8 Top Rated Tourist Attractions in United Arab Emirates

Jul 22, 2021

Despite what it might look like on a map, the United Arab Emirates isn't a single country. In fact, it's a complex of seven countriesโ€”two Persian Gulf sheikhdoms, two Emirates, the independent city-state of Dubai, and the open sea. Taken together, these countries offer a diverse and stimulating travel experience. Each has its own distinct character.

Climb mountains in the Emirates to the spectacular view at the Jebel Ali Mosque, peruse the souqs in Dubai, taste local fare at the Arabic quarter of Abu Dhabi, walk in the wilds of the dunes of the Western Emirates, get a taste of the music, dance, and poetry of the Gulf region at the National Museum of Dhow, and revel in the ultramodern cities of the coastal Emirates.

Explore our list of the top attractions in United Arab Emirates to find out why the UAE is a great place to visit.

Dubai Mall

Photo of The Dubai Mall
The Dubai Mall: en.wikipedia.org

Dubai Mall is one of the world's largest and most famous shopping malls. With a market estimated to be worth some $10 billion, it attracts 20 million visitors a year from all over the world. Located in the heart of the city, it is the world's largest mall in terms of retail area, and is connected to Dubai's international airport. The mall features almost 400 shops and restaurants, with a similar number of services. There is a Carrefour supermarket and plenty of brand-name shops, but the focus is on having the largest market area of any mall in the world, with more than 3 million square meters of retail space. The 2,600-seat Grand Bazaar offers a good selection of wares at reasonable prices. The only free advice is to get there early to avoid the crowds and the queues at the lifts.

Dubai

Dubai is a vibrant, ever-expanding city filled with people who can enjoy it all โ€“ the high life, the shopping and the glitz. Whether you're a high roller, a shopping ninja or the proverbial "foxy" girl in red stilettos, Dubai has plenty to entertain, with the Dubai Creek, the Burj Al Arab, Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Mall making you feel as if you have entered a high-end theme park, while the heritage sites such as the spectacular fort at Dubai World and Al Fahidi Fort turn up the charm.

Read more ๐Ÿ‘‰  Top Rated Tourist Attractions in Dubai

Abu Dhabi

Photo of Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi: en.wikipedia.org

Abu Dhabi is the name of both the capital and the state of the United Arab Emirates. With a population of 1.8 million, Abu Dhabi is home to most of the country's wealth and is also a busy international financial center. Historically, there has been a distinct Persian and Arabic influence on the Emirati (or Abu Dhabii) culture. The people are friendly and hospitable, proud to be Arab, and don't suffer fools. The city is divided into three main areas. To the west of the 150-meter-high Corniche is the Business District, which includes the Financial Center, the tallest building in the Middle East and the ninth tallest in the world. The central area contains the City Center and Corniche, and the Grand Mosque. The area to the east of the Corniche is the Corniche, where you will find many shopping malls, fashionable restaurants, and some very expensive hotels. There are also some well-preserved historic sites in Abu Dhabi. The Grand Mosque in the city center is a breathtaking sight that can be seen with one of the traditional tours available. For more excitement, visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the National Museum.

Read more ๐Ÿ‘‰  Top Rated Tourist Attractions in Abu Dhabi

Al Ain

Photo of Al Ain
Al Ain: en.wikipedia.org

Al Ain was founded in 1977 and is now the capital of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The desert plains of the central region are interesting to explore and include the Nomads Museum and the Grand Mosque and Bait Al Kebir Oasis. Do remember that Al Ain is a modern Arab city which dates back to 1977, so expect modernized architecture and a modern, gleaming skyline of skyscrapers, not to mention some very strict Muslim, local rules and regulations.

Sharjah

Photo of Sharjah
Sharjah: en.wikipedia.org

Sharjah, the largest of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has all the oases of the Arabian Peninsula combined. The rural north is a lush, fertile landscape of date groves, orchards, and sandy mountains. The modern city is cosmopolitan and attractive, with dozens of malls and glitzy resorts to keep locals and visitors alike entertained. Sharjah also has one of the best places to stay for birding in the region. Sharjah Desert Resort & Spa, 14 km (9 miles) south of Sharjah in the middle of the Emirates' largest palm grove, was designed as a luxury private sanctuary in 1974, but also offers one of the best walking and hiking opportunities in the region. The facility is mainly made up of 20 Bedouin-style tents with swimming pools, luxurious grounds, and desert safari tours. For tours to the desert, visit any of the desert camps that surround Sharjah, including Oliban, Ibn Battuta, Faraya and Abu Saiba. The best place to stay to overnight in the desert is the Al Qasimi Trust, which maintains the traditional tents of the Bedouin, complete with open air bathrooms and hot showers.

Dubai Marina

Photo of Dubai Marina
Dubai Marina: en.wikipedia.org

Dubai Marina is one of the newer tourist centers in Dubai. It is popular with tourists for its yacht-themed hotels and restaurants. Marina Square, at the center of the city, features various retail stores, and The Dubai Mall is the world's largest mall and one of the world's best shopping centers. The larger hotel are set on the outskirts of the area, while smaller ones are scattered throughout the downtown area.

Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai

Photo of E 11 road (United Arab Emirates)
E 11 road (United Arab Emirates): en.wikipedia.org

The image of Dubai is an oasis. Built on a swamp and surrounded by empty desert, the "new" Dubai is famous for its glittering skyscrapers and uninterrupted vistas of the Persian Gulf and the coastline of the Arabian Sea. Surrounded by the Trucial States, Dubai is the only truly open and functioning economy in the Gulf. Madinat Jumeirah is a completely different experience. Its compounds are built on sea and sand. Since no city exists on the Gulf's southern shore, there is no horizon line, no sense of being anywhere. This is not a place of the eye but of the spirit. The reality is here. This is what happens when people live in a dream.

Fujairah

Photo of Fujairah
Fujairah: en.wikipedia.org

Located in the southwest corner of the United Arab Emirates, Fujairah is a modern and prosperous city. It's the third-largest emirate by area and is known for the wide range of activities on offer. The capital, Fujairah City (Fujeirah), is home to a number of modern malls and entertainment venues, while the region is also known for its large sun- and wind-battered golden beaches. Most visitors spend their time in Fujairah City, but for the more adventurous there's the small fishing village of Jib, around 25 km from the city center, and the nearby village of Fajr, which is largely devoted to fishing. In Fujairah City visitors can rent a car and explore the island of Jazirah, an artificial island where luxury villas and exclusive hotels can be found.