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United Arab Emirates
Dubai has generally been the focus for tourism and travel to The United Arab Emirates. Yet, there is a lot more to this fascinating country than the glitz of the city. An Islamic state, the UAE is also highly consumer focused and boasts some of the most spectacular real estate and hotels in the world including the Burj Al Arab, which has been consistently voted on of the most luxurious hotels in the world. Designer shops, beautiful beaches and sumptuous restaurants provide for a wonderful dose of hedonism. It is especially worth sampling the many types of local cuisine on offer – from inexpensive local delicacies such as Shwarma to Khazana.
Aside from these indulgences, nature-lovers can also pay a visit to delightful scenery such as Hatta, the nearby mountain, or the desert sands and waters of the Gulf. Why not take a cruise along the creek, or better yet view the city from a hot air balloon? You can even try skiing in one of the indoor ski slopes within the Mall of the Emirates. Abu Dhabi is also home to a wealth of attractions and makes an interesting alternative from Dubai with attractions including the Heritage Village, which is a fine example of some of the intricacies of Bedouin culture as well as the Emirates palace.
The unique variety of possibilities is what makes any trip here special. Other things to do off the beaten path include visiting the Abu Manara Mosque, which is an excellent example of Islamic architecture. Completed in 2006, it was built specifically for the royal family. It is also a fabulous place to drive, particularly along the coastal road between the south and west sides of the mountains where you can make inland detours to stunning Nakhal and Ar Rustaq. Hiring a car will make your stay here altogether more convenient, and driving in the country is safe. Enjoy your trip!