The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven states formed in 1971 by the then Trucial States. Since then, it has grown from a quiet backwater to one of the Middle East's most important economic centres. The United Arab Emirates is a federation of seven emirates; Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah. It has a rich history dating back to a thousand years. This unique destination is both a dynamic business centre and a tourist paradise, offering more attractions, shopping, fine dining and quality hotels. The UAE offers a kaleidoscope of attractions for visitors. The emirates embrace a wide variety of scenery in a very small area. In a single day, the tourist can experience everything from rugged mountains and awe-inspiring sand dunes to glittering sandy beaches and lush green parks, from dusty villages to luxurious residential districts and from ancient houses with wind towers to ultra-modern shopping malls.
UAE enjoys, without a doubt, one of the best locations on the planet. Situated halfway between Europe and Asia, few destinations take more than 8 hours direct flying time to or from the UAE. Just overnight from London, four hours from Nairobi, three hours from Mumbai, 8 hours from Hong Kong and a direct flight from the United States or Australia, UAE is definitely a destination of choice for vacationing, living and business.
The climate in the UAE is usually hot and sunny as it is situated in the middle of the Arabian Desert. The hottest season is between May and September where the added advantage is virtually no rainfall. The coolest season is December to February, with the wettest months being February and March.
Those looking for heat, sun and sand can expect daily temperatures to rise to around 39°C / 102°F to 40°C / 104°F during the hot season. During this period there is little or no rainfall, therefore making the heat much more comfortable than with heat and humidity combined.
UAE's cooler season runs from December to February. During this period there is still plenty of sunshine but temperatures will average around 23°C / 73°F and great for outside activities such as golfing, relaxing on the beaches and sightseeing.
The monetary unit is the dirham (Dh or AED) which is divided into a 100 fils. The dirham is linked to the Special Drawing Right of the International Monetary Fund. It has been held constant against the US dollar since the end of 1980 at a mid-rate of approximately
A Shopper’s Paradise
The emirate of Dubai in the UAE is ranked second as the world’s most popular destination for shopping after the United States and ahead of popular shopping destinations like Singapore, France, UK, and Hong Kong among others. With a long history as a trading hub, today Dubai is synonymous with shopping. From souk to shopping mall, Dubai has everything. These include gold souk, duty free, electronics, textiles; cars etc and are a true shopper’s paradise. With the best of all elite brands in the most beautiful and brilliant malls, Dubai is simply perfect for retail therapy in every possible way!
Art and culture dominate the UAE emirate of Sharjah, which means the rising sun. Sharjah Water Festival held in December draws many attractions each year. Fujairah is a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered. The power boat racing world championship is hosted here in October each year. Ajman, the smallest of all the emirates; has the world’s largest active dhow building yard. The emirate of Umm-al-Quwain is famous of its Dreamland water park that houses 25 fabulous attractions. Last but not the least, the emirate of Ras-al-Khaimah which means ‘the top of the tent’ has an abundant industrial sector. Al Ain is famous for the Al Ain Zoo, Al Ain Oasis, Al Ain Paradise Garden and the Al Ain National Museum.
The UAE has established itself as a major destination for an eclectic array of local and international events and earned its reputation as the sporting capital of the Middle East. Throughout the year, UAE hosts a range of popular annual sporting activities, dazzling entertainment attractions, as well as conferences and exhibitions.
Some of the established events to look forward to are:
The UAE offers a range of world class restaurants to suit every taste and budget. With every renowned Food and Beverage company having a branch in the UAE, you are sure to find the finest food from every country on the earth. Michelin starred chefs like Gordon Ramsey, Jamie Oliver and other well known celebrity chefs have their restaurants in the UAE with their signature dishes on offer. From an Ala Carte menu to American fast food joints to the best of an Indian curry; there is everything under the sun. Be it British, American, Moroccan, French, Italian, Spanish, Jamaican, Indian, Thai or Chinese cuisine; you name it and you will have the best of everything.
UAE has a glamorous and fantastic night life. From bars, Middle Eastern entertainment to cocktail parties, there is a large variety to choose from. It is quite interesting to note that you will also find a traditional English pub in the UAE; playing live music and offering scrumptious pub food. Several disco techs and pubs will also offer themed nights like a Karaoke night, Arabian night or even a lively and colourful Bollywood night; where you can delve in the fun and excitement, dancing your heart out.
In recent years, archaeologists have unearthed hundreds of artifacts that point to civilised settlements dating back to the third millennium B.C. In Dubai, the main archaeological sites are in Al Sufoh and Jumeirah. These historic findings have been carefully preserved and the artifacts are now permanently housed in the archaeological section of the Dubai Museum. Dotted around the UAE are a number of historic buildings and sites that offer a glimpse of a bygone era such as the Al Fahidi Fort, Sheikh Saeed’s House, and the Bastakiya etc.
The Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club and the famous Emirates Golf Club are renowned venues for the European PGA Tour. Among other sports, horse racing has already taken its place on the world stage, with show jumping and endurance riding now poised to follow its lead.