If you have the time during your trip, we would recommend you head out to explore the neighbouring emirates. These beautiful destinations offer so much to see, do and experience, and overall showcase the beauty of what is the UAE.
The third largest of the UAE emirates and with coast line on both the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, Sharjah is a must-visit destination for those who want to know more about the cultural heritage of the UAE.
At one time, the emirate was one of the wealthiest towns in the region with settlements dating back more than 5,000 years. Sharjah was named the Cultural Capital of the Arab World by UNESCO in 1998 and the Islamic Culture Capital by the Organisation of Islamic Countries Conference in 2014. The Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilisation, the Sharjah Heritage Museum, Sharjah Fort and the Heart of Sharjah are all interesting sites to visit, to name just a few and a trip to the Central Souk is a must. Situated right next to Dubai, Sharjah is just a 2-hour drive from Abu Dhabi.
A 3 hours drive from Abu Dhabi is the emirate of Fujairah, situated on the eastern coast of the UAE and dominated by the Hajar Mountains. With it’s many beachfront hotels, Fujairah is a great place for a relaxing getaway.
It is also home to various heritage sites. In the city of Fujairah is the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, the second largest mosque in the UAE, the Fujairah Fort and the Fujairah Museum which houses artefacts from the bronze and iron ages. Al Hayl Fort, dating from the early 19th century, is located in the mountains southwest of Fujairah city. Heading north from the city, you’ll find the UAE’s oldest mosque, Al Badiyah, built in 1446 from mud bricks.
Ras Al Khaimah
The northernmost emirate of Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) is home to many beautiful beaches along the Arabian Gulf.
A popular overnight stay there is lots to see and do here. Watch camel racing at Al Sawn Race Track (October to April), visit the Khatt Hot Springs, climb the highest mountain in the UAE, Jebel Jais which stands at 1,910 metres, and see the amazing view at the deep ravine of Wadi Bih. To learn more about the history and archaeology of the UAE, visit the National Museum of Ras-Al-Khaimah and the Dhayah Fort. Hundreds of pre-Islamic tombs can be found in the village of Shimal in the north of RAK, which is also the home to the Husn al-Shimal Fort. The RAK Pearl Museum provides a fascinating insight into the days of pearl diving. With so much to see and do, and only a 2.5 hours drive from Abu Dhabi, it’s no surprise RAK is a popular destination. Its many hotels offer short break packages and you
can have fun at Ice Land Water Park, if you're looking for ways to cool off after all of your exploring.
Nestled along the south-east coast of Sharjah you'll find Ajman, the smallest of the seven emirates.
There are several cultural sites including the Ajman National Museum situated at Ajman Fort, the Red Fort and the Manama Museum, which are all worth seeing. Down on the city's Corniche, you'll find numerous restaurants and coffee shops, and can enjoy the views of the city's skyline. In the south-east of the emirate, about a 1.5 hours drive from the city lies the picturesque Masfout. Hugged by the Hajar Mountains, it's higher altitude means cooler temperatures and it’s great for hiking. The drive to Ajman from Abu Dhabi takes 2 hours.
Umm Al Quwain
On the edge of the Arabian Gulf, made up of many islands and with rich coastal mangroves, Umm Al Quwain is a great place to visit for those keen to experience the "old" UAE.
The largest island of Al Seniah is home to seabirds, gazelles, falcons and turtles. The popular Dreamland Aqua Park is here and, in the city is the UAQ National Museum, housed in a centuries-old fort and showcasing artefacts and archaeological discoveries. Sitting between Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain is a 2 hour drive from Abu Dhabi.
Published on November 2017