United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates is one of the Middle East's safest and most enticing destinations. Holidays in the Emirates combine all the comforts of home - and often much, much more - with a tangible taste of the exotic.
The UAE is made up of seven sovereign sheikhdoms, or emirates, of which Dubai and Abu Dhabi are the best known and most visited. City breaks to the rapidly growing city of Dubai are a popular choice - with its sparkling shopping malls, gold souks, fine dining restaurants, desert golf courses, five-star beach hotels and architectural wonders such as the iconic sail-shaped Burj al-Arab and the Jumeirah Palm.
But this is also a country of contrasts. On the one hand there are the vibrant and modern cities of Dubai and the oil-rich capital, Abu Dhabi, while away from these dynamic business and tourism hubs can be visited open desert, breathtaking mountains and sweeping beaches.
Life in the other five emirates - Sharjah, Fujairah, Ajman, Umm al-Qaiwain and Ras Al-Khaimah - moves at a far slower pace. But even in Dubai and Abu Dhabi it doesn't take long to get away from the bustle of modern city life to experience the Arabian desert.
Tailor made holidays in the UAE are a chance to see at first hand a mix of traditional Bedouin lifestyle and customs, juxtaposed with a very Western style of rampant consumerism. What's more, a number of the world's leading airlines are based in the Gulf region, making it is an extremely accessible and affordable holiday option.
Click on a place name below to find out more. Alternatively, to start planning where to go in United Arab Emirates, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0621.
The Practical information displayed here is taken from The Traveller's Handbook, published by WEXAS (2009). While all possible care was taken to ensure accuracy at the time of publication, we are aware that situations change, so for the latest information and up-to-date visa requirements, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0621.
Best October-May, very hot June-September.
There is the Dubai Shopping Festival, in January, which has amused many. The International Jewellery Exhibition is also early in the year. Throughout the year there are horse -and camel- race meets. Eid al-Adh, the Festival of Sacrifice, commemorates Abraham's willingness to sacrifice everything for God, and is celebrated in March. The Islamic New Year, Hijra New Year's Day, celebrates the Prophet Mohammed and his followers' move to Medina from Mecca. On 2 December the country celebrates the founding of the UAE: festivities can last to the following week.
Popular dishes include tabbouleh (bulghur wheat with mint and parsley), hummus (chickpea and sesame paste), warak enab (stuffed vine leaves), koussa mashi (stuffed courgettes) and makbous (spicy lamb with rice). Consumption of alcohol is permitted for non-Muslims except in Sharjah.
Muslim religious laws should be taken into consideration. Visitors are expected to observe local standards and should be modestly covered. Gesture and eat with the right hand, the left hand is for hygiene. Don't point. Gifts are not necessary, and if you give a gift it will be opened in private. Avoid giving alcohol, pork, or images of naked or partially clad women, even in art.
Abu Dhani (AUH) is 35 km from city. Dubai (DXB) is 5 km from city. Ras al-Khaimah (RKT) is 15 km from city. Sharjah (SHJ) is 10 km from city.
Good road and flight networks. Limited buses, taxis in town, car hire available.
The places to stay listed below only represent a handful of the accommodation options available in United Arab Emirates. We can also recommend and arrange accommodation to suit your personal tastes and budget. To start planning where to stay in United Arab Emirates, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0621.
Alison Kent - Middle East Specialist
To make an enquiry or to start planning your trip talk to our team of specialists on 020 7590 0621