The United Arab Emirates has seven emirates: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah, Fujairah, Ajman, and Umm Al Quwain. Since the UAE is not a large country in terms of landmass, tourists and residents can easily go from one city to another within a few hours and explore the attractions each emirate offers.
If you are planning a one week holiday in the UAE, and your budget permits, you can hop from one emirate to another to get the most from your trip. You can do this easily since there are different ways of going around the country by land, water, and air.
By joining the right group and private tours, you can go around the United Arab Emirates, visit the seven emirates, and try a variety of new outdoor activities even if you are only staying here for a week.
Places to Visit Across the UAE
Below are the top places you have to visit when visiting each of the UAE’s seven emirates:
1. Abu Dhabi
The UAE’s major airports are located in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. As such, you have two options regarding your arrival and departure from the country, and you can select the best one that meets your needs and preferences.
Since Abu Dhabi is the country’s capital and Dubai the UAE’s main business and tourism hub, you can start your holiday right by choosing either city as your base for your trip here.
You would also do well to book a hotel in either of these cities for the duration of your stay.
If you choose to arrive and stay in Abu Dhabi, the first attraction you have to visit is the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. It is the capital city’s most famous landmark and one of the most well-known in the world. It is also the largest mosque in the UAE.
The mosque was commissioned by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan. Construction of the mosque started in 1996 and ended in 2007.
The majority of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is made of marble. Its interior showcases lavish amounts of gold, mosaic tiles, and glasswork. The walls and floors are embedded with vibrant stones depicting flowers.
Aside from being one of the most recognized Instagram venues, the mosque is also home to the largest hand-knotted carpet in the world. Additionally, massive, beautiful crystal chandeliers decorate the interior.
Other must-visit places: Ferrari World, Yas Marina Circuit, Emirates Palace, and Louvre Abu Dhabi
As one of the top tourist spots in the world today, Dubai has many attractions that never fail to impress both residents and holidaymakers. But while you are in this city, the first place you have to visit is the Burj Khalifa.
The Burj Khalifa is officially the world’s tallest building at present. Additionally, it holds the distinction of having the world’s highest observation deck and elevator with the longest travel distance.
The Burj Khalifa has two observation decks which give the best views of Dubai’s skyline. It also has several restaurants, cafes, bars, and a Las Vegas-inspired fountain in front.
With numerous attractions, you won’t run out of fun things to do at the Burj Khalifa.
Other must-visit places: Dubai Creek, The Dubai Mall, Jumeirah Beach, Global Village Dubai, and Deira Gold Souk
3. Ras Al Khaimah
As one of the oldest settlements in the UAE, Ras Al Khaimah is home to various historical sites. It is also a favorite destination of nature lovers since it has its own mountain ranges and beaches.
If you are heading to this emirate, your first destination should be Jebel Jais, the tallest mountain in the UAE. It is part of the Hajar Mountain Range.
Jebel Jais has several viewing platforms where you will have unimpeded views of the majestic vistas. The mountain also has cafes that offer amazing views of the jagged peaks and fascinating landscape.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can ride the world’s longest zipline, which is located in Jebel Jais.
Other must-visit places: Ras Al Khaimah National Museum, Dhayah Fort, Khatt Springs, and Ras Al Khaimah Beaches
One of the UAE’s lesser-known gems, Sharjah is another nature lover’s paradise. The emirate has several parks and heritage sites.
The Sharjah Desert Park is the best place to visit in this emirate. The park is divided into three main areas: the Natural History Museum, Arabian Wildlife Center, and the Children’s Farm.
Each area showcases the local flora and fauna of the UAE. They are presented in ways that educate and entertain guests. The park also has different interactive activities that will surely delight people of all ages.
Other must-visit places: Qanat Al Qasba, Blue Souk, Sharjah Aquarium, and Al Majaz Waterfront
Fujairah is another beach town located in the UAE that also has beautiful mountain ranges.
If you haven’t had enough of Dubai or Abu Dhabi’s beaches, Fujairah’s Snoopy Island may satisfy your need for more water and sand.
Snoopy Island is right in the middle of Fujairah’s best deep-sea diving and snorkeling area. The calm waters are also perfect for kayaking and canoeing. The beach also has several restaurants and bars, making it a great entertainment and dining spot.
Other must-visit places: Fujairah Fort and Village, Al-Badiyah Mosque, Kalba Corniche Park, and Al-Hayl Castle
One of the lesser-known emirates and least populated cities in the UAE, Ajman is the perfect destination if you want a bit of peace and quiet. The beaches here boast soft white sands and calm, clear azure waters. They are also not too populated, which means the beaches here are the perfect spot for relaxation.
But aside from the beaches, the Ajman Dhow Yard is the largest dhow building center in the world. The collection of traditional tools and equipment and craftsmanship of the local tradesmen make it one of the most fascinating places to visit in the UAE.
Additionally, speedsters that participate in the Dubai Powerboat meets are also manufactured in the Dhow Yard. Watching the craftsmen build these boats is a sight worth seeing, too.
Other must-visit places: Ajman Museum, City Centre Ajman, Etisalat Tower, and Al Jarah Cultural Center
7. Umm Al Quwain
Another less urbanized city in the UAE, Umm Al Quwain also has its fair share of amazing beaches and attractions. However, Seneyah Island should be on the top of your list when you visit this emirate.
Seneyah Island is surrounded by mangrove forests and is an important site for migratory birds. Flamingos, herons, plovers, and terns are some avian species you will see here.
The island is a popular destination for locals interested in taking a day trip to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. It is also a go-to destination for different corporate activities near Dubai.
Other must-visit places: Dreamland Aqua Park, Falaj Al Mualla Garden Park, Umm Al Quwain Museum, and Umm Al Quwain Fort
If you are going to the UAE for your next holiday, you can explore and experience the best the country has to offer in seven days by noting these recommended attractions.
Mithu Agarwal is the Commercial Director at Seawings LLC, a trusted provider of commercial seaplane tours and charters in the UAE. The company offers aerial tours of the UAE, taking off from the Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club through which you can discover the thrill of travelling by a seaplane. Whisking passengers to 1500 feet, the route soars past the iconic city skylines, offering sublime views of the country’s architectural marvels.