The "Oasis Camel Market"...A Cultural Experience!
Looking for a way to immerse yourself in traditional Arab culture? visit the Al Ain "Camel Souk Market" located east of the Jabel Hafeet mountains. If you can withstand the pungent odors of livestock scent multiplied times hundred, noise and dust, then go for a unique cultural experience... get up close with the camels and their traders. The camels are statuette, majestic and sold for hefty price tags. They are also raised to compete in racing competitions. Tourists are welcome to tour the many bens on their own but ignore aggressive traders who approach you to sell "a tour". The traders were very friendly and eager to share their knowledge and expertise. Goats and sheep livestock are also sold in the camel souks.
I was very impressed with how beautiful, clean and trained the camels were, even on approach. They represent social symbols of royalty, transportation, food and even compete in "camel pageant shows" in Bedouin and other regional areas. I posed for a photo with a very gentle, patience camel and it's traders without any hassle for pay, however, I have heard that other tourists were harassed, even threatened until they paid dirhams to the traders . My advice is to be careful no matter where you travel there is always somebody trying to con you out of your money!
I also enjoyed my short time in the oasis city of Al Ain, once a vital caravan route from UAE to Oman and one of the world's oldest heritage inhibited settlement which is highlighted at the National Museum there.(another great tourist attraction).
We stayed at the newly built hotel "Mercure Grand Al Ain"... a unique mountain resort that stood high atop the Jabeel Hafeet at 3,000 feet served us beauty, comfort, and tranquility. We reached it traveling by bus about 45 minutes up a narrow winding road that scaled the mountains and ended at the hotel. Lots of cyclists on the road for training.
Camel Market Opening hours: 6am to 7pm. A two (2) hour drive from our hotel "Mercure" and the city center.Related to:
- Family Travel
"Al Ain Zoo!!!"
Al Ain Zoo is a 400-hectare zoo located in the foothills of the Jebel Hafeet Mountains in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. It mainly comprises Arabian antelopes and oryx, eland, gazelle, lechwe and can be found in the tree shaded paddocks which offer excellent breeding conditions.Related to:
- Budget Travel
Never leave United Arab Emirates without experiencing their Desert safari tours. Dubai safari is one of the most famous safari tour activities which is liked by the people of all ages and back grounds. Several tour companies in Dubai offers Desert Safari. The desert was in the area of Al Awir. The 30 minute dune bashing was really fun but it almost kills me laughing my nerves off for the thrill it serve us. We stayed until the sun set and it was lovely out there the colors blend with the sands. We have enjoyed camel rides as well and live belly dance performance at the camp site while enjoying dinner and drinks with friends.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
In Sharja - Visit Historical Center
The historical center of Sharjah: the fort of Al-Hisn, is literally surrounded by modern buildings.
This fort, built in 1822, then abandoned before being restored in 1996, shelters the city's museum. There is a Theater, a museum on traditional public clothes, the Islamic Museum, a Souk, and more! It was pretty cheap to visit just one museum, but you can buy a "Center Pass" that let's you into all museums there. The souk is free, naturally. It was pretty cool. We paid and entred the Islamic Museum. I learned lots about Mecca and the Hajj and stuff.
Fly Business Class on Emirates!
Wow... Emirates is a great airline, but flying business class is a real treat. The most obvious features are the huge reclining seat and the giant LCD TV screen with hundreds of movies and TV shows. Even better is the complimentary champagne, followed by the nice three course dinner with smoked shrimp appetizer, a local entree, and a tasty dessert.
Dubai International Airport
Just a few miles south of Dubai, capital of UAE, is Dubai International Airport. This global hub handles 41 million passengers each year, making this the 12th busiest airport in the world in total passenger numbers, and the 4th busiest airport for international travelers.
The country's first airport began in 1937 as a British flying boat base between India and England. The kingdom constructed the first airfield on this site in 1959. The original runway was packed sand, but by 1965 a newer, longer asphalt runway was completed to handle larger aircraft. Since 1997 the airport has been undergoing a huge, multiphase renovation and expansion that will eventually allow the airport to handle some 75 million passengers annually. Terminal 3 opened in 2008, and is considered the largest building in the world by square feet.
