Category Archives: Middle East

5 Of the Most Popular Attractions in Al Ain, UAE


Popularly known as the ‘Garden City’, Al Ain is one of the oldest inhabited settlements in the United Arab Emirates. Boasting a long historical legacy, this city is home to ancient buildings, royal forts and several museums. For the beautiful city offers something for everyone visiting it, here is a list of most explored attractions in and around Al Ain.

Al Ain National Museum

Officially established in 1969 under the guidance of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Al Ain National Museum is among the most ancient museums in the city. Offering an insight into the rich tradition and culture, this museum is home to a wide collection of objects and artefacts used by the early settlers. The museum is divided across three different sections, each displaying a diverse and wide range of collectables.

Al Ain Zoo

One of the UAE’s largest zoos, Al Ain Zoo is a must visit attraction in the city. Officially opened in 1969, it is home to a wide range of animals including Arabian antelope, African gazelles, giraffes, eland, Oryx, lions, tigers, pumas, black spotted leopards and jaguars. The zoo is famous for its research facilities and animal breeding programmes especially for endangered animals. Apart from animal spotting, visitors can enjoy interesting activities like giraffe feeding, Jeep safari, camel rides and exhibitions focussed on the protection and preservation of wildlife from extinction.

Al-Jahili Fort

Al-Jahili Fort is one of the UAE’s most historic buildings. A former headquarter of the Oman Trucial Scouts, this 1891 construction today is known for its design and architecture. An exclusive exhibition devoted to prominent photographers, artists and paintings is a major draw among the visitors. The white photographs taken by the popular traveller ‘Wilfred Thesiger’ are big hits with the visitors. The west wing of the fort is dedicated to temporary exhibitions and cultural performances.

Al Ain Camel Market

Popularly known as ‘camel souk’, Al Ain Camel Market is among the most visited places in the city. A former meeting hub for merchants and travellers, the market offers visitors a chance to see camels up as they are exchanged. For the ones who wish to explore the market and experience the proceedings, special guided tours are available. The market operates daily from 6 am to 7 pm.

Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum

Located on the western end of the city, Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum is one of the oldest constructions in Al Ain. This former residence of late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan was converted into a museum in 1998. Presently, the museum is home to a wide collection of goods and items used by the king and his family. Gifts and donations made to him by other rulers and patrons, war weapons and valuables are exhibited here.

Top things to see in Fujairah, UAE

A city away from the glitz and glamour, Fujairah is the youngest and among the most industrious emirates in the UAE.


Located on the East Coast, it is home to some of the pristine beaches, terrific monuments and beautiful landscape. Indeed, the city is teeming with wonderful tourist spots and attractions; here is a list of the most popular ones.

Al-Bidyah Mosque

Also known as ‘Ottoman Mosque’, Al-Bidyah Mosque is the oldest mosque in the UAE. Built in 1446 AD, the structure is known for its beautifully crafted four helical domes. Each dome here consists of several small domes mounted one over the other. The entrance gate and walls here are dotted with beautiful decorative carvings and paintings. After a full day of exploring the beautiful site, you can enjoy a sumptuous range of authentic cuisines and delicacies at nearby food stalls and restaurants.

Fujairah Fort

Situated in the old village, Fujairah Fort is among the oldest forts in the UAE. Built in 1670, the fort stands as a classic example of traditional Arabian architecture. Constructed at an height of about 20 meters above sea level using locally available materials like stone, gravel, clay, hay and alsarooj substance (gypsum), the fort is a must visit. The entrance gate of the fort is dotted with beautifully crafted paintings and carvings. It has three major sections, several halls and a square tower preserved and maintained by Fujairah’s Department of Archaeology and Heritage. The weapons and items used and possessed by the royal family are among the most prized possession of the museum.

