United Arab Emirates

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United Arab Emirates Guide: Spend Less, Do More

Welcome to United Arab Emirates

UAE-Emirates-palace-abu-dhabiOne of the globe’s quickest growing tourist destinations, the United Arab Emirates have many features to offer to visitors. From beautiful and unusual landscapes, to the sports, beaches and vibrant culture, there is always a lot to see and do. Many five-star and above hotels in the United Arab Emirates are situated all over the country so if you are after luxury and elegance, you will definitely find it here.

Top Things about the United Arab Emirates

UAE-Pool-on-Saadiyat-islandAlong the south-east edge of the Arabian Peninsula, The United Arab Emirates combine seven different emirates, which are Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Ras al-Khaimah, Umm al-Qaiwain, Sharjah and Fujairah.

The majority of the area is desert, but there are many natural beauties to enjoy, such as the amazing dunes, coral reefs, rocky mountain ranges and fertile plains. The landscape varies widely across the area and provides a spectacular view for all those who visit wanting something unusual and different from other holiday destinations around the world. The culture is very traditional and modest, meaning you will have to be sure to cover up whilst visiting. Check out the local regulations online or with the travel office before you arrive in order to ensure that you abide by these.

The UAE has many sandy beaches to relax on with lots of water sports and other activities to take part in. Shopping is also a major attraction with many luxury designer brands being sold in several different retail complexes. You will be able to find almost anything here, as well as being able to pick up a bargain or unusual gift in one of the local markets. The temperature is often warm all year around, making it the perfect holiday destination at any time.

UAE-Camel-caravan-through-desertAs the numerous nightclubs and discos turn down the volume for the Muezzin's early Morning Prayer to be heard, a new day awaits you to explore one of the seven jewels on the coral-filled waters of the Persian Gulf.

Best Cities to Visit in the United Arab Emirates

UAE-Shaik-Zayed-MosqueThe United Arab Emirates are one of the world's fastest growing tourist destinations. The federation of UAE is a fascinating and contradictory destination where western-style consumerism meets Bedouin customs and traditions. There are many great cities to visit in the United Arab Emirates.

Dubai is a very popular tourist destination with visitors from around the world. The city itself is stunning with some of the largest buildings in the world and a comprehensive range of shopping facilities. From luxury brands and designer clothing to souvenirs on the market stall, it has everything to suit all tastes and budgets. The beach side resorts within the area are a perfect way to escape from the bustling city and relax in the glistening sun. The ice skating rink situated in the Galleria shopping complex is well worth a visit.

Abu Dhabi is another popular city with tourists due to its stunning buildings and great nightlife. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the largest within the city and is well worth a visit during a sightseeing trip. The Heritage Village, Emirates Palace, Yas Island, Saadiyat Island and Al Maqtaa Fort and Palace are all other top tourist attractions. The Corniche beach is an ideal way to enjoy the natural beauty of the glistening blue ocean.

Sharjah is a hub for art and cultural activities. It has a lot of Islamic heritage and is a fascinating place to visit with the beautiful selection of museums and art galleries as well as other historic sites. Fujairah is another top city to go and see whilst in the United Arab Emirates. Wherever you go, there is a city that can offer exactly what you are looking for, whether a fantastic retail experience, sightseeing trip or a lot of traditional culture.

Events

Many festivals and celebrations take place in the United Arab Emirates throughout the year.

Sharjah Lights Festival is an annual event each February that is inspired by music, rich colours and the various landmarks lit up at night to provide a spectacular experience to all.

The Dubai Jazz Festival also takes place in February and is an ideal event to attend if you are a big fan of live music. It combines an array of performances from around the world over the course of five nights.

The Dubai Shopping Festival attracts more than two million people to the area each year, with lots of live music events, firework displays and fun activities for children to get involved in.

The Dubai International Film Festival in November/December is another great one to see.

Local Cuisine

Fish, rice and meat form the basis of many of the dishes within the United Arab Emirates. It is reasonable to expect lots of flavour and a wide use of spices and sauces. Raqaq bread, yeast bread and Al Jabab bread are all common types of breads found in the area. Made from wheat and meat, Al Harees is another popular dish that takes a long time to make. Al Majboos, Al Salona and Al Madrooba are various dishes containing fish, meat or vegetables. Common puddings include Al Khanfaroosh and Al Khabeesah.

Many five-star and beyond restaurants can also be found in the UAE, particularly in Dubai where the city is based around a contemporary luxury aura. Due to Islamic beliefs and regulations, only Halal meat is used. Local cafes can be a cosy and enjoyable way to spend a meal especially if you are on a budget.  

Four-fifths of the UAE consists of desert but the list of activities is literally limitless. From climbing stony mountains, delving into superb diving sites on the coast of Fujaira and bargaining for a Persian rug in the souks of Abu Dhabi to surfing sand dunes in the desert of Dubai, discovering the cultural sites of Sharjah and enjoying a copious banquet on the roof top of a sky scraper; everything is possible in the United Arab Emirates.

The culture is quite traditional although mixed with many contemporary elements, such as an extensive range of shopping facilities and top class hotels and restaurants, so the modern world is still very much present while older values are still held. The area is very religious with several Islamic mosques and places of worship to go and visit.

Many art exhibitions and live music events take place in the United Arab Emirates as people enjoy the entertainment, nightlife and clubbing that it has to offer. The country is very welcoming provided you abide by their rules, such as wearing modest clothing. Be sure to check these before arriving.

The stunning landscapes and spectacular buildings offer a mixture of natural and man made beauties that combine both the traditional and modern values, making it a perfect compromise between the two. You will never be lost for something to do whilst visiting the country. Visitors are captivated by this intriguing blend of traditional Islamic values and modern development and gladly immerse themselves in a wonderful adventure of ancient cultures, unspoiled beaches, international cuisines and exotic Arabian mystique.

United Arab Emirates Hotels and Accommodation 

Some of the most luxurious and glamorous hotels in the United Arab Emirates spoil their guests with class and elegance. Complete with world-renowned spas, gyms and Michelin star restaurants, it simply offers the best that money can buy. Of course, those who are on a tighter budget can find cheap accommodation in the United Arab Emirates as well, such as more basic United Arab Emirates hotels and various hostels, still providing comfort.

Getting around UAE

The UAE mostly involves fairly short distances so the use of road transportation is favoured over travelling by air. Taxi’s are cheap and regulated with meters, but it helps to research your trip before you take it as taxi driver can sometimes get lost, especially on long trips.

The roads are in excellent condition, the road signs are in English, and the roads are fast, with locals regularly ignoring the speed limits.  Car rental is available at all the major airports and fuel is cheap.

Scenic Drives in United Arab Emirates

Jebel Jais, United Arab Emirates is the highest peak in the Hajar Mountains which go as far as Oman. This recently opened road is a must for car enthusiast’s with it’s twists and turns coupled with great views.

Accommodation, driving and car rental in United Arab Emirates 

At Cheaperthanhotels and Cheaperthancars we have a wide range of car rental discounts at convenient locations and accommodation to meet all budgets and taste across United Arab Emirates. We really do believe that the less you spend, the more you will have to do when you get there.

Your Cheaperthanhotels Team