The ever-developing land of the United Arab Emirates increases its appeal to tourists with each passing year. In the major cities, the Arabic culture has been blended with that of the west as well as the lavish lifestyles of the country’s super-wealthy residents. It’s an incredibly unique place to visit, filled with both the culture of the land and all of the extravagances that continue to expand across the country.
The UAE is made up of seven emirates – the capital of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Fujairah, and Sharjah – so it can be difficult to decide where to base your travels. Of course, you could see it all, but here, we’ll be narrowing in on the best place to stay and the best places to visit.
Where to stay in the UAE
The UAE certainly isn’t short on accommodation regardless of which emirate you wish to utilise as your base for your travel. However, many see Abu Dhabi as the best place to stay during your travels. The capital occupies 84 per cent of the territory and boasts 200 islands according to the Government. As the nation’s hub, Abu Dhabi has become finely tuned to suit all types of tourist.
The overwhelmingly tourist-friendly attitude of Abu Dhabi has been forged and cultured by the waves of foreign workers coming to the nation to call it home for a while. As shown by Bayut, due to the grandeur of the emirate, Abu Dhabi caters to all budget requirements, ranging from cheap studio rentals to more lavish and opulent four-bed accommodations.
Abu Dhabi, in itself, is a wonderful and bubbly city, but for travellers who want to see much more than one city, the capital is well connected to two other must-see emirates – Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah.
Exploring Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah
Image by smarko
Dubai is the jewel of the emirates and the prime destination for most tourists. It’s about two hours away by bus or taxi from Abu Dhabi, with bus tickets costing roughly ten-times less than taxi rides. The city is filled with wonders of the modern world, ranging from sky-touching towers to ancient trade routes.
There is so much to see in Dubai, but the first stop for many is, of course, the tallest building in the world: the Burj Khalifa. Next on the to-do list must be the Dubai Marina – also the largest of its kind in the world – where you can shop to your heart’s content at the Dubai Marina Mall or fly across the marina on the XLine – the world’s longest urban zipline. For a touch of history, however, you can seek out the Al Fahidi Neighbourhood or the ancient trade routes of Dubai Creek.
For a more traditional and less world-beating feel to your visit, you can take a trip up to Ras Al Khaimah. Getting to the northernmost part of the UAE used to be quite troublesome, but with Ras Al Khaimah wanting to enhance its standing among tourists, Abu Dhabi has launched a new bus service from the capital. In the emirate, you’ll be able to find the stunning Jebel Jais mountain and the 20km road to the top as well as the incredible National Museum built within a fort.
There is so much to explore in the UAE, and while Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah offers a lot of culture to tourists, Abu Dhabi certainly presents itself as the best emirate from which to base your trip.