Practical information United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates are divided into seven emirates: Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Fujairah, Ajman, Ras Al-Khaimah and Umm Al-Quwain. More than two-thirds of the population live in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Dubai is by far the most well-known emirate while Abu Dhabi is by far the largest.
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Dubai is the most western set up of all Emirates and focuses mainly on tourism. Enjoy the extensive beach, shop for hours in the shopping malls and take full care of yourself in one of the numerous spas. Dubai is the perfect location for a wonderful holiday where you can relax and enjoy the sun. During your Dubai holiday you can make various excursions such as a desert safari, a visit to the Burj Khalifa or a boat trip.
On arrival in Dubai it is mandatory to have a valid passport. For tourists from Western Europe, this passport must be valid for at least six months after arrival in Dubai. For most Western European countries, including the Netherlands, the visa will be issued at the airport by a stamp in the passport.
SIGHTS & HIGHLIGHTS IN DUBAI
Burj Khalifa – Highest building in the world with 828 meters.
Atlantis the Palm Hotel – Large luxury hotel with amazing water park.
Al Bastakiya – Big open air museum about Arabian culture.
Desert Safari – The best excursion during your holiday in Dubai is the Desert Safari.
Dubai Mall – Largest shopping centre in the world.
Gold Souk – Large covered gold market.
Dubai Marina – Beautiful marina with nice terraces.
Spice Souk – Spice market in Dubai.
Burj Al Arab – The most luxurious hotel in the world.
Boat excursion – Arabian Gulf Tour, Burj Al Arab view and other highlights.
Ski Dubai – What could be more fun than skiing in the middle of the desert?
Nowhere in the world are as many five-star hotels concentrated as in Dubai. Thanks to this wide range the luxury is affordable. When traveling to Dubai, it is highly recommended to pamper yourself and stay in a five-star hotel. Dubai is renowned for its hospitality. The service level is higher than in Europe so you can expect luxury and comfort.
Abu Dhabi is by far the largest and richest Emirate of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi is a wonderful place to spend your holidays. Where Dubai focuses on extreme luxury and wellness facilities, Abu Dhabi focuses more on cultural aspects, such as museums and art. But Abu Dhabi is also perfect for a beach holiday as there are lovely beaches, luxury hotels and good restaurants. During your holiday in Abu Dhabi, you can visit the Formula 1 circuit on Yas Island or the beautiful Sheikh Zayed Mosque. Shopping is possible on the long promenade of Corniche road. In summer it can get very hot in Abu Dhabi so best travel period is from September to mid-May. Ideal for a winter sun holiday!
SIGHTS & HIGHLIGHTS OF ABU DHABI
YAS MARINA CIRCUIT
The Yas Marina Circuit is a Formula 1 circuit located on Yas Island. With a cost of $1 billion, this Formula 1 circuit is the most expensive circuit in the world. The main costs are in the futuristic Yas Viceroy Hotel, which is partly built over the circuit.
Abu Dhabi wanted to have a seven-star hotel like Dubai and opened the Emirates Palace hotel in 2005 with an area of 850,000 square meters. Although Dubai chose a modern design, this hotel has chosen a typical Arabic style. The lobby of this hotel is made up of gold and natural stone. It is an overwhelming and unique experience to visit this mega hotel.
By far the city’s main thoroughfare. The recently renovated promenade is the meeting place of Abu Dhabi, both young and old gather here to stroll along the beach. There are also special stretches of beach reserved for women and children, so they can go to the beach separately from men. At the south-west end of this street you will also find the Emirates Palace hotel. The Marina Mall on an artificial peninsula on this road is also worth a visit, as the number of large shopping malls is limited.
SHEIKH ZAYED MOSQUE
The Sheikh Zayed Mosque is the largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates. This mosque is completely white and has Arabic, Moorish and Mongolian influences. This mosque can accommodate 40,000 people. Important elements of the mosque are the largest chandelier and the largest carpet in the world.
ABU DHABI HERITAGE VILLAGE
This village shows a reconstruction of the traditional houses in Abu Dhabi. These oasis houses allow you to get an idea of how life used to go in Abu Dhabi.
World’s first Ferrari theme park with attractions for all ages. The park tells the history of Ferrari with a lot of passion and excitement. The Formula Rossa roller coaster is the world’s fastest roller coaster and reaches 240 km/h.
This five-tower complex invites visitors and residents to live, work, shop and dine in an area with panoramic views of the city and the Arabian Gulf. The 74th floor of the second tower is an observation deck that offers an unbeatable view of the island.
AL AIN NATIONAL MUSEUM
On the edge of the Al Ain Oasis, this museum offers the unique heritage and history of Abu Dhabi. This museum is housed in the same complex as the Sultan Bin Zayed Fort.
MIRAJ ISLAMIC CENTRE
This centre features unique Islamic art works from all over the Islamic world. Mainly from countries such as Egypt, Syria, Iran, India, Iraq, Kashmir and Russia. Here you can see the hand woven carpets, silk fabrics, jewellery, and Arabic calligraphy engraved vases. The staff takes visitors back into the history of the Islamic world and tells them about the origin of the pieces and the techniques used in making them.
AL AIN CAMEL MARKET
This is the last souk of this kind in the United Arab Emirates, east of Jebel Hafeet in Al Ain. It is an excellent opportunity to see camels from close by and to see traders negotiate.