Being an avid travel enthusiast there is nothing more I would love to do than to travel the world and soak in the importance of places that are dear to the place that I am in. And right now, the place that I am in is Dubai: one of the most exciting and happening cities in the world. A mention of the city Dubai invokes many feelings: the heat, the high-rise buildings, gold, shopping, the desert, and most importantly (spoiler alert!) the Burj Khalifa. Tired of feeling stereotypical? Then show off your knowledge with these awesome places in the UAE that you must visit apart from the above mentioned tags and at a time when National Day celebrations are at a high?

Oh, before I begin, Happy UAE National Day!

1. Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall, Dubai

Taking the risk of sounding repetitive, there is no way that these places aren’t at the top of the list. The slim and majestic Burj Khalifa is a sight to look at and the grandeur of the Dubai Mall is worth all the walking you have to do once you reach inside. The tallest building and the biggest shopping mall in the world combine to give you an experience that is exciting and overwhelming. The fountain at the Dubai mall with the Burj Khalifa as a backdrop will fulfill all your metropolitan dreams. The panoramic view of Dubai from atop the Burj Khalifa exposes the crisscrossing maze of the beautiful concrete jungle and it is worth a watch especially at night. If I don’t sound convincing enough, maybe the pictures below will excite you.

Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall

How to get to this awesome place?

Catch the red line in the Dubai Metro and get down at the Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall metro station. If you are up for it, you can walk to the Dubai Mall from inside the metro station itself (but get ready to WALK far) or there are buses outside the metro station that will take you where you need to go. You can also walk to the Burj Khalifa.

2. Al Qasba, Sharjah

(Warning: This is a bit long because there’s so much to write about this place!) It is hard to write about one particular thing in Al Qasba because the place is buzzing with activities left, right, and center. The best attraction in Al Qasba is the Eye of the Emirates wheel, standing at a height of 60 meters. Hop on it to experience an amazing aerial view of Sharjah and Dubai, all the way up to the Gulf coast. Hop off the Eye of the Emirates to experience the beauty of the Al Qasba musical fountain that dances to music. Experiencing the musical fountain while riding the Eye is an experience you will truly cherish. Ride on a traditional “Abra” boat to experience a relaxing and enjoyable tour of the lagoons while looking at the bridges and high-rise buildings of Sharjah in all its glory.

Explore Al Qasba by renting a Go Kart for adults and kids and ride along the walkways while enjoying the serenity that the place offers. Immerse yourself into a pool of relaxation at the Body and Soul Health Club & Spa and connect with nature by riding eco-friendly, wind-powered water carts across a water body that offers beautiful views. This will definitely be a day well-spent

!Al Qasba

How to get to this awesome place?

Al Qasba is a 20 minute drive from the Sharjah Airport or from University City, 15 minute drive from the Dubai Airport and just a 5 minute drive from the Sharjah Expo Center.

3. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

If you want to experience an example of the majestic contemporary Islamic architecture, there is no better place to be than the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. A grand structure that has made rich use of the Macedonian marble, the very sight of the mosque will stop you in your tracks for a few seconds as you admire its beauty in all its glory. The biggest mosque in the UAE, this architectural delight took nearly 20 years to complete and it plays with colours, symmetry, intricate designs, and most importantly, lunar illumination. The mosque has been built in such a way that the different phases of the moon illuminate it in different ways and its brilliance can be seen especially during the full moon, where 22 light towers with light projectors achieve an ethereal effect that gives us a spiritual experience unlike any other.

A few tips to keep in mind before entering the mosque:

  1. Non-Muslims are allowed to enter the mosque and there are free guided tours available inside that lasts for up to 45-60 minutes.
  2. Dress code is vital before entering the mosque. Ladies must wear a headscarf and long, loose fitting ankle length trousers or skirts. Men must also wear long, loose fitting trousers.
  3. The mosque is closed on Friday mornings for tourists and opens to tourists from 4:30 pm.
  4. Food and drink (even water) is not allowed inside.








How to get to this awesome place?

The closest bus station is situated 10 minutes away from the mosque. Abu Dhabi’s taxi service Transad offers pick up services at designated points. It is strategically located between the Maqta, Mussafah, and Sheikh Zayed bridges in Abu Dhabi.

4. Ajman Museum, Ajman

The best place to visit to know more about the rich cultural back story of the UAE is the Ajman Museum. The ruler’s residence and a police station earlier, this historical structure has now been converted into a museum that showcases the history of UAE during different times. A special feature about this museum is a working wind tower that gives out a calming breeze and it is an effect one must definitely experience. You can find an interesting mix of manuscripts, weapons, artifacts, and objects of historical significance that will take you back in time and educate you more about life in the past eras.


How to get to this awesome place?

