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United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates

Curious what backpackers do in the United Arab Emirates? Discover travel destinations all over the world of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.
  • Day8

    Spent my last morning in Japan touring the Imperial Gardens on a lovely sunny morning. You can't actually get into the Imperial Palace because Emperor Akihito lives there - how inconsiderate! I also visited Tokyo Tower - modelled on, but a few metres taller than, the Eiffel Tower. Still a lot smaller than the brand new Sky Tree Tower though.

    I was able to use my Japan Rail Pass for the last time on the Narita Airport Express.

    I flew with Etihad Airways - the official airline of UAE - who seemed pretty good. I was tempted to upgrade to Business Class, but at $1500 I decided just to slum it. I was a bit concerned initially when the flight started with a prayer on the screen, and regular reminders of the direction of, and distance to, Mecca. I thought I was in for a wee game of Bingo, but no luck. The food was okay, but my water carton and tray of veg were frozen rock solid. I was told that it was only Japanese fish for both meals, but eventually they found me chicken.

    Having a few hours stopover in Abu Dhabi after a 10 hour flight from Tokyo. Ready now for the last 8 hour leg to Edinburgh. It's midnight here in Abu Dhabi and 35 degrees!
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  • Day2

    Where - Abu Dhabi, Grand Millennium al Whadi hotel
    Weather - HOT! Min 32 Max 45
    Steps - 11600 steps or 7.4km

    After a long and uneventful flight, we arrived at Abu Dhabi at 6am where the temperature was already 32°C. Brad managed a decent amount of shut-eye, I not so much (maybe 2-3 hours), but I did manage to watch 3 movies and a couple of tv shows.

    Arrived at the Grand Millennium Al Whadi hotel where we were able to check in immediately (at 7.30am). He did try and upgrade is to a junior suite (for more $$ of course) because our choice of a non- smoking room would not be available until later, but we settled for the smoking room as we just wanted to freshen up. Room isn't bad, has a great view which would be better if it wasn't so hazy.

    Checked out the mall next door to the hotel. Just crossing the undercover carpark and the heat hits you like a sledgehammer. Massive with shops on 3 levels and meticulously clean... but there did not seem to be many people actually in the shops - still quite early I guess. Had lunch and by this time I was pretty tired (remember I only had a few hours rest on the plane), so caught up another few hours back in the hotel.

    Tomorrow we have a city tour organised which includes a visit to the huge mosque we saw on or way in from the airport, so hopefully more photos then.
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  • Day147

    With a 15-hour overnight layover, I am SO, SO GLAD that I booked myself a hotel room. I saw that this place has a continuously running shuttle to and from the airport (practically across the street), and sure enough, getting here was as easy as reported.
    I went up to the roof to check out the view, but the best sight of all is really that bed inviting me to stretch out. Which I will do very soon, despite even an interesting Europa league final I could turn on...Read more

  • Day2

    After 17.5 hours flying from Auckland to Dubai, it was so awesome waking through the arrivals gate to Jadey-Pops with this huge smile on her face! It had been a really long flight but seeing her on the other side was the best part! I really enjoyed the flight, managed to sleep for most of it and enjoyed some delicious food. Our days were jam-packed and Jade was a fantastic tour guide!! We saw camels on the beach in JLT and then went to the gold and spice souks in Old Dubai. In between we ate so much food at the multiple restaurants - I was so surprised at how much food and drink costs and temperatures averaged 38+ degrees!Read more

  • Day4

    Jade again played an amazing tour guide showing me all around Dubai and how to avoid the ridiculous heat by zipping from one air conditioned place to the next, using a Lexus Uber for a 500m drive!! I did one of her Black classes at Bare DXB which was awesome - I nearly died but it was so cool seeing her do her thing! We also went to the Palm Islands and hired bikes to cycle from the Atlantis to one side of the palm. This is definitely one of the highlights of Dubai because it was something Jade hadn't done before but also a really cool way to see the Palm and Atlantis while enjoying the 40 degree heat! We also went up the Burj Khalifa to floors 124 & 125 which was incredible. Luckily the clouds had lifted so I could see mostly everything from up there. I packed my bags and put on my Eliza Thornberry safari hat as I said goodbye to my little cousin who is absolutely killing it in Dubai. A truly fantastic way to start my 7 month adventure and some quality time with my girl!Read more

  • Day3

    Where Abu Dhabi - Half day City Tour
    Weather - Hot... 46°C - gasp!
    Steps - 11000 or 7km

    After a good breakfast we were picked up from the hotel to firstly visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Before even entering, there are very strict rules regarding dress (although it really only applied to women who had to be covered had to toe with head scarf, long sleeves and long pants/ skirt - men only had to have their legs covered). So, I'm fully kitted out with black scarf and black dress because it was considered my 3/4 shirt and pants were not long enough (yet the guide had a t-shirt on). Brad did take one photo of me wearing all this garb, but unfortunately, due to a mishap when we were trying to transfer the photos from the camera to the tablet, all the pictures were deleted off the SD card. Who did that shall remain nameless (it was Brad), but it was a lesson learnt and we won't do it again. Apart from the photos of the mosque, any other pictures we took today were not really keepers anyway and we figured we could always revisit here when we stop on the way back. Have included some images from stock photos.