Fujairah Museum

Located in the heart of the city, Fujairah Museum is one of the most important museums in the UAE. Constructed in 1991, the structure is divided into three halls and is known for featuring some of the most ancient artefacts and antiques excavated during the time of the discovery of the city. While the first hall is designated to tools used by early humans for agriculture, fishing and trade, the second hall includes ancient weapons and utensils used by people in the past. The ancient rifle called Khedewi is an important possession of the museum.

Al Bithnah Fort

Nestled between Fujairah and Masafi, Al Bithnah Fort is another famous tourist spot. Excavated in 1987, the structure houses some of the ancient petroglyphs created and crafted during the war era. Constructed using stone, mud-brick, adobe bricks and palm-wood planking, it is a must visit attraction in the city. Some of the weapons used by the army at the time of the war are displayed here. Interestingly, there are a series of paintings and sculptures put on display from the entrance till the main hall.

Must Visit Museums and Cultural Centres in Sharjah

Located along the Southern coast of the Persian Gulf, Sharjah is one of the most populous cities in the UAE. Known for its rich history and culture, the city is recognized as the ‘Cultural Capital of the Arab World’.


Preserving a major chunk of Emirati history, Sharjah is home to several museums and cultural centres. For those of you looking to know more, here is a list of the most popular museums in Sharjah.

Sharjah Heritage Museum


First opened to public in 2005, Sharjah Heritage Museum is one of the famous museums in the city. Located in the heart of Sharjah, the popular preservatory is known for featuring durables, utilitarian items and other luxury goods, all highlighting different aspects of local life. The wide collection of items and objects at the museum include a ‘Loom’ or ‘Sadu’ (a wooden tool used for knitting woollen yarn), Aftakh (a golden ring generally worn by women on their toe), Soieih Abaya (a mantle for the head usually made of golden yarn) and crescent shaped glass bottles mostly used by babies. Exhibitions on subjects of literature and culture are organized regularly.

Maraya Art Centre

Located at the Al Majaz Waterfront, Maraya Art Centre is a famous art centre in Sharjah. Officially launched in 2006, the well known site is home to Maraya Video Archive. Featuring works of prominent Middle Eastern and International artists, the centre is home to several paintings and sculptures dating back to the early 19th century. The private collection of Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi referred to as ‘Barjeel Art Foundation’ is a popular attraction at the centre. For tourists to have a firsthand experience of the arts and culture, regular exhibitions and informative workshops are organised at the centre from time to time.

Sharjah Archaeology Museum

Located in the heart of the city, Sharjah Archaeology Museum is a beautiful archaeological museum in Sharjah. Established in 1993, the preservatory is known for featuring age-old artefacts, currencies, jewellery, pottery and weapons excavated during the discovery of the city. The golden bible, ivory comb placed inside an alabaster bowl and the ceramic dome are among the popular exhibits at the museum. On display are beautifully crafted models of 2500 years old tombs, cemeteries and houses found in and around the city.

Sharjah Art Museum

Located in the Al Shuwaihiyeen area, Sharjah Art Museum is another famous museum in the emirate. Inaugurated in 1997, it features a collection of paintings and contemporary art forms by prominent artists from the Middle East. Paintings of famous artists dating back to the early 18th and 19th century are also displayed in the museum. Fresh exhibitions, displaying works of popular artists from across the world, are regular phenomena at the museum.

Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization

Located in the Al-Majjarah area, Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization is a cultural museum. Opened to public in 2008, the preservatory is known for featuring over 5000 artefacts from across the Islamic world. Other objects at the museum include carvings, manuscripts, metalwork and scientific instruments dating back to the period. Exhibitions on Islamic culture and practices and informative workshops are organised for travellers visiting the site.

Exciting Things to Try On Your Next Dubai Visit

Dubai is such a beautiful and luxurious Middle Eastern land that people are usually lost in the glitz and glamour and go about doing the bare minimum on their visits! However, there is a sea of opportunities that you can indulge in here but you need to think beyond the obvious and find out things to do that might interest you.

