Think of the UAE and you instantly picture skyscrapers in the desert, lavish hotels and luxury at every turn. You picture Dubai, and with good reason. This oil-rich Emirate is the main attraction. A city built out of humble beginnings and now the epitome of grandeur. Gaze down from the top of Burj Khalifa, see man-made islands fan into the gulf and witness life go by in the ceaseless metropolis. Relax in hotels of the highest standard and dine in the world’s finest restaurants. Splash the cash in gargantuan shopping malls (tax free, we might add) or enter the warm glow of the gold souk and see what catches your eye.
Not to be outdone, Abu Dhabi is the place to go for a culture kick. Explore the gleaming white Sheikh Zayed Mosque and wander between endless pillars wreathed in gold. Take in the skyline from the white sandy beaches of the Corniche. Experience the opulence of the Emirates Palace. Or take some time to stroll through inspiring art collections throughout the city.
When to go
June to September brings the hottest and most humid conditions which can make wandering the streets hard going. The winter months have much more friendly temperatures as well as a fuller social calendar. They are also the best months for desert adventure. Spring and autumn combine hot days with balmy nights and are the ideal seasons for beach holidays.