Located on Qatar’s north-west coast and comprising the immaculately restored Al Zubarah Fort and surrounding 60-hectare archaeological works, this UNESCO World Heritage site is one of the most extensive and best preserved examples of an 18th–19th century settlement in the region.
xperience 14 centuries of great art in a few hours. The MIA’s magnificent and imaginatively presented displays of the finest art and artefacts from across the Islamic world have earned it recognition among the world’s top cultural institutions.
A stroll down the bustling alleys of Souq Waqif provides an authentic taste of traditional commerce, architecture and culture. The maze of small shops offer a dazzling array of Middle Eastern merchandise from spices and seasonal delicacies to perfumes, jewellery, clothing, handicrafts and a treasure trove of souvenir bargains.
Qasr Al Watan, the new cultural landmark in Abu Dhabi, opens its doors to the public in an invitation to discover the legacy of knowledge and tradition that have shaped the journey of the nation, boosting cultural understanding of the United Arab Emirates.
More than a traditional palace, Qasr Al Watan is an exquisitely crafted tribute to the Arabian heritage and artistry, and its architecture and design echo the significance of the exhibits housed within its halls and the function of its most iconic rooms.
Qasr Al Watan invites visitors to learn about the country’s governing traditions and values, and explore a well-preserved legacy of knowledge, thus boosting cultural understanding of the UAE.
A dramatic architectural statement, this five-tower complex invites residents and visitors to live, work, stay, shop and dine in one destination with panoramic city and Arabian Gulf views.
A benchmark for luxury experiences, the complex includes three residential towers and the 280 metres high, five-star Jumeirah at Etihad Towers hotel.
On Tower 2’s 74th floor, the Observation Deck at 300 offers unbeatable cityscape and island views.
The Avenue at Etihad Towers is one of the world’s most expensive and exclusive collections of boutique shops, with many having luxurious private rooms for private, VIP shopping.
Qasr Al Hosn is the oldest and most significant building in Abu Dhabi, holding the city’s first permanent structure; the watchtower. Built around the 1790’s, the commanding structure overlooked the coastal trade routes and protected the growing settlement established on the island.
Qasr Al Hosn comprises of two major iconic buildings: the Inner Fort (originally constructed in 1795) and the Outer Palace (1939-45). Over the centuries, it has been home to the ruling family, the seat of government, a consultative council and a national archive; it now stands as the nation’s living memorial and the narrator of Abu Dhabi’s history.
Transformed into a museum in 2018 following more than eleven years of intensive conservation and restoration work, Qasr Al Hosn is a national monument that encapsulates the development of Abu Dhabi from a settlement reliant on fishing and pearling in the 18th century, to a modern, global metropolis, with displays of artefacts and archival materials dating back to as far as 6000 BC.
The iconic Louvre Abu Dhabi is the first universal museum in the Arab World that translates the spirit of openness of cultures. As one of the premier cultural institutions located in the heart of the Saadiyat Cultural District, the art-lovers dream displays the works of historical, cultural and sociological significance from ancient times to the contemporary era. Designed by Pritzker-prize winning architect Jean Nouvel, the Louvre Abu Dhabi encompasses 9,200 sq. m of galleries including the Permanent Gallery and a Temporary Gallery that is enriched by loans from many notable French museums including Musee du Louvre, Musee d'Orsay, and Centre Pompidou.
Recreating parts of UAE’s integral cultural elements, Nouvel designed a falaj-inspired water system running through the museum, inspired by ancient Arabian engineering whilst the orderly lace dome borrows inspiration from the interlaced palm leaves traditionally used as roofing material in many parts of the country that results in an enchanting play of light. The juxtaposition of different civilizations in the same spaces, the Louvre Abu Dhabi illustrates similarities and exchanges from the shared human experience going beyond geography, nationality, and history.
With pristine white sands stretching along its shore, Saadiyat Beach has maintained a reputation as one of the most desirable beach locations in the UAE. From beach yoga classes to eco-friendly water sports activities such as windsurfing and sailing, guests can make the most out of their beach experience with the help of the attentive staff and the many leisure outlets.
