Whether you’ve visited before or are traveling for the first time, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has so much to offer. With fascinating sites to explore, iconic architecture, and unique activities, there’s something in the UAE for every type of traveler to appreciate. If you’re planning your trip to the UAE but don’t know where to begin, read on for this guide to some of the best things you can do on holiday in the United Arab Emirates.

Old Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Old Dubai

Explore old Dubai

For many tourists, Dubai is associated with skyscrapers and modern developments. Experience something different on your holiday by visiting Al Bastakiya, otherwise known as Al Fahidi Historical District. Full of winding lanes and architecture dating back to the 1890s, this area is located 25 minutes from the city center and is otherwise known as one of the best holiday destinations in the Middle East. This thriving location is now populated with art galleries and artist’s studios.

Islamic culture, United Arab Emirates

Discover Islamic culture

If you want a holiday full of culture and history, the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization is a must-visit if you’re in the city. Here you can explore the largest collection of Islamic artifacts in the UAE, housed in an impressive former souk building. As well as photographs and objects you can also view a vast collection of mesmerizing Islamic art.

middle eastern food in United Arab Emirates

Try authentic Middle Eastern food

You can find a vast range of cuisines in Dubai, including elegant five-star restaurants. If you want to sample authentic Middle Eastern food, you’ll discover culinary delights and rich culture in the Deira neighborhood. There’s a wealth of restaurants to explore including Turkish, Yemeni, Lebanese, and Palestinian choices but you can also take part in a guided food tour. An evening walking tour gives you the chance to find out more about the neighborhood and sample mouthwatering dishes along the way.

Oasis in United Arab Emirates
Amazing Lake and oasis with Palm Trees (Wadi Bani Khalid) in the Omani desert

Visit an oasis

If you want to explore stunning scenery when you’re in the UAE, visiting an oasis is a great travel experience. Liwa is an oasis just three hours away from Abu Dhabi city that’s full of luscious palms and fruit trees because of its groundwater. Ideally situated for a day trip from Abu Dhabi, at Liwa, you can explore date farms and Moreeb Dune, famous for being one of the highest sand hills in the world. It’s also the site of the Liwa Sports Festival each January!

Riding a horse in the dessert in United Arab Emirates

Explore the desert on horseback

See the deserts of Ras Al Khaimah emirate from a unique perspective with a fascinating horseback ride on an elegant Arabian horse. Whether you prefer a leisurely trail around the desert or a breathtaking ride at sunset, sightseeing on horseback is a memorable experience with a beautiful animal. As an alternative, you can also organize similar trails on camels for another sightseeing trip you won’t forget.

Stairway to Heaven Hike in Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates
Stairway to Heaven Hike in Ras Al Khaimah

Climb the highest mountain in the UAE

If you love to pack your holiday with adventurous activities then why not climb the highest mountain in the UAE? Standing at 1,934m tall, Jebel Jais in Ras al Khaimah emirate is the country’s highest peak. You can join private and small group tours for a day hike to the summit with breathtaking views and photo opportunities when you reach the top.