The United Arab Emirates (UAE) – a Federation of 7 Emirates – Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ra’s al-Khaimah, Ajman, Umm al-Quwain and Fujairah, founded under the visionary leadership of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, known as the Father of the Nation – is one of the richest nations in the world. Beyond the luxurious hotels, world’s tallest building, famous Malls and expensive restaurants, the Emirate also has a deeply rooted relationship with its traditions, history and diversity. Not many countries in the world can offer the combination of mountains, sand, and a coastline. Man-made islands have made people go in awe and recognize the monumental conquest of man over nature.
Abu Dhabi – Capital and largest emirate has about 87 % of the UAE’s total area. Abu Dhabi’s beautiful malls, marvellous architecture and amazing mosques will make you fall in love with this place.
Dubai Is a cosmopolitan city and emirate, the business and cultural hub of the Middle East, a popular global tourist destination known for ultramodern architecture, redefining luxury and opulence with luxurious hotels, world class shopping malls, wonderful art galleries, entertainments and lively nightlife. Dubai has many firsts – Burj Khalifa, the 830 m tall tower, dominates the skyscraper-filled skyline. Terminal 3 of the Dubai International Airport is the largest airport terminal in the world. Burj Al Arab Jumeirah a world’s most iconic hotel, Dubai Aquarium – the largest suspended aquarium in the world, Global Village is popular for Dubai Shopping Festival. Dubai Fountain – with jets and lights choreographed to music, Underwater World, Abra Creek, Jumeirah Mosque, Gold souk, Palm Jumeirah, beautiful beaches and beachfront villas offering a scintillating charm and famous for a variety of water sports activities such as paragliding, scuba diving, jet skiing, fishing and snorkeling. Public beach situated in Al-Mamzar Park has barbecue sites and playgrounds.
Bahrain’s rich history is reflected in numerous archaeological sites, the most fascinating of which is the Bahrain Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage site, located atop a 17.5 hectare artificial hill that has been built over more than 4000 years of continuous occupation. Sheikh Salman bin Ahmed Al-Fateh Fort, commonly known as Riffa Fort, is an historic landmark stands witness to one of the most important junctures in Bahrain’s history.
Adhari Park, adjacent to the Adhari National Park, spread across 165,000 square meters aiming to become the number one family attraction in the GCC, with 38 exciting outdoor and indoor rides for people of all ages, a Family Entertainment Centre, Food Court, Dine in restaurant, Coffee Shops and a lot more. The 5.412-kilometre Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) is an ultramodern motorsport facility incorporating many features of local culture and located in the Sakhir desert. BIC features five FIA certified track layouts, more than anywhere else in the world and regularly hosts several international races, including the Formula One.
Central to life in Bahrain for centuries, pearl diving has to be the quintessential experience. Cruise to Jarada Island and indulge in sunbathing on the spit of white sand and bobbing in its clear waters and also get the chance to see up to 30 types of coral and more than 200 species of fish. Dolphin watching along the many surrounding coral reefs is another popular pastime and they are best spotted at sunrise or sunset. A dhow trip provides an even more authentic experience. For the wildlife enthusiast, a 45-minute ferry ride from Al Dur Jetty to Hawar Island is a must. Renowned as a wildlife reserve of international significance it offers a pristine beach, a chance to spot dolphins and rare birds in the middle of their migratory path.
For the `Shopaholics’ there are plenty of options such as Al Aali Shopping Complex – famous with its plush environs and luxury labels; Dragon City Mall – offering unique wholesale and retail trade; Bahrain Mall – ultimate family shopping experience with over 120 international brands; City Center – the largest shopping, leisure and entertainment destination attracts more than 13.5 million visitors annually; Gold city – A shining example of specialized retail shopping transporting every visitor to a modern gold souq arena; Moda Mall – shopping and dining experience for every occasion, located in the landmark Bahrain World Trade Center. Block 338 – in the heart of Adliya, is a charming pedestrian quarter crammed with international restaurants, art galleries and small boutiques.
Al Fateh Grand Mosque – one of the largest mosques in the world, encompassing 6,500 square meters. Bait al Quran – Housed in a spectacular Arabic script engraved building showcases significant collection of Quranic manuscripts and scriptures.
Is located along the Persian Gulf, nestled between Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Kuwait became one of the richest countries in the world in just under 100 years thanks to the country’s oil exportation. Dozens of tourist attractions dotted about the country. Mosques and traditional architecture tucked among modern skyscrapers. While Kuwait City is an urban jungle, gorgeous beaches are found just around the corner. There is no shortage of art and culture.
