The United Arab Emirates is known as one of the richest countries in the world, the land of sheikhs and skyscrapers, a fabulous oasis in the Arabian desert. The UAE is rarely perceived as a place for thoughtful tourism, as it is a convenient interchange hub for many people, but nothing more. If the connection is long in Dubai, then you can only look at the piercing needle of the Burj Khalifa and walk through a huge shopping center. But the Emirates are of interest not only for skyscrapers and shopping centers alone. And the main plus of the country's attractions is that they can be seen for a couple of days. Let's go on a trip with Travellizy.
Most of the interesting places in the UAE are located in Dubai, but there are interesting locations in Abu Dhabi, the capital. Any emirate has the cleanest beaches with turquoise water, where you can swim as much as you want.
A Living Past: Al Fahidi (or Al Bastakiya)
If you visit the region of Bastakiya, it’s hard to believe that you are in the same skyscraper-luxury UAE. You can see here low houses with clay-coated walls, narrow streets, traditional wind towers, which are ingenious air conditioners of the pre-industrial era. The illusion of a medieval quarter is disrupted only by the signs of network coffee houses, the ideal cleanliness of the pavement and walking tourists. The area is insanely colorful and allows you to look at the Emirates from an unusual angle. A lot of cozy cafes are hidden in its side streets, and on one of the squares, you can see the reconstruction of the Bedouin camp with live camels.
In addition, the Old Market is located in the Bestakiya region, which is very different from the ultra-modern malls in Dubai, and there is a spice market where you can become filled with the smell of cinnamon, saffron, cardamom, zira, sumac and other spices. Al-Fahidi Fort used to be a defensive building, and now there is a museum where you can learn a lot of interesting things about the history of the Dubai Emirate. Entrance to the museum costs € 0.7.
You can get to the most unusual area of Dubai by metro, you need to get off at Al Fahidi station.
Quiet Harbor: Dubai Creek
The word "creek" in translation from English means “a stream”, although in fact, Dubai Creek is a man-made channel. And on this channel, it is very nice to ride on a small voyage boat. The fare on it costs only 0.2 euros, and there are also sightseeing boats for lovers of something more luxurious. True, they cost more.
It is very pleasant to walk along the Dubai Creek promenade, breathing in the moist air and watching the bustle on the quays.
Shopaholics Paradise: Dubai Mall
You can walk all day long around the Dubai Mall, admiring the sheer scope of this temple of consumerism. Representative offices of famous brands, boutiques, cafes, restaurants, bookstores, fountains ... it is very difficult to resist the desire to spend everything you have in the wallet or purse. But the Dubai Mall is known not only for the trade.
In the center of the Mall, there is the largest aquarium in the world. You can look at its inhabitants for free from the galleries of the shopping center, or you can pay 12 euros and go inside - take a walk through the tunnel with transparent walls. Both children and adults will surely be delighted with stingrays and sharks swimming over their heads, and the most curious one can visit the scientific center at the aquarium. Entrance to it is included in the ticket price.
Near the Dubai Mall, there is a singing fountain that delights with a light and music show every 20 minutes from 18:00 to 22:00 on weekdays or 23:00 on weekends. You can watch it for free.
Above the Clouds: Burj Khalifa
The Burj Khalifa skyscraper is the UAE's visiting card and so far the tallest building in the world. In total, it is 828 meters, but the maximum where tourists are allowed is 124 floor, which is at an altitude of 472 meters. But here, not from the highest point of this impressive creation of human hands, you can enjoy a dizzying view. Make sure to check the weather forecast before ordering a ticket, as clouds or haze can ruin everything.
If you buy a ticket to the Burj Khalifa on the ground floor of the tower, then it will cost you € 97, but you can book it in advance on the Internet three times cheaper - just € 30.
Snow in the Desert: Ski Dubai
Are you tired of dry air and burning sun? How about skiing or snowboarding? You can do this in the Mall of Emirates, namely in the Ski Dubai complex. Having paid 73 euros, you will get the opportunity to ride all day long, for 44 euros - 2 hours. Equipment rental is included in the ticket price.
