The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is now one of the world's fastest growing tourist destinations. With golden beaches, year-round sunshine, shopping and sporting activities, you can also enjoy the welcoming Arabian experience.
The UAE is a Middle Eastern state on the Arabian Peninsula. There are seven states, or emirates, within the UAE, including Dubai, Ajman, Umm al-Quwain, Sharjah, Fujairah, Abu Dhabi and Ras al-Khaimah. Flights to United-Arab-Emirates are available to all seven states.
There are two airports that operate as gateway to all seven states. United-Arab-Emirates flights are available to Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) from London Heathrow (LHR) and Manchester (MAH). Dubai International Airport (DXB) is accessible from major UK airports, including London (LGW, LHR), Manchester (MAN) and Birmingham (BHX). In Dubai, the Metro is an efficient way of transferring from the airport and moving around or you can hire a car or use taxis, buses or water buses.
The UAE is hot during summer and warm during winter and it rarely rains. Shopping is a popular attraction, particularly in Dubai, where you can experience a multitude of shopping malls. The Mall of the Emirates contains high-end stores such as Harvey Nichols and Asprey and Dubai Festival City is home to the largest M&S outside of the UK. Dubai is also known for its bling and affluence and there are many high-end hotels such as the Burj Al Arab, the world's most luxurious hotel.
You can find many golden beaches in Dubai, including the Jumeirah Beach around 25 minutes from the centre of Dubai. This popular beach has calm waters near the shore and a variety of children's activities, as well as water sports such as snorkelling and diving available.
Abu Dhabi is also home to many new shopping malls, including The Emporium and Marina Mall, which both offer a high-end shopping experience. Abu Dhabi is popular with visitors as it provides a slightly more authentic Arabian experience than Dubai.
If you are looking to enjoy the thrill of speed, then Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi is the world's largest indoor theme park. It has activities for families with children and the opportunity to experience G-Force, the equivalent to the acceleration of an F1 racing car. There is also Formula Rossa, the fastest roller coaster in the world, which accelerates up to an amazing 240 km/h.
You can find traditional souqs (markets) in UAE, many of which sell traditional handmade goods such as carpets and pottery and fresh produce. There are also souqs that specialise in gold and jewellery and you may want to consider bargaining if you feel that the prices are too high. The Gold Souq in Dubai is what gave it the name of 'City of Gold' and today this is popular attraction where you can purchase loose precious stones and have jewellery custom made.
Other activities in the UAE include desert jeep tours, kayaking in mangroves and camel riding. You may also wish to traverse Dubai Creek on a ferry (abra) or view the landscape from Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world.
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