In order to achieve this delicate balance between world-class modern resorts and serene natural beauty, the local authorities in Saadiyat Beach are dedicated to preserving the natural environment with a dune protection zone with restrictions on development while access to the beach made possible via a wooden boardwalk. As a result, the area is rich with native wildlife including the Hawksbill Turtles that use the beach as their nesting ground. Hatching sites are protected by strict environmental measures and are patrolled by trained personnel who continually monitor the reproduction of the turtles.
Drive down Khaleej Al Arabi Street and you will see a modern-day challenger to the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Capital Gate, developed by Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company, has been certified as the ‘World’s Furthest Leaning Man Made Tower,’ by the Guinness World Records.
It leans 18 degrees westwards - more than four times that of Pisa’s famous Leaning Tower. The 160 metre (524.9 ft), 35 storey tower is a postcard image of Abu Dhabi and makes a great holiday snap.
On Sir Bani Yas Island, the Arabian Wildlife Park is home to more than 10,000 free roaming animals and takes up more than half of the island. Visitors can now get up close and personal, at eye-level, with the island’s giraffes from a purpose-built viewing platform made completely from recycled materials.
Or you can take 4x4 Nature & Wildlife Drives of the park in specially made vehicles accompanied by expert staff. Alternatively, you can book a three-hour tour - there are many Arabian Oryx, gazelles and giraffes, along with hyenas and cheetahs.
Jubail Mangrove Park is the first self-contained educational, nature and leisure destination of its kind in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Visit and explore a haven for avian and marine species native to Abu Dhabi at this serene mangrove sanctuary.
The Park aims to enhance the awareness, appreciation and understanding of the important ecological function of the mangrove habitats that include protection of the Abu Dhabi Coastline and supporting biodiversity.
A meandering boardwalk will take you through the mangroves and allow you to discover Abu Dhabi in its true essence.
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque stands out as one of the world’s largest mosques, and the only one that captures unique interactions between Islam and world cultures. Sheikh Zayed's vision for the Grand Mosque was to incorporate architectural styles from different Muslim civilizations and celebrate cultural diversity by creating a haven that is truly diverse and inspirational in its foundation. The mosque’s architects were British, Italian and Emirati, and design inspiration was borrowed parts of Turkey, Morocco, Pakistan, and Egypt among other Islamic countries, revealing a glistening architectural marvel with an astonishing capacity of 40,000 worshippers and visitors.
The open-door policy invites tourists and celebrants from all around the world who can witness the spectacular onion-top domes, the reflective pools that engulf the courtyard and the iconic prayer hall, which not only overflows with blissful sunlight but also houses the world’s biggest chandelier and carpet, both meticulously handmade. Be sure to spot the calligraphy encircling the hollows of the domes, etched with verses from the Quran and painted with gold leaves in An-Naskh lettering.
One of the world’s biggest, fully air-conditioned indoor theme parks, Warner Bros. World™ Abu Dhabi brings together all legendary characters from the studio under one roof. From Superman to Batman and Wonder Woman to beloved cartoon stars like Bugs Bunny, Scooby-Doo, and Fred Flintstone, all and more are housed within the 1.65 million sq. ft. theme park with 29 state-of-the-art rides, interactive family-friendly attractions, unique live entertainment, multiple dining options, and exclusive shopping outlets.
The magical experience starts as soon as visitors step into the Warner Bros. shield and are transported to different worlds of action, adventure and eccentricity through the park’s six immersive lands. Each portal, with its scenic backdrops and authentically themed restaurants, is exactly how you imagined these enchanting Warner Bros. Worlds would be.
This futuristic waterpark spans across an area as big as 15 football pitches, with 43 rides, slides, and attractions – five of which are one-of-a-kind. Visitors at Yas Waterworld can experience the world’s first and largest hydro-magnetic-powered, six-person tornado waterslide that extends up to 235 meters in length. For adrenaline junkies, there are three-meter-high waves on Bubble’s Barrel, which has the world’s largest surf sheet wave for flow-boards and body-boards. The Bandit Bomber, a 550– meter coaster, is the first with onboard water and laser effects. Riders can shoot jets of water at targets, drop water bombs and trigger special effects, while people below can spray them with water as they pass.
