United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates may be dominated in all manner of ways by its twin metropolises of Dubai & Abu Dhabi, but there is much more to the kingdom than just the skyscrapered desert landscapes of these two shopping meccas.

The desert landscapes of the Emirates are spectacular, and incredibly well serviced by desert safari tours that showcase some of the finest (and most accessible) natural landscapes in the region. Further afield, the mountains of the interior offer great sightseeing opportunities, and, consistent with the rest of the country, the chance to experience the longest zipline (2km) in the world! And, if that’s just too energetic for you, there’s the beaches of the gulf, with vast swathes of sand on offer for sun worshippers.

Back to the main drawcards here though, Dubai & Abu Dhabi boast 8 of the tallest buildings in the world, including the Burj Khalifa, by far the world’s tallest, and a trip to the observation deck is the top of every bucket list. Add in the incredible architecture of these two cities that have miraculously emerged from being small backwaters in the last 25 years to the incredible cities they are today, and there’s some awesome urban sightseeing to do. Home to arms of both the Louvre and the Guggenheim, there’s also a fair bit of culture on offer to complement the very fine historical elements of the region that co-exist alongside the modern extravaganzas.

And, then there’s the shopping…malls that defy description and redefine the notion of shopping, and which are destinations in their own right, and very much the centre of the local and tourist society. Whatever you choose, the Emirates has become much more than just a convenient stopover between the east and the west.

Image by Fedor Selivonov, Shutterstock