The United Arab Emirates (UAE) are used to visitors. Of the 9.2 million people who live in the UAE, 7.8 million of them are expatriates. The country is made up of seven emirates including Abu Dhabi, the country’s capital, and Dubai, home to some of the tallest and most fascinating buildings in the world. The UAE has the fourth largest oil reserves in the world, and that wealth is evident in a number of the countries luxurious sites and attraction. You can be sure that if you travel to UAE, you won’t run out of amazing things to do. Here are our top four suggestions:
- The Arabian Desert
Most people who visit the UAE take a desert excursion leaving from Dubai, Abu Dhabi, or Fujairah. A wide variety of adventures await visitors in the desert. You can go on dune buggy trips, ATV rides, sand boarding, hiking, and camel treks. These adventures usually stick to the large stretches of desert that run along the coastline outside of the UAE’s major cities. If you’re not interested in having an athletic adventure, you can also enjoy a Bedouin style dinner party in the desert.
- Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
The UAE is an Islamic country, and there are a number of amazing mosques to be visited throughout each emirate. The most impressive by far is the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. A modern structure filled with gold details and vast mosaics, everyone who visits this building is mesmerized by the craftsmanship and dedication to detail. If you are particularly interested in Islamic culture, there are also great museums dedicated to Islamic artwork and history throughout the UAE.
- The Burj Khalifa
The Burj Khalifa is currently the tallest building in the world. It is a magnificent structure, a towering arrow piercing upward into the sky. From the observation deck, the highest one in the world, you can take in panoramic views of Dubai (and probably get a good look at the curve of the Earth).
- Jebel Hafeet
This mountaintop makes for a great day trip out of Abu Dhabi. The winding road will take you to the top of the mountain where you will have amazing views of the Arabian Desert, and you’ll also get to enjoy wonderful landscapes all the way up to the top.
The United Arab Emirates has a little bit of something for everyone. There is a world-class waterpark, yachting, palaces to visit, skyscrapers to summit, and one of the most impressive malls in the world. Whatever you’re looking for, you can find it in the UAE.
Visiting the UAE for tourist trips of 30 days or less doesn’t require a visa if you are a US citizen. If you’re traveling for other reasons or need to stay longer than 30 days, contact the Swift team and we will help you figure out what UAE visa requirements you might be subject to.
And as always, if you’ve visited the UAE, please share your travel stories below. What was your favorite sight? What is the one thing that people absolutely must see in the UAE?
Rob Lee is co-founder of Swift Passport and Visa Services. Originally from Michigan, Rob is an avid fisherman and SCUBA diver who enjoys adventure travel.