Category Archives: UAE

Best of UAE – Famous Attractions in the Country

From stunning skyscrapers to palm shaped islands and city sized malls to terrific museums, the UAE is a beautiful mosaic of seven stunning emirates. Read on to learn about some of the country’s most amazing architectural wonders and top rated attractions.

Dubai

Burj Khalifa, Dubai

The tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa is a fascinating superstructure located in Dubai. Dominating the skyline, this popular 125 floor architectural marvel is the best place to enjoy the fantastic 360 degree panoramic view of the city and its surrounding landscape. An evening at Burj Khalifa is certainly an experience of a lifetime.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

A masterpiece of modern Islamic architecture, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is among the largest mosques in the world, located in the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi.  With over 80 marble domes, over 1000 columns, 24 carat golden chandeliers and the largest hand woven carpet, the mosque is truly unique. Take a guided tour of the mosque and explore the different facets of it.

Dubai Museum, Dubai

Paying tribute to the Emirate’s history and culture, Dubai Museum is among the oldest surviving structures in the city. Offering you an intriguing insight in to the past eras, this 1787 construction is home to the emirate’s ancient artefacts and archaeological digs dating back to the 3rd Millennium BC. Learn about the rich legacy of this former fishing village through the many exhibitions lined up here.

Fujairah Museum, Fujairah

Preserving a major chunk of the country’s ancestral history, Fujairah Museum is another vital structure in the country. Displaying artefacts and antiques, this museum features ancient weapons, costumes, Bedouin jewellery and other interesting collectables. The ornate baroque style ceiling and wall carvings are big hits with the travellers.

Al Ain Palace Museum, Al Ain

One of the most prominent cultural places in the city, Al Ain Palace Museum is a popular tourist attraction. Opened to the public in 2001, this former palace of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan is home to ancient collectables and valuables dating back to the emirate’s early years. Take a guided tour of the museum and experience the rich royal legacy of the city.

Al Fahidi Historic District, Dubai

Travel back in time and experience how the city looked without those tall skyscrapers and luxury malls. Make your way to the popular Al Fahidi Historic District to explore the rich historical legacy of the city by visiting some of the oldest sites, traditional souks, cultural museums and ancient craft shops.

Interesting things to do during your layover in Dubai Airport

Dubai-airport

While those tall skyscrapers, interesting architecture and giant shopping malls are best enjoyed on a long holiday in Dubai, a few hours’ stopover in this ultra-modern city isn’t a bad deal either. Here is a list of things to do and enjoy while you’re in transit in Dubai.

Enjoy the surroundings

Dubai International Airport offers free Wi-Fi access to the travellers. You can stream movies of your choice and enjoy music before boarding your flight. For the ones who have a long layover, there is the option of visiting the world’s second largest choreographed fountain, The Dubai Fountain, the tallest skyscraper, Burj Khalifa and other key tourist attractions of Dubai. Transit passengers can get a 96-hour visa at the Dubai airport. For more information on transit visa for British national, visit the FCO website.

Shop till you drop

A haven for shopaholics, Dubai International Airport is home to a wide selection of electronics, beverages, chocolates, perfumes, cosmetics, liquor and other stuff. A few hours’ stopover at this international airport surely promises a delightful experience but if there’s sufficient time before your next flight, things can get even more interesting for you as you can visit the nearby malls and old souks.

Wine and Dine

While in Dubai, enjoy a range of traditional as well as global cuisines at the famous restaurants and cafes. With some of the most terrific eateries located around the airport, it’s easy to treat your taste buds to the best of Arabic cuisine and popular dishes. Some of the airlines with stopovers in Dubai offer special discounted access to the airport lounges and bars. Make the most of your layover in Dubai and enjoy a fine dining experience in the emirate!

Lounge Around

For the ones on a quick stopover at Dubai airport, the best thing to do would be to laze around at the airport. Grab a quick bite along with your favourite beverage and wait for your next flight. The health club and snoozecubes on Terminal 1 of the airport add to your overall experience of the journey.

5 Of the Most Popular Attractions in Al Ain, UAE

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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.

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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’.

Sharjah

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

Sharjah-Museum-of-Islamic-Civilization

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!

aquarium

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!

Swimming-with-dolphins

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.

Skydiving

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

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

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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

textiles-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.

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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’.

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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

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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

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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.