    Anyway, back to the mosque. The mosque is the largest in the UAE and was only completed in 2007, taking about 11 years to build. The mosque is large enough to accommodate over 40,000 worshippers, while the main prayer hall can hold over 7,000. It boasts the world's largest hand knotted carpet, made by approx 1200 Iranian women and took 2 years to finish. There are seven imported chandeliers from Germany that incorporate millions of Swarovski crystals. The largest chandelier is the second largest known chandelier inside a mosque, the third largest in the world and weighs about 12 tonnes (and cost around USD$8 million, as did the carpet) . The thousand odd columns that line the courtyard are made from marble that is inlaid with semiprecious gemstones such as amethyst, mother of pearl and lapis lazuli in floral designs. It really was a beautiful place.

    After the mosque we visited a date market (who knew there were so many varieties of dates), followed by the cultural centre where we learnt about the development of Abu Dhabi from a small, poor region only 50 odd years ago to one of the wealthiest cities in the world. Finally we visited the Heritage Centre which demonstrated what the area was like before the discovery of oil and the source of their wealth.

    This ends our visit to Abu Dhabi, tomorrow we fly to Amsterdam to commence our European trip.
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  • Day147

    I think this flight may be my longest yet. It was billed as 14 hours, but I have a clock--It was 15. Maybe all the crazy weather affected us... And that must be expected, because our schedule allowed for the 15 hours. 🤔
    It was nice flying into Dubai in the daylight. The haze made for some pretty poor pictures, but the super tall Burj Khalif caught the sun nicely.
    As we flew past the developed coastline, the area's true nature was easily apparent. Sand dunes upon sand dunes. And here and there little human-engineered islands with buildings and plants. From the air, they look so fragile, sitting in seas of sand. What efforts must be necessary to irrigate these little plots and to keep the sand at bay!Read more

  • Day27

    A slow start after our big night last night but we still got going early enough to have one last walk around prior to checking out.

    It was lucky we got to airport early as it took ages to check bags in and get through security.

    Our flight was ok but we went through more turbulence on this flight than any other we've been on.

    We arrived in Dubai a bit after midnight and it is 37 degrees, apparently the UAE is experiencing a heat wave at the moment so it's going to be hotter than normal. We are now at our hotel, it's 2am. We are heading on a tour to Sharjah tomorrow and need to ready by 7.50am so better get some sleep.Read more

  • Day27

    Today we headed to Sharjah in the morning for a heritage and cultural tour. It was already 40 degrees at 9am, lucky we were in air conditioning for much of the morning.

    We visited the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilisation which was very interested, we got an insight into the Muslim religion and also learnt about the history of Islam in the fields of science, astrology, arts and architecture. Islam has more than 1.4 billion believers which is roughly one fifth of the worlds population and is also the worlds fastest growing religion. The word 'Islam' means 'submission or surrender to the will of Allah'. A Muslims faith rests on 'The Six Pillars of Inman (faith)'. They are the belief in Allah, in his angels, in his released scriptures, in his messengers, the day of judgement and the resurrection and divine predestination, hmmm, sounds very similar to Christianity.

    We also visited the Sharjah Heritage Museum and learnt about the history, customs and culture if the people of Sharjah and the UAE. The tour also included some photo stop opportunities at a couple of mosques as well as visited some souks. We enjoyed the tour and in particular gaining further insight into the Muslim religion, I find the history of religions, cultures, civilisations and ideas to be fascinating and just wish people were more tolerant of others and willing to learn from other cultures and religions instead of the prevailing bigotry that some people seem to want to foster.

    Anyway, we got back to the hotel a bit after midday and decided to have a few hours sleep given we didn't get a lot last night. It was also extremely hot so we didn't really want to be outside. However later in the afternoon we decided to grab a taxi and head to the Dubai Mall. Whilst I'm not one for shopping malls I did enjoying wandering around this one. Not only due to the air conditioning but the people watching was great and a distinct contrast to the faces we have been seeing in Scandinavia and the Netherlands. I love all the different types of dress here and particularly am intrigued by the women in the burqas. Maybe it's the dress and face covering that accentuates their eyes but these woman generally all have beautiful eyes.