All Countries in One: Global Village
On the territory of Global Village, you can get acquainted with the cultures of 90 countries. You can walk around the huge (the largest in the world) entertainment complex all day long, and it won't be enough to see all its wonders. The colorful pavilions of African and Asian countries, shows of singing fountains, canals with brisk abra boats, cafes with dishes of all cuisines of the world - at Global Village, it is no wonder to lose your head from the abundance of colors, sounds, smells and impressions.
Yes, by the way, this is also a giant fair, so an entrepreneurial trader with Indian fabrics, Arab oils, Asian fruits and other goods from all over the world will be waiting for you on every corner. And you should adhere to two rules - to bargain until the very last and try everything edible. Neither the first nor the second option is condemned at this celebration of life.
Entrance to the territory of Global Village costs only € 3.6.
The Biggest Palm Tree Ever
Palm Island, the famous artificial island, can be seen in all its glory only from the monorail carriage, as its unique shape will go unnoticed from the ground. But numerous entertainment complexes and turquoise waters of the bay washing the island can’t be unnoticed. On a clear day, it's nice to just take a walk, but make sure to cover your head from the sun or take an umbrella.
We’re done with Dubai, so let's go to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE.
Two Palaces for the Sheikh
A long time ago, a palace for the sheikh was built in the center of Abu Dhabi. But for some reason, the ruler of the emirate did not like it, and the sheikh ordered to turn it into a hotel. Anyone can walk along the corridors and halls of the Emirates Palace Hotel, and the richness of the interiors will cause a sigh of admiration, even if you are absolutely indifferent to luxury. And make sure to go to the toilet, it is very peculiar here.
Across the street from the palace-hotel, you can see Etihad Towers with an observation deck on the 75th floor of one of them. Climbing it costs € 18, for 12 of which you can buy a drink and dessert at a local buffet.
Qasr Al-Watan, Sheikh's new palace, was opened for tourists in 2019. You can see inside ancient books and golden (literally) words of His Excellency, a collection of gifts from foreign diplomats and medieval artifacts.
Snow White Splendor: Flower Mosque
Sheikh Zayed Mosque is called Flower Mosque, and its appearance is amazing. Snow-white domes, thin needles of minarets, walls decorated with gold and a central courtyard painted with floral ornaments (the mosque was called the Flower because of this) - all this will be an excellent background for insta photos or just a good place for a walk.
Unfortunately, there are less and less places tourists can visit in the mosque. Now you can walk only along the corridor fenced with ribbons, and the places where it is allowed to stop for a photo are marked with special signs. But the general attractiveness of the Flower Mosque for tourists does not decrease from this. Entrance to it is free, and a large-scale shopping center is located under the mosque.
Ode to Speed: Ferrari World
Even the Ferrari World building itself is worth a trip to this park. And inside the bright red (Ferrari's signature color) architectural miracle, dizzying in the literal sense of the word attractions await you. Here you can feel like a driver of a Formula 1 car, accelerate to 240 kilometers per hour on the world's fastest roller coaster, fly up the world's highest loop or try out a super-realistic racing simulator.
An adult ticket to Ferrari World costs € 72, a child ticket is € 56, and you can buy a VIP ticket for € 487 and attend all the rides without waiting in line.
The current Formula 1 track is located next to the Ferrari Park, where you can get driving lessons for a racing car. You don't like speed, but still want to ride on the famous track? Then you will be given a bicycle.
There are few natural attractions in the UAE. In fact, there is only one attraction, the great desert surrounding the islands of civilization. You can on a tour or rent a car to the desert in order to walk along the dunes and take pictures of camels.
The United Arab Emirates cannot boast of ancient temples or a thousand-year history, but they clearly demonstrate, what human knowledge, multiplied by unlimited financial resources, can create even in the most barren corner of the planet.