Sitting atop Jebel Dana, the towering core of the park’s altitude-defying summit and measuring eight meters in diameter, the park’s gigantic pearl is Yas Island’s newest landmark. The park draws on Abu Dhabi’s heritage with “the lost pearl” theme that follows the story of a young Emirati girl on a quest to find a legendary pearl as they make their way around the attractions, which include a souk and pearl-diving exhibits.
With over 1700 animals, including a majestic pair of white tigers, a 31-year-old, 300kg-plus Siberian bear, lions, cheetahs and dozens of zebras housed in the zoo’s ‘Predators’ and ‘Wild Animals’ enclosures, the Emirates Park Zoo in Al Bahia, a north-east suburb of the UAE capital features a park-wide ‘misting system’ which keeps animals and patrons cool in the summer months.
Lights, camera action: Hollywood comes to life at Motiongate Dubai, located in Dubai Parks and Resorts. This thrilling theme park features epic rides and attractions based on some of the most memorable and successful movie franchises of recent years.
Meet your favourite characters in real life and grab a photo to take home. Expect to see a few Hollywood favourites at Motiongate Dubai, including favourites from Ghostbusters, Kung Fu Panda, The Hunger Games, The Smurfs, Shrek and Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs.
Strap in for a ride on some adrenaline-pumping rollercoasters such as The Green Hornet’s High-Speed Chase and the Madagascar Mad Pursuit, or drop-down vertically in the high-speed Zombieland Blast-Off.
For an in-depth experience, explore one of the top attractions in Dubai with the Backlot Tour. You can see how these amazing movies grow from a simple idea, all the way to becoming a blockbuster motion picture.
Or, check out a show at the Kung Fu Panda Academy or Operation Penguin Shake. Every day you’ll find a great schedule of entertainment, and some may invite you to take part on the stage.
The magic of India’s prolific film industry can be experienced in Dubai at the world’s first Bollywood-inspired theme park. Bollywood Parks Dubai recreates the charm of old-school Mumbai and brings to life some of the industry’s top blockbusters. Located in Dubai Parks and Resorts, get ready for a whole lot of thrills, exciting family entertainment and plenty of surprises along the way.
Palm Island Dubai (Jumeirah Palm Island) is one of the most ambitious real-estate developments on earth, heralded as the 8th wonder of the world as it can be seen from space. It is one of three islands called the Palm Islands (Palm Jumeirah, Palm Jebel Ali and Palm Deira) which extend into the Persian Gulf. Jumeirah Palm island features themed hotels, villas, apartment buildings, beaches, marinas, restaurants, and a variety of retail outlets. The most popular feature being 5 star aqua themed hotel Atlantis.
The best way to visit Palm Jumeirah is to take a taxi to the Palm Gateway Monorail Station, at the base of the Palm, and then the Monorail up to the the top, where most of the attractions are (Atlantis hotel, Aquaventure Waterpark, The Lost Chambers Aquarium... ). This way you can enjoy the view of the Palm from the elevated train.
Dubai Marina offers plenty of entertainment for families, friends and couples.
This impressive outdoor entertainment development launched in 2014 directly opposite JBR's The Walk and it's been a hive of activity ever since. Its modern, low-rise design elevates the enviable beachside location and there are now more than 70 shopping and dining options.
One of Dubai’s most famous tourist landmarks, the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah often stands among the top five – if not the absolute peak – of the world’s most iconic hotels.
Since its opening in late 1999, the hotel with its distinctive sail-shaped silhouette, has thrust Dubai onto the global luxury tourism landscape. Built on a triangular man-made island reclaimed from the sea, the hotel and its billowing sail-like structure rise 321 metres above the sea, offering panoramic views of the Arabian Gulf.
Managed by Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts, Burj Al Arab takes accepted standards of luxury to a new level. Guests have access to service on par with royalty and fine dining alike. Gold interiors, lush suites, the finest delicacies – Burj Al Arab’s long list of superlatives cannot be matched.
