Planning a trip to the United Arab Emirates but haven’t figured out where to go yet? My quick UAE travel guide is the perfect place to start, with tips on what makes each emirate unique, top things to do and where to stay.
I’ve just got back from an action-packed week in the UAE with Rotana Hotels. After visiting Dubai for the first time last September, I was excited to see more of what this jewel of the Middle East had to offer. People often forget there are seven emirates in total, and while Abu Dhabi and Dubai shout the loudest, there are plenty of reasons to visit the other five.
From incredible encounters with wildlife, epic cityscapes and delicious international cuisine, to art, culture and exciting activities, it’s time to share a few highlights from my time in the UAE.
The UAE’s cultural heart, this city was a huge highlight for me. There are SO many things to do in Abu Dhabi, and as it was my first time visiting, I was keen to pack in as much as possible! With just over 24 hours there, here’s what I got up to…
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque – This is one of the top places to visit in Abu Dhabi. It’s free to get in, and the architecture is simply stunning. I loved exploring the inner courtyard, with its sparkling white stone, picturesque archways and beautiful domes. It’s also worth looking around the inside too where you’ll find one of the world’s largest chandeliers, and the largest handmade carpet. As this is a place of worship, remember to cover up. Even if you dress conservatively, most women are asked to wear an abaya (available to borrow free of charge at the entrance) while men wearing shorts will be asked to borrow loose trousers.
The Louvre, Abu Dhabi– Opened in 2017, The Louvre has affirmed Abu Dhabi’s status as a cultural and artistic city. The architecture of the building is mesmerising with its impressive dome. There are 55 buildings, 23 galleries, a 1,200-seater auditorium, and more to wander around at your own pace. Allow some time to explore the courtyard areas, where steps lead down to the water, and mirror-like reflections will have you reaching for your camera over and over again.
365 days of sunshine a year, beautiful beaches, pure luxury and an incredible, buzzing city, Dubai is the ultimate beach holiday meets city break.
I’ve just returned from an action-packed break in Dubai with Teletext Holidays. It was my first time in the city, and a city I’d been intrigued by for a while. Most people I knew seemed to have visited, whether for a holiday or stopover on their way to the Far East or Australia.
It fascinated me. A man-made skyscraper city built in the desert. Not so long ago there were sand dunes where the city’s malls and hotels now lie. With just a few days there, we were keen to see and do it all! We wanted to see the aerial views of the city from the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. We wanted to play in the snow at Ski Dubai. We wanted to run down sand dunes on a desert safari. We wanted to shop till we dropped at the Dubai Mall. And we wanted to relax at one of the area’s most luxurious hotels.
So whether you’re visiting on a quick stopover, or heading off on luxurious holiday, here are the things you just can’t miss!
08:00 Wake Up At Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort And Spa
If you’re looking for 5-Star luxury in Dubai, check out Sofitel The Palm. With its own private beach, six swimming pools, fourteen restaurants and bars and super luxurious rooms, it’s a beautiful place to wake up in Dubai. You’ll struggle to choose what to eat at the international breakfast buffet, with everything from Indonesian nasi goreng and fresh pastries, to tasty omelettes, fry ups, fresh tropical fruits and smoothies.
09:30: Explore Dubai’s Old Town
People don’t associate Dubai with history, but believe me, there’s a beautiful old town just waiting to be explored. The Bastakia Quarter is a great place to start your time in the city, exploring the ancient buildings, checking out the textile and spice souks and then catching an abra (a traditional boat) across Dubai Creek. Once across you’re moments from the city’s famous gold souk. The window displays are impressive, with necklaces, rings and even full body outfits made from pure gold! Just watch out you don’t spend all your holiday money before lunchtime!