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Things to do in the United Arab Emirates

Things to do in  United Arab Emirates

Welcome to United Arab Emirates

When you think of the United Arab Emirates, you likely think of its blockbuster, over-the-top city: Dubai. With the world's tallest building, man-made islands, an aquarium big enough for scuba-diving, and indoor ski slopes, there's no shortage of experiences to check off and sights to see. But beyond the glitz and glamor of this shiny, new city, there's another side to the United Arab Emirates, which existed long before Dubai started booming. Explore the Hajar Mountains, towering over the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah; or visit the hub of culture and athletics in Abu Dhabi, the capital, with highlights including the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the museums at Saadiyat Island. Get to grips with art and heritage in Sharjah via visits to the Grand King Faisal Mosque, Souk Al Arsa, and the Heritage Village. No trip to the UAE is complete without a foray out into the desert, whether it's dune-bashing, riding a camel, or experiencing a cultural presentation under the protection of a luxury tent. Luckily, many of these experiences can be combined on a desert day tour. Finally, for relief from the hot, sandy desert, travelers can head to the Gulf of Oman for swimming and other water activities, visit the Aquaventure Waterpark, or experience the indoor Ski Dubai snow park.

Top 10 attractions in United Arab Emirates

#1
Jabal Al Jais

Jabal Al Jais

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When you think of the United Arab Emirates, it’s usually about sand dunes, towering skyscrapers, or the sparkling Arabian Sea. In the mountains of Ras al Khaimah, however, travelers can venture up the rugged slopes of rocky Jebal al Jais, which at 6,207 feet is the UAE’s tallest peak. Leave the rush of the city behind as you snake your way up the mountain, where the surrounding cliffs and rock-strewn plains make it seem like the surface of the moon. The view of the city from the top is spectacular—particularly at sunrise and sunset—and sleeping beneath the desert stars is a popular visitor activity. So, too, is renting a sports car and hugging the mountainous curves, or booking an afternoon picnic lunch enjoyed right on the mountainous slopes. The last section of the road to the summit has lately been closed for construction, but plans are to not just improve the road, but also create the world’s longest zipline that runs for 1.4 miles. There has also been talk of putting a resort and golf course up on the mountain, but for the time being it’s a desert escape that’s peaceful and undeveloped.More
#2
Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

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The race car–themed Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi features 20 rides and attractions—everything from the toddler-friendly carousel of Ferrari prototype cars to cutting-edge racing simulators that will please older kids and teens. The largest indoor theme park in the world is also home to the world’s fastest roller coaster, the Formula Rossa, a hydraulic-powered thrill ride that sees visitors strapped into a Ferrari Formula One-like coaster car and launched at speeds of up to 150 miles (240 kilometers) per hour.More
#3
Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa

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The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world, soaring 2,717 feet (828 meters) high with more than 160 stepped floors that narrow as it climbs syringe-like to the sky. Designed to pay homage to the complex geometry of Islamic art, the Burj Khalifa brings a new meaning to the term skyscraper and is a highlight of the massive downtown Dubai complex.More
#4
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

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The massive, white Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the central place of worship for citizens of the United Arab Emirates, accommodating roughly 40,000 people. Highlights inside include white marble columns with mother-of-pearl engravings, expansive Iranian carpets, and intricate crystal chandeliers.More
#5
Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum (Qasr al-Ain)

Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum (Qasr al-Ain)

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The Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum (Qasr al-Ain) is based in the residence of the founder and first president of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The palace complex was built in 1910 on the western side of the mighty Al Ain Oasis and was home to Sheikh Zayed and his family from 1937 until 1966. It later became a museum in 1998.The building is set around attractive courtyards and gardens where guests can wander around while learning about Sheikh Zayed and his life. Visitors have access to the meeting rooms, or majlis, where the president met with dignitaries and other visitors to the palace. There’s also the chance to take a peek at the palace’s sleeping quarters, including the canopied bed of the ruler’s wife.More
#6
Dubai Marina

Dubai Marina

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Carved along the Gulf shoreline south of Dubai’s The Palm island, Dubai Marina is a skyscraper-packed waterfront community that’s one of the city’s swishest residential and leisure hotspots. At its heart is a 2-mile (3-kilometer) waterway framed by residential blocks, hotels, shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues.More
#7
Burj Al-Arab Jumeirah

Burj Al-Arab Jumeirah

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The sail-like silhouette of the Burj Al-Arab Jumeirah has become a symbol of Dubai's opulence and affluence, standing at 1,053 feet (321 meters) as the third-tallest hotel and one of the most luxurious hotels in the United Arab Emirates. Opened in 1999, the landmark boasts plenty of superlatives, including its five-star status.More
#8
Abu Dhabi Corniche

Abu Dhabi Corniche

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Running along the northwest side of the city, the Corniche (also known as Corniche Road) is a stretch of land on the waterfront perfect for a stroll or bike ride. The 5-mile (8-kilometer) promenade has dedicated cycling and pedestrian areas as well as family-friendly beaches, children’s play areas, cafes, restaurants, and shopping.More
#9
Emirates Palace

Emirates Palace

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Opened in 2005, the 5-star Emirates Palace hotel is one of Abu Dhabi’s top attractions for its sheer scale and grandeur. The multi-domed luxury hotel, part of Kempinski Hotels, sits on the beachfront in palm-sprinkled gardens and makes a lavish retreat for guests and a must-see for Abu Dhabi visitors.More
#10
Palm Jumeirah