The Gold Facial

If you’re feeling pricey, act like it! There is a splendid Gold Facial that you can have while in Dubai. It is obviously going to cost you a little higher than regular skin treatments, but the results they say are spectacular. It uses 24 karat gold sheets that are placed on your skin and then massaged; leaving your skin glowing and supple.

Living in an aquarium suite!


Opt for the splendid Atlantis underwater suite that costs around £5,500 per night and you can spot hundreds of marine creatures while you enjoy a stay here! The two underwater suites – Poseidon and Neptune – boast floor-to-ceiling and look directly to Ambassador Lagoon aquarium.

Swimming with dolphins, diving with sharks!


Atlantis The Palm also provides opportunities for swimming with majestic and playful dolphins. When you get closer to this creature you will realise how docile, loving and fun they are, and you will have a great time watching them perform tricks. You can also go scuba diving and see sharks as well a number of other aquatic animals in their natural habitat. These are one of kind experiences and if you are looking to try something interesting, this can definitely be one of the things you do.


Dubai is famous for extreme adventure sports and you must try some of these interesting activities. Skydiving is a rare and once in a lifetime kind of experience and if it is something you have been meaning to try for a while Dubai offers the safest options for trying this extreme sport.

Fly boarding with a splash

Amongst all things new and exciting, Fly-boarding is a terrific new water sport and if you are up for trying exciting things in Dubai, this is definitely something you have to do. An inspired creation of a French Jet Ski designer, this sport will make you feel like an action movie star!

Shopping in Dubai – Check out Some of the Most Popular Souks in the Emirate!

Shopping in Dubai can be best enjoyed at one of those traditional souks and shopping complexes spread across the city, offering a flavour of authentic Arabic culture along with a wide range of products from across the region. For those of you hunting for a unique shopping experience, here is a list of some of the most popular souks in Dubai!

Gold Souk


For most people in the world, Dubai is the city of gold! Located in the heart of Deira, Gold Souk is Dubai’s most famous and visited souk. The popular market comprises of over 3000 gold merchants and traders dealing exclusively in 22 or 24 carat gold jewellery. Prices of these items are decided by the market rate of gold and include the charge of workmanship.

Spice Souk


Breathe in the rich aromas of authentic herbs and spices at the traditional spice souk in Dubai. Situated on Baniyas street in Deira, the souk is filled with an incredible range of spices and ingredients from across the Middle East and other parts of the world. Popular spices available at the souk include cardamom, cinnamon, saffron, and henna along with different sorts of dry fruits, incense sticks, sheesha and tobacco. Along with the variety of herbs and spices, it is the fragrance and aroma which attracts tourists and shoppers to this market.

Perfume Souk

For those of you obsessed with heavenly scents, Dubai’s Perfume Souk is just the place for you. Located on Sikkat Al Khali Street in Deira, the market is a perfect place to pick up your favourite scents and perfumes made by essential oils and traditional ingredients. You can choose from over thousand fragrances. If you don’t like any of the available ones, there’s always the option of creating your own perfume!

Textile Souk


Also known as Old Souk, this popular souk is situated in Bur Dubai. The marketplace features a massive range of fabrics and textiles including cashmere, silk, cotton, wool along with souvenirs, gifts and other goods. Although the area is dedicated to fabrics and textiles, the souk is also home to some of the city’s most skilled tailors to help you stitch your favourite attire with the best material from the market. Fabric and textile prices are negotiable and most shops offer a sale on special days and occasions.

Naif Souk

One of the city’s oldest markets, Naif Souk is the most famous souks in Dubai. The former camel market today feature over 1000 shops and stalls selling a wide range of products, such as textiles, goods, scents, fabrics, electronics and souvenirs. For those of you who know how to bargain, this place can turn out some terrific deals. Shopping in Naif Souk is a great way to experience Dubai’s traditional culture!

Explore the Allures of Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the UAE, is a complete family destination. The city is full of engaging attractions that are exciting for the young as well as the old.


