not only abu dhabi and dubai
description of a tour in the united arab emirates
The one we are about to describe was the itinerary of our road trip in the United Arab Emirates, a tour that made us discover the different souls of this country, the luxurious one made of glittering skyscrapers and oil, and the traditional one still connected to the Bedouin past.
This 9 days tour in the UAE starts from the capital city, Abu Dhabi, where you can spend a couple of nights discovering the amazing Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, symbol of this city and one of the most beautiful islamic monuments in the world, where you can spend many hours in guided tours and photo-shooting. Abu Dhabi is also a nice place to relax on the white sandy beaches of Saadiyat Island or of the Corniche, in the shadow of futuristic skyscrapers.
Then the real road trip in the UAE starts renting the car and driving towards Al Ain, a city in the desert on the boarder with Oman. Here in Al Ain you can better understand the history of UAE and experience their more authentic soul visiting the Camel Souq.
The next day the tour continues with a long journey that crosses 4 different Emirates: Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Fujairah and Ras al-Khaima, discovering areas not at alla touristic and exploring small towns made of stalls and small shops in the dust where the luxury of Dubai seems so far away. You'll visit the most ancient mosque in the UAE at Al-Bidya and, luckily, you'll see the return of fishermen from their trips along the coast near Al Aqah. At the end of this long day, you'll get to Ras al-Khaima and you can decide to spoil yourself with a night in a resort in the middle of the desert, a luxurious experience that is totally worth the economic effort.
It's time for a trip to Oman, in the Musandam Peninsula where you'll find amazing fjords and a scenic road that will lead you to Khasab from where you'll board on a cruise in the Omani fjords looking for dolphins. Late in the afternoon you'll return in the UAE stopping in the cultural capital, Sharjah, so that you can visit it during the next morning before reaching Dubai.
The last two days of the road trip in the UAE are dedicated to the visit of Dubai. There's and old Dubai that you'll find in the souqs of Deira and Bur Dubai, and there's a modern Dubai known all over the world thanks to the peculiarity of its architecture and of its skyscrapers, above all the Burj Khalifa and the Burj Al-Arab. Finally there's a relaxed Dubai, that you'll find in the white sandy beaches of Dubai Marina where yucca spend the hottest hours of the day.
the tour in the uae
Day 1: Abu Dhabi
You can start your visit of Abu Dhabi with a long walk on the Corniche, the pedestrian boardwalk of the capital city, and once you have reached the public beach you can lay down on the sand for few hours. You could visit the WTC The Mall - Souk for lunch and then move towards the Abu Dhabi Heritage Village and Abu Dhabi Marina. Finally, admire the luxurious decorations of the Emirates Palace hotel.
Day 2: Abu Dhabi
The second morning in Abu Dhabi is dedicate to Saadyiat Island, relaxing on its white sand Public Beach where the sea is almost perfect! Then you can try to explore the future of Saadyiat Island and Abu Dhabi at the Manarat Al Saadiyat. Go to the Al-Mina Fish a Souq for lunch and try a fresh fish in one of the micro restaurant of the souk for a totally authentic experience.
Return to the Saadyiat Island Public Beach for the hottest hours of the day and then move to wonderful Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque where you can spend the rest of the day admiring the perfection of this monument.
Day 3: Abu Dhabi - Al Ain
The real tour in the UAE begins. In the morning you can spend few hours visiting the area of Yas Island and the Ferrari World or the Formula One circuit. Otherwise you visit The Souk, another Arabian style mall. Once you rent the car, drive towards Al Ain where you'll arrive in the early afternoon. You can decide whether to go to the Al-Qattara Souq or to enjoy sunset from the summit of Jebel Hafeet.
Day 4: Al Ain - Al Bidya - Ras al-Kaimah
The morning is dedicated to the visit of some of Al Ain attractions. Start from the Camel Souq, where you can enjoy one of the most authentic experiences here in the UAE. Then visit the Al-Jahili Fort, an important defensive building that helps you to better understand UAE history and architecture. Finally you can have a stroll in the Al Ain Oasis, walking along the 1200 hectares palm grove that has helped this city in its fight against the desert. Late in the morning leave Al Ain and drive along the streets of the inland where you will discover a culture and a lifestyle so different from the one of Abu Dhabi and Dubai. After many small towns of craftsmen and small shops you'll reach Fujairah, the Omani Gulf and Al-Bidya, the most ancient mosque in the UAE, with a wonderful view over the Hajar Mountains. Finally explore the desert in Ras al-Kaimah and spoil yourself in a nice resort.
Day 5: Ras al-Kaimah - Khasab - Sharjah
Leave the Rub' al Khali desert and the UAE to enter in Oman and in the Musandam Peninsula. Once you overcome the bureaucratic stuff in Tibet, you'll find yourself on the scenic road that leads to Khasab among the Omani Fjords. Khasab is the main town in the area and the starting point of the dhow cruises. Board on an afternoon cruise on the traditional omani boat and discover the rugged and scenic coast of the Musandam Peninsula. Then you'll get back on the coastline at sunset and you'll drive back to the UAE spending the night in Sharjah.
Day 6: Sharjah - Dubai
Visit Sharjah in the morning. This is the cultural capital of UAE with its interesting Heritage Village, its suq and its museums where you can deepen your knowledge of the Arabian culture. The Islamic Civilization Museum is one of the best attractions in Sharjah, so try to save some time for it. Finally it's time for Dubai! In the afternoon you'll arrive in Dubai and you can visit the neighborhoods of Bur Dubai and Deira, the historic part of the city where you can fine the gold souk and the spices souk, lively and colorful.
Day 7: Dubai
Spend you morning relaxing on the white beaches of Dubai Marina where you can also find cafes and restaurants. In the afternoon climb the tallest building in the world: the Burj Khalifa and go shopping in the Dubai Mall, a sort of city in the city. At sunset visit the Madinat Jumeirah, a wonderful and luxurious Arbian style complex with shops, restaurants and hotels and wonderful view over the amazing Burj Al Arab ... Why don't you spoil yourself with a tasty happy hour at the 7 star hotel of Dubai ?!
Day 8: Dubai - Abu Dhabi
It's the last day in the UAE. Spend another morning on the beaches of Dubai Marina and then, in the afternoon, you can visit the Jumeirah Mosque or you can take part in one of the activities of the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding before taking the taxi and get back to Abu Dhabi where you'll spend your last night in the UAE.
Day 9: Flight Back
fede & marco
" EVERY LONG JOURNEY BEGINS WITH A SINGLE STEP "