The United Arab Emirates, made up of seven emirates including Dubai and Abu Dhabi, provides the perfect opportunity for glitz, glamour and adventure for couples and families alike.
Holidays in the United Arab Emirates often centre around Dubai – an area of stunning beaches, neck-craning skyscrapers and lavish malls, hotels and restaurants, but while it is spectacular, don’t make the mistake of thinking Dubai is the only destination the UAE has to offer.
Undoubtedly while in Dubai, the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, Dubai Fountain and Burj Al Arab are all things you must experience – not to mention the incredible Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark for family holidays in Dubai (and did we mention the indoor ski resort?) – but spread your wings even just a little and a whole oasis of adventure and culture is open to you.
The UAE is often criticised for a lack of culture, but that’s simply not the case. Visitors can experience life as a Bedouin via a guided tour, where camel riding, falconry displays and campfire cooking in the desert provides insight traditional into life in the UAE.
For more modern culture head to Al Bastakiya, in the north of Dubai, where the winding alleys and mud buildings take you back to Dubai before the glitz and glamour took over and you can pop into one of the many cafes and galleries in the area. Meanwhile, in the emirate of Umm al-Quwain, a striking 200-year-old fortress is the main attraction. Now a museum, the Al Ali Fort is home to important artefacts.
Of course, United Arab Emirates holidays are also ideal for the adventurous traveller. The sand dunes which sweep across the nation are perfect for sandy cycling in Sharjah, while the Gulf of Oman coastline makes for fantastic scuba diving opportunities amongst the reefs around Fujairah.
If hiking if more your scene, head to Ras Al Khaimah where you can climb the UAE’s tallest peak – Jebel Jais – which stands at a whopping 1,934 metres. As an added bonus, the mountain is now also home to the world’s longest zipline, so once you’ve climbed to the top, you can enjoy a much faster descent.