United Arab Emirates
A firm favourite at Revere Travel, the UAE is a fascinating country of contrasting elements, from the glamour and exuberance of the cities to the wide-open desert. Wonderfully located, the UAE is more than just a perfect stopover destination; it has a lot to offer travellers regardless of their length of stay.
As the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi is a modern metropolis, home to a diversity of cultures. Known as the ‘Garden City of the Gulf’ with its green boulevards, beautiful gardens and parks, Abu Dhabi provides something for everyone. For the shopper it boasts a wide range of international designer stores on Main Road, or head to Al Nasr Street to pick up souvenirs and Bedouin jewellery. Discover traditional Arabian life as you stroll through the Zayed Heritage Village or escape the metropolis of Abu Dhabi and take a tour into the desert. For those who like to relax, Abu Dhabi offers 249 miles of coastline with remote islands and powdery-white sands. Al Raha beach is one of the best places to soak up the sunshine or while away the days sailing on the Gulf, deep sea fishing or head to the horse racing or camel racing, a must see highlight of any trip.
Dubai is a city of contrasts, where old meets new and where mile upon mile of golden sandy beaches and glimmering waters meet the hustle and bustle of city life. Seeming to develop at an unbelievable rate, Dubai currently houses the world's tallest building – the Burj Khalifa, largest shopping mall and biggest water fountain, all within a few hundred metres of each other. One of Dubai’s most enduring and popular assets is its famous Jumeirah Beach, where white sand complements clear aquamarine water. This is the location for some of the city’s most luxurious hotels and resorts, including the iconic Burj Al Arab. Located south of the Historic District, the beach area offers an astonishing array of leisure activities for all the family to enjoy.
‘The Walk’ is a bustling waterfront boulevard that stretches almost two kilometres, comprising of restaurants, cafés, stores and an open-air street market offering jewellery, paintings and fashion. Perfect for a stroll or people-watching, this development is popular with locals and tourists, alike.
In-keeping with its reputation for excess, Dubai Marina is reputed to be, the world’s largest man-made marina. Nestled alongside a three-kilometre stretch of Persian Gulf, this upmarket area comprises a network of canals and a wide range of amenities. Dubai Marina Mall boasts around 130 internationally recognised retail outlets, from high street fashion brands to designer boutiques. A bizarre juxtaposition in Dubai is the ability to be able to enjoy snow sports, including skiing and snowboarding. This unique, alpine-themed attraction, with real snow year-round has five runs for skiers of all abilities.
Dubai offers a wide range of options for fans of gastronomy. Experience some of the most amazing venues including the Al Muntaha at the Burj Al Arab, which is situated two hundred metres above sea level, accessed via one of the express panoramic lifts, or enjoy Nobuyuki Matsuhisa's cutting edge culinary style at Nobu, located at Atlantis The Palm.
The Dubai Mall is a highly recommended destination, as it is one of the world’s largest shopping and entertainment complex, boasting over a thousand stores, including a Bloomingdales, The Souk and Fashion Avenue, housing over seventy designer brands, such as Alexander McQueen, Burberry, Louis Vuitton and Cartier. This enormous centre truly is a shopper’s paradise.
While visiting Dubai Mall, allow Revere Travel to pre-book your slot on the observation deck ‘at the top’ at the Burj Khalifa, which offers visitors superb 360° views of the gulf coast and desert. Outside, situated on the thirty acre Burj Khalifa Lake the Dubai Fountain is a must see. Enjoy the daily light show and the choreographed performance of the 500-foot-high fountain, set to music.
For visitors wanting to experience a more traditional Dubai, The Bastakia Quarter, between the Dubai Creek and Bur Dubai district, is home to traditional wind-towered buildings, some of which have been transformed into cafés and art galleries showcasing an eclectic mix of contemporary art from around the gulf. Enjoy a water taxi 'abra' ride across the Creek, visit the textile souk to admire the magnificent swathes of fabric and stop off at the Dubai Museum to see how oil and ambition built this contemporary oasis. Explore the stunning Grand Jumeirah Mosque, which is the only one open to the public in Dubai and warmly welcomes non-Muslim guests, who are able to join guided tours which explore both the ornate architecture of the mosque and the religion of Islam.
Outside the cities there is the amazing Liwa desert to discover, where stargazing comes into its own. Here, in complete contrast to the cities and their diverse residents, you are likely to come across just Bedouins, their camels and miles of rolling sand dunes.
Ramadan, which is observed for one month each year, is a period of fasting when the pace of life is slower, public areas are busier and there are certain restrictions, for example, consuming food in public, drinking alcohol and use of restaurants.