Ski Dubai is the first indoor ski resort in the Middle East and offers an amazing snow setting to enjoy skiing, snowboarding and tobogganing or just playing in the snow. Young or old, there is something for everyone, from the beginner to the snow sport enthusiast.
Also come and meet the incredible Ski Dubai Snow Penguins! Say hello to the cute colony of Gentoo and King Penguins who call Ski Dubai home. Enjoy a rare and personal encounter with these wonderful creatures by booking one of our amazing Snow Penguin packages. Meeting our Snow Penguins is one of the top things to do in Dubai. This is definitely one experience you will treasure forever!
Beachgoers, kitesurfers and spectators unite at the popular and well-named Kite Beach.
If you’re serious about your watersports and wish to test your skills on one of the best free beaches in Dubai, Kite Beach has the challenge you seek.
Located steps from Jumeirah’s main street, you’ll find high quality watersports equipment available along the sand, with kitesurfing, wakeboarding and stand-up paddleboarding gear all ready to go. Head down in the afternoon, as this is when the wind picks up and presents some better conditions.
Discover the Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest building, a global icon and a feat of engineering.
Truly a marvel of not just engineering but also imagination and design, the 828m Burj Khalifa has drawn visitors from all over the world since its opening in 2010. This magnificent building is the conceptual heart and soul of the city of Dubai – inspiring the viewer to imagine new possibilities.
Inspired by an abstraction of the Hymenocallis flower, the towering structure is essentially three sections arranged around a central core. Viewed from above, it is consistent with the onion-dome design frequently found across a variety of Islamic architecture, albeit on a much smaller scale.
The Burj Khalifa boasts not one but two observations decks – the two-storey At the Top on the 124th and 125th floors, as well as the world’s highest observation deck (555m) on the 148th floor.
Witness the tallest performing fountain in the world during your visit to Downtown Dubai. The Dubai Fountain offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to immerse yourself in a captivating water, music and light experience.
Submerged within the 30-acre Burj Lake, at the foot of The Dubai Mall, powerful water jets are laid out strategically over an area equal to the size of two football pitches. The fountain jets up to 22,000 gallons of water as high as 140m in the air at any one time.
Want to explore one of the largest and most stunning aquariums in the world? Don’t miss the giant 10 million-litre tank at the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, which contains more than 33,000 aquatic animals and the largest collection of sand tiger sharks anywhere.
Rising to the third floor of The Dubai Mall, the aquarium is home to 140 species of sea life and offers many incredible ways to experience the underwater world.
Stroll through a 48m tunnel, with the aquarium enveloping you from overhead and around. It’s a complete fish-eye view, with sand tiger sharks and stingrays swimming overhead. You can also go snorkelling or don an oxygen tank to go swimming with the sharks.
Shopaholics will rejoice at The Dubai Mall - the world’s largest destination for shopping, entertainment and leisure located next to the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.
Located in the heart of the prestigious Downtown Dubai is The Dubai Mall, the world’s largest and most-visited retail and entertainment destination, which welcomes more than 80 million visitors annually. With a total internal floor area of 5.9 million sq ft, The Dubai Mall has 3.77 million sq ft of gross leasable space, over 1,300 retail outlets including two anchor department stores – Galeries Lafayette and Bloomingdale’s – and over 200 food and beverage outlets.
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As the name suggests, Creek Park sits right on the edge of Dubai Creek – making it really stand out from the other green spaces in the city.
It’s also the second largest park in Dubai, featuring vast acres of lawns, botanical gardens and children’s play areas. Although this retreat is in the centre of the city, you can enjoy sprawling lawns and endless views of the creek.
Stroll along the paved promenade, watch the dhows bobbing in the water, or enjoy a show at the theatre. You can even explore the park by renting a bike for just a few dirhams.
Popular with picnickers, there are plenty of barbecue spots spread across – just one of the many free facilities you can enjoy at the park. Families will especially appreciate the mini golf, a go-kart track and numerous playgrounds designed to keep the little ones happy.