It welcomes you with its pretty waterside location, terrific dhow harbour, traditional marketplaces and bustling sheesha cafes. Read on to know more about some of the best attractions of this city.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

An important place of worship across the country and a popular landmark, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque welcomes you with mystical serenity. This huge mosque exhibits stunning Islamic architecture and is the largest mosque in the UAE. Built of beautiful Macedonian marble, the mosque is full of intricate carvings, stunning glass-work and mosaic tiling.

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

Visit the Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and enjoy the thrills of roller-coaster rides and other attractions. It is the first Ferrari-branded theme park in the world and is home to numerous Ferrari inspired rides, a huge Ferrari Store and a host of authentic Italian restaurants and eating outlets. Marvel at its iconic red roof, enjoy the thrill of riding the fastest roller-coaster in the world and get entertained by lively shows – all within this indoor, climate-controlled environment of the Ferrari World.

Qasr Al Hosn

Travel back in time with a visit to the beautiful Qasr Al Hosn, which is probably one of the most popular forts in Abu Dhabi. The spectacular fort enjoys the title of being the oldest stone building in the city, which dates back to 1760. This white-washed fort was built as a watchtower, which slowly transformed into the royal abode of the ruling Al Nahyan family. History buffs will find the fort’s exhibits, photographs and archaeological finds interesting to explore as it offers a rare insight into the region’s history.

Abu Dhabi Corniche

A popular hangout among locals as well as tourists, the Abu Dhabi Corniche is a good place to spend some time observing the local culture. It is an eight kilometre stretch of road flanked by well-maintained waterfront with features such as children’s play areas, separate cycle and pedestrian pathways, cafés and restaurants. The Corniche Beach is another interesting feature, which you should explore. Take a cool dip or sunbathe or just sink your toes in the sand at this lifeguarded beach park.

Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital

Falconry is an important part of the local culture, and you should visit the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital to observe this bird’s wonderful relationship with humans. Visitors can book tours of this veterinary hospital, which includes exploring areas such as the falcon museum, the examination room and the free-flight aviary. One can even get a chance to hold these birds or feed them.

Dubai’s Offbeat yet Irresistible Charms

The dazzling city of Dubai, UAE, needs no introduction. The destination is full of amazing attractions, which go into the itinerary of every traveller visiting the ‘City of Gold’.


However, there are many lesser known attractions as well, which offer plenty of opportunities to tourists to experience new and exciting things. Read on to know more about a few of these underrated charms.

The Walk at Jumeirah Beach Residence

Stroll down the beautiful Jumeirah Beach Residence and treat yourself to a fun-filled shopping and dining experience. The Walk at the Jumeirah Beach Residence stretches around 1.7 kilometres and consists of roads with several shopping outlets and plenty of outdoor restaurants. These restaurants serve everything from popular local delicacies to international cuisines and fast food. As you walk along this 1.7 km stretch of shopping and eating joints, you will reach the Jumeirah Beach.

Dubai Miracle Garden

Visit the stunning Dubai Miracle Garden in Barsha South for a deeply soothing experience. The garden boasts of being the biggest natural flower garden in the world and is home to more than 45 million different species of flowering plants. Travellers can easily spend a considerable amount of time here exploring this huge sprawling garden’s lavish landscapes and colourful flower settings. The site gives you a beautiful visual treat with its topiary style majestic displays of vividly coloured flowers trimmed into different shapes such as huge hearts, pyramids, stars, and igloos. It is a good, romantic getaway for couples.

Chillout Ice Lounge

The Chillout Lounge, located at Times Square Center Dubai, is the first ice lounge in the Middle East. Travellers will have a unique experience chilling (pun intended) out at sub-zero temperatures within the confines of this lounge, while temperatures soar outside. Wear the thermal clothing provided by the lounge and keep yourself warm. The lounge is dotted with big and small ice sculptures and different types of lighting emitting a variety of colours. Enjoy an uninterrupted supply of hot soups, sandwiches, juices, hot chocolates, coffee, tea, and mock tails at the lounge.

