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Holidays to United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) comprises of seven emirates, including the ever-popular Dubai and stunning Abu Dhabi. UAE tourism has skyrocketed in recent years, offering luxury breaks with authentic Arabian elements thrown in. Its cities are abuzz with atmosphere, but United Arab Emirates holidays also serve up wide sandy dunes and glittering azure waters - plus its arid climate and blue skies lend well to dreamlike sunny escapes.

 

Famous for landmark shopping hubs, sky-kissing towers and lavish hotels, holidays to United Arab Emirates are some of the most unique in the world. The diversity of the emirates means you can choose to experience a selection of holidays in this far-flung nation, from buzzing beach and city vibes in Dubai, to world-class shopping and captivating culture in Abu Dhabi. Furthermore, the up-and-coming emirates of Fujairah and Ras al-Khaimah appeal with their lavish modernity with fewer crowds.

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Essential Information

Getting Around

In most areas of the UAE the roads are excellent, but signposting leaves a lot to be desired, so if you do hire a car, make sure it has a decent GPS. Be aware that drivers in the UAE can be reckless and drive very fast with little consideration for others, so only drive if you’re feeling brave! Taxis are available in some of the emirates, and the bus networks in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are excellent and cheap.


Travelling by bus or car

The bus services, in most emirate cities, are rudimentary, but are much better in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Bus services, where there are any, are fast, clean and extremely affordable, but can be overcrowded.


Car rental and petrol are cheap. Hiring a car can be a great way of exploring the emirates, as long as you have a GPS system and the nerve to drive alongside often reckless drivers. In the UAE, you drive on the right


Passports and Visas

If you’re a British citizen, you can attain a 30-day visa upon arrival in the UAE. You must also have a valid passport. For the most recent passport and visa info, take a look at For more information and advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/united-arab-emirates/entry-requirements


Health and Safety

Make sure that you take out appropriate travel insurance before you travel; the EHIC isn’t valid in the UAE. For the latest health and safety information visit For more info, see www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/united-arab-emirates/health


Vaccinations

There are no specific vaccinations required to travel to the UAE, but holidaymakers should ensure that their routine jabs are up to date.

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Places to go and things to do in UAE

Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi

With incredible mosques, man-made islands, gleaming skyscrapers and perfect beaches to potter along, Abu Dhabi has the perfect mix of history, architecture and attractions.

Abu Dhabi has the beautiful Corniche beach, recognized with a Blue Flag and is good for a swim with lifeguards and floating fences. It has separate areas or singles, families and the general public. The surrounding marina is an 8-km waterfront teeming with cafés and restaurants and pathways for cyclists and pedestrians. Stroll along the marina to enjoy beautiful vistas of the coast on one side, and the buzzing metropolis on the other.

From a tour of the beautifully intricate Sheikh Zayed Mosque (the largest of its kind in the UAE), to the Heritage Village where you can see replica buildings, traditional wooden boats and pretty handicrafts, Abu Dhabi has enough cultural highlights to keep you busy for days. Also worth a view is the Qasr Al-Hosn fortress.

Yas Island waterpark has over 40 exciting rides including the 235 metres long gigantic tornado waterslide designed to thrill and it is difficult to tear the kids away once they get hooked to the fun. Several other rides like Bubble’s Barrel, Bandit Bomber will keep the tiny tot’s occupied.

Dubai

Dubai holidays are perfect for thrill seekers and beach lovers alike.

Dubai’s beaches are buzzing with cool beach clubs, thrilling watersports and miles of golden sand to lounge upon. Sunbathe with sparkling skyscrapers as your backdrop on the world-famous Jumeirah Beach or mix with the cool kite surfers on the aptly named Kite Beach and watch their jaw-dropping moves. The consistently warm waters of the Arabian Gulf make holidays in Dubai a great choice any time of the year, you can even take a jet-ski tour of the city from the water.

The Gold Souk with more than 300 shops and stalls is the perfect place to start your shopping experience in Dubai. The Souk is in Dubai's commercial business district, Deira, and the stores also offer platinum, diamonds and silver. But remember, the secret at the Souk is to haggle. Bartering is part of the fun and tradition here, so be brave to get some bargain bling, savvy shoppers come home with gold at half the price tag!

In Dubai, anything is possible, and with its £400m indoor Ski Dubai complex, you can feel real snow under your ski boots when it’s scorching hot outside. This oasis in the desert is located at the unmissable Mall of the Emirates.

Ras Al-Khaimah

This gorgeous up-and-coming Emirati resort is just an hour’s drive from Dubai and offers stunning natural surroundings, unending sunshine, and glorious beaches.

As the oldest part of Ras Al-Khaimah, the old city is a must if you wish to explore the local culture. There's a souk, where you can hone your haggling skills, as well as an old mosque and a museum to visit. The fishing harbour is great for a wander, while the nearby Al Hisn Fort has the Ras al-Khaimah National Museum within its walls.

Situated south of the main Ras al-Khaimah city, Jazirat al-Hamra is a fishing village that has stood still over the years. Villagers moved out in the 1960s and the desert has helped preserve the coral block buildings. Wander the ruins and imagine how local life once was, before Jazirat al-Hamra became the ghost town that it is today.

Located near Al Hamra Village within the new WOW Ras al-Khaimah area, Ice Land Waterpark (if you hadn't guessed already) has a snow and ice theme. There are a range of attractions here that'll keep you entertained for hours, however mild or wild you're feeling! From the thrills at Mount Cyclone, to the chills at the Olympic-sized pool, there's something for everyone.

Ajman

Situated along the Persian Gulf, Ajman holidays make for a perfect getaway destination, especially for those who are looking to relax on its spectacular beaches.