Emirates operates about 60 percent of the flights in and out of Dubai. The airport's busiest routes are to Kuwait, Bahrain, Tehran, Mumbai, Oman, and London.
I landed at the brand new Terminal 3, and after a terribly long walk, I finally found the transfer counter and then another long walk led me to the duty free shops and my gate. I later wandered further down to a cool park-like area with a small pond and waterfalls.
The City of Abu Dhabi
The capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi, is also its second largest city with a population of over 850,000 people. As the nation's capital, it is home to the UAE federal government and the royal family. Like some of the other oil rich states of the region, Abu Dhabi has been striving to diversify its economy with investment in financial and tourism sectors.
Abu Dhabi has been settled since around 300 BC by nomadic fishers and herders, but the town itself only dates back to the mid 1700s. Into the 1900s the town survived on the date and pearl trade. Oil was discovered in 1958, and the British left UAE in 1971, as the country began to modernize with its new-found wealth.
Today UAE is one of the wealthiest nations in the world. Abu Dhabi alone controls some nine percent of the world's proven oil reserves, and it is the wealthiest emirate in UAE. The city's GDP of about USD 63,000 per capita far outpaces the UAE's total GDP of USD 49,000.
The Arabian Desert
The United Arab Emirates is located in the northeastern corner of the Arabian Peninsula, and about 65 percent of its territory is covered by the Arabian Desert. The Arabian Desert in turn is part of the Saharo-Arabian Desert, the most extensive arid region in the world.
Many people imagine sand dunes when they think of the Arabian Desert. Although a large part of the desert does consist of sand dunes, the desert also includes mountains and hills, deep valleys (or wadis), flood plains and alluviums, coastal scrub, salt flats, and salt marshes.
And the dunes themselves vary, depending on which part of the desert they are located. Many are white calcareous dunes, but most are red ferrusiliceous dunes, such as those pictured here.
Travelers to the United Arab Emirates can visit the desert, usually with a tour company specializing in off-road adventures or sand-skiing. I visited most of the desert habitats while searching for birds.
Visiting the old souk
Visiting the old souk is a must for a tourist in Dubai. The textile souk is on one side of the creek (Jumaira), while spices and gold are found on the other side (Deira). Take an abra to cross the creek (1 aed).Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Adventure Travel
One of the first things I did on my first visit was to go on a desert safari. We went on a guided tour; this began with a wild drive (the highlight for me was when we crashed :) ), ending with dinner, belly-dancing, shiha, henna and some arabic coffee before we headed back home.Related to:
- Adventure Travel
- Family Travel
The city of Dubai
The settlement of Dubai was founded around 1799, and officially settled later by local clans. The United Kingdom took control in 1892, recognizing its importance as a port and transit hub. The UK left in 1971, just a few years after oil was discovered, and the modern city was developed and the United Arab Emirates was formed.
Today Dubai has expanded from its oil industry roots into a major commercial and financial center. The population is almost 1.8 million people, but the numbers are skewed with 1.4 million males and only 400,000 females. Only 17 percent of residents are UAE nationals; most of the rest are immigrant workers, chiefly from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and the Philippines.
Dubai's tourist industry has expanded greatly in recent years, and it has become one of the top 10 tourist destinations in the world.
Dubai Duty Free
Unlike some airports with one or two duty free shops, all of the Dubai Airport seems to be a duty free zone. In fact, this is the single largest airport retailer in the world, with total annual sales over USD 1.1 billion each year. The top selling products by dollar amount are perfumes, alcohol, gold and tobacco. Really, alcohol is the #2 seller in an Islamic country. Here you can also find clothing, watches, local gifts, music, electronics, books, and a variety of foods.
