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Overview to the United Arab Emirates: Travel Guide and Tourist Information

The United Arab Emirates

The UAE was built to stun. Its cities almost defy description, such is their heady mix of skyscrapers and shorelines. But there’s also natural splendor here to complement the man-made sheen, and a trip to the country can effectively juggle the two.

Considered the world’s richest city, the UAE’s capital, Abu Dhabi, stands proud and resplendent. Lush green golf courses and sandy beaches compete with the ubiquitous skyscrapers and the flash Dhow Harbour for attention.

A couple of hours’ drive north east from Abu Dhabi and its sister town, Dubai, looms ominously into view. Probably higher and headier than the capital, Dubai is characterized by everything that is big, expensive, and generally luxurious.

It’s all about the designer shopping malls and glitzy hotels here, although for those on a budget, treating the famous Burj Al Arab hotel (set on its own man-made island) as a sightseeing attraction is probably preferable to actually using its extravagantly priced facilities.

With all that shoreline stretching along the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf, the UAE supplies some of the best beaches going in this part of the world – or, indeed, anywhere. Fujairah, for example, provides beautifully isolated sands and crystal waters perfect for diving.

Inland and away from the constant jet-skiing, windsurfing and powerboat racing of the shoreline, adrenalin junkies can try sand and kite surfing on the sand dunes, or grab a 4X4 and take on some impossible looking slopes.

For those of a less daring nature, the scenic Hajar Mountains, only a few hours’ drive from Dubai, allow for great walking and biking opportunities. They also contain one of the country’s main sights: the impressive Nakhal Fort.

Traveling in the UAE is defined by the diversity of peoples and cultures, along with the astounding contrast between those brash cities and sumptuous sand dunes. Quite simply, it’s a wholly unique, and distinctly memorable, experience.

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