Bordered by the Arabian Gulf to the north, the Hajar mountains and Arabian Sea to the east and the vastness of the Arabian desert to the south and west, the United Arab Emirates offers travellers a unique holiday experience. The best of the modern world combines happily with age-old traditions of Arabian hospitality with the age-old traditions of Arabian hospitality. Add to this, an inviting climate, excellent sports and leisure facilities, uncrowded beaches, spectacular desert and mountain scenery and a culture that dates back centuries and it is easy to see why the UAE has become such a popular destination amongst discerning travellers from around the world.
Each of the seven formerly independent emirates that make up the country has retained its own individual characteristics. Abu Dhabi and Dubai offer all the sophistication of contemporary living; Sharjah, smaller and quite, is renowned for its souks; at Ajman and Umm Al Quwain there are still reminders of the fishing villages that they once were; Ras Al Khaimah, in the north, is hemmed in between the sea and the mountains; and Fujairah, on the east coast, is more peaceful still.
The UAE also offers some of the world's finest shopping whether in the traditional souks or ultra-modern, air-conditioned shopping malls. during the Holy Month of Ramadan, please note that business and shopping hours may differ from normal hours.
Although the UAE is a Muslim country, it is liberal towards foreigners' dressing habits. However, guests should give due consideration to local sensibilities and dress modestly.
To explore the country at you own pace, we strongly recommend renting a car - please contact us for details of our competitively-priced self-drive arrangement.
The Heart of the Emirates
Dubai's creek forms both the visual and commercial focal point of the city, a constant and picturesque reminder that this is a city built on trade. Dubai has earned an international reputation for the excellence and variety of its shopping - from the latest electronic gadgetry and up-to-the-minute fashions to antiques, handicrafts and some of the world's finest and purest gold at some of the best prices.
But there is more to Dubai than shopping. The combination of sun, sand and sea makes for superb beach holidays; the city's history can be explored in the narrow alley-ways of the old town and in Dubai's excellent museum in the Al Fahidi Fort; golf can be enjoyed at any the three magnificent grass courses; and there is wining, dining and entertainment to suit every taste in the many restaurants, bars, discos and nightclubs.
We have a wide selection of recommended sightseeing tours which will help you get to know this intriguing country. Not to be missed is the Do Buy, Dubai Shopping Trip which points out some of the best places for bargains - and where you may use your Privilege Discount Card. Or explore further afield with our All Pints East tour which takes you across the desert and through the rugged Hajar mountains to the fishing villages of the Arabian Sea coast. You can go off-road on our Riddle of the Sands Safari, travelling far into the desert to visit a Bedouin village, a camel farm and the extraordinary Fossil Rock, embedded with fossils up to 80 million years old. Or watch the sun set over the desert before enjoying a barbecue deep in the dunes on our Sundowner safari.
EGYPT - SYRIA - JORDAN
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