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Top 10 Things to Do in the United Arab Emirates

There are so many things to do in the United Arab Emirates that it is not easy to choose only a top 10. The seven emirates cover a vast range of geographic and cultural features, with the most modern of construction next to the most ancient archaeological sites. In no particular order, here are the top 10 things to do in the UAE.

 

1. Attend a Camel Race. After banning the use of young children as camel jockeys in recent years the United Arab Emirates now employs older jockeys and in some places, robots. In Abu Dhabi, the Al Wathba race track uses robot jockeys who actually wear little uniforms and whose whipping motion is remote controlled by the camel owners. The owners travel a parallel track in cars and operate the remote controls from there. In the UAE, only the wealthiest people can afford top racing camels and the staff required for their upkeep.
2. Visit Sharjah, the “Cultural Capital of the Arab World.” The city of Sharjah is not only the cultural capital of the UAE, but in 1998 it was named by UNESCO as the Cultural Capital of the Arab World. The ruler of Sharjah headed up a long term commitment to developing the cultural institutions there, including museums, mosques, and other cultural destinations. Sharjah is also a great place to partake of Emirati cuisine.

3. Visit the mountains and the Gulf of Oman in Fujairah. Fujairah is a more “old fashioned” part of the UAE, with the culture still involved in traditional sea-based activities like fishing. The eastern coast of the UAE has not had the white-hot economic growth of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, but it is well worth seeing for its more traditional culture, mountains, beaches, and traditional crafts like the creation of palm frond canoes.

4. Shop at the Gold Souk in Dubai. This is located in the Deira area and has more than 300 dealers in jewelry, primarily gold jewelry, though some of the larger shops do have other types of jewelry. The UAE’s free trade policies resulted in a great increase in gold trade. Dubai’s trade in gold and precious jewels represents about one-fourth of the emirate’s non-oil trade. Much of the gold is supplied by Switzerland, and India is the largest buyer of gold from the UAE.

5. Visit an archaeological dig site. Though there are many, perhaps the most convenient for most visitors to the UAE is the Jumeirah Archaeological Site in Dubai. It is surrounded by the most modern of construction, and yet it has yielded numerous amazing archaeological treasures. The site of the Jumeirah archaeological dig used to be a caravan route between Oman and Iraq.

6. Shop Dubai Duty Free. For some people, duty free shopping in itself is enough of a reason to travel to the UAE. The Duty Free shopping in Dubai International Airport is enormous, shiny, and enticing. Besides shopping, there are often raffles for things like luxury automobiles, and sometimes large cash prizes are given away.

7. Attend a cricket match. The UAE has large numbers of expatriate workers from India and Pakistan, two countries that love the game of cricket. There are large cricket stadiums in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and Dubai.

8. Visit the Al Ain National Museum. Located in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, the Al Ain National Museum was opened in 1971. This museum is updated often with archaeological artifacts, and is worth a visit.

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Source: emiratesvoyage

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