Al Mamzar Beach Park is another one of Dubai’s hidden gems that's well frequented by residents. The park covers an enormous 106 hectares, adjacent to Mamzar beach near Hamriya Port and Deira. Five separate beaches make up the Mamzar beach area, all surrounding the park. The huge space is packed with family-friendly facilities and entertainment to keep kids of all ages satisfied.
Take advantage of more than two-dozen public barbecues, grassy picnic areas, changing rooms, beaches and pools. They’re also monitored by lifeguards with kid-friendly swimming areas.
Park yourself by the lagoon, or if you’d like to check out the park in its entirety, hop onboard the Park Train. This takes you around the whole area – another great way to entertain the kids. The park is also equipped with a musical amphitheatre which hosts performances from time to time.
Whether you stay just for a few hours or the whole day, you’ll have a great time at Al Mamzar Beach Park. It’s only a short drive past Dubai Creek – perfect for a picnic or family day out.
The Sharjah Maritime Museum was first opened in the Heritage Area in early 2003 to highlight the maritime life of the UAE. However, due to the importance of the sea and its significance in the region’s heritage, the museum was expanded and relocated in Al Khan in 2009.
Sharjah Aquarium features 20 tanks that recreate different local aquatic environments, from coral reefs and rock pools to lagoons and mangroves. An indoor walkway allows up-close viewing of the marine animals in these habitats.
For a family experience, try timing your visit with a scheduled fish feeding time or talk. Children will be delighted to learn more about the sea creatures and play on the interactive displays. The aquarium should be on the top of any list of things to with kids in Sharjah, especially for children’s edutainment. Families in Sharjah often bring kids here to learn about local marine life.
If you’re planning the aquarium as one of your places to visit in Sharjah at night, make sure to catch the sunset at the beautiful Al Khan beach first. The views here are as beautiful but distinctively different from the Sharjah Corniche. Then, take a quick tour of the aquarium before it closes in the late evening. Your ticket includes entry to the Sharjah Maritime Museum next door, where you can learn about the coast in more detail than any other Sharjah museum. After visiting these destinations, you will have checked off three popular Sharjah tourist places.
The Sahara Centre is home to Adventureland, an indoor theme park with more than 20 rides and attractions, plus go-karts and a huge soft play area. There is also a six-screen cinema showing all the latest Hollywood and Bollywood films.
Sahara Centre offers some of the best shopping in Sharjah, with 350 stores stocking both local and international brands, along with a food court and more than 20 cafés and restaurants.
Over 500 butterflies live on Al Noor Island in the Butterfly House, one of the most popular tourist places in Sharjah. The Butterfly House itself is a feat of modern architecture, with the outdoor structure made of perforated steel and ergonomic design to let in sunlight. With temperature and humidity controlled interiors, the structure houses over 20 different species of butterflies, including the exotic Tailed Jay, Emerald Swallowtail, Pink Rose and Malachite. The house also has comprehensive information on the region’s native species. This destination has many fun things to do with kids in Sharjah, with a dedicated children’s area and an array of butterflies in different shapes, colours and sizes. Trying to spot camouflaged butterflies and watching newborns take flight is arguably among Sharjah’s most exciting summer activities for kids.
To reach the Butterfly House, take the bridge to the island, which is just right across the water from the Al Noor Mosque; among the most striking Sharjah landmarks. Tour the displays of thought-provoking contemporary art and sculpture pieces. Then follow the boardwalk through a tropical botanical garden, one of the popular parks in Sharjah, and you’ll find the Butterfly House. It is hard to miss with the uniquely shaped steel glistening in the sunlight. End the day with a meal and drink at the organic cafe and find the perfect souvenir to take home.
Set in a restored 18th-century pearl merchant’s house, Sharjah Heritage Museum explores all aspects of Emirati culture, from religious traditions to living in the desert. There are six galleries covering the landscape, lifestyle, celebrations, livelihoods, traditional knowledge and oral traditions of the emirate.
The museum presents plenty of interesting objects, including an aftakh – a golden toe ring worn by Bedouin women – with explanations in English and Arabic. Younger visitors will enjoy the engaging folk tales, proverbs and puzzles.
Inaugurated in 2005, Al Noor Mosque was built at orders from Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, spouse of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.