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Emirates TravelUAE guide / Top 10 things to see in UAE
 

Top 10 Things to See in the United Arab Emirates

It would be difficult indeed to choose only 10 great things to see on a visit to the United Arab Emirates
It would be difficult indeed to choose only 10 great things to see on a visit to the United Arab Emirates. The federation of seven emirates traverses desert and mountains and has ancient historical sites and the most modern buildings in the world. But here are 10 top things to see – in no particular order – if you visit the UAE.
  1. Bird watching in Umm al-Quwain. Khor al Beidah is one of several great bird watching sites in Umm al-Quwain, which is located between Ras al-Khaimah and Ajman. Al Sinniyah Island is a large marine sanctuary. Several species of heron and plover enjoy habitats in shallow lagoons and along mud flats. You can also see terns, flamingos, gulls, and in winter Great Cormorants. A number of small islands separated by creeks are home to pink flamingos, as well as other aquatic life like turtles, jumping fish, and crabs.
  2. Burj Al Arab in Dubai. It hasn’t been there for long, but at 321 meters tall, the Burj Al Arab along the Dubai coastline has become one of the most photographed architectural structures in the world. At night, light shows turn the sail-shaped structure into a colorful spectacle. This is perhaps the finest hotel in the entire world, where your every need is readily catered to. Even if you can’t afford to stay there, it’s easily worth taking a look.
  3. Hajar Mountains and the Khatt Springs Spa. The Khatt Springs Spa and Hotel arises starkly out of the desert in Ras Al Khaimah. The castle-like luxury spa and lodgings make a spectacular outline against the desert and the sky. The Hajar Mountains rise in the background, separating the coastal plain from the high plateau of the desert. Like the Burj Al Arab, you may not be able to afford to stay there, but you may be able to partake of some of the spa services. And just the sight of the mountains as a stark backdrop to this fort-like structure is worth the drive, if only for the spectacular photos you’ll get.
  4. The Musfoot area of Ajman. The Musfoot region of the emirate of Ajman is located to the southeast of the city of Ajman. This region has mountains and valleys, and the valleys are the most fertile agricultural areas in the UAE. The climate here is more moderate than the blazing heat along the Persian Gulf.
  5. Emirates Palace Hotel Abu Dhabi. Located in the capital city of Abu Dhabi, the Emirates Palace Hotel is as luxurious, but stylistically totally different from the Burj Al Arab in Dubai. Palatial is not really a big enough adjective to describe this huge, amazing architectural structure surrounded by 85 hectares of perfectly groomed gardens. It would be hard to decide which is more luxurious, the interior with its marble fixtures and drapery made from pure silk, or the outside, with its painstakingly maintained plazas, gardens, and nighttime lighting.
  6. The Arabian Desert. The Arabian Desert takes up most of the Arabian Peninsula and is home to spiny lizards, desert cats, and gazelles. This extreme environment contains quicksand, and huge dunes. With an extremely dry climate, temperatures soar during the day and plummet at night, sometimes to freezing levels. This enormous, harshly beautiful major desert may be one of the most forbidding environments you ever see.
  7. Al Fahidi Fort in Dubai. The Dubai Museum is located inside the Al Fahidi Fort, which is the oldest standing building in Dubai, having been built in 1787. The museum depicts the traditional way of life in the emirate from before it experienced its great modernization and financial boom. Exhibitions show traditional homes in the Arab style, and also mosques, and trade artifacts. There are also excavated graves from as long ago as the third millennium B.C.E.
  8. The Al Bidyah Mosque in the emirate of Fujairah is the oldest mosque in the UAE, believed to be nearly 600 years old. Though tourists are no longer allowed inside the mosque, from the outside, it is exceptionally beautiful, very small, and gives the impression that it grew from the earth like a beautiful fruit.
  9. The Jebel Hafeet Mountain Road. Though it is only 11.7 km in length, the Jebel Hafeet Mountain Road rises over 1200 meters in elevation. Edmunds declared that of all the great driving roads in the world, the Jebel Hafeet Mountain Road is the best. There’s not a lot at the top, just a palace and a hotel, but the drive is the main attraction. Cyclists also use the road for training, and there is an annual Jebel Hafeet Mercure challenge where riders from the whole world tackle the 8% ascent of the Jebel Hafeet Mountain.
  10. Fujairah Fort. Built in 1670, and restored during the latter part of the 20th century, Fujairah Fort is the oldest fort in the United Arab Emirates. It is made of mud brick with two round towers and one square one. Located on a hill near the Fujairah coast on the edge of date gardens, the fort is encircled by the ruins of old houses. It is free to walk around in, and there is an observation deck.
The UAE is packed with a very broad variety of geographical features, architecture, and ecosystems, and these 10 things to see in the UAE are only the beginning.

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