The United Arab Emirates are mostly known for their oil riches, powerful sheiks and the striking city of Dubai. But this country offers so much more: apart from the shiny big cities and their amenities, there are impressive desert landscapes, little fishing villages, old forts and archeological sites to discover. Futuristic high-rise buildings stand alongside traditional open-air markets, called souks, in a fabulous mix of old and new. This is a place where modern technology and Bedouin culture coexist peacefully.

The UAE is made up of seven emirates, the most famous being Dubai, one of the world’s most trendy cities. It is well-known for its record-high buildings and innovative architecture, among them the palm-shaped islands, The World Island in the form of a world map, and the tallest building on earth, the Burj Khalifa, which is 828metres high. Look over the city from its staggering observation deck, but only go up there if you’re not scared to look down! Dubai features numerous shiny shopping malls to indulge in; so big you might get lost in them! Enjoy a shopping trip during the day, and Dubai’s party scene through the night; the next day, relax in one of the many beach resorts and let yourself be pampered from head to toe!

Abu Dhabi, the exciting capital of the country, is rich both in money and in culture. See the extraordinary white Sheikh Zayed Mosque and its golden, marble, and mosaic splendor, and visit the traditional open-air souk, which is an absolute thrill for the senses. Haggle with the vendors for handcrafted goods and soak in the bustling oriental atmosphere!

The huge desert invites you to a variety of activities and engages travelers of all types: go sandboarding, quad biking, take a desert safari on the back of a camel, or take a hot air balloon ride; gliding over the endless dunes enjoying the beautiful vista! Other outdoor adventures include trekking in the mighty Hajar Mountains, off-road driving and mountain biking, or swimming, paddle boarding, and diving in the Gulf of Oman in Fujairah. Whatever adventure you’re longing for - there is something for everybody!

As this is a mainly Muslim country, make sure to dress accordingly and note that alcohol is only sold and to be consumed in hotel bars. If you want sun and sand, astonishing cities, luxurious hotels, gourmet restaurants and world-class shopping, this is the place to go to!