Dubai UAE

Desert Magic: Travel to the United Arab Emirates

With residents and visitors from all over the world, the United Arab Emirates is a melting pot of culture, food and ideas.

Slowly but surely, the world is reopening to travellers. If you’re ready to pack your bags again, you might consider a trip to the United Arab Emirates — with a multi-cultural community and some of the world’s most luxurious hotels and fine dining experiences, it promises an adventure worth taking.

Dubai UAE

Dubai is known (and loved) for its glamour and modern architecture, but a trip to the UAE would be incomplete without visiting the desert. The vast sandy expanses and the red and gold dunes hold a unique kind of magic. It’s possible to explore these areas with the help of various companies who offer desert safaris — most packages include a drive, camel rides, sandboarding, dinner and entertainment under the stars. To really soak up the scenery, it’s worth overnighting at a desert resort. Bab Al Shams is located in the low-lying dunes between Dubai and Abu Dhabi and boasts sweeping vistas, as well as the opportunity to see the rare Arabian gazelle. Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort in the country’s remote Empty Quarter is something special — it’s around 90 minutes from Abu Dhabi and offers a luxury experience in the world’s largest sand desert.

Dubai UAE

Dubai UAE
The UAE’s latest cultural landmark, Dubai
Frame is an iconic structure that ‘frames’ impressive
views of Old and New Dubai, while serving as a
metaphorical bridge connecting the emirate’s rich past
with its magnificent present.
From spices and slippers to locally made jewellery, the
Souk Madinat Jumeirah is an Arabian bazaar, full of
incredible finds.

While there’s so much to enjoy in Dubai’s modern city scene, it’s worth taking a stroll through the historic Al Fahidi historic district to get a sense of the city’s past. Much of the area has been beautifully restored to reflect traditional life, and the labyrinth of alleys is home to some unexpected gems, including art galleries, cafes and shops. Much of the original infrastructure has been preserved, and you can see traditional wind towers constructed from stone and palm wood, as well as cultural centres and museums dedicated to telling the story of the place. The textile souk (market) is nearby, and it’s possible to cross the Dubai Creek on an abra, a small motorised water taxi for a view of the bustling creek and a ride to Deira, where you can explore the spice and gold souks.

Dubai UAE

If you’re a foodie, you’ll be truly spoilt for choice in the UAE as it’s possible to taste flavours from all over the world in this global hub. In the Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards 2021, in association with the Dubai Food Festival, an authentic Turkish spot called Sultan Saray came out on top of the MENA category. The homely restaurant just off Sheik Zayed Road serves up a variety of mezze, kebabs and desserts. Al Fanar Seafood Market also proved a firm favourite — the traditional Emirati restaurant offers authentic food that showcases the UAE’s history, including sea bass machboos and classic dessert luqaimat, a sweet Arabic dumpling.

Dubai UAE

The Dubai Expo was originally scheduled to run in 2020 but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, the event was able to go ahead in 2021 and will continue until the end of March 2022. There is so much to see at the expo in terms of architecture, design and technology — the theme of the event is “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”, emphasising finding creative and sustainable solutions to the world’s social, economic and environmental issues. Some of the highlights include the Women’s Pavilion in collaboration with Cartier, which highlights women’s impact and contributions to the world; The Future of Food: Epochal Banquet, which is an immersive dining experience created by UK design studio Bompas & Parr and explores how AI will affect the future of dining; and Chimera, a permanent sculpture by Kuwaiti artist Monira Al Qadiri, which is shaped like an oil drill and designed to merge the pre- and post-oil eras into one body and reimagine the past, present and future for the Gulf region.

Dubai UAE


1. Hike the tallest mountain peak in the UAE
Jabal Al Jais in Oman stands 6207 feet tall.

2. Visit the worlds tallest building
The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world at 2717 feet high, with over 160 stepped floors.


3. Stroll along Corniche Road
The Abu Dhabi Corniche is an 8km stretch of land on the waterfront. A bustling hub of beaches, restaurants, shopping destinations and play areas.

4. Visit Ferrari World theme park in Abu Dhabi
Ferrari World features 20 rides and attractions, a destination for any car enthusiast and adventure seeker. Home to the world’s fastest roller coaster, Formula Rossa that launches at speeds up to 240km/p/h.

5. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
This central place of worship can accommodate close to 40 000 people. White marble columns adorned with mother-of-pearl engravings make for picture-perfect settings whilst learning about the culture and true architectural beauty.


6. Sharjah Aquarium
This aquarium spans across two levels and is home to over 250 marine species as well as a number of lagoon and coral reef.