Beaches in Ajman are blessed with glistening blue waters and splendid white sands. The Ajman Beach, which is one of the best in the United Arab Emirates, is not to be missed. Ajman holidays are great for families thanks to its abundance of water and adventure sporting facilities. Those looking to make a splash with the watersports and lounge on powdery white sands without huge crowds are in for a treat.

Spend some quality time in the Al Zorah Nature Reserve, which is a must-see if you’re a wildlife fan. It’s a vibrant ecosystem which comprises mangroves, sandy beaches and lagoons. Moreover, it’s home to 60 species of birds including pink flamingos, heron and egret. Children too can have lots of fun and take part in numerous outdoor activities that include diving, sailing, kayaking and kite surfing. You’ll struggle to find a nature reserve like Al Zorah anywhere else in the United Arab Emirates.

One of the best things to do in Ajman (particularly if you’re fairly sporty) is to hike the Hajar Mountains, which stand tall on the UAE and Oman border. Tourists can climb the foot hills at a leisurely pace, and its scenic path is seamless, which is a good trail for beginners.

Places to go and things to do in UAE

Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi


With incredible mosques, man-made islands, gleaming skyscrapers and perfect beaches to potter along, Abu Dhabi has the perfect mix of history, architecture and attractions.

Abu Dhabi has the beautiful Corniche beach, recognized with a Blue Flag and is good for a swim with lifeguards and floating fences. It has separate areas or singles, families and the general public. The surrounding marina is an 8-km waterfront teeming with cafés and restaurants and pathways for cyclists and pedestrians. Stroll along the marina to enjoy beautiful vistas of the coast on one side, and the buzzing metropolis on the other.

From a tour of the beautifully intricate Sheikh Zayed Mosque (the largest of its kind in the UAE), to the Heritage Village where you can see replica buildings, traditional wooden boats and pretty handicrafts, Abu Dhabi has enough cultural highlights to keep you busy for days. Also worth a view is the Qasr Al-Hosn fortress.

Yas Island waterpark has over 40 exciting rides including the 235 metres long gigantic tornado waterslide designed to thrill and it is difficult to tear the kids away once they get hooked to the fun. Several other rides like Bubble’s Barrel, Bandit Bomber will keep the tiny tot’s occupied.

Read More
Dubai

Dubai


Dubai holidays are perfect for thrill seekers and beach lovers alike.

Dubai’s beaches are buzzing with cool beach clubs, thrilling watersports and miles of golden sand to lounge upon. Sunbathe with sparkling skyscrapers as your backdrop on the world-famous Jumeirah Beach or mix with the cool kite surfers on the aptly named Kite Beach and watch their jaw-dropping moves. The consistently warm waters of the Arabian Gulf make holidays in Dubai a great choice any time of the year, you can even take a jet-ski tour of the city from the water.

The Gold Souk with more than 300 shops and stalls is the perfect place to start your shopping experience in Dubai. The Souk is in Dubai's commercial business district, Deira, and the stores also offer platinum, diamonds and silver. But remember, the secret at the Souk is to haggle. Bartering is part of the fun and tradition here, so be brave to get some bargain bling, savvy shoppers come home with gold at half the price tag!

In Dubai, anything is possible, and with its £400m indoor Ski Dubai complex, you can feel real snow under your ski boots when it’s scorching hot outside. This oasis in the desert is located at the unmissable Mall of the Emirates.

Read More
Ras Al-Khaimah

Ras Al-Khaimah


This gorgeous up-and-coming Emirati resort is just an hour’s drive from Dubai and offers stunning natural surroundings, unending sunshine, and glorious beaches.

As the oldest part of Ras Al-Khaimah, the old city is a must if you wish to explore the local culture. There's a souk, where you can hone your haggling skills, as well as an old mosque and a museum to visit. The fishing harbour is great for a wander, while the nearby Al Hisn Fort has the Ras al-Khaimah National Museum within its walls.

Situated south of the main Ras al-Khaimah city, Jazirat al-Hamra is a fishing village that has stood still over the years. Villagers moved out in the 1960s and the desert has helped preserve the coral block buildings. Wander the ruins and imagine how local life once was, before Jazirat al-Hamra became the ghost town that it is today.

Located near Al Hamra Village within the new WOW Ras al-Khaimah area, Ice Land Waterpark (if you hadn't guessed already) has a snow and ice theme. There are a range of attractions here that'll keep you entertained for hours, however mild or wild you're feeling! From the thrills at Mount Cyclone, to the chills at the Olympic-sized pool, there's something for everyone.

Read More
Ajman

Ajman


Situated along the Persian Gulf, Ajman holidays make for a perfect getaway destination, especially for those who are looking to relax on its spectacular beaches.

Beaches in Ajman are blessed with glistening blue waters and splendid white sands. The Ajman Beach, which is one of the best in the United Arab Emirates, is not to be missed. Ajman holidays are great for families thanks to its abundance of water and adventure sporting facilities. Those looking to make a splash with the watersports and lounge on powdery white sands without huge crowds are in for a treat.

Spend some quality time in the Al Zorah Nature Reserve, which is a must-see if you’re a wildlife fan. It’s a vibrant ecosystem which comprises mangroves, sandy beaches and lagoons. Moreover, it’s home to 60 species of birds including pink flamingos, heron and egret. Children too can have lots of fun and take part in numerous outdoor activities that include diving, sailing, kayaking and kite surfing. You’ll struggle to find a nature reserve like Al Zorah anywhere else in the United Arab Emirates.

One of the best things to do in Ajman (particularly if you’re fairly sporty) is to hike the Hajar Mountains, which stand tall on the UAE and Oman border. Tourists can climb the foot hills at a leisurely pace, and its scenic path is seamless, which is a good trail for beginners.

Read More

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