United Arab Emirates – UAE Travel Guide

UAE travel guide FlagThe United Arab Emirate is a federation of seven emirates, or Islamic kingdoms. It is located on the Arabian Peninsula and has boarders with Saudi Arabia and Oman with Iran just across the Persian Gulf. The climate is harsh desert and has sustained a semi nomadic culture since pre- historic times along the coast and at several oasis. Islam was introduced in 630AD by a letter from Muhammad to the nearby Oman king.

UAE Travel Guide - Traditional Summer House

Traditional Summer House as seen inside the Dubia fort.

The British had a significant influence on the emirates of the UAE starting in the 17th century. Britain formally signed a treaty by 1820, with the local sheiks, in order to combat piracy and later treaties were meant to keep other European powers out and guaranteed Britain would protect the emirates. The primary economy started off with pearls grown on the coastal areas and later oil, both of which Britain has exclusive rights to.

Britain decided not to renew the treaty expiring at the end of 1971, due to the high cost of protecting the emirates. Led by the sheiks of Abu Dhabi and Dubai the seven emirates formed an independent country. Each emirate has significant autonomy with each other, but work together for the better of all.

UAE Travel Guide - Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifais the tallest building in the world.

My Visit

My sole visit to the UAE so far has been a 12-hour layover in 2015 at the Dubai airport on my way to Kyrgyzstan. I was determined to squeeze in as much as I could, so with my backpack in tow I rushed around seeing most of the city.

Likes, Dislikes, and Recommendations

Dubai is a very modern city and is a regional hub for aviation, shopping, entertainment, etc. While there is much to see in the new section of town, I also enjoyed the old part of the city with the souks (markets) and fort. I did not make it into the desert or over to any of the oasis, but when I return those will be high on my list.

UAE Travel Guide - Spice Souk

Spice Souk in the older part of Dubai

Even with the UAE appearing quite western and modern, remember you are still in a Muslim country. You should refrain from displays of affections in public (I met someone who said they almost got arrested for sitting on her boyfriend’s lap), drinking alcohol outside of hotels and clubs, and wearing swimsuits at public beaches (a private or hotel beach would be a better choice).

Below you can get even more helpful hints by watching the travel video I made for UAE. Also, you can read what all I did there in my blog posts located below the video.

All Blogs From United Arab Emirates (UAE)