Big Red

Another offbeat place of interest in Dubai is the Big Red. Located a little out of Dubai on the Dubai-Hatta Road (E44), this tricky dune bashing centre is more popular with the old hands at the sport. As you drive along E44, you will notice that the desert changes colour from a grey-white to a reddish hue. Many visitors choose to simply play a cheering audience rather than join the heart thudding activity.

Bastakia Mosque

Last but not the least; the Bastakia Mosque is a place to soak in serenity and bliss. Although, Dubai has many other noted and well-known mosques, the Bastakia Mosque can easily be called one of the most photogenic mosques in Dubai. It has exquisite lattice work and a stark white facade. Travellers can also stroll around to see the remnants of Dubai’s gypsum and coral city walls built in the mid-19th century.

Great Things to do on Christmas in Dubai


Visit Dubai during Christmas and you will know why it is said to be one of the best places to celebrate the festival. Maybe, that’s why tourists from across the world visit Dubai at this time of the year. Another reason is obviously that Dubai is a warm place and the weather around December is just perfect there.

So what do you do when you’re in Dubai for Christmas? Here are some tips!

Visit Local Christmas Shops

It is enthralling to see that the entire world has different interpretations of Christmas and this reflects in the different styles of decorations. You have to visit beautifully adorned local Christmas markets to see how the colours and ornaments create the perfect melange of festivity. Shopping at these local stores will give you a new perspective and help you understand how different the same the festival is, compared to most of the other European countries.

Go Frolicking in the Malls of Dubai


Dubai has some of the most exotic and aesthetically pleasing malls in the world. You cannot go to Dubai and not check out the malls. Even if you don’t plan to shop, you need to go see the art, architecture, and the variety of brands displaying their collections; be it clothes, shoes, bags, perfumes, electronics, jewellery, or anything else that you can imagine! This will sure be a way to burn the extra calories that you are going to intake through the scrumptious food you are going to eat in Dubai.

Go Crazy on the Food

Dubai has so many mouth-watering cuisines to offer that you are going to be fattened up for sure! Try local delicacies or indulge in fine dining experiences spanning cuisines from across the world at some of the most sought after Michelin star restaurants that Dubai is home to. Try anything from the Middle Eastern delicacies or go global. Enjoy Thai, Indian, Japanese, Chinese, Italian, English, and American food at some of the best restaurants in the world.

Go Watch a Play

Another pleasant surprise is that Dubai hosts many Christmas plays. You can watch them with your friends and family and get your Christmas cheer on! Peter Pan, The Nut Cracker, and Alice in Wonderland are some of the best ones and you should definitely go check them out. You may have to make prior bookings though, as the tickets get sold out easily.

So, the next time you plan a holiday to Dubai around Christmas, you know that there are plenty of things you can do and you won’t have a single dull moment.

Explore the Exquisite Gems of Oman

Oman is one of those exotic places, which still remains largely unexplored by most. Visiting the destination gives you some rare insights into the myriad facets of the Arab world – its landscapes, its culture, its cuisine, and its architecture.


Refreshingly, there is no excessive display of wealth. Oman is blessed with natural beauty, which finds reflection through its rugged mountains, vast deserts, and a virginal coastline. A trip to the country will also let you experience its intriguing traditional culture, delicious cuisine, the warm hospitality of its simple people, and a lot more. Listed below are some of the beautiful experiences which travellers should not miss during a visit to this country.

Soak in the Scenic Views of Jabal Shams (Sun Mountain)

Get amazed by the rugged beauty of Jabal Shams, also known as the Sun Mountain, which is considered to be the tallest peak in the Arabian Peninsula. Jabal Shams reaches the heights of 3,004 metres above sea level and boasts of several slopes and summits. A popular tourist attraction in the Sun Mountain is a deep chasm known as the ‘An Nakhr Balcony’ – a deep ravine in the centre of the rocks. The views of this ravine from the top are very scenic. The surrounding region has many good guest houses.

