Anyone saying ‘I don’t like United Arab Emirates’ as a traveler is most likely to be a pessimist, because as far as tourism goes, UAE is one of the best countries to visit in the Middle east.
A must visit city on every traveler’s bucket list, UAE is vibrant, luxurious, rich, flashy and yet it still has its simplicity intact specially in most of its non- metro cities. If you’re planning to visit UAE anytime soon here are the 15 essential things to know that will help you enjoy your time in UAE profoundly.
1. It is a land of best manmade wonders
There are some places that are truly blessed by natural beauty, then there are places like UAE where natural wonders are not in abundance, so what did they do? They created the best manmade wonders of the world thereby becoming a benchmark country in terms of development and effective channelization of resources. Burj Khalifa, largest handloom carpet in the world, biggest malls in the world, largest manmade fountain, world’s largest manmade islands, chandeliers with Swarovski crystals and 24 karat gold, most luxurious hotel in the world; there’s nothing in UAE that won’t surprise you.
2. It is a conservative Arabian country
Remember you are not visiting USA or UK, where kissing in public and wearing revealing clothes are normal. UAE is a traditional Arabian country with conservative Islamic laws and regulations. Dressing decently, no unnecessary skin shows off, no public show of affection, and no drinking alcohol in public places are some of the must remember rules when you’re traveling to UAE.
3. You just can’t come back before trying the desert safari
It is said that no trip to Dubai is complete without trying the famous Dubai desert safari. The desert safari can be enjoyed along with sunset photography, sand dune bashing in a 4x4, an international cuisine barbecue dinner at the Bedouin-style desert camp and even an overnight camp safari. The choice of excursion inclusion is customizable and you can select from various respectable tour operators like Rayna tours to tailor and book your desert safari tour. Remember, sand dune bashing is not for the faint-hearted, pregnant women and infants. You can skip the dune bashing in your tour if you want.
4. The climate is hot, hot, hot
You know UAE is hot, but only when you’ll get there, you’ll realize how hot can UAE be especially if you are going in the summer months. No matter what, do not forget to apply an SPF30 sunscreen while going out and cover yourself with full hand clothing, hat, and goggles. If you have time to plan your trip, it’s better to visit UAE in the cooler months of November through March.
5. This land of dessert has some of the most spectacular beaches too
It won’t be exaggerating to call UAE a land of the best of sun, sand, and sea. The country has some of the most serene beaches including the Jumeirah beach in Dubai, Ghantoot beach Abu Dhabi, Jebel Ali beach, Ajman beach, JBR beach and more. While some of them are open free public beaches, the ones that are private will offer you the most luxurious beach time with an impeccable hospitality.
6. It is more cosmopolitan than you think
UAE is traditionally an Islamic country and that’s a fact but there’s no denying that only when you visit it (especially its main tourist destinations) you realize, that the country is quite cosmopolitan. People from all parts of the world can be easily spotted here living in peace and harmony. Alone in Dubai, there is an 85% population of expats without even a single communal violence case ever in its history.
7. It might be the most hospitable country you’ve ever visited
The immaculate hospitality of UAE is known all over the world. Basically, people know that most of their income comes now from the tourism industry and they try their best to ensure that the treatment to their guests is world class. The amenities, luxuries, and the indulgences will leave you craving for more. From getting a gold plated iPad as a hotel guest to having champagne on a hot air balloon; UAE never ceases to surprise its guests.
8. It is the land of fascinating culture and traditions
It is a great place to learn about the Arabic cultures and traditions. From henna tattoos to their tanura dances, UAE is the right place to know the intense details about the traditions and culture of the Arabs. The importance of Ramadan and iftar and the history of the desert country alongwith its meteoric rise to merge with the developed world is more than just fascinating, it is inspiring.
9. It has GOLD……in abundance
There are ATMs in UAE that dispenses gold bars. What more can you ask for? The gold souk of Dubai on any given day has over 10 tons of gold available for trading. The jewelers of Dubai have so much of gold of their own that unlike anywhere else they are free to decide the gold pricing for trade. The world’s most luxurious hotel- Burj Al Arab has a stunning 1,790 sq-mt. of 24-carat gold leaf covers its interiors. In 2013, 40% of the physical gold traded in the world was traded in Dubai that together weighed more than the weight of 354 elephants.
10. In UAE, Friday and Saturday is a weekend
While you’re planning to visit UAE, you must know that Friday is a weekend and Sunday is working. Plan your visits to the malls and other rush places accordingly. Also, metro cities like Dubai are open till late nights before and on weekend nights, so you can enjoy a lot of late night clubs, markets, and food lanes.
11. It is one of the safest countries to visit if you stay conscious
UAE’s Dubai is the safest city in the world with almost 0% crime rate the capital city of Abu Dhabi is the 25th best city to live in the world. These titles are not easy to get, it requires a super vigilante police force and enforcing laws that are sufficient enough to curtail crime rate. But it goes without say that you need to be alert and conscious about your own safety too, no matter wherever you go. Respecting the traditions and laws of UAE will always keep you away from trouble.
12. The laws are slightly different for women
When in UAE, you must remember that it is a Muslim country and the laws are predominantly more stringent for women. So even if you are from a very open country where women are free to live their life their way, remember in UAE women live by certain rules and have to abide by certain regulations that are meant specially for them. Don’t forget, UAE is the country that deported a Saudi man from the country because he was considered too sexy and it invoked attraction amongst women.
13. UAE is a foodie’s paradise
Being a cosmopolitan country, the variety of food in UAE is enormous, Moreover, if you’re a non-vegetarian the Emirati cuisine in itself is suffice to keep your tummy singing for months. There’s so many of the tasty dishes unheard by many like the exotic camel meat, falafel, an exorbitant variety of seafood along with a world of cuisines including Japanese, Chinese, Korean, European, Indian, Pakistani and more. UAE is the place where chefs are flown from different countries just to bring authenticity to the food.
14. The world’s only and best Ferrari theme park- You can’t miss it
This is the one thing you can’t miss while you are in UAE because there’s nothing even remotely close to the likes of Ferrari World anywhere across the globe. The roller-coasters at the Ferrari world theme park hit the speed of up to 240kmph, almost giving you the feel of the high-speed Ferrari car. It has the largest Ferrari logo ever created with- 65m x 48.5m. It is presently the world’s largest indoor park and the park is equipped to give visitors the same state-of-the-art racing simulators as those used by the Ferrari racing team.
15. It is the land of both extreme adventures and adorable romance
If the adrenaline rush is what drives you to a destination, then UAE will surely make it to your list of must visit places. From the extreme sea adventures such as shark cage diving, jet skiing, fly boarding, banana boat riding and a lot more of water sports, UAE brings to you the best of sky adventures too. Enjoy paragliding, skydiving and hot air balloon rides in UAE with skilled professionals. Even the world’s best water parks are equipped to give you a rush of a lifetime. You won’t regret visiting Dubai Holidays as the scenic beauty there is awe-inspiring and enchanting.
For the ones looking for a cozy getaway, UAE again is a great place to be. From Dhow boat cruises to special romantic candle lit dinners at the beach, there’s no limit to the creativity and lengths the hospitable UAE will go to make your special one feel truly special.
This article is originally published on HuffingtonPost