The museum is situated in Al Bustan in Ajman and is a short drive from Dubai and Sharjah.

5. Umm Al-Quwain Fort and Museum, Umm Al-Quwain

For people who are looking to delve into the history of the UAE, the Umm Al-Quwain fort is a good place to begin. This ancient fort has been expertly restored and it used to be the local ruler’s residence till 1969. Ancient archaeological findings like statues of headless falcons, exhibits that offer a glimpse of earlier customs and life, old-era jewelry, and artifacts of historical importance can be found at this fort which overlooks the sea and the creek. This is an ideal spot for people who are looking for history, not so much that they get overwhelmed but enough to satisfy their curiosity.

Umm Al Qwain Fort

How to get to this awesome place?

This sleepy Emirate is situated around 40 km north of Dubai. It is situated next to the Mustashfa Abu Zaby al Qadim in Umm Al-Quwain.

6. Khatt Hot Springs, Ras Al Khaima

An ideal place for relaxation, the hot springs offer therapeutic relief and are known to have medicinal properties. After busily exploring the UAE, you can wander down to the Khatt hot springs to rest your aching bones because they offer relief from just that. Plan a picnic, enjoy the drive, and immerse yourself into pools of natural relaxation. The hot springs are a balmy 40 degree centigrade and there are many options to stay close to the hot springs. What more could you ask for? A drive through the desert, castle-like places to stay and relaxation for all the trouble. Sounds perfect!

Hot Springs







How to get to this awesome place?

The Khatt Hot Springs are about a 25 km drive from Ras Al Khaimah city (towards the Southeast)

7. Fujairah Fort, Fujairah

How can you visit the UAE and not visit the UAE’s oldest fort? Built in 1670, this fort stands as an example of the strong UAE spirit. In spite of being damaged after an attack by the British in the early 20th century, the fort still stands strong and was recently restored to its original glory. Having served as a home for the ruling family, this fort situated at the edge of date gardens used to be the only building on the length of the Fujairah cost for a long time. Experience a feeling of national pride as you visit this mighty and majestic fort.









How to get to this awesome place?

The Fujairah fort is around 5 km from the Fujairah city center.

8. Al Ain Zoo, Al Ain

Get ready to explore over 4000 animals in the huge Al Ain zoo that boasts having 30% of endangered animals in its kitty. The biggest zoo in the UAE, a visit to this place is a delight for both kids and adults. The best attraction in the zoo is the African white lions. This zoo was established with a vision to create natural habitats for animals to live freely (the late Sheikh Zayed) and to this date is upholding the vision. The zoo is especially famous for its efforts in breeding endangered native animals. Why are you still reading this? Grab your family and go eat with the giraffes, monkeys, or whichever your favourite animal is!








How to get to this awesome place?

Al Ain is a one and a half hour trip from Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Once you reach Al Ain, there are brown tourist signs that lead you to the zoo.

9. Desert Trips

This article would not be complete without a mention to the various desert trip options that the UAE offers. Go wild by dune bashing on the desert safari or treat your senses to the mysteries that the desert offers on an overnight desert safari. Indulge in a dinner at the desert with your loved one or enjoy clicking amazing pictures of the desert with your friends. Watch an exotic belly dance show and camp under the stars for an experience that is truly magical. Experiencing a desert safari is definitely a must-do in the UAE!

desert safari








10. Dhow Cruise

Another must-have UAE experience is the Dhow Cruise in Dubai. Enjoy beautiful views of the city as you travel on a dhow (traditional Arabic boat) and understand the true majestic city that is Dubai. As you go in the dhow, you will be surrounded by beautiful buildings that capture the spirit of the city of Dubai and it will spellbound you. It is highly recommended that you go on the cruise during sunset and soak in the peace and calm it offers. It will be an ideal way to unwind and end the day after an adventurous round of all the excitement that Dubai offers.

dhow-Dinner-Cruise-Dubai (1)






Places that almost made it:

  1. Jebel Hafeet: If you must travel from Abu Dhabi to Al Ain, the best option for you is to drive through the beautiful, desert-view summit of Jebel Hafeet.
  2. Beaches: The beautiful beaches situated in all the Emirates of the UAE are something that you must experience on a day-off from the hustle and bustle of exploring the country.
  3. Dreamland Aqua Park: The name of the place itself gives away its nature. The first and largest water park in Umm Al Qwain; need I say more?
  4. Ferrari World: Bring out the child and car enthusiast in you when you visit this awesome, world’s largest Ferrari-themed indoor theme park in Abu Dhabi! P.S. Be sure to ride the world’s fastest roller coaster in here!
  5. Burj Al Arab: The world’s most luxurious hotel is a fancy building that has become a part of the iconic Dubai skyline. It is all that Dubai stands for: majestic, luxury, tall, and magnificent.


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