Explore the Turtle Reserve

Travellers must visit the Turtle Reserve at the Al Sharqiyah South Governorate to experience the scenic beauty of the beaches and to get up close to these meek creatures. The area ranging from Ras Al Hadd to Masirah Island is protected as a turtle reserve, where the rare green turtles can also be found. Explore the Ras Al Jins, a turtle sanctuary where turtle eggs are protected. Travellers can enjoy spotting the turtles in their natural habitat and lucky visitors may even see a green turtle with eggs in its nest.

Bathe in the Alkasfah Spring

A new and unique experience in a desert region, travellers must visit the AlKasfah Spring located at Wilayat al-Rustaq in Al Batinah South Governorate, Oman. The Alkasfah Spring is a group of several natural hot water springs, with temperatures up to 45 degrees Celsius. The hot water from the Alkasfah Spring flows out through many streams and is used to irrigate orchards. These hot water pools are well-known for their sulphate therapeutic waters and swimming pools, ideal for bathing. The hot water pools are accessible to the public all round the year.

Enjoy a Boat Ride at Bandar Khayran Reserve

Another must-experience activity in Oman is going on an enjoyable boat ride across the Bandar Khayran Reserve. The reserve is located in the centre of Muscat and can be reached by a boat ride of around 30-40 minutes from the Bandar Al Rawdha Marina. Enjoy the views of playful dolphins swimming along the boats. The boat ride will also offer travellers scenic views of rugged mountains with small white houses overlooking the sea. After reaching the Bandar Al Khayran, explore its rich underwater life of rich coral reefs, exotic fish, and other diverse sea creatures. The place is a paradise for divers and has over 22 diving locations.

Dubai for Beach Bums: Dubai’s Best Public Beaches

Dubai is better known for its awe-inspiring man-made attractions such as glittering malls, amazing theme parks, bustling souks, and Burj Khalifa; the tallest building in the world.


However, the ‘City of Gold’ also boasts of numerous white sandy beaches that are perfect for picnics, playing games, and enjoying waters sports. Many of these amazing beaches are part of resorts and are accessible only to the resort guests. However, Dubai has some great public beaches that can be visited for free or for a small fee. Read on to know more about these public beaches.

Jumeirah Bach Residence (JBR)

The JBR Beach is a popular beach among locals and tourists alike. The JBR beach is located beside the Jumeirah Beach Resort and is a free to use public beach, with clean facilities, showers, and beachfront restaurants. This beach, which is filled with people particularly on weekends, is the site of many popular events.

Kitesurfing Beach

Don’t forget to visit the Kitesurfing Beach in Dubai to see numerous kite surfers in action. This sporty beach is also a popular spot for soccer, volleyball, and kayaking. Also, known as the Woollongong Beach as it is close to the University of Wollongong, the beach is perfect for long walks. However, it has no facilities; so bring your own stuff.

Mamzer Beach Park

The Mamzer or Mamzar Beach Park is a huge picturesque beach. The Mamzer Park has five beaches in coves along the coastline of the park. These beaches have sheltered areas with public utilities such as changing rooms and showers. Sun loungers and umbrellas are available on rent. The area around the beach also has stores and cafes.

4×4 Beach

The 4X4 Beach is another popular public beach. It is located close to the Jumeirah Beach Park and has earned this quirky name because it is a popular spot for drivers to stop and enjoy stunning ocean and bay views.

Jumeirah Open Beach

Visit the Jumeirah Open Beach, which was earlier popular as the Russian Beach. This huge public beach is a great place to enjoy a quick swim or even bathe for hours! The beach is large and includes a 1.8km running track. Facilities include showers, public toilets, and round-the-clock shops.

Bu Qtair Beach

Explore this small and charming peninsular beach known as the Bu Qtair Beach. The beach is popular and has been named after a famous fresh seafood eating joint, the Bu Qtair. You can easily spend an entire day here.