United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates is commonly referred to a country of contrasts and this is reasonable. Mountains, beaches, deserts, oases, camel racing, Bedouin markets and enjoyable tours of duty-free shopping in Dubai are all concentrated in a country with a relatively small area. It has become one of the best travel destinations worldwide. Despite its reputation as an expensive country, renowned for its luxury hotels and shopping centers, the Emirates can offer a great vacation for those who are guided by the principle of economy travel.
The UAE is composed of seven emirates, which are Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain. The gleaming cities of the United Arab Emirates are both similar and completely different, all of them are rather fancy and deserve special attention.
Abu Dhabi is the capital city, spreading among the barren sands and parched rivers on the Persian Gulf. It is the largest and richest of the emirates of the UAE. Most of the time Abu Dhabi is called the Middle East Manhattan. The main feature that distinguishes the city from any other modern city, and which reflects its Muslim character is the large number of mosques in the city and its surroundings. Here you will be delighted to wander through an extensive parks and gardens, admire the high-rise buildings, modern communication and transport possibilities, international luxury hotels, rich cultural and trade centers.
Dubai has a multi-functional feature being both the main center of tourism and trade. It’s the capital of commerce, a cosmopolitan city, characterized by freedom, unusual for the rest of the country. Most tourists who decided to spend their holidays in the UAE, choose this emirate and the city. Dubai has become famous since ancient times as the “city of merchants.” It lies on the shores of the deep lagoon separating the settlement into two parts.
Sharjah is a city no less interesting than Dubai and Abu Dhabi. It is located just 10 minutes on a multi, a modern highway from Dubai. This is called to be the cultural capital of the country. Sometimes it’s even called to be a city-museum hosting most of the national museums and cultural locations.
Fujairah is the youngest emirate located on the shores of the Indian Ocean, while all other emirates are located on the shores of the Persian Gulf. The main advantage of the emirate is the surprising nature: the beautiful mountains Hodzhar, clean sea, beautiful beaches and lots of greenery, which other emirates cannot boast. The place is ideal for the fans of active rest, as here you can either choose one of the water sports or enjoy mountain climbing.
Ras al-Khaimah is located in the northern part of the UAE, near the strait of Hormuz. The ancient city of Ras al-Khaimah is one of the oldest. The nature of the city is different due to the lush of vegetation and significant water resources, including natural hot springs. This is one of the few emirates of the country which gives you a chance to forget about the fact that you’re in the middle of a huge desert.
Ajman, the smallest of all the emirates, is located only 30 minutes from Dubai Airport. Still it requires special attention while being known as a center for pearling industry and boats construction. The place is ideal for all those travelers who have been around the Emirates and enjoyed most of the fancy entertainment and are looking for a quiet and cozy destination to stop in. Here you will find yourself in peace with nature. After getting some rest you can organize an active tour on camels to discover the rest of the unknown spots of the local deserts.
If you’re looking for a more traditional Arabic location, then you need to head straight to Umm al-Quwain (means ‘strength’ translated from the Arabic). The traditions here have been preserved due to the relative isolation, here you will find not only a large list of mosques, and watchtowers, but also famous Umm al-Quwain Marine Research Centre built of coral stone.
No matter which of the cities you choose for your holiday in the UAE, each of them is unique and each of them will provide you with exciting emotions and unforgettable memories. Tours in any of the emirates will give tourists a rich experience, who will enjoy the originality of the East and may even unveil the secrecy of this beautiful country.
Still don’t forget that you’re in the Arabian Peninsula: the Emirates offer you the opportunity of exploring the legacy of the Bedouins in the deserts by the camels, the contemplation of the stars in the desert, taking jeep safari tours on sand dunes and walks on the board of the Arab sailing vessel. It’s time for you to make this fairy-tale like country your next travel destination and realize your cherishing dream, discovering the mysteries of the Middle East!
Photos © Flickr, Panoramio