Most of the tourists intending to visit the UAE have only shopping and staying in high end resorts at the back of their minds. The city of Dubai alone, has more than 400 high rise skyscrapers and a huge number of ritzy shopping malls to attract them. This federation of seven countries, provides a delightful holiday destination with its rapidly changing facade.
What few people, sadly, are not aware of is that despite the reputation of UAE having a glittering skyline, it also has an abundant source of natural beauty, which surprisingly has even till today remained largely untouched and hidden. To encourage you to divert your gaze from the glamour of the artificial creations, to something rather natural and beautiful in a different light, a list of some of the best offbeat, albeit, must see places of UAE are mentioned below.
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The Wathba Wetland Reserve
This precious and undisturbed natural reserve of wildlife is located at the edge of the Baniyas. A designated wetland area, the place is home to thousands of flamingos, which can be discreetly viewed, either by foot or by sitting in camouflaged hides erected in strategic spots.
Located in Al Awir, on the highway connecting Dubai with Hatta, Fossil Rock has thousands of fossils, some of which date back to nearly 80 million years. The vast sand dunes, clear blue skies and hills with rocks surrounding this area, make for an unforgettable visit to Fossil Rock.
The town of Fujairah is usually associated with great views of the Indian Ocean and the large variety of marine life found in it. However, a short distance from the town are some natural hidden treasures like mountains and wadis lining the roads.
Since the entire country is mostly mountainous, with the terrain ranging from steep high mountains to deep wadis or ravines, the area is ideal for a mountain safari.
Singing sand dunes of Liwa
From beneath the sound of footsteps and the the wheels of the many cars, arises a magical phenomenon from the sand dunes of Liwa. Easily accessible from Abu Dhabi and Dubai, albeit after a four hour trek, these sand dunes surround the town located on the deserts edge.
Local guides will relate how the vibrations of the sand grains result in creating a singing mechanism as they fall on each other. This area, known as the Empty Quarter, stretches into Saudi Arabia and is known for the most pronounced singing sound than any other sand dune in the world.
Khor al Beidah
Located on the island of Al Sinniyah, Khor al Beidah is great draw for wildlife enthusiasts and more so for bird lovers. Between the months of November and March, this 90 square kilometres reserve comes alive with large number of birds which migrate here. The large number of shallow lagoons and mudflats makes this an ideal spot for the birds to nest and breed.
The smallest of the seven emirates of the UAE, Ajman, not surprisingly offers many opportunities to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city because of its high altitude. Masfout is a comfortable two hour drive from the center of the city, and though the area has no developed infrastructure like hotels etc, it makes for a secluded escape spot. The low pollution and cool air allows visitors various options like hiking, biking and wadi exploration.
The UAE, with its excellent infrastructure and vast number of attractions, is one of the easiest and best places to visit from anywhere in the world. Flights to the UAE are in constant demand, with a number of airlines vying with each other to offer air tickets at competitive rates.
The Middle Eastern Airlines, has always offered all its customers, visiting the UAE, the best of services both on ground as well as on board. This is a trademark sign of the culture and high class hospitality, reflected by it. The airline offers direct connections between Beirut, the Gulf and the Middle East. It connects several locations like Kuwait, Doha, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Jeddah.