44 of the Best Places to Visit in the United Arab Emirates
Visit United Arab Emirates
I was curious to travel in the UAE for quite some time. If you want to visit United Arab Emirates and don’t know where to go, this page will definitely help you.
Contrary to what many people might think, the United Arab Emirates have a very rich history. This fact is sometimes forgotten and taken over by modern and famous cities such as Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
There are seven Emirates within the UAE
- Abu Dhabi
- Ras al-Khaimah
- Umm al-Quwain
In addition to several historical relics, ancient ruins and centuries-old fortresses scattered in various locations.
The UAE has a unique heritage and culture of desert people.
With traditional dances, music, amazing architecture, coffee drinking heritage, shipbuilding and even the tradition of caring for horses, camels and falcons.
One day, I flew to the Emirate of Sharjah, rented a car and bought a road map to tour all the seven Emirates on my own.
Apart from the main cities within the Emirates, I traveled along the border with Saudi Arabia and Oman. I love desert landscapes, so I couldn’t miss the opportunity of exploring the mighty Rub al Khali Desert.
The UAE’s oil reserves are ranked as the seventh-largest in the world and oil refineries are seen all across the country.
On this page I make a list of 43 Amazing Places to Visit in the United Arab Emirates which are undoubtedly the country’s major tourist attractions.
Visit United Arab Emirates
1- Visit Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum
Located in the city of Al Ain, the palace was built in 1910. The museum is located in the former house of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan and his family.
2- Visit Sharjah City
Sharjah mixes modernity with history. In Sharjah you can visit the Old Heritage district with traditional architecture buildings including a well preserved fortress, several mosques, markets and extremely good quality museums.
3- Visit Al Ain City
Al Ain is my favorite city in the United Arab Emirates. Very rich in history and incredible architecture heritage, Al Ain has a lot of museums, monuments and historic buildings such as fortresses, ancient ruins and palaces. Worth visiting is also the camel market and the fantastic mountain Jebel Hafeet, a few kms away from the city center. The cultural sites of Al Ain including Oases Areas, Hafeet, Hili and Bidaa Bint Saud, are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Al Ain belongs to the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
4- Visit Jumeirah Beach
Jumeirah Beach is a first class quality white sand beach in Dubai. The famous hotels Burj al Arab and Jumeirah Beach Hotel are located on the Jumeirah stretch coast. Jumeirah beach is great to spend a nice relaxed beach afternoon in Dubai.
5- Visit Liwa Oasis
Liwa impressive desert skyline stretches about 26 km / 16 mi all the away to Saudi Arabia border from where the famous Rub al Khali desert continues. Not to be missed around Liwa are its vast oases, orange sand dunes, desert villages and various buildings with traditional architecture. Liwa belongs to the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
6- Visit Abu Dhabi City
Abu Dhabi is the capital city of the United Arab Emirates. It is known by its impressive modern financial center with towering skyscrapers, offices of the federal government and the presidential palace. Abu Dhabi’s newly famous landmark is the Sheikh Zayed Mosque. Abu Dhabi is the capital city of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
7- Visit Al Fujairah City
Al Fujairah has a beautiful historic district with several traditional old buildings made of adobe and an incredible fort. The history museum is really good and worth visiting. Fujairah is the capital city of Al Fujairah Emirate.
8- Visit Burj Khalifa Observation Deck
Burj Khalifa is the tallest building ever erected. Reaching 828 meters / 2716 feet high, this insane architecture construction is marvelous and impressive. There are two observation decks from where tourists can access breathtaking views over Dubai. The At the Top observatory located at 124 meters / 406 feet, and the The New Deck observatory located at 148 meters / 485 feet.
9- Al Ain National Museum
The Al Ain National Museum is located near Al Ain Oasis in the city center. The Al Ain National Museum is divided into two main sections. The Ethnographic museum and Archaeological museum – and offers the visitors an overview of the country’s traditions and culture, showcasing the people who inhabited the region 8000 years ago. The museum exhibits diverse historical objects, Bedouin jewelry, musical instruments and weapons.
10- Visit Ajman City
Ajman is the smallest of all the Emirates and is completely surrounded by the Emirate of Sharjah, except on the coast. The central mosque of Ajman city has beautiful architecture. Ajman is the capital city of the Emirate of Ajman.
11- Visit Al Muraba’a Fort
Al Muraba’a Fort is located in Al Ain city center. This defensive building is made of dried bricks, clay and mud plaster, and follows the line of traditional architecture in the UAE, more specifically the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The Muraba’a Fort is also known as the Police Fort. This fortress was built in the 1940’s by the orders of the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, former president of the United Arab Emirates. Al Muraba’a Fort was used as police headquarters and prison.
