The United Arab Emirates have gradually become one of the most visited places in the world. Preferred for family trips, honeymoons or even city breaks, the phenomenal growth of this region has attracted travelers from all over the world. Its skyscrapers, azure waters, beautiful beaches, numerous shopping destinations and plenty of fine dining options have opened up options galore for the thirsty tourist.
Let’s Take A Look At The Top 10 Tourist Attractions Of The UAE.
1. Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab
The iconic Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab is one of the most visited places in the UAE. Located in Dubai, the Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world and is a splendid display of engineering brilliance. You can move to the top and get a bird’s eye view of the sprawling city.
The Burj Al Arab is a luxury hotel constructed atop a man-made island, off the coast of Dubai.
It is connected to the mainland via a causeway and its sail shaped structure has become synonymous with Dubai. The Jumeirah beach adjoining the hotel is a famous tourist spot and people visiting this area do not miss a photo opportunity with the famous landmark.
2. Beautiful Beaches
The UAE is blessed with plenty of sunshine and beautiful sandy beaches. Whether it is Dubai, Khorfakkan, Dibba, Kalba or Umm-al Quwain, the emirates has wonderful sea shores.
Tourists can enjoy plenty of activities in the sea and can indulge in swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, scuba diving or speed boating.
Some of the better known beaches include the Kite Beach and Al Mamzar Beach in Dubai, the Abu Dhabi corniche, Ghantoot and Khorfakkan beach.
3. Historic Places
Before the rise of cosmopolitan cities in the UAE, the country was dependent on the ocean and people made a living by fishing or pearl farming. If you wish to catch a glimpse of the UAE’s past, a visit to some of its historic places is a must.
Begin with Al Fahidi fort in Dubai. Located close to the creek, it not only gives you access to the old ruler’s house, but also takes you around museums that have numerous historical artifacts.
The Sharjah Arts Museum and Museum of Islamic Civilization are other places that will take you back to an era gone by. The forts in Al Ain, Fujairah, Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah are also great places to visit.
4. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque amazes one and all. Its white marble façade with beautiful mosaic flooring is a treat to the eye. Golden chandeliers, the world’s largest hand-woven carpet, the use of gold, mosaic and glass makes the mosque a brilliant example of fine craftsmanship. It has over 1000 columns and 80 domes. The majestic mosque at a time allows 40,000 worshippers to pray within its vicinity and is a proof of its grandeur.
5. Bastakia Quarter of Dubai
Bastakia quarter is the last remaining slice of old Dubai. Its narrow lanes, old Arabic houses, wind towers and beautifully preserved homes take you back to humbler times.
It gives you an idea about Dubai’s modest past when it was a small fishing town.
The area is a famous historic site and is home to many museums where you find old pictures, memorabilia and different types of artifacts.
6. Jebel Hafeet
If you have seen enough of the desert, head to Jebel Hafeet. Perfect for day trips from Dubai, Abu Dhabi or Al Ain, the winding road that takes you to the top of Jebel Hafeet will give you panoramic views of the vast stretches of desert.
As you go higher up, the wind becomes chilly and is perfect for escaping the desert heat.
At the base of the mountain lies Green Mubazzarah, an area where you enjoy greenery all around, hot water springs, fountains and a lake. Numerous chalets are also available around this region and is perfect for camping or picnics.
7. Hajar Mountain
The Hajar Mountains offer a cool contrast to the arid desert landscape. It rises above the desert and has many roads winding around its valleys. It is a preferred destination for hiking.
For road travelers, the area offers spectacular scenery and the roads connect many small villages around the mountainous region.
In the foothills lie the green valley of Hatta and Wadi Hatta. It has ancient forts and villages, making it a perfect place for tourists.
8. The Arabian Desert
If you are in the United Arab Emirates, you must not leave without taking in the sights and sounds of the vast Arabian Desert.
Tour operators conduct desert safaris that take tourists for a ride in 4X4 vehicles and you can enjoy a perfect day complete with dune bashing, barbeque dinner and some traditional henna painting on your hands.
It is also home to wild camels, gazelles, spiny lizards and desert cats. If you are lucky enough, you may spot a few animals along the way.
9. Fujairah Fort
The oldest fort in the United Arab Emirates is the Fujairah Fort. Built in 1670, it is made with mud bricks and has two towers. Although, very old, the area incites a lot of interest and people visit this fort near the Fujairah coast to taste a slice of history. It is surrounded by old houses, many of which have been damaged and has an observation deck that gives beautiful views of the ocean.
10. Al Ain Zoo
Spread over 400 hectare area, the Al Ain Zoo is a one and half hour drive from Dubai and Abu Dhabi. It has a collection of over 4000 animals and is a preferred family destination.
It was created with an objective to preserve the natural habitats of wild animals and the zoo has also been a conservation center for many endangered species like Arabian oryx, desert antelopes and gazelles.
The zoo also offers interesting bird shows. It also has giraffe feeding areas that allow visitors to get up close and personal with the animals. It also has several exhibits including the Mixed African Exhibit, the Cat House, Nocturnal House, Reptile House and Bird House.