United Arab Emirates ? An unorthodox, yet charming destination

The United Arab Emirates, besides being one of the most prominent oil bearing nations in the world, have evolved as one of the prime tourist destinations in the world. Following is a brief glance at the major attractions the UAE has to offer.

Dubai figures last in the list of cities that need an introduction. With loads of glam factor, this most popular destination of the United Arab Emirates is right up there when one talks about places that need to be visited at least once, if not every year! True, its atmosphere is more materialistic than one could imagine, with all the extravagant luxuries available if there is money to spend on them. Every tourist is treated like a VIP, and needs ot spend like that in order to keep up! The Dubai Shopping Festival, one of the world’s greatest and most well known phenomena in terms of shopping; but everybody knows that’s not all there is to this city of dreams. A multitude of dining options for the elite, hotels that are no less than palaces, and bars and clubs that make the night-life scene quite the choice for the young and restless, despite the fact that there are no real tourist marvels in Dubai, it receives more tourists than it can handle (at times), but nobody’s complaining. During the season of Ramadan, tourists can be spectators to the local Emiratis indulging in an environment of songs, dance and other traditional activities, in case they want something different.

Abu Dhabi is, first of all, the world’s oil capital, having reserves that run up to 2100 AD, but it’s not just about sitting atop the money bank and counting its riches that this city does. Almost as classy and cosmopolitan as Dubai, Abu Dhabi’s attractiveness, so to speak, lies in its simplicity of providing the best of everything without overdoing it (a tendency Dubai has, on many occasions, although tourists love that as well!). In short, Abu Dhabi is a toned down version of Dubai, and does not aspire to be anything more than a casual destination for tourists to relax as a prequel or sequel to an exciting sojourn in Dubai. Clearly, it’s not sceptical or concerned about playing second fiddle to Dubai, and this spirit makes it all the more special. Going back into its evolutionary days, Abu Dhabi was just a fishing village 50 years ago, with just a fort, some coral buildings and barasti huts, with the rest of the area a barren desert. That was, however, before the oil rush began, and the emirate’s economy boomed like anything.

Sharjah is often known as the anti-Dubai, with the only common thing between the two cities being the elusive waterways. There is no alcohol, no fashionable clothing, and many other restrictions, so to speak, but the multitude of cultural activities here make sure that the museums, galleries and theatres keep visitors well entertained and engaged to keep their mind off other things.

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