12- Visit Dubai City
Dubai is without a doubt the most famous place of the Emirates. The capital city of Dubai is a hub of modernity, luxury hotels, exuberant architecture, expensive cars and world class white sandy beaches with crystal clear water. Besides the historic district with local architecture and exotic markets, there are many museums, amusement parks, the largest shopping mall in the world – Dubai Mall, and the tallest skyscraper in the world – Burj Khalifa.
Dubai is a wonderful place for those who like to try something different. Why Dubai? Because you can drive from the busy Downtown area to its immense and peaceful orange sand dunes on the outback. Two different worlds in one place. Dubai will definitely keep you busy for a few days. Dubai is the capital city of the Emirate of Dubai.
13- Visit Emirates Fine Arts Society
The Emirates Fine Art Society was founded in 1980 and is a non-profit association. The head office is in Sharjah but it also has branches in Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah and Khor Fakkan. The building itself is very beautiful because it follows the traditional construction of the UAE. The Emirates Fine Arts Society helps promoting art education among the Arab world. Focusing on national artists – it conducts art workshops, seminars and lectures on painting, sculpture, ceramics, photography and Arabic calligraphy.
14- Visit Jebel Hafeet
Jebel Hafeet is one of the nicest places in the United Arab Emirates. Jebel Hafeet mountain rises up to 1249 meters / 4097 feet and offers a breathtaking desert view over the city of Al Ain. At the very top there is a very nice hotel where I stayed overnight. Green Mubazarrah, at the base of the mountain, has hot springs and a lake. There are also several sites with archaeological remains around the mountain. The road up to Jebel Hafeet is considered one of the most beautiful and impressive in the world.
15- Visit Sharjah Fort
Built in 1820 by the Sheikh Sultan bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Sharjah’s Fort is located in the city center and surrounded by modern buildings and a busy shopping area. This fort is the former residence of the ruling family of the Emirate of Sharjah. Today it serves as a museum.
16- Visit Wild Wadi Water Park
With amazing views over the 7 star Hotel Burj al Arab and Jumeirah Beach, the Wild Wadi Water Park has the world’s fastest slide where you reach more than 90 km / 56 mi per hour. During a hot day, this park is, undoubtedly, an escape to Dubai’s extreme summer weather.
17- Visit Mezaira’a
Mezaira’a desert town is the heart of Liwa oasis. Mezaira’a is all about dunes, immense green oases, the sheikh’s palace and several fortified buildings made of adobe. Don’t miss the annual July’s Liwa Date Festival in Mezaira’a.
18- Visit Eastern Fort of Al Ain
The Eastern Fort is located in Al Ain city center just near the Al Ain National Museum.
19- Visit Tal Mireb Dune
The Tal Mireb Dune is located a few dozen kilometers from Liwa Oasis. Tal Mireb is the tallest dune in the United Arab Emirates with 206 meters / 675 feet above sea level. With a slope of 50 degrees this is the perfect place for drag races and 4WD competitions. The whole area with orange sand dunes and camel farms is beautiful.
20- Visit Shamal Ruins
The Ruins of Shamal are a fantastic archaeological site dating back to 1000 BC. Totally outside of the tourist itinerary, Shamal mountain top gives outstanding views of the surroundings. History says that these are the remains of the Palace of the Queen of Sheeba. Ash Shamal is located on the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah.
21- Visit Barracuda Airport
Near Barracuda Beach Resort you can visit the local small airport with a few old relic airplanes. Go inside and explore the place on your own.
22- Visit Sharjah Heritage Area
Sharjah’s Al Sheyoukh and Al Maraija neighborhoods are only open to pedestrians. You can walk through a small area with old buildings giving you a tiny glimpse of how the city looked like before starting to become modern.
23- Visit Rub al Khali Desert
The Rub al Khali desert is known by the name of “Empty Quarter” and is the largest sand desert in the world. Rub al Khali spreads out through Saudi Arabia, Oman, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. Driving this part of UAE is a great way of feeling alone.
24- Visit Al Bidiyah Mosque
Fujairah’s fifteenth century Al Badiyah Mosque is the oldest in the United Arab Emirates. Al Bidiyah Archaeological Mosque is built of stone and mud brick and is coated with many layers of whitewashed plaster. Al Bidiyah Mosque is unique in the Emirates due to its distinctive structure and roof. Its technique consists of four pointed domes, supported by an internal pillar which is unusual for religious architecture in the region. The date of this mosque is said to be as early as 1446 AD.
25- Visit Ajman Beach
ℹ️ Ajman is marked with white sandy beaches on one side and tall buildings on the other. In the evening you can watch beach football games by Pakistani workers during their time off work.
26- Visit Ras Al Khaimah City
Ras Al Khaimah is located on the border with the Ras Musandam peninsula of Oman. It has a huge white sand beach and a traditional boat building area. Ras Al Khaimah is the capital city of the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah.