One cannot visit Kuwait without seeing the Grand Mosque – largest in the country. The staggering yet beautiful piece of architecture was completed in the 1980s. Once inside, visitors will forget about the hustle and bustle of the city just outside the doors.
Climb the Kuwait Towers – 3 Slender towers stand along are among five other groups of water towers in the country. These are unique and an obvious tourist attraction for their exceptional architecture. Not only are the spherical shapes on two of the towers interesting to look at but they also give panoramic views of the city and the sea. Along with a viewing deck, there is a fine dining restaurant in one of the towers.
Skate the City Ice Rink – in the middle of the desert may seem like a strange choice, but it comes as a welcome relief as not only will tourists want to beat the heat but is a change of pace from the other sightseeing activities. The Rink is a major landmark for tourists and locals alike and a great way to add some sport and fun into the day.
Relax on Green Island – the only artificial island in the region off the coast of City’s promenade and is another popular landmark offering a retreat from city life and enjoy the soft, sandy beaches, kid-friendly attractions and, for those who want to get active, biking and walking trails are aplenty.
Visit National Museum and Planetarium – National museum is a great place to uncover the history and heritage of the country. Art buffs will enjoy the permanent art collections, archeological findings, etc. The planetarium is dedicated to space education and its dome structure boasts state of the art interactive storytelling.
Explore the House of Mirrors – An Italian artist and her late husband turned the entire house into a beautiful mosaic of looking glass. Both inside and out are covered from ceiling to floor.
Take a ferry to Failaka Island – located 20 km off the coast. Many settlements on Failaka can be traced back to 2000 B.C. and great civilizations such as the Mesopotamians, Babylonians, and ancient Greeks have passed through the territory, making the island the center of archeology. The Island boasts a range of enticing attractions such as a Heritage Village containing examples of 1950s Kuwaiti architecture, a museum palace which recreates life in Kuwait in the 1900s, and the Failaka Stables where visitors can see camels and Arabian horses.
Go diving around Kubbar Island – Located 29 km south of Failaka, this much smaller island is nearly a perfect circle, completely coated in sand, and home to various species of birds, including flamingos, which stop over on the island during their annual migration. The island is most famous for the spectacular coral reefs which surround the island, and is consequently a popular spot for scuba diving and other water sports.
Discover the Al Doha Village Entertainment City – 20 km north of the capital. Formerly a district known for fishing and traditional boat-building, the area is now home to Entertainment City, a theme park considered the equivalent of a Kuwaiti Disneyland. Entertainment City spans over 1 million square meters and boasts a range of attractions based around themes such as ‘The Arab World’, ‘The International World’, and ‘The Future World’. The park also features extensive exotic gardens, and also contains a functional Mosque and Roman Amphitheatre within the complex.
Oman’s history tells stories of heroism, courage, wisdom, patriotism, love and devotion to homeland. This brings us closer to understanding the richness of the Omani cultural experience which has contributed to the building of modern Oman. The Sultanate of Oman is a destination for all travelers who love outdoors. Set amidst the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea, the Middle East peninsula is known for its picturesque desert, historic forts, and spectacular mountain ranges. Oman’s coast is lined with many beaches, with resort hotels on the coast west and east of Muscat. Activities include sunbathing, swimming, kite-surfing, diving, snorkeling, boating, water scooters and fishing excursions. Muscat is a hub of entertainment and colourful night life. So, don’t wait any further, head to Oman to enjoy the nightclubs, operas, as well as wander through the streets of the city, admiring the beauty!
Some of the most important tourist attractions are:
Royal Opera House (one of a kind, with some of the most astonishing interior design features); Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque Large, contemporary mosque; Al Alam Palace – Sultan’s palace with a colorful gate; Bait Al Zubair Museum Cultural complex with Omani artifacts; The National Museum of Oman; Natural History Museum and Children’s Museum; Mutrah Souq Storied bazaar with diverse goods; Al Jalali Fort 16th-century Portuguese sea fort; Mutrah Corniche Waterfront retreat with paths & views; Al Mirani Fort Large, historic fort on the harbor; Qurum Beach & Natural Park, Wadi Kabir Park; Ghalya’s Museum of Modern Art; Avenues Mall Masjid;Dolphin Watching, etc.
Where cultural tradition meets modernity, sand meets the sea, where people come together to experience a unique heritage, culture, sports, business and family entertainment. Qatar is home to everything from neolithic rock carvings, modernist skyscrapers, world class museums, glistening malls, desert adventures, gentle Dugongs in its glittering waters and international sports venues. A British Protectorate from 1916, the modern state of Qatar was born in 1971. Qatar peninsula is characterised by flat and arid desertscape, hot summers, mild winters, scanty rainfall with a 563-km coastline jutting along the western coast of the Arabian Gulf sharing an 87 km land border with Saudi Arabia to the south. Bahrain, UAE and Iran are nearby.
