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Home UAE Must Visit Places in UAE: Perfect Guide for First Time Visitors

Must Visit Places in UAE: Perfect Guide for First Time Visitors

by travellingsands

Must visit places in UAE

The UAE or the United Arab Emirates is made of seven Emirate cities. While the world knows only about the most popular city of Dubai, the UAE is more than just this most glamorous emirate.

The capital city of Abu Dhabi, the cultural capital of Sharjah, and the smaller Emirates of Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain and Ajman have beautiful treasures that make up for the splendor of the UAE. If you are visiting the UAE for the first time, do not limit your holiday to Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

On the other hand, get ready for an amazing journey that would take you to all the beautiful places of the nation. Let us look at some of the must-visit places in the UAE.

must visit places in uae

 

1. Burj Khalifa

It makes perfect sense to start the list with the most iconic building that the entire UAE is proud of. We are talking about the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, which adorns the skyline of Dubai. It is  828 meters tall and is home to a wide spectrum of luxury hotels, fine dining restaurants, corporate offices and residential houses.

The best and the cheapest way to enter the building is to pay a visit to the observation deck on its 124th or 148th floor. The journey up in the fastest elevator is exciting, while the view of the city from the observation deck is incredible.

You also get to visit the museum in the gallery that shows the development of the building and the city through photos and videos.

Timings: 8:30 AM to 11 PM

burj khalifa

How to Reach:

While you can take a cab to reach BurjKhalifa, the fastest way is to take a metro. Get down at BurjKhalifa Metro Station and take a bus to Dubai Mall Bus Stop,

Best For Sightseeing and taking pictures of the city

Entry Fee: AED 146 to AED 530 (USD 41 Onwards)* Book Online

*The entry fee depends on the floor you choose as well as the time slot

Tips for Travellers

  • The best time to visit the observation deck is during sunset when you get to see the city during daylight as well as at night.
  • Book your tickets online to get good deals and also to save time from waiting in the queue.

 

2. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

The most significant cultural attraction of Abu Dhabi is the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. This magnificent structure is the largest mosque in the UAE and can accommodate 40,000 worshippers at a time.

An embodiment of modern Islamic architecture, the structure has traditional elements too. While the gleaming white marble structure would mesmerize you, its intricate designs, the gold panels and the crystal chandeliers would definitely blow your mind.

The opulence of the place is something you should see to believe and hence is a place that you must visit when in Abu Dhabi.

Timings: 9 AM to 10 PM (Saturday to Thursday) and 4:30 PM to 10 PM (Friday)

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

How to Reach:

You can reach the Grand Mosque by cab or bus. The bus lines that stop near the mosque include 32, 34, 44 and 54.

Best For: Worshiping and sightseeing

Entry Fee: Free

Tips for Travellers

  • Most women would be asked to wear an abaya before entering the mosque. Abayas can be rented for free at the entrance. Men who are wearing clothes that show their arms and knees would also be asked to wear a kandoura available at the entrance.
  • The best time to visit the mosque is during sunset when the place is lit by a golden glow that makes it look magical.

3. Ferrari World

Another stop that you should make in Dubai is the Ferrari World, a theme park based on Formula One racing. Located on Yas Island, The Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is home to some of the fastest and craziest rides like Fiorano GT Challenge, G-Force, Carousel, etc.

The highlight and the pride of the theme park is Formula Rossa. It runs at a speed of 240 km/hour and is the fastest roller coaster in the world. Apart from this, you can also make your dream of driving an F1 racing car comes true here.

There is also a retail store at the entrance, where you can buy souvenirs and gifts related to F1 racing.

Timings: 11 AM to 8 PM

ferrari world

How to Reach:

You can take a cab from Abu Dhabi city and reach Ferrari World in 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can also opt for free shuttle bus from Saadiyat Island.

Best For Adventure enthusiasts and F1 racing fans

Entry Fee: AED 295 Book Online

Tips for Travellers

  • Book your Ferrari World tickets online so that you would not have to wait in queue at the entrance. You are likely to get discounts and deals while booking online.
  • The best time to visit Ferrari World is from April to September, especially during the weekends, when the crowds are less.

 

4. Jebel Jais

Located in the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, Jebel Jais is the highest mountain of the country. Standing at a height of 1910 meters, the peak of Jebel Jais offers majestic views of the surrounding mountains and the sea. It is the perfect place to go on a road trip as the winding roads to the top are thrilling.