27- Visit Museum of Islamic Civilization
The Museum of Islamic Civilization, located in Sharjah city
28- Visit Umm Al Quwain City
Umm Al Quwain is a small city living from the fishing industry. You can visit the Old Town Area, the local museum, the defensive walls, the harbor in the traditional fishing port and a number of defensive towers spread throughout the city. There is also a Museum and the defensive walls. The 2000 BC tombs of Tell Abraq are of great regional importance. Umm Al Quwain is the capital city of the Emirate of Umm al-Quwain.
29- Visit Burj Al Arab Hotel
Burj Al Arab is one of Dubai’s landmarks and the most famous 7 star hotel in the world. Burj al Arab is located on the coast of Jumeirah Beach and can be visited as a tourist attraction or, you can stay there as a guest.
NOTE: Book the hotel Burj Al Arab.
30- Visit Camel Farms
All around the desert areas of UAE, near Madinat Zayed and Liwa Oasis, there are many farms where workers take care of camels. If you’re driving by yourself you can just stop and visit one of these several farms where camels stay near the dunes. Madinat Zayed is the last city before Liwa Oasis. There are a number of government buildings, a beautiful mosque, ornamental gardens and orange dunes covered with vegetation. If you can, don’t miss the annual Al Dhafra camel Festival.
31- Visit Khor Fakkan City
Khor Fakkan is a small city with an important regional natural deep-water port. Khor Fakkan is surrounded by rocky mountains and a nice white sandy beach with palm trees. The central mosque of Khor Fakkan is huge and with very beautiful architecture. Khor Fakkan is located on the picturesque Bay of Khor Fakkan along the Gulf of Oman, on the East coast of the United Arab Emirates. Khor Fakkan belongs to the Emirate of Sharjah.
32- Visit Dibba
Dibba is a coastal town in the far north east of the Arabian Peninsula Gulf of Oman. The Portuguese built a fort here in the sixteenth century. I spent a night in a hotel next to the beach where I enjoyed a beautifully amazing sunset all surrounded by desert mountains and a quiet sandy beach. Dibba belongs to the Emirate of Fujairah.
33- Visit Fujairah Fort
Probably the oldest fort in the UAE. This building survived the bombing and occupation of the Wahhabis and the British. After undergoing renovations during a few years, it is now open to the public. Fujairah Fort is a beautiful building from where you have great views over Fujairah coast line.
34- Visit Archaeological Fort of Maleha
Definitely not very impressive, but the Archaeological Fort of Maleha is indeed interesting and proves the ancient history of the UAE. Outside Sharjah city you can visit the simple remains of Maleha’s Tomb ruins, dating from 3000 years BC.
35- Visit Abu Dhabi Heritage Village
The Abu Dhabi Heritage Village is located in the Corniche and is run by the Emirates Heritage Club. Inside this tourist complex there is a traditional Emirati village with markets, a mosque, a Bedouin camp and live shows with dance and music.
36- Visit St Philip the Apostle Orthodox Church
Built with Ukrainian businessmen’s money, this church serves exclusively the big Russian and Ukrainian community living in Dubai and Sharjah. The St Philip the Apostle Orthodox Church has typical Russian architecture. During Christmas and Easter, thousands of Russian Orthodox Christians attend the religious service inside this church.
37- Visit Deira Fish Market
Deira fish market is the busiest fish market in Dubai. There you can see and buy a big selection of fish and sea food.
38- Visit Handicraft Markets
If you like shopping, you should visit the shops inside the markets of Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Dubai historical districts. You can bargain and get really nice objects for a good price.
39- Visit Sharjah Archaeological Museum
Great museum showing UAE history with a large display of objects and historical artifacts with modern facilities. You can have a private guide tour around the museum free of charge.
40- Visit Dubai Mall
If you think you’ve been in large shopping malls before, think again. The Dubai Mall is the largest mall in the world with over 1200 stores. Located in Dubai city center, the Dubai Mall is just aside of Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world.
41- Visit Shamal Julphar
Small desert settlement near Ash Shamal ruins. The surrounding rocky mountains are outstanding. You can hike up the rocks from where you can spot the village, the desert and the sea.
42- Visit Al Ain Palm Groves
Al Ain has many oases with palm trees. All these oases are private owned and produce many tons of fresh dates every year. You can explore this part of the city all by yourself. You can visit the Oasis Al Ain and the Oasis Al Qattara.
43- Visit Jahli Fort
The Jahli Fort in the city of Al Ain is a master piece of Emirate architecture. Jahli Fort is very beautiful and is open to the public. With several exhibition rooms inside the museum, it shows relevant aspects of the history of the United Arab Emirates.
44- Nazwa Dunes
Amazing sand dunes 30 km out of Dubai downtown. If you like adventure and desert landscapes, this is the perfect place for you.
Read my pages: