Hear about travel to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as the Amateur Traveler talks to Keri Hedrick from ourglobetrotters.com and familytravel-middleeast.com about her adopted country.
Keri says, “We have actually lived in the United Arab Emirates over 6 years so I have had the pleasure of being able to explore the country in some great detail. but I think what people will love the most is that it’s a country that really blends tradition and culture in a way that you won’t really see anywhere else in the world. It’s an incredibly young country. It’s still less than 50 years old, but it’s come an incredibly long way in that time. You can be sunbathing in a modern hotel through to sleeping in the Bedouin tent all in one country.”
The UAE is made up of seven emirates: Abu Dhabi (which serves as the capital), Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm Al Quwain.
Keri would recommend starting in Dubai because they are easy to get to.
You are in the middle of the middle east so the temperatures are incredibly hot in the summer. There are a lot more indoor things that people can do these days. Don’t get any vision of lying on the beach at this time. The best time to visit is October through April. You probably will also want to avoid the holy month of Ramadan when business hours can be effected and the standards of behavior for tourists need to change. Eating food outside at that time is illegal.
The Dubai Frame, a giant picture frame, opened up recently. When you look out one side you see the old Dubai and out the other, you see the modern buildings. There is also a dancing fountain show then. Dubai has been updating its old waterfront. Keri also tells of new eating spots and tourist areas that have been opened. There are two new theme parks in Dubai which includes a Baliworld themed area and Legoland and the indoor IMG Worlds of Adventure.
A lot of people will stop in Dubai and think that they have seen the country. Keri suggests continuing on to Abu Dhabi and then to the lesser-known emirates.
The Louvre just opened a museum in Abu Dhabi. She also recommends a visit to the Wahat Al Karama mosque. You can also catch the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November and can visit Ferrari World there as well. Yas Waterworld was won the best water park in the world award multiple times. WB Abu Dhabi also recently opened as a theme park there. Abu Dhabi recently reopened the old fort Qasr al-Hosn. The very very expensive Emirates Palace was used as a backdrop for Fast and Furious 7.
Keri then takes us to lesser-known areas. In Al Ain, you can learn more about the countries history and the history of the Bedouin people. At Hili Archaeological Park you can find artifacts from as old as 5,000 years ago.
In Qasr Al Muwaijiyou you can visit the historic homestead of the current ruler. There is also a mountain there we a view of Abu Dhabi and Oman.
She also recommends an overnight desert stay in the empty quarter Rub’ al Khali. You can take a camel ride, an ATV ride or go dune bashing in a 4×4. Qasr Al Sarab is one of the most stunning of the desert resorts. She also recommends Arabian Nights Village.
Sharjah is known as the capital of culture in the UAE. It is also the most conservative, including having a no alcohol law. Ajman has nature preserves projects. Umm Al Quwain is unique. It is very much low rise and industrial. It has the cheapest alcohol and a waterpark. Most tourists won’t spend time there.
Ras Al Khaimah is an up and coming destination that looks to challenge Dubai for beach resorts. They recently launched the longest zip line in the world.
The United Arab Emirates is a constantly changing destination. Take the time to get to some of the less known quarters of the country.
Our Globe Trotters
Family Travel Middle East
United Arab Emirates
Ramadan in the UAE
The Dubai Frame
La Mer Beach
Dubai Parks and Resorts
Wahat Al Karama
Louvre Abu Dhabi
WB Abu Dhabi
Al Ain Zoo
Al Ain National Museum
Hili Archaeological Park
Qasr Al Muwaiji
Rub’ al Khali
Qasr Al Sarab
Arabian Nights Village
Umm Al Quwain
Dreamland Aqua Park
Ras Al Khaimah
Al Marjan Island
Ritz Al Wadi
Al Jazirah Al Hamra
Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Fujairah
Al Badiyah Mosque
Al Dhafra Festival
UAE with Kids
75+ things to do and places to visit in Dubai by a local
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