If you want to take your adventure a notch higher, you can opt for Zip lining as it has the longest Zipline in the world. Other than all these, Jebel Jais is a great place for picnicking, trekking, camping, barbecuing, etc.

Timings: 24×7

jebel jais

How to Reach:

You can drive to Jebel Jais in your own car or a rented one. There is also a shuttle service that takes tourists from Ras Al Khaimah City Centre and the Al Marjan Island Area to the deck park at Jebel Jais.

Best For: Trekkers and adventure enthusiasts

Entry Fee: Free (you would have to pay for ziplining)

Tips for Travellers

  • If you are planning to stay after sunset, do not forget to take warm clothes as the climate can become chillier in the evening.
  • Carry plenty of snacks and refreshments, as there is a dearth of shops at the top.

 

5. Sharjah Art Museum

The Sharjah Art Museum houses contemporary and modern works of Arab artists and European artists who have depicted the Arab world. Apart from the permanent exhibitions, the museum hosts several temporary exhibitions from time to time.

Some of the exhibitions that you must check out here include Islamic Arts Festival, Sharjah Biennia, Children’s Art Biennial, Oriental Collection and Emirates Fine Arts Society Annual Exhibition.

Timings: 8 AM to 8 PM (Saturday to Thursday) and 4 PM to 8 PM (Friday)

 

sharjah art museum

 

How to Reach:

You can take a bus from Ajman and Abu Dhabi and get down at the bus stop near Sharjah Art Museum.

Best For: Art lovers

Entry Fee: Free

Tips for Travellers

  • You can request for free guided tours at the reception. Guided tours are available in both Arabic and English.
  • There is a library, cafe and gift shop at the museum.

 

6. Old Dubai

While Dubai is known for its remarkable skyscrapers and opulent malls, the old part of the city is often overlooked. However, if you love to know about history and culture, this is the place to be. Known as the Al Fahidi Neighbourhood, Old Dubai has two main attractions: the Bastakiya Quarter and the Dubai Museum.

The Bastakiya Quarter is home to traditional buildings with wind towers built by Persian merchants. Many of them have been turned into boutique hotels, quaint cafes and art galleries. On the other hand, the Dubai Museum is housed inside the Al Fahidi Fort and takes you back to the time when Dubai was a fishing village.

bastakiya quarter old dubai

Timings

  • Bastakiya Quarter: 9 AM to 6 PM
  • Dubai Museum: 8:30 AM to 8:30 PM (Saturday to Thursday) and 2:30 PM to 8:30 PM (Friday)

How to Reach:

If you are taking the metro, the closest station would be Al Fahidi. The best way to explore the old city is by foot.

Best For History and art lovers

Entry Fee

  • Bastakiya Quarter: Free
  • Dubai Museum: AED 3 (adults) and AED 1 (children)

Tips for Travellers

  • You can opt for guided tours through the SMCCU (Sheikh Mohammed Centre of Cultural Understanding).
  • It is important to dress modestly during your visit to Old Dubai, as a respect to the culture, traditions and beliefs of the locals.

 

7. Dubai Mall

The world’s largest mall is more than its 1200 retail stores. In fact, it is packed with several entertainment zones and activities that you can spend an entire day here. While shopping here is amazing, do not forget to visit the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, where you get to see a variety of marine animals including stingrays, sharks, otters, cobra, penguins, etc.

Other than this, the mall has an ice rink, entertaining gaming zone, a multiplex theatre and a huge food court where you can get the taste of all types of cuisines. You must also check out the marvelous Dubai Fountain Show, right outside the mall, every evening from 7 PM.

Timings: 10 AM to 12 AM

dubai mall

How to Reach:

Get down at the Dubai Mall Metro Station. There is a covered walkway that connects the mall to the station.

Best For: Everyone

Entry Fee: Free

Tips for Travellers

  • You would have to walk a lot while visiting Dubai Mall and hence make sure to wear sturdy and comfortable shoes.
  • Plan your visit well so you know exactly what you want to do and where you want to shop.

 

8. Desert Safari

Wherever you go in the UAE, one thing you would not be able to ignore is the desert. Just a few decades ago, the UAE was merely a desert land and followed the Bedouin culture. Although the UAE’s tribes rarely stay in the desert these days, you can still enjoy their culture through desert safari.

