourists.It’s about half an hour’s drive from downtown Dubai, so it’s easy to get to. In Sharjah there is also a museum of Islamic art, as well as traditional buildings that you can visit to imagine what the country was like just a few decades ago.If you are traveling with children, we recommend you stop at the Sharjah Science Museum.

Hajar Mountains, the Grand Arabian Canyon

Competition has come from the Grand Canyon of the Colorado. The Hajar Mountains are considered the Arabian Grand Canyonas it is one of the most beautiful natural settings in the area.They act as a natural border between the United Arab Emirates and Oman.It is an area frequented by the most adventurous, since there are many trails for trekking and even mountains to climb.

Jebel Hafeet and its views

Finally, to finish this post about the 20 best places to see in the United Arab Emirates, we did not want to forget to mention Jebel Hafeet.It is right on the border with Oman and is the second highest mountain in the country.It is highly recommended to rent a car and climb to the top to enjoy the views.The road is in very good condition and it is a pleasure to drive there. Especially at sunset!If you are lucky you will be able to see the famous sea of clouds and you will have an unbeatable panoramic view of Oman, its neighboring country and all the desert landscape that surrounds it.

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