The east coast
This lush stretch of coastline offers a dramatic contrast to the desert. This is the land of mountains, sandy coves, ancient forts and date palm gardens stretching along the shores of the Indian Ocean. Marine life is extremely diverse and diving and snorkeling are very popular here. All common water sports are offered in the hotels.
The desert is an impressive wilderness of red sand dunes and barren mountains. Sometimes you come across small green oases. The nomadic Bedu people are famous for their hospitality. A special event are camel races, which take place at sunrise. Excursions: “Wadi-bashing” is a popular pastime among locals and tourists. Wadis are desert riverbeds that dry up in summer – after a relatively short jeep ride from the cities, you are in the middle of a fascinating desert landscape. Sand boarding (sand skiing) is also a unique experience. One can see the Bedu camps as well as the white sand dunes at Aweer visit where a national park is located. Desert safaris are also offered by tour operators in the country.
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Dibba and Fujairah
The holiday resorts of Dibba with a natural harbor and Fujairah attract with a museum, a necropolis, an old fortress and small mountain villages in the area.
Abu Dhabi is the largest and richest emirate. Thanks to the oil boom, excellent roads, airports and golf courses were created. With its extravagant architecture, Abu Dhabi is one of the most modern cities in the world, but its rich history is still alive. The White Fort ( Diwan Amiri ) dates back to 1793. Walking around town you’ll come across charming mosques, from the Blue Mosque on the corner of the waterfront to the small, tree-lined mosque on a traffic island on Khalifa Street.
In the traditional Arab village Heritage Village you can explore what life was like before the oil boom. The oldest part of the city is the Batin Quarter. In the souks you will find artisans using techniques that have been used for centuries. The city has beautiful, shady green areas.
Parks, gardens and promenades invite you to stroll along the seaside Corniche Road, the showpiece of Abu Dhabi. On the outskirts is one of the most expensive hotels in the world, the Emirates Palace with 114 illuminated domes. A boat tour lets you enjoy the skyline from the water.
The Louvre Abu Dhabi, which is located on the island of Saʿadiyat and whose impressive construction is reminiscent of an Arabian old town, shows works by Vincent van Gogh, Leonardo da Vinci, Édouard Manet, Piet Mondran and Osman Hamdi Bey, among others.
The beautiful palace of Qasr Al Watan is partially open to the public.
Archaeological excavation sites
Archaeological sites are located in Hili, 10 km from Al-Ain. The stone tombs discovered here are around 5000 years old. South of Al-Ain rises the 1180 m high mountain (Djebel) Hafeet, where ancient tombs, pottery and swords have been found; there is a Mesopotamian pottery here, and ancient burial mounds at Unmal-Nar. Other archaeological sites include Elnar Island and Badi’i Bent Saud.
The archaeological site at Mileiha (in Sharjah) dates back to 4 BC. BC, fossils were found here that are 80 million years old. At Dur in Umm al-Qaiwain there are Hellenic ruins (210-100 BC), at Ras al-Khaimah the Drabhaniya ruins and at Ajman the Zaura ruins.
The archaeological sites of Qassis are 7 km from Dubai.
In Liwa one can admire the majestic sand lakes. Also scenic are the Qarn and Belghilam Islands (gazelle breeding) and the Sadiyat and Abul Abyadh Islands.
Excursions to Wadi Hatta, a green valley at the foothills of the Hajar Mountains, or a safari through the Hajar Mountains are popular. There are also trips to Khor Kalba, one of the most beautiful shell beaches in the world.
Ras al-Khaimah with the old seaport, coastal panorama and the Hajar mountains or the oases of Dhaid and Khatt, both of which have mineral springs. Popular holiday areas include Khor Fakkan, which offers excellent beaches and water sports facilities, and Khalid Lagoon (a water park with several islands and a small “Disneyland”).
The Northern Emirates
Sharjah is great for shopping, with the new souk boasting hundreds of shops. The old fort reminds of the history of the city.
The ultra-modern and fast-growing business city (Internet: http://dubaitourism.ae ) with Arabian flair is divided in two by its location on a long fjord. Unprecedented construction projects such as The World, Dubailand – an entertainment center with 6 theme worlds and the City of Arabia as well as the Mall of Arabia and Dubai Waterworld, a water and amusement park, and the Dubai Monorail are being realized in the city. The largest ski hall in the world and the artificial islands of the Palm Islands have already been completed.
Burj Dubai is the original city, where time-honoured buildings are hidden in narrow streets and interesting souks (markets) such as the Bastakiya district. B. Sikket-El-Kheil, invite you to browse. In the Dubai Museum and in the Heritage Village you can discover the traditional way of life and work of the people of Dubai. The Jumeirah Mosque is illuminated at night. Here and there you come across pretty pastel pink ‘wind towers’, the forerunners of air conditioning in Old Dubai. On the Deira -side of the fjord stretches the spacious modern district with many attractive green areas and good shopping facilities. There is a wide range of sports on offer, including speed boat racing, water skiing, diving and ice skating. Jebel Ali Recreation and Sports Complex includes a lawn golf course. One can also find freshwater lakes with Japanese carp as well as beautiful national parks and gardens.
Al-Ain, oasis and old caravanserai, lies 100 km from Abu Dhabi on the border with Oman in a vast, fertile plain. Across the border lies the oasis of Buraimi. There is a camel market, a zoo and a museum with old and new handicrafts.