Today’s Destination is the UAE – United Arab Emirates.

The United Arab Emirates situated at the heart of the Middle East is an oil rich gulf state. And until recently, becoming more known for its tourism than its Oil wealth.

Established on 2 December 1971. This country has grown to become a global attraction, transforming from sand dunes to skyscrapers.


Dubai in 1990….Pic  credit Expladoranja

Dubai in 2007….Pic  credit Expladoranja

It is pertinent to note that for all travelers to this tiny Arab country, the star attraction is Dubai. Dubai is however one of the seven Emirates that make up the UAE. Other Emirates are Abu Dhabi which is the Administrative Capital, Sharjah, the most conservative of all the Emirates, Ajman, Umm al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah.

For the purpose of this write up, I decided to write a review on the entire country and not just Dubai. In future posts I intend to be writing strictly on various cities, and these ones mentioned above would not be left out.

Getting in

Presently, flights originating from Nigeria have numerous options of getting into UAE. But the only points of entry serviced by the Airlines that depart Lagos, Abuja, Kano and recently Enugu arrive either at Dubai International Airport or Abu Dhabi International Airport.

The Airlines that ply these routes are Emirates, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenyan Airlines, Egypt Air and if you flying on budget, Rwandair would be a great choice.

Unfortunately, no Nigerian Airline currently services this destination.

Currency

The Local currency is known as Dirhams. It exchanges for $1 = 3.65dhs. Also 1dhs = N98 (Naira).

It is advised that you travel with dollars and not get the UAE and expecting to change your naira. Most Nigeria Bank debit cards are accepted at the ATMs and POS machines all over the UAE as long as you have the VISA and MasterCard logo imprinted on it.

What to do

I noticed most tourists come to the UAE and spend all the time in Dubai, going to the Gold souq, Desert safari, Dubai bus tour and the Dhow cruise. However, there are a lot of great attractions in other Emirates.

Sharjah with its numerous museums like the Sharjah Museum of Islamic civilization, Sharjah Maritime Museum, Sharjah Classic Cars Museum etc. 

In Ajman the pristine beach line is also a great place to relax. Here you are free from the restrictions you get at most other beaches in and around other emirates.

Umm al Quwain has an Aqua Park known as Dreamland Aqua Park. Umm al Quwain’s Corniche is the best place in World for those who enjoy the sounds of waves and peace. Smoking “Shisha” could be the best moment at UAQ’s Corniche in night for those who love Shisha in peace. Especially in chilly Winter nights.


Dreamland Aqua Park  Picture credit Dubai City info

Fujairah is adorned by beautiful resorts by the beach, if you looking for splurge you should consider Miramar Al-Aqah Beach Resort. It is a majestic hotel very captivating and you sure would get some well deserved rest. Other beautiful hotels to consider are Radisson Blu, Al Diar Siji Hotel, and Hilton Hotel to name a few. While the Indian Ocean is enticingly close, some parts of the beach would not seem to be a good option to swim at. However, the city of Diba which is 30km far from Fujairah city would be a good choice, where you can enjoy the sunny beaches and you can practice any sea activity you like. One more interesting thing to do is that you can take a boat trip to one of many islands that lie in the Gulf of Oman, a really wonderful place to visit and it is a good place for fishing.


Rotana Resort. Picture credit Otelow

All things considered, Fujairah is probably more suited as a base from which to go on excursions to the surrounding areas (most of which are enclaves of Sharjah), rather than doing anything much else. The city is growing in stature as a business destination, particularly where oil is concerned, but tourism remains somehow significantly behind.

Ras Al Khaimah is home to Ice land Water park…it is a must see for any traveler to the UAE. It offers more than fifty rides and numerous water games. Camel race is an attraction not to be missed. The races take place on Fridays, early in the morning from October till March.


Ice land Water park. Picture credit Iceland Waterpark

Abu Dhabi is the Administrative capital and all the big Oil companies and embassies are headquartered there. It is home to Yas Island that hosts the yearly Abu Dhabi F1 race, Also Ferrari world theme park is also situated just close by. When you on town, don’t miss visiting the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, this is the 6th largest mosque in the world. Jebel Hafeet is another spectacular place to visit, it is located in Al Ain which is also within the Abu Dhabi Emirates and is regarded as the highest peak in the whole country.

Dubai the tourist haven of the middle East, recently won the Expo2020 bid and its expected to continue to grow steadily with numerous projects in the pipeline. Interesting places to visit are Global Village, which is like a trade fair with almost all countries in the world represented. The village is open for 6months in a year, usually from October till March the following year. Now you can go jet skiing, bungee jumping, sky diving etc there is so much to do here. It’s a city that never sleeps.


Global Village. Picture Credit Kannadiga

Global Village. Picture credit Dubai Chronicle

In all, UAE is a country you must endeavor to visit at least once, and if you have already visited before and missed out all these new spots I mentioned, on your next trip, please make sure you discover all the Emirates. A road trip is always a great experience. The farthest points in the country are about 3hrs apart. It is recommended you go for a car rental. Basic requirements are an international driving license and credit card. Some dealer would accept cash, but would require you to drop your passport.

Please feel free to drop a comment or two. And if you want more clarity, please don’t hesitate to let me know.