Palm Jumeirah

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Jutting into the Persian Gulf from southern Dubai, the Palm Jumeirah is an artificial island in the shape of a palm tree and ringed by a crescent-shaped breakwater. The world’s biggest artificial island, it draws visitors to its palatial hotels, theme parks, and shopping malls.More

Trip ideas

Ways to Beat the Crowds in Dubai

Ways to Beat the Crowds in Dubai

Top activities in United Arab Emirates

Dubai Helicopter Tour

Dubai Helicopter Tour

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$179.11
Dubai full day tour with Entry ticket to Burj Khalifa at the Top
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Full-Day Tour of Abu Dhabi City From Dubai, Day Trip with Guide

Special Offer

Full-Day Tour of Abu Dhabi City From Dubai, Day Trip with Guide

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$71.25
$75.00  $3.75 savings
Deluxe Hot Air Balloon Ride With Gourmet Breakfast & Falcons
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Burj Khalifa: At the Top (125th floor) & Dubai Aquarium Combo Entrance
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Dubai City Tour with Guide - Old and New Dubai sightseeing tour

Special Offer

Dubai City Tour with Guide - Old and New Dubai sightseeing tour

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$37.05
$39.00  $1.95 savings

Recent reviews from experiences in United Arab Emirates

star-5
Very good day out
Nicole_G, May 2021
Five Emirates Tour in a Day from Dubai - Know the East-Coast.
And has given me a good on what more I would like to see in the UAE.
star-5
Very Good Tour
philip_p, Apr 2021
Sharjah and Ajman (Cultural & Themes tours)
We got to see parts of UAE that are not all big buildings.
star-5
An experience to remember
Martha_G, Apr 2021
Dubai Desert 4x4 Dune Bashing, Self-Ride 30min ATV Quad, Camel Ride,Shows,Dinner
For us it was enough as trying to fit so many activities into 1 trip we got a good amount of dine bashing and quad riding, which were the activities we wanted.
star-5
Great highlight tour of Abu Dhabi
PaulG, Mar 2020
Abu Dhabi City Tour from Abu Dhabi
Great tour to see a lot of the sites in Abu Dhabi.
star-5
Amazing Five Emirates
Verscel, Feb 2020
Five Emirates Tour in a Day from Dubai - Know the East-Coast.
You will be able to visit the five emirates and see its beauty.
star-5
Enjoyable experience for a very fair price
cmontesinos, Feb 2020
Full-Day Tour of Abu Dhabi City From Dubai, Day Trip with Guide
We had plenty of time to visit the Grand Mosque, which was definitely the highlight of the trip.
star-4
Beautiful Mosques
gkareym, Feb 2020
Full-Day Tour of Abu Dhabi City From Dubai, Day Trip with Guide
Would not do this trip in summer.
star-5
Excellent tour of Abu Dhabi
suemc410, Jan 2020
Abu Dhabi City Tour
He enabled us to see all we required and more avoiding long queues.
star-5
Lovely day tour of Abu Dhabi
frankderrickm, Jan 2020
Abu Dhabi Small-Group Day Trip from Dubai by OceanAir™️
It was an amazing tour of Abu Dhabi where we got to visit the Grand Mosque, Presidential Palace and the Emirates Towers.
star-5
Great tour!
pkort, Jan 2020
Dubai Sightseeing Day Trip from Abu Dhabi
Great tour, got to see both old and new Dubai and learn a lot about the city (and UAE in general).
star-5
Abu Dhabi in a day
rchawla12019, Dec 2019
Abu Dhabi Small-Group Day Trip from Dubai by OceanAir™️
With a short stay in UAE, this was the perfect way to see Abu Dhabi.
star-5
This is a excellent way to see the...
Gordon M, Aug 2017
Dubai Sightseeing Day Trip from Abu Dhabi
This is a excellent way to see the contrast between the to main cities of the UAE, taken at a leisurely pace with a friendly, knowledgeable guide.
star-4
Great tour. Friendly staff on...
carl.lawrence, Oct 2017
Musandam Khasab Day Trip and Dhow Cruise from Dubai
Friendly staff on the boat and transfer, great food - fantastic to see dolphins up so close, and feeding the fish while swimming.
star-5
I had sooooo much fun. The tour...
Ashleah N, Apr 2018
Dubai Desert 4x4 Safari with Camp activities & BBQ Dinner
The camp was nice although not a lot of time for all the activities.
star-4
Very informative if you are...
Izabela A, Mar 2018
Full Day Al Ain tour with Lunch from Dubai
I would include few more attractions in the tour like camel market, souk, zoo, etc.
star-4
This tour was a great way to see...
Raymond, Aug 2016
Day Tour of Abu Dhabi from Dubai
This tour was a great way to see part of UAE and Abu Dhabi.
star-5
This was a very well organised day...
william n, Jan 2016
Desert 4x4 Safari: Free ATV ride, Camel Ride, BBQ Dinner, Traditional Live Shows
This was a very well organised day with a variety of activities suitable for all the family.
star-5
Great Tour
kkafozov, Feb 2020
Full-Day Tour of Abu Dhabi City From Dubai, Day Trip with Guide
In addition, the tour was well organized and highlighted everything there is to see in the city.
star-5
Good view of some of the major...
Barbara H, Jun 2014
Private Modern Dubai city tour
Visited the Mall of the Emirates to see Ski Dubai and the light fountain show.
star-4
Ended up only lasting about 3 hours...
MANUEL S, Apr 2008
Sharjah City Sightseeing Tour - The Pearl of the Gulf
Ended up only lasting about 3 hours, and the tour bus used did not allow us to see very well out the window, but it was worth doing for the price.
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