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United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven emirates, including Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah, known for its rapid economic development, particularly in trade, tourism, and infrastructure. It is situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula, bordering Saudi Arabia and Oman, with coastlines along the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.

The country balances modernity with traditional Islamic culture, offering towering skyscrapers, vast desert landscapes, and a rich cultural heritage.

Places to visit

Day plans

Spend a day exploring around

day 1

Exploring Dubai's Icons

morning:Start your day with the mesmerizing views from the top of Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building. Head to The Dubai Mall for a spot of shopping and don't miss out on having breakfast at the popular Social House.

afternoon:Visit the historic Al Fahidi neighborhood and wander through the narrow lanes of the Dubai Creek area. Have a delightful lunch at the Arabian Tea House, offering traditional Emirati cuisine.

evening:Watch the stunning Dubai Fountain show and then indulge in a dinner with a view at the nearby Armani Hotel. Round off the day with a stylish night-out at the trendy White Dubai nightclub. 🌃

day 2

Relaxing Beach Retreat

morning:Spend a tranquil morning at Jumeirah Beach, soaking up the sun and enjoying the golden sands. Afterward, grab a healthy brunch at the chic Kite Beach location of Park House.

afternoon:Explore the vibrant district of Jumeirah, home to scenic coastlines and contemporary cafes. Enjoy a delightful lunch at The Surf Cafe, offering a variety of fresh and organic dishes.

evening:Experience a serene sunset at Sunset Beach and then savor delicious seafood at Pierchic, set on a pier with panoramic views of the Arabian Gulf. Conclude the day with a relaxed evening stroll along The Walk at JBR. 🌅

day 3

Cultural Abu Dhabi Adventure

morning:Begin your day with a visit to the astonishing Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, an iconic landmark that showcases the beauty of Islamic architecture. Start your day with an Emirati breakfast at Al Fanar Restaurant.

afternoon:Explore the cultural heart of Abu Dhabi in the Al Hosn area, where you can delve into the city's history and heritage. Savor a traditional Arabic lunch at Emirati Restaurant.

evening:Unwind at the Corniche promenade while enjoying the scenic waterfront views. Head to Observation Deck at 300 for a breathtaking panoramic view of the city. Wrap up the day with an exploration of the vibrant nightlife at the Yas Marina Circuit. 🏎️

day 4

Outdoor Adventure in Hatta

morning:Embark on an exciting morning hike through the Hatta mountains, embracing the natural beauty and stunning landscapes. Relish a delightful breakfast at the Hatta Wadi Hub.

afternoon:Discover the heritage and culture of Hatta at the Hatta Heritage Village, where you can experience traditional Emirati life and customs. Enjoy a satisfying lunch at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa.

evening:Experience an exhilarating mountain bike ride through the scenic trails of Hatta, followed by a picturesque sunset at Hatta Dam. Conclude the day with a cozy dinner at the Hatta Fort Hotel. 🏞️

United Arab Emirates Famous Food

Must-Try local dishes

Machboos

A fragrant rice dish with spiced meat, often chicken or lamb, garnished with fried onions and nuts. It is a staple in Emirati cuisine and can be found in local restaurants and homes across the UAE.

Must-Try!

Harees

A traditional dish made from wheat and meat, slowly cooked to a porridge-like consistency. It is often enjoyed during Ramadan and special occasions, and can be found at local restaurants serving traditional Emirati cuisine.

Luqaimat

Popular Emirati dessert made of crispy fried dough balls drizzled with date syrup or honey, offering a delightful sweet treat. It can be found at local dessert shops and food festivals throughout the UAE.

Food Markets & Street Food

A food market and street food guide

Mina Market

Located in Abu Dhabi, Mina Market is a vibrant local market offering a wide array of fresh seafood, spices, and produce. Visitors can also savor a variety of street food stalls serving traditional Emirati snacks and delicacies like samosas and kebabs.

Ras Al Khor Street Food

In Dubai, the Ras Al Khor industrial area transforms into a bustling street food haven at night, featuring a diverse range of food trucks and stalls offering Emirati specialties, as well as international flavors.

Dietary Restrictions

Navigating dietary restrictions locally

Vegetarian and Vegan Options

While Emirati cuisine traditionally features meat and seafood, many restaurants and cafés in the UAE offer vegetarian and vegan dishes. Look for establishments that highlight Middle Eastern and international cuisines for a wider variety of plant-based options.

Vegetarian, Vegan

Gluten-Free Choices

As the UAE has a diverse dining scene, it's relatively easy to find gluten-free options at restaurants and eateries that cater to international and health-conscious diners. Many upscale and health-focused establishments offer gluten-free menus and adapt dishes to accommodate dietary needs.

Gluten-Free

Restaurants & Cafés

Best places to eat and drink in United Arab Emirates

Al Fanar Restaurant

With branches across the UAE, Al Fanar offers an authentic Emirati dining experience, serving traditional dishes in a rustic setting reminiscent of old Dubai. It's a great place to sample local favorites like Madrooba (a creamy chicken and rice dish) and Balaleet (sweet vermicelli with eggs) in a traditional atmosphere.

Baba Ghanoush Café

A cozy and charming café in Sharjah, known for its Middle Eastern and Mediterranean fusion cuisine. The menu includes a variety of vegetarian and vegan options, such as falafel wraps and stuffed grape leaves, making it a great choice for those with dietary restrictions.

Jones the Grocer

A popular gourmet food café with multiple locations in the UAE, known for its diverse menu featuring international and fusion dishes. The café offers a range of gluten-free options, including salads, grain bowls, and gluten-free bread for those with dietary restrictions.

Things to do in United Arab Emirates

Unique local experiences...

Popular cities in United Arab Emirates

Explore local food, attractions and more!

DubaiAbu DhabiSharjahAl ‘Ayn‘AjmānRa’s al KhaymahAl FujayrahUmm al QaywaynKhawr FakkānKalbāMadīnat ZāyidAl Jazīrah al Ḩamrā’