The glittering cities and magnificent man-made marvels of the United Arab Emirates have changed the way travelers look at the Middle East. There are dozens of reasons to visit, but we’ll cover the grandest of them here. The rest we’ll let you discover when you get there.
our top 7 reasons for couples to visit the United Arab Emirates:
1. The UAE Desert
There’s sand, sand and more sand for as far as the eye can see. The United Arab Emirates has many deserts, and each is more spectacular than the last. The Liwa Desert near Al Ain in Abu Dhabi is one of the most pristine, with tall sand dunes. But no matter which desert you explore together when you visit, it’s bound to be an amazing adventure.
While the big cities of the UAE show off modern architecture and skyscrapers, so much of the UAE’s history, food and culture come from the desert. There’s a desert tour for everyone, with dune bashing, four wheeling, camel riding and sandboarding for sporting options. Some tours, like the evening or overnight tours, include a romantic dinner in the desert to make memories as a couple.
2. Emirati Cuisine
A foodie tour of the United Arab Emirates is a culinary education. It’s a history lesson served with lamb kebabs and a side of hummus. If you want to know how Syrian ice cream differs from regular ice cream, or what the difference between a Middle Eastern and French Tagine is, you need to head to the United Arab Emirates.
You can stuff yourselves in Dubai, which is known as the culinary capital of the UAE. Every February, the Dubai Food Festival is filled with food stalls and promotions by famous restaurants. The city’s many Michelin-starred chefs pull out all the stops to thrill your palates. The festival also lets you both experience multiple cuisines and rare dishes from around the world without breaking the bank.
3. Gold Galore
If either of you love shopping for gold, you’ll love the United Arab Emirates. You’ll find souks, or traditional marketplaces, everywhere, but especially when you’re shopping in Dubai. When you enter Dubai’s glittering Gold Souk, you’ll experience chaos as you explore its 250 different shops.
It’s one of the city’s coolest places to visit, and one of the oldest souks in the country. The gold is so yellow it’ll blind you, but it’s all carefully regulated by the Dubai government to ensure the quality. Go, stare, shop and enjoy an extravagant display of wealth that’s unlike any other country in the world. If you’re working with a budget, just remember – it’s perfectly acceptable to haggle!
4. Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi
The sheer size of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi will take your breath away. It’s the eighth largest mosque in the world and can be seen for miles. The translucent white marble glows under the brilliant Arabian sun. This breathtakingly beautiful mosque has over 40 minarets apart from the main dome. There is an untold number of pillars, and all are carved and inlaid in gold and precious stones. People visit the Sheikh Zayed Mosque from all corners of the earth just to witness its beauty and grandeur.
Be sure to dress modestly before you enter the mosque. Women are required to wear the black abaya and the hijab, while men are required to cover their arms and legs. If you want to take any selfies in your usual garb, do so before entering the mosque.
5. The Burj Khalifa, Dubai
The Burj Khalifa is an incredible feat of engineering, innovation, design and opulence. It’s the currently the tallest building in the world (until perhaps the Jeddah Tower is completed). The world’s tallest free-standing structure is a sight to behold. When you stand below it and look up, you’ll have to crane your neck backwards to take in even half the height. The best ways to get fabulous views of the building are from a distance or from a helicopter ride together.
Travel up the super fast elevators to gaze out at the incredible view from the 125th floor’s observatory deck. There’s another observatory deck at the 148th floor, but that one does not offer 360 degree views. The views you’ll find of the surrounding city, desert and sea beyond are unbelievable.
6. Jebel Jais Zipline, Ras al Khaimah
A scenic drive along the winding Jebel Jais Mountain Road will take you up the highest mountain in the UAE. There you’ll find the world’s longest zip line near the peak. In just a few years, it has attracted millions of visitors to the Ras al Khaimah area. Thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies get to travel at speeds of up to 120 kph to 150 kph at the unbelievable height of 1,680 meters above sea level.
You will be fitted with a special harness and given a safety briefing before setting out on your adventure. The longest flight itself is approximately two to three minutes. Two lines run in parallel, so you can zip line together as a couple. Part of the way down, the zip line comes to rest on a suspended landing platform. There you’ll be transferred to a second line to complete your thrilling trip to the ground.
7. Yas Island, Abu Dhabi
Yas Island is a destination in Abu Dhabi that offers fabulous experiences for travelers. The Yas Marina Circuit hosts the final race of the Formula 1 season in late November every year. Yas Ferrari World is the world’s largest Ferrari-themed park that offers exciting rides. Ferrari World Abu Dhabi has interactive experiences, fun themed rides and the world’s fastest roller coaster. The Formula Rossa travels at a top speed of 240 kph (150 mph).
Yas Water World is also the biggest water park in the United Arab Emirates and boasts terrific water rides designed to thrill people. Warner Bros. World offers people a fantastic chance to explore Warner Bros. characters. With everything Yas Island has to offer, it has become one of the UAE’s top tourist attractions.
Altogether, the UAE is filled with adventures, romantic escapes, food delights and the chance to bask in sheer luxury. We’ve listed our top 7 reasons for couples to visit the United Arab Emirates, but the thrills don’t stop there. If you haven’t visited this remarkable country yet, it’s time you did.