United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates is located at the eastern end of the Arabian Peninsula and shares borders with Oman and Saudi Arabia, while also having maritime borders in the Persian Gulf with Qatar and Iran.
9.4 million (2021)
Gulf Arabic, English, Persian
Request permission before taking pictures
Don’t eat or drink in public transport
Three foods you need to try in this country:
- Fattoush (fresh salad)
- Kousa Mahshi (courgettes stuffed with rice)
- Mahalabiya – (Middle Eastern custard laced with cream and rose water)
- Arabic Coffee
- Knafeh – (sticky pastry made of gooey sweet cheese that is baked in shredded phyllo dough before soaking it in a simple syrup)
What the country is known for :
- Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
- Luxury Experiences
- Dancing Fountains
- Beautiful beaches
- Grand mosques
- Desert Safaris
- Super cars
More About United Arab Emirates
I first visited Dubai in the UAE in 2023. It was my first stop as part of my long term trip. The initial intention for the visit was to rest for a few days before starting an exciting journey around the world. As someone who is not yet fully a luxury traveller, nor into shopping. I really did not expect to enjoy my time there and hence the emphasis on resting. I imagined I would go out exploring for a day and then spend the rest of my time in my hotel room resting.
Well, let me tell you something. If a government takes time to turn a desert into a traveller’s playground – don’t think that they don’t have you in mind. First of all, the transport system is top-notch, the metro works efficiently and the Uber’s are the fanciest I have experienced. Dubai has something for everyone with its skyscrapers, luxury hotels, shopping malls, souks, palm shaped islands and a night life to boot. Other activities one can enjoy include exploring and unpacking the history and culture, desert performances, dune bashing, camel riding and a surprisingly wide array of water sports and beach activities. Needless to say I ended up spending more than a just day exploring.
The UAE more widely is an amazing country to visit due to the rich culture and history. It is made up of seven emirates (states) Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, and Fujairah. As the country mostly spans over gravel plains and sand dunes desert, the main cities and urban centres are mainly located along its coasts. The country has about 7 sites that have been deemed to be UNESCO world heritage sites, which one can visit to get a glimpse of some of the country’s history.
For those who struggle with heat, although the summers are burning there is air conditioning in each and every building as well as in all cars and public transport. It is not so great for outdoor activities though. I never appreciated air conditioning like I did here. Also, one can visit Ski Dubai, as a way of getting away from the heat and enjoy some ‘winter sports’. I know it might sound a bit strange, but remember – man made paradise for any traveller – all year round. Also, for my adventurous travellers who like to get their adrenalin going, a trip to Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi will not disappoint. It is a theme park with rides and attractions, that will keep you entertained for a whole day and then some.
The food is also quite impressive if you are keen on Middle Eastern cuisine. They have the best hummus I have ever tasted, their grilled meats are beautifully tender and melt on the tongue or alternatively the slow cooked stews. Don’t forget about the various rice dishes, delicately flavoured with light ingredients such as saffron, cumin or turmeric. If you are a sweet lover – due to having the best dates on the planet – multiple sweets are made with dates and plenty more. I highly recommend trying something new at least once a day during your visit.
One of the things I was very impressed by is the safety. It turns out that there are very steep penalties for misbehaviour in the UAE. Unfortunately, that does not stop some unwelcome looks and advances from some undisciplined individuals trying their luck, so if you are travelling alone be mindful.
|Thank you||Shkran lak|
|How much?||Kam thaman?|
|Do you speak English?||Hal tatakalam bial’iinjiliziati?|
|Where is the toilet?||Ayn alhamami?|
|May I please have some water?||Hal li min fadlik ‘an ‘ahsul ealaa baed alma’i?|
|I would like some food please||Urid baed altaeam min fadlik|
|Where can I get a taxi?||Ayn yumkinuni ‘an ‘ajid sayaarat ‘ujratin?|
NEWS & UPDATES
I always try and immerse myself in the local food culture. In many parts of Asia and South America, I have found that street food is very much part of the culture. As the diligent