Qatar allows visitors to reconnect with nature, offers a window to the past and a glimpse into the future, with endless tourist attractions and adventures for all ages. Must visit list includes – Unique architectural masterpieces of museums and galleries from across the Islamic world, UNESCO-listed Al Zubarah Fort, Mathaf Museum of Modern Art, Katara Cultural Village – home to galleries, theatres, and eateries. Luxury hotels and resorts with private beaches offer comfortable cabanas and childcare services. Unspoiled beaches dot the coastline, crystal clear waters make it ideal for sailing, water-skiing, canoeing, kite-surfing, jet-skiing, windsurfing, etc. Al Shaqab Equestrian Centre within Education City, home to some of the world’s best universities, Al Shahaniya racetrack to watch camel races with robot jockeys atop the camels. Wander through the alleys of Souq Waqif, where you can hold a falcon, settle in for some spiced karak tea, or buy souvenirs. Kayaking through the Al Thakira Mangroves located just north of the seaside city of Al Khor present a large expanse of natural greenery. Seasurfing aboard a traditional wooden Qatari Dhow Cruises (Mahmal) is a fantastic experience. Doha Festival City offers entertainment options for the entire family with over 400 international and local brands, more than 100 dining outlets, movie theatre, the world’s first Angry Birds World theme park, the winter themed Snow Dunes and the Middle East’s first dedicated e-gaming hub Virtuocity
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia comprises of 13 provinces, each one having its unique charm, occupies most of the Arabian peninsula and has coastlines on the Persian Gulf and Red Sea. Neighboring countries are Jordan to the north-west, Iraq and Kuwait to the north-east, Bahrain and Qatar to the east, the UAE to the south-east and Oman and Yemen to the south. The 2 Holy Muslim cities are Mecca and Medina.
This land of Bedouin hospitality, desert dunes and Red Sea beaches is largely unexplored by Westerners, but offers incredible experiences to adventurous travelers. The nation has recently become more welcoming of Western tourism.
Capital Riyadh is a modern city. The National Museum exhibits innumerable historical artefacts and Islamic literature. There are several shopping malls and some floors are exclusively for women. Spend late afternoons exploring the souks where you can find bargain antiques, Arabic rugs, spices and jewellery.
Head to the coast to explore Jeddah, bustling commercial port town, and stay in luxury oceanfront hotels. Walk along the Corniche, the beautiful waterfront stretch of fountains, statues and green parkland. Watch the sun set over the Red Sea. Take a daytrip to the cooler mountain region of Taif. Rose and fruit farms line the hills. Nature reserves are a haven for wildlife such as monkeys. Drive to the Turkish Fort where Lawrence of Arabia is said to have once fought. See the nearby rock carvings at the site of a pre-Islamic souk.
Saudi Arabia is home to unique natural offerings, such as Al-Ahsa oasis, the largest oasis in the world, comprising canals, springs and wells and is an example of human settlement dating back to Neolithic times. Stunning landscapes such as The Edge of the World (Jebel Fihrayn) – dramatic towering cliffs in the heart of the desert, northwest of Riyadh. Majestic views can be seen from Abha on the edge of the Sarawat Mountains in the Asir region and from Taif, also known as the City of Roses, in reference to the flowers that grow in its surrounding wadis and mountains.
The Red Sea Project, based around an archipelago of more than 90 islands, is undergoing sustainable development into a luxury destination, providing opportunities for nature lovers and outdoor adventurers to explore the area’s culture and nature. Adventure-seekers can find a range of outdoor activities, including hiking the Al Wahbah volcanic crater outside of Taif, quad biking through Riyadh’s red sand dunes, scuba diving in the crystal blue waters of the Red Sea and swimming amongst an ancient shipwreck.
Not only is the Kingdom home to ancient civilizations, but it also has a burgeoning contemporary art and food scene. The second largest city, Jeddah, takes pride in fostering up-and-coming experimental artists. Jeddah is also becoming known for its vibrant dining scene, which includes fresh seafood alongside numerous trendy food trucks.
The Greenland – Al-Bahah is one of those few Saudi Provinces whose landscapes break all the stereotypes of Saudi Arabia, which is often seen as an endless sand dunes desert. An adventure trip in Al-Bahah Province is all about enjoying the enchanting views, discovering the South-Arabian traditional arts and its heritage buildings.