The UAE has built a reputation as one of the fastest-growing economies in the Middle East and North Africa region. Rapidly growing Emirates like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and Ras Al Khaimah are bustling, giving locals and tourists much to explore and do.

So whether you want to ride a 4×4 in the desert, shop ’til you drop in one of the world’s biggest malls, or explore centuries-old mosques and palaces, here are the ten most recommended things to do in the United Arab Emirates.

1. Visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a must-see when in Abu Dhabi. The beautiful mosque was built between 1996 and 2007 and is one of the world’s largest, with a 40,000 capacity.

It is decorated with marble, crystals, and other precious stones. This mosque also holds a lot of esteem based on its record-breaking features.

Sheikh features 82 domes, 1,000 columns, the world’s largest hand-woven carpet, and one of the world’s largest chandeliers. 

2. Adventure Around Jebel Jais

Jebel Jais is the UAE’s tallest mountain, found in Ras Al Khaimah. It’s an excellent spot to breathe fresh air, snap photos, and enjoy incredible views of the Al Hajar mountain range.

There are several adventure activities to consider, including camping, trekking, and the world’s longest zipline measuring at 2.8km. During your trip up the mountain, you can book a day of adrenaline and adventure with a sky tour, ropes course, hiking adventure, and more.

If you go during the winter, it’s best to bring warm clothing as it gets quite cold. However, braving the chill weather is worth it for the views, especially if you visit for sunset.

3. Stroll through the Heritage Village

For a taste of traditional Emirati culture, visit Heritage Village. Situated in Dubai, it has been set up to showcase the way of life before the oil boom.

You can wander through the souk, watch artisans at work, see crafts like bread-making and pottery demonstrations, check out old-style boats, and learn about traditional medicine.

The best time is the evening when it comes alive with folklore shows and dance performances.

4. Visit the Museum of the Future

The Museum of the Future is located on Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai. 

It does an excellent job of combining art with technology and science to explore different concepts and ideas. The Museum of the Future is also interactive, encouraging visitors to immerse themselves in the experience.

If you are a fan of technology, science, art, futurism, calligraphy, space, or even science fiction, the Museum of the Future will be a must-visit.

5. Watch the Dubai Fountain

The Dubai Fountain is the largest fountain in the world and is located in Downtown Dubai. It shoots water up to 500 feet in the air and is accompanied by music and light shows.

Night time, from 6:00 pm to midnight, is when the fountain is illuminated with colored lights every 30 minutes. The fountain lights sync up perfectly with the music (both Arabic and international) as if they are dancing along. 

This fountain is a truly spectacular sight and one that you won’t want to miss if you are visiting Dubai. It’s also right next to the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.

6. Shop at the Dubai Mall

If you’re at the Dubai Fountain, you’ll be only a two-minute walk away from the world’s largest mall. Dubai Mall is an expansive shopping center that’s easy to spend an entire day, shopping for high end luxury goods to daily fashions.

Besides luxury stores, there’s an aquarium, an underwater zoo, a cinema, and an ice skating rink. At over 5.9 million sq ft, the Dubai Mall has over 1,200 retail stores, 2 major department stores and more than 200 food and beverage outlets.

If you are a fan of shopping, you’ll have no problem finding the best clothes, shoes, jewelry, electronics, toys, gear, perfume/cologne, and anything else your heart desires.

7. Take a Desert Safari

A desert safari is a must when visiting the UAE. You’ll ride in a 4×4 over the dunes, go on a camel ride, get a henna tattoo, watch traditional dancing, and enjoy a delicious BBQ under the stars.

You can take many different Desert Safari tours, but Desert Fun Tourism LLC offers a highly-rated one that includes a camel ride, quad bike tour, and BBQ dinner.

8. Seek Thrills at Ferrari World

Ferrari World is a huge indoor amusement park on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. The amusement park is the first-ever Ferrari-branded theme park and features rides and attractions for thrill-seekers.

The star attraction is Formula Rossa, the world’s fastest roller coaster with a top speed of 240 km/h.

Other rides include the Flying Aces, a roller coaster with the world’s tallest loop, and the GTB Challenge, a Ferrari race simulator.

9. View Art and Kayak at the Louvre Abu Dhabi

The Louvre Abu Dhabi is a huge draw in the UAE due to its design and displays. This innovative building is set on top of the water, making it a unique place to visit.

Once in, you’ll get to explore both ancient and modern art pieces from all over the world. The Louvre Abu Dhabi has a wide range of temporary and permanent exhibits, so there is always something new to see.

The dome architecture of the main building is fascinating both on the outside and the inside, as you can see intricate designs featuring enchanting light patterns shining through.

To make this museum experience even more memorable, you can book a kayak tour around the museum’s building.

10. Go to the Beach

Lastly, if you’re looking for a more relaxed time, the UAE boasts many excellent beach spots.

The most popular are Jumeirah Beach, Umm Suqeim Beach, and Al Mamzar Beach Park.

There are also less crowded areas in Ras Al Khaimah, such as Al Rams Beach, that provide ample quiet space and nice waters for swimming.

Final Thoughts

These are just ten of the most recommended things to do in the UAE, but there are many incredible sights and sounds to be experienced while visiting the country.

From shopping to desert safaris to kayaking around a world-renowned museum, there is something for everyone in this fascinating country.


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