The most popular desert safaris are available in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Desert safaris offer a whole lot of fun with adventurous activities, entertainment programs and delicious food. A highlight of the entire evening is the dune bashing that is done in a 4×4 vehicle.

Belly dance and Tanura dance performances are also awe-inspiring. You also get to enjoy a scrumptious BBQ dinner at the end.

Timings: 3:30 PM to 9:30 PM

desert safari

How to Reach:

Most desert safari tour packages include transportation to and from your hotel

Best For: Everyone

Entry Fee: Starts at AED 280 Book Here with 35% discount

Tips for Travellers

  • Wear sunscreen as well as a hat to protect you from the harsh effects of the sun.
  • Do not forget to carry a light jacket or shawl as the temperature can dip after sunset and the surroundings can become chillier.

 

9. Al Badiyah Mosque

While the new mosques of the UAE (like the Grand Mosque of Abu Dhabi and the Jumeirah Mosque of Dubai) are known for its magnificence, Al Badiyah, the oldest mosque in the UAE, is starkly different.

Located in Fujairah, this modest mosque is made of mud and stone and has unique ventilation shafts too. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is believed to have been built in the 15th century and has an old-world charm to it.

The area around the mosque is an archaeological site, where several metal and pottery artifacts have been excavated over the years. The Al Badiyah Mosque is still used for worship and is a popular tourist spot as well.

Timings: 9 AM to 5 PM

al badiyah mosque

How to Reach:

The best way to reach the mosque is take a cab or a private vehicle from Fujairah City. It would take around 20 minutes to reach the mosque from the city.

Best For: Lovers of history and old architecture

Entry Fee: Free

Tips for Travellers

  • You do not have to worry about the clothes you are wearing as you would be able to rent traditional clothes for free at the entrance of the mosque.
  • You would have to trek a bit after alighting from the vehicle towards the mosque.

 

10. Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization

The UAE is a Muslim country and you would find it deeply rooted in the way of life of the people, wherever you go. If you want to know about the religion and its development, the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization is the place you must visit.

At this museum, you get to learn about the growth of Islam (not just in the UAE) from the earliest of times. You also get to check out some rare Islamic documents and manuscripts at this museum. With so many exhibits, the museum is surely insightful.

Timings: 8 AM to 8 PM (Saturday to Thursday) and 4 AM to 4 PM (Friday)

sharjah museum of islamic civilization

How to Reach:

You can take a cab or a bus to reach Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization

Best For Historians, knowledge seekers and students

Entry Fee

  • Adults (13 and above): AED 10
  • Children (2-12): AED 5
  • Children (below 2), senior citizens and disabled people: Free

Tips for Travellers

  • Audio guide is available at the museum. A pre-recorded voice-over would provide information on the different exhibits of the museum.
  • Make sure that children follow the rules, regulations and decorum of the museum during the visit.

 

Best Time to Visit these places of UAE

The winter season is the best time to visit the country. Winter falls between November and April when the climate becomes pleasant. It is also during this time that Dubai hosts special events and festivals. However, it would be pretty crowded and expensive to travel to Dubai during this time.

If you are looking for a budget holiday, the summer months would be the best, although the heat during the daytime can be unmanageable. Still, you can explore the indoor places during the day during summers.

 

Essentials to Carry when visiting  Places in UAE

Here are the important things to carry while visiting the UAE:

  • You need to have a valid passport and visa to enter the country of UAE. Make sure you have your passport with you even while sightseeing.
  • When it comes to clothes, pack comfortable, cotton clothes. As it is a conservative country, make sure your clothes cover your knees, arms and cleavage, especially when you are traveling outside Dubai.
  • It would be useful to carry a jacket or shawl to cover yourself up when visiting religious or cultural spots as well as for protecting yourself from the cold of the air-conditioner (most places are fully air-conditioned).
  • You have to pack your sunglasses, a good sunscreen and a hat while visiting the UAE.
  • Carry a reusable water bottle so that you can keep yourself hydrated during you are sightseeing.
  • If you are planning to visit a beach or the pool area in your hotel, you must carry swimwear. Make sure you cover yourself while traveling to the beach and back.

Apart from the above-mentioned places, souks and beaches are also great places to visit in the UAE. In short, there are plenty of places to see and things to do in the city that would make your holiday interesting as well as memorable.

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