UAE Travel Guide - with Wired Destinations
UAE Travel Info – with Wired Destinations
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven emirates, including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Al Ain, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah and Sharjah. It is in recent days one of the world’s most modern travel destinations, with a rich history and culture as well as loads of tourist attractions and activities to enjoy.
Wired Destinations provides all the ingredients you need for your UAE travel, including a UAE Travel Guide with UAE Travel Tips, Insider UAE Travel Tips and UAE Travel Info. We also have detailed information for each Emirate state, such as a Dubai Travel Guide, Dubai Sports and Leisure, Dubai sightseeing, Dubai Nightlife and a Abu Dhabi Travel Guide with Abu Dhabi Travel Tips.
The UAE was formed by the Arabian Peninsula sheikhdoms along the coast of the Persian Gulf and the enormous Gulf of Oman. Before the UAE’s independence, the area was known as the Trucial States. It used to be an infamous pirate coast for foreign shipping from the 17th to the 19th century, before coming under British protection. In 1960 petroleum was found in most of the Emirates, leading to commercial exploitation of oil. The British had helped in the development of the area. The Trucial States Council was formed by the sheiks of the Emirates in order to coordinate the development.
In 1968, the British ended the treaty with the seven Trucial sheikhdoms. Thus, the rulers of Dubai and Abu Dhabi agreed to form a union. In 1971 they called upon the rulers of the other emirates to join and enter a union of six emirate states called the United Arab Emirates. A year after that, Ras Al Khaimah decided to join as well.
Getting Around the UAE
As the UAE is one of the most dynamic travel destinations in the world many leading airlines offer daily flights to this Gulf region. You can get to the UAE by road or by sea as well.
UAE by Air
The UAE has six excellent airports located in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Al Ain, Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah. Among these, the airports in Dubai and Abu Dhabi not only serve local flights but are also major hubs for international flights from East to West.
UAE by Road
There is excellent road access to the UAE from Oman and Saudi Arabia. Daily service buses run between Muscat and Abu Dhabi. The bus from Oman runs to Dubai twice daily. There is also ample bus service between Abu Dhabi and nearby destinations, including Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.
UAE by Sea
There are regularly running cruises between Sharjah and Bandar-e-Abbas in Iran. There are also passenger boats from Abu Dhabi and Dubai to the USA, Australia, the Far East and some European countries. A water taxi takes you across the creek from Deira to Dubai.
Travelers to the UAE will base themselves at one of the many UAE hotels, namely Abu Dhabi hotels, Ajman hotels, Al Ain hotels, Fujairah hotels, Ras Al Khaimah hotels and Sharjah hotels. They can get around by flagging down some inexpensive taxis, or using local tour companies for some sightseeing outside of town. As the UAE has excellent roads, it is recommended that you hire a car and a four wheel drive and explore the area.
UAE Hotels and Accommodations
Accommodation in the Emirates is of an impressively high standard. Most of the world’s five star hotel chains are found here. There is also a choice of locally run accommodation suitable for both leisure and business travelers. Most of the UAE hotels are fully equipped with excellent facilities, providing great examples of contemporary architecture. For your ideal hotel in the Emirates, check out Wired Destinations' UAE hotels. We have a complete list for hotels in the seven Emirates, including Dubai Hotels, Abu Dhabi hotels, Ajman hotels, Al Ain hotels, Fujairah hotels, Ras Al Khaimah hotels and Sharjah hotels.
UAE Leisure Activities
Recreational facilities are excellent in the UAE, especially water sports. The fascinating Arabian Gulf on the western coasts and the Indian Ocean along its eastern shores make the UAE very attractive for water sport lovers. The white sandy beaches are ideal for sports such as swimming, sailing, jet skiing, snorkeling, diving and a lot more. There is also an impressive range of indoor and outdoor activities. The UAE hosts many international sporting events all year round, e.g. the UAE Camel Race, Quad Bike Race, Formula X and the Dubai Autodrome. You can get a ticket to one of these games from a travel agent at your UAE hotel.
If you are a nature lover, you may choose some other activities in the surrounding countryside. Bird watching is a popular activity for both locals and expats as the UAE is ranked as one of the four top bird-watching destinations in the Middle East.
Tourists can also enjoy other leisure activities on offer in the UAE. Some of our recommendations would include camel riding, caving, desert safari, horse riding, go-karting and dolphin watching. The UAE is also home to some of the world’s best water parks which make a great spot for the family, such as the Wild Wadi Waterpark in Dubai, the Splashland Theme Park in Dubai, the Hili Fun City and Ice Rink in Al Ain, the Breakwater in Abu Dhabi and the Aqua Park Dreamland in Umm al Qaiwain.
As the UAE have seen numerous changes in the past few decades since it was first established, the people and the states are endowed with a dynamic, modern society. Today, a preserved history of the traditional heritage and culture can be found in museums and heritage centers which have been established and developed throughout the UAE. To learn and appreciate the traditional way of life, local beliefs and culture, visit one of the many museums found around any of the Emirate states.
There are plenty of sightseeing activities for tourists to be enjoyed in the UAE. The Arabian coast and the Gulf of Oman are two of the best UAE sightseeing spots. There are three marine reserves in Fujairah to protect the precious reefs in the area. The UAE coastlines are impressive, with gently-sloping white sandy beaches and beautiful mountain views. Numerous offshore islands are a haven for seabirds and some rare bird species.
There is always something for everyone to buy in the UAE. A visit to the Gold Souks (Arab word for market) is a must for an impressive UAE shopping experience. All cities in the Emirates have gold souks as well as some gold and jewelry boutiques in up market UAE shopping malls. You can expect to find rows of small shops with glittering displays of gold in all design and purity. There is also a wide range of precious stones, pearls and accessories readily available in these souks.
If you are looking for some attractive gifts, visit the spice souks. Sacks of traditional spices spill out into the streets and fill the area with an exotically alluring aroma. Jars of mixed spices, ginger, Arabian spices are among the most famous gifts to buy.
Some of the finest carpets, fabrics and textiles can be found here in the UAE. Fabrics come with good quality and are worth your Dirham. Carpet outlets are mostly located in UAE shopping centers. However, for a more authentic shopping, head to the carpet souks. The Blue Souk in Sharjah is mostly notable for its wide range of carpets at the best prices. Normally carpets tend to last a lifetime. If you are visiting the UAE, take your time and shop around, and do remember to bargain!
With a multi-ethnical community, the UAE has almost every type of food available, from classic Asian food to top European delicacies. Luxury restaurants and restaurants in many of the finest UAE hotels are of a very high standard and could be expensive. However you can still find cheaper dishes in local cafés and corner stalls. International fast food chains are also easily found in the larger cities. Please note that most people in the UAE are Muslims, so pork is not included in Arab menus.
Alcohol is served in restaurants and bars in UAE hotels; other restaurants outside hotels are not allowed to serve any type of alcoholic beverage.