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United Arab Emirates

What to see in the United Arab Emirates? Burj Al Arab; the Sheikh Ziyeed Grand Mosque; the Fujairah Fort; the Dubai Mall Aquarium; wrecks the Energy Determination, the MV Dara, the Zainab; Sharm Rock and Martini Rock in Fujairah.

The United Arab Emirates, also called the UAE, is a federal state consisting of seven emirates; each emirate is an absolute monarchy: Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Ras al-Khaimah, Umm al-Quwain, Fujairah and Sharjah. The emirates are located in the southeast end of the Arabian Peninsula on the Persian Gulf, and border Oman to the east and Saudi Arabia to the south. The total area of the country is 83.6 thousand square kilometers; the population is more than 9 million people.

The state is headed by the president of the United Arab Emirates – the head of Abu Dhabi, the biggest emirate. The capital of the United Arab Emirates is the city of Abu Dhabi. The official language is Arabic.

The climate of the emirates is subtropical-arid; the temperature reaches its maximum in July and August. 80% of the terrain is desert; the rest is occupied with mountains and coasts.

The national currency is the UAE dirham. You can exchange money at the airport, banks and most hotels. ATM’s can be found almost everywhere. Travellers Cheques and credit cards are widely accepted.

The United Arab Emirates is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. This oasis-like country is often associated with boundless luxury, beaches, five-star hotels, yachts and other attributes of richness. However, the UAE can boast not only luxurious resorts, but also the most beautiful man-made attractions, primarily – architectural ones.

One of the world’s most photographed architectural wonders is Burj Al Arab in Dubai, whose height is 321 meters. Other famous works of architectural art include the stunning Emirates Palace Hotel Abu Dhabi; the Sheikh Ziyeed Grand Mosque – an incredibly beautiful modern mosque where ancient craftsmanship skills interweave with contemporary design.

History lovers will certainly like the Al Bidyah Mosque – the oldest mosque in the UAE, built about 600 years ago; the Fujairah Fort, built in 1670 on a hill near the Fujairah coast; the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization where you will find interesting exhibitions devoted to the development of the Islamic Empire; the Bastakia quarter of Dubai, where you can see the examples of traditional Arabic architecture and typical interiors; and the 5-thousand-year-old stone tombs not far from Al Ain.

The UAE is a perfect destination for those who are fond of outdoor activities. Here you find lots of opportunities for deep-sea fishing, desert driving, yachting and dhow cruising, kayaking, horse riding and playing golf.

Those who prefer relaxed way of spending time will like shopping in traditional Arabic souks, lying on luxurious white-sand beaches, watching sunset in the desert and visiting Palm Jumeirah, the famous manmade palm-shaped island.

Airports

Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) the second largest airport in the country is located 30 kilometers from Abu Dhabi city.

Al Ain International Airport (AAN)

Dubai International Airport (DXB) the busiest airport in the world by international passenger traffic.

Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC) located in Jebel Ali.

Fujairah International Airport (FJR)

Ras Al Khaimah International Airport (RKT)

Sharjah International Airport (SHJ)

Diving in the UAE

The most popular diving places of the emirates are Fujeirah, Musandam and Khorfakkan along the Gulf of Oman and Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah along the Persian or Arabian Gulf.

Off Dubai coast you can find such interesting wrecks as the Energy Determination, a 351-meter supertanker, lying at a depth of 35-80 meters; the MV Dara, sunk in 1961 and located at a depth of 20 meters; the Zainab, an oil tanker intentionally sunk in 2001 and situated at a depth of 30 meters; the Hopper Barge, a dump barge sunk in 1982 and lying 25 meters deep; and a cement barge, which sank in 1971 and now is located at a depth of 12 meters.

In Fujairah there are amazing Sharm Rock and Martini Rock, covered with hard and soft corals and teeming with parrotfish, lionfish, eagle rays, eels and reef sharks. Here you can also meet snappers, barracudas and sea turtles. The depth is 12-20 meters.

in the waters of Dibba Island you can see big table corals and lots of rays, turtles, sharks and trevallies.

Thrill seekers can try diving with sharks in the Dubai Mall Aquarium, the world’s largest aquarium, inhabited by more than 33 thousand different marine creatures.

Diving in the UAE is possible throughout the year. The water temperature is 33 degrees Celsius in summer and 22 degrees in winter.

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