The United Arab Emirates
Dubai and Abu Dhabi: The Two Must-see Destinations in the Middle East
The UAE’s capital city Abu Dhabi and the magnificent city Dubai are one of the world’s main attractions. These are cities where many tourists come to enjoy the sightseeing of the tallest building of the world, Burj Khalifa, and the tremendous shopping malls with mammoth aquariums and indoor ski slopes every year. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are mainly known for their skyscrapers and lavish lifestyle. They are home to some of the best spectacular hotels, mouthwatering cuisines, and well-connected airlines. So, visiting these cities is just like getting a glimpse of the future.
If you are curious to know more about Dubai and Abu Dhabi, it’s better to plan a trip to Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Get an authentic experience over here and tell your loved ones how you enjoyed your trip.
What to Know Before Going
Everything you might’ve read online about what women should wear essentially says that conservative is key. Be prepared not to go anywhere in public unless your shoulders and knees are completely covered. That means no midriffs, cutoff shorts, short skirts or dresses, off-the-shoulder shirts or tank tops, and certainly no cleavage. However, in reality no one really abides by these culturally sensitive rules anymore. I found that everywhere we went, these rules were blatantly ignored.
Emirates, of course! Arguably the best airline in the world, Emirates offers high end luxury from the top down. Your economy seat will feel like a first class seat on Norwegian or one of the other budget airlines, and if you’re lucky enough to snag a business or first class seat on points (of if you’re willing to drop the $30k+ to purchase a seat outright), then you surely know what I am talking about. To read all about my experience on my 16 hour flight from Los Angeles to Dubai on Emirates in business class, click here.
The best thing about this region is the smooth connectivity with different parts of the world. The airports of Dubai and Abu Dhabi are well-connected to every corner of the world, so you need not worry about how to reach here. If you have planned to fly Dubai first, you can book for the flight which can take you to Dubai international airport, located 21 kilometers from the center of Dubai. And, if you want to visit Abu Dhabi, you need to take a flight to Bateen airport which is 16 kilometers from the center. A trip to these cities will be more fun and memorable if you make your plans for the months between November and March because this is the time when you won’t be experiencing hot temperatures. If you take a flight from New York to the UAE, the travel time will be around 14 hours 50 minutes.
Use the Skyscanner link above to find the best flights to the UAE.
Where to Stay
Abu Dhabi and Dubai have welcoming places to stay in; their luxurious hotels will provide you a home-like feeling. Booking an opulent room in the hotels like Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi, The Atlantis Dubai or the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai will give you a world-class experience. You may get a magnificent view of these enchanting cities from these hotels.
The Ritz-Carlton is nestled in an attractive and mesmerizing landscape and has a private beach overlooking the Grand Canal. It is inspired by Renaissance architecture, and its rooms have a beautiful view of the pool and gardens, which is quite relaxing. It is set against the backdrop of the Grand Mosque and is just over six miles from the airport.
If you are looking for a luxury destination resort or hotel in Dubai, The Atlantis is the right choice for you because it is located at the apex of the beautiful Palm Jumeirah Island in Dubai. This 5-star Atlantis offers gorgeous views of the Arabian Gulf and also, provides an underwater aquarium, swimming with dolphins’ opportunities which you may have never imagined.
If you want to stay in luxury and style in Dubai - a city of awe-inspiring ambition, nothing can be better than staying in JW Marriott, the world’s tallest hotel. It is located between the Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates. This 5-star hotel welcomes guests with modern luxury and award-winning services. It offers a wide spectrum of facilities and amenities to the most discerning travelers.
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Abu Dhabi and Dubai are the cities where you will get a combination of Iranian, Lebanese, and Arabic food. If you are a food-lover like me, you should try the delicious Emirati cuisine to make your day. Many restaurants of these cities are inspired by the Asian and the Middle Eastern cuisine. And, if you are in dilemma of what to eat in Dubai, besides going to the expensive restaurants, you can try street food such as samboosa, lugaimat, chips Oman roll, etc.
The street food is usually preferred by travelers, and is affordable. The famous Shawarma is a great option for you, which is delicious and inexpensive in Dubai. You should definitely try it if you love fast food. You can also try Emirati food because it is unique in taste. The traditional Emirati cuisine is made from the flesh of camels and goats, and also from fishes found in the Arabian Sea. These meals constitute complex carbohydrates to provide energy to the travelers.
Dubai is also known for having some of the most exquisite fine dining restaurants. World-renowned chefs are opening up restaurants in Dubai right and left, and the options are aplenty. Foodies can dine at well-known establishments like Al Mahara by Nathan Outlaw, Nobu, Beefbar, Eataly, Katsuya and Hakkasan. Be sure to make a reservation though—most of these eateries book up several months in advance.
Need a hotel? Try Skyscanner to find the best deals on flights, hotels and car rentals.
What to Do
There are several activities to do in Dubai including desert safari, camel racing, scuba diving, shopping, and sightseeing. For sightseeing, you should include in your list the very famous Burj Khalifa, Qasr al-Husn palace, and the Al Maqtaa Fort. They are monuments that will provide you enchanting views. When we talk about shopping, no doubt, Dubai and Abu Dhabi are hot destinations. The most popular Dubai Mall is the icon of Dubai. Here, you can shop till you drop! So, if you are a shopaholic, you should definitely visit this mall for a great shopping experience. The other fun activities that you cannot quit are desert safari, camel racing, and scuba diving.
In Abu Dhabi, you cannot miss the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. In fact, my suggestion if you are thinking of only spending time in Dubai is to add the hour long drive to Abu Dhabi just to see the mosque. It is truly one of the most breathtaking places I have ever been.
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