    While at the mall we did a bit of shopping and also watched the fountain show in front of the Burj Khalifa which was quite impressive. Looking up at the Burj Khalifa is also something to behold and I can't believe they are planning to build an even taller building. After the show we enjoyed some decadent chocolate dishes at a restaurant next to the ice rink. They were delicious. When we left the mall at 8pm it was already dark outside, this is a bit of a novelty for us given our days for the last month have been so long and we've hardly seen any night time.

    The only thing that I don't enjoy in Dubai is the the hot weather, but we'll have to grin and bear it tomorrow as we are spending the day in Abu Dhabi and I'm really looking forward to learning more about this fascinating region. Tomorrow is also our last day on holiday so our epic adventure is coming to an end.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

United Arab Emirates, Vereinigte Arabische Emirate, UAE, Imarat Arab Meusaboh, Verenigde Arabiese Emirate, የተባበሩት የዓረብ ግዛቶች, Emiratos Arabes Unitos, Geānedu Arabisc Bregorīcu, الامارات العربية المتحدة, ܐܡܝܪܘܬܐ ܥܪܒܝܬܐ ܡܚܝܕܬܐ, الامارات, সংযুক্ত আৰব আমিৰাত, Emiratos Árabes Xuníos, ГIарабазул Цолъарал Имаратал, Birləşmiş Ərəb Emiratları, ایمارات, Берләшкән Ғәрәп Әмирлектәре, Vaeinigte Arabische Emirate, Emiratong Arabe Unidos, Аб'яднаныя Арабскія Эміраты, Обединени арабски емирства, यूनाइटेड अरब अमीरात, Syarikat Amiriah Arab, Arabu mara kafoli, সংযুক্ত আরব আমিরাত, ཨ་རབ། ཨི་མི་རཊ྄། ཆིག་སྒྲིལ་རྒྱལ་ཁབ།, তিলপা আরব আমিরাত, Emirelezhioù Arab Unanet, Ujedinjeni Arapski Emirati, Emiriyah Arab Bersatu, Арабай Нэгэдэһэн Эмиртэ Улас, Emirats Àrabs Units, Ā-lá-báik Lièng-hăk Dâi-gŭng-guók, Ӏаьрбийн Цхьанатоьхна Эмираташ, Hiniusang Emiratong Arabo, میرنشینە یەکگرتووە عەرەبییەکان, Birleşken Arap Emirlikleri, Spojené arabské emiráty, Emiraethau Arabaidd Unedig, Forenede Arabiske Emirater, Yewiya Emiranê Erebi, Zjadnośone Arabske Emiraty, އެކުވެރި ޢަރަބި އިމާރާތު, ཡུ་ནའི་ཊེཊ་ཨ་ར བ་ཨེ་མི་རེཊསི, United Arab Emirates nutome, Ηνωμένα Αραβικά Εμιράτα, Unuiĝintaj Arabaj Emirlandos, Emiratos Árabes Unidos, Araabia Ühendemiraadid, Arabiar Emirerri Batuak, Emiratus Árabis Uníus, عمارات متحده ی عربی, Emiraat Araab Denntuɗe, Arabiemiirikunnat, Sameindu Emirríkini, Émirats Arabes Unis, Èmirats arabes units, Feriene Arabyske Emiraten, Aontas na nÉimíríochtaí Arabacha, Birleşik Arab Emirlikleri, Na h-Iomaratan Arabach Aonaichte, Aravia Emiryvy Joaju, संयुक्त अरब अमीरात, યુનાઇટેડ અરબ એમિરેટ્સ, Ny h-Emmiraidyn Arabagh Unnaneysit, Haɗaɗɗiyar Daular Larabawa, Â-lâ-pak Lièn-ha̍p Thai-kûng-koet, איחוד נסיכויות ערב, Zjednoćene arabske emiraty, Emira Arab Ini, Egyesült Arab Emirátus, Միացյալ Արաբական Էմիրաթներ, Emiratos Arabe Unite, Uni Emirat Arab, Unit Arabic Emiratus, Dagiti