Travel Tips United Arab Emirates – Discover it for Yourself

The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated to UAE, is an Arab federation of seven states, or Emirates, that are all ruled by their own Sheikhs. As with much of South West Asia the land is rich with oil, but many of the more forward thinkers in the UAE are planning for a future that isn’t dependant on oil. This has resulted in a country that has become highly touristy in recent times and is one of the richest countries on the continent. This is very commendable for a country comparable in size to Austria or the island of Ireland. Even at this size, most of the cities are located on the Persian Gulf, though some are located to the east on the Indian Ocean.

Abu Dhabi is the federal capital of the UAE and is also the largest city in the country. It’s sometimes considered to be the richest in the world. For a city located in the middle of the desert it has a huge number of parks and other green areas, and even golf courses. A major attraction of the city is the large amount of shopping you can do, tax free.

United Arab Emirates Car Hire Tip – In the UAE you will be driving on the right, and most of the roads follow a fairly European pattern, i.e. roundabouts and such. You will need an International Driving License, though this is basically an Arabic translation of your own normal license.

Venturing away from the coast and into the desert you can find Al Ain sometimes called the Garden City of the Gulf. This city is located close to the non-existent border with Oman and it also forms a near perfect triangle with both Abu Dhabi and Dubai. In Al Ain you’ll find some interesting attractions such as the Al Ain Museum and Fort which was built to protect the Al Ain Oasis. Located just outside the city is Jebel Hafeet, the 2nd tallest mountain in the UAE, and it offers spectacular views over the surrounding deserts.

United Arab Emirates Car Hire Tip – Unless you plan on going Wadi Bashing (Desert Safari), in which you’ll need a 4WD, any normal car should be perfectly fine on the pristine roads of the UAE, though the shifting sands can sometime pose as a hazard.

Heading back for the coast you’ll finally come to Dubai, which is probably the most famous city in the UAE. Here you’ll find the Burj al-Arab hotel, the Bastakiya District, the Gold Souq and the under construction Burj Dubai Tower, which is already the tallest building in the world and when completed will be the tallest structure in the world as well. With an average temperature of 22°C in the winter, the magnificent sandy beaches are packed year round. Other activities include dune riding and skiing (on an indoor slope).

United Arab Emirates Car Hire Tip – There is one thing to remember when you are travelling from city to city. Each Emirate is ruled independently; so for example in one city certain western activities are tolerated (e.g. drinking alcohol), these activities may not be in other cities. If, however, you do drink and drive the punishment is severe regardless of where you do it.

Continuing up the coast you’ll come to the nearby Sharjah which is a completely different experience altogether. Sharjah is much more conservative than Dubai and it’s also much cheaper. Many locals, who work in Dubai, live in Sharjah for this reason and tourists might benefit by doing the same. The local Sheikh is a qualified architect and has designed many of the main public buildings; these are worth looking at though you won’t find any skyscrapers here. For historic buildings, you can check out the Sharjah Fort Museum which is in the Historic district. You’ll also find the Islamic Museum here.

United Arab Emirates Car Hire Tip – If you do decide to stay in Sharjah, with the intentions of exploring Dubai, be aware of the rush hour times  – you do not want to get caught in a traffic jam at these temperatures.

Just a small bit further up the coast you’ll come to Ajman which practically borders Sharjah. This is not as touristy as the rest of the coast but is a nice place to go to the beach, go dolphin spotting or perhaps visit the Ajman Museum, which is set in an old fort in the city centre.

United Arab Emirates Car Hire Tip – Be extra careful when you’re driving. The UAE (and its neighbours Oman and Saudi Arabia) have the worst road safety records in the world. Also be careful at night as there is a high prevalence of tinted windows which are nice during the day, but at night means you can’t see anything out your windows.

Finally you’ll get to the city Umm al Quwain, the capital of the Emirate of Umm Al Quwain. This is another beautiful place to visit and attractions here include Dreamland Aquapark, the largest of its kind in the world. Other sights include the Umm Al Quwain Museum which houses some artefacts from the ruined city of Al-Dur. The coast is also a perfect place to do many of your favourite watersports activities such as sailing, surfing, jet-skiing, kayaking and of course swimming.

If you are interested in travelling around the country, book Car Hire United Arab Emirates.

Remember to give us a shout via the comment box below if you have any questions or if you’ve any tips on hiring a car in the United Arab Emirates…enjoy your trip!