Maybe it's because they grow up smoking hookahs filled with argilah, but Arabs love to smoke. The stores are full of cigarettes, mostly American brands like Winston. In the Dubai Duty Free stores, cigarettes take up a significant amount of the floor space, and here you will see lots of Arabs stocking up on fags.
World Health Organization studies show that 77 percent of Yemeni men, 51 percent of Syrian men, 48 percent of Jordanian men, 46 percent of Lebanese men, 37 percent of Qatari men, and 30 percent of Kuwaiti men smoke. In comparison, under 20 percent of Americans smoke cigarettes. Surprisingly, UAE has the second lowest rate of smoking among men in the Middle East at just 18 percent, with Oman being the only country in the region lower at 15.5 percent. They do offer Cuban cigars!
Be Blown AWAY by ATLANTIS, the PALM
Indeed, we've blown away the moment we saw the gigantic building that is ATLANTIS in the Palm. Despite the sweltering heat, we walked nearer to the entrance to get a closer look of the spectacular building in one of the most famous developments the world has ever seen in Dubai. I was glad I asked the hotel staff if we could go to the Mall of Emirates as I saw the notices about trips to Dubai. Little did I know we would be given an exhaustive look at those famous landmarks! Simply amazinbg is all I can say as we were speechless looking at the awesone structure!
The resort consists of two towers linked by a bridge, with a total of 1539 rooms. There are two monorail stations connecting the resort to the main section of the Palm Jumeirah islands.
Wikipedia says: The seven stars resort also includes a water Aquaventure theme park (160,000 square meters), a conference center, and 20,000 square feet (1,900 m2) of retail space. The resort also has a Dolphin Bay (45,000 square meters) in which guests can swim and interact with dolphins at Atlantis. The Palm Jumeirah itself is one part of a trilogy including the larger Palms Jebel Ali and Deira, which are still under construction.
The Resort was well known for keeping a young female whaleshark in its 11-million litre aquarium. It was released in March 2010Related to:
- Luxury Travel
- Spa and Resort
- Family Travel
Al Jumeira /Burj Al Arab,World Famoushotel
Indeed you'll arrive here in absolute awe as its website says! We were lucky to get a bus tour of Dubai after being stressed for two days waiting for our flight to resume to Europe due to the volcanic ash dramas there. So seeing the hotel was like a dream!
Weather was stinking hot as usual but we stayed only a few minutes, worth every bit of the time spent riding around this bustling city!
Absolutely modern and mindboggling the way it was designed and built!
Its website boasts of a unique service: This all-suite luxury hotel in Dubai reflects the very finest that the world has to offer. With a discreet in-suite check-in, private reception desk on every floor and a brigade of highly trained butlers, you can be assured of the ultimate in personal service throughout your stay. Upgrade your experience at Burj Al Arab with your chauffeur driven Rolls Royce.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Luxury Travel
- Arts and Culture
United Arab Emirates Hotels
Probably the best hotel I have ever stayed in. Service was amazing including your own personal...more
this is a wonderful hotel, living like royalty! 1.3 km pvt beach, beautiful gardens, massages, tea...more
We stayed here in 2004 as a change from Fujairah. I telephoned the hotel prior to our stay to...more
Top United Arab Emirates Hotels
- Dubai Hotels
- 2774 Reviews - 8193 Photos
- Abu Dhabi Hotels
- 503 Reviews - 1652 Photos
- Fujairah Hotels
- 51 Reviews - 187 Photos
- Sharjah Hotels
- 192 Reviews - 706 Photos
- Kalba Hotels
- 1 Review - 1 Photo
- Khorfakkan Hotels
- 5 Reviews - 13 Photos
- Musaffah Hotels
- See nearby hotels
- Masafi Hotels
- 2 Reviews - 28 Photos
- Al `Ayn Hotels
- 17 Reviews - 91 Photos
- Za`bil Hotels
- 2 Hotels
Explore the World
- Kiaracondong Hotels
- Parry Sound Hotels
- State of Himachal Pradesh Hotels
- Hermit Island Hotels