Nagkaykaysa nga Emirato nga Arabo, Unionita Araba Emirati, Sameinuðu arabísku furstadæmin, Emirati Arabi Uniti, アラブ首長国連邦, Uni Émirat Arab, არაბთა გაერთიანებული საამიროები, Birlesken Arab Amirlikleri, Limarat Taɛrabin Yeddukklen, Хьарып Iэмирэт Зэгуэтхэр, Falme za Kiarabu, Біріккен Араб Эмираттары, អេមីរ៉ែទអារ៉ាប់រួម, ಸಂಯುಕ್ತ ಅರಬ್ ಎಮಿರೇಟಸ್, 아랍에미리트 연합, Ӧтувтчӧм Араб Эмиратъяс, Pennternasedh Unys Arabek, Бириккен Араб Эмирликтери, Emiratus Arabici Coniuncti, Vereenegt Arabesch Emiraten, ЦачIунхьу Аьрабнал Эмиратру, Арабрин Садхьанвай Эмиратар, Emireeti, Vereinegde Arabische Emiraote, Emirati Àrabi Unïi, Emiraa Arab Ünii, Lɛmila alabo, ສະຫະລັດອາຫລັບເອມິເລດ, ئمارأتیا یأکاگئرئتە عأرأڤی, Jungtiniai Arabų Emyratai, Lemila alabu, Apvienotie Arābu Emirāti, Emirà Arabo mitambatra, Обединети Арапски Емирати, സംയുക്ത അറബ് രാഷ്ട്രം, Арабын Нэгдсэн Эмирт Улс, Emiriah Arab Bersatu, Emirati Għarab Maqgħuda, ယူအေအီး, متحده عربی امارات, Emireitit Arabiya, Tlacetilīlli Arabiaemiryōtl, A-la-pek Liân-ha̍p Thâu-lâng-kok, De forente arabiske emirater, Vereenigte Araabsche Emiraten, संयुक्त अरब इमिराट्स, Verenigde Arabische Emiraten, Dei sameinte arabiske emirata, Unionati Arabi Emirates, Ásáí Bikéyah Yázhí Ałhidadiidzooígíí, Emirats Arabis Units, Yunaayitid Arab Imireetis, ସଂଯୁକ୍ତ ଆରବ ଏମିରେଟସ୍, Араббы Иугонд Эмираттæ, ਸੰਯੁਕਤ ਅਰਬ ਇਮਰਾਤ, Emiratos diad Unido ya Arabo, Emiratos Arabes Unidos, Yunitid Arab Emiraets, Zjednoczone Emiraty Arabskie, Emirà Àrabo Unì, متحدہ عرب امارات, متحده عرب امارات, Hukllachasqa Arab Imiratukuna, Emirats Arabs Unids, Leta Zunze Ubumwe z'Abarabu, Emiratele Arabe Unite, ОАЭ, Споєны Арабскы Еміраты, Nyarabu Zunze Ubumwe, Холбоhуктаах Араб Эмираттара, Emirati Àrabbi Uniti, Unitit Arab Emirates, گڏيل عرب امارات, Ovttastuvvan Arábaemiráhtat, Arâbo Emirâti Ôko, Jongtėnē Arabu Emīratā, එක්සත් අරාබි එමිර් රාජ්‍යය, Združeni arabski emirati, Imaaraadka Carabta ee Midoobay, Emiratet Arabe te Bashkuara, Уједињени Арапски Емирати, Bunye bema-Arabhu, Fereende Arabiske Emiroate, Förenade Arabemiraten, Zjednoczůne Arabske Ymiraty, ஐக்கிய அரபு அமீரகம், యునైటెడ్ ఆరబ్ ఎమిరేట్స్, Emiratu Arabi Naklibur Sira, Аморати Муттаҳидаи Араб, สหรัฐอาหรับเอมิเรตส์, የተባበሩት አረብ ኤምሬትስ, Birleşen Arap Emirlikleri, Nagkakaisang Kaemirang Arabo, ʻAlepea Fakatahataha, Birleşik Arap Emirlikleri, Берләшкән Гарәп Әмирлекләре, Огазеяськем Араб Эмиратъёс, ئەرەب بىرلەشمە خەلىپىلىكى, Обєднані Арабські Емірати, Birlashgan Arab Amirliklari, Araban Ühtenzoittud Emiratad, Các Tiểu vương quốc Ả Rập Thống nhất, Lemiräns Larabik Pebalöl, Imaaraat yu Araab yu Bennoo yi, 阿拉伯联合酋长国, Ниицәтә Араб Нутгуд, פאראייניגטע אראבישע עמיראטן, Orílẹ́ède Ẹmirate ti Awọn Arabu, 阿拉伯聯合酋長國, Bouxdaeuzgoz Ahlazbwz Lienzhab, Vereênigde Araobische Emiraoten, i-United Arab Emirates

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