The United Arab Emirates is a federation of seven emirates on the eastern side of the Arabian peninsula, at the entrance to the Persian Gulf. It has coastlines on the Persian Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf, with Saudi Arabia to the west and southwest, and Oman to the southeast and also on the eastern tip of the Musandam Peninsula as well as an Omani enclave within its borders. It is a country rich in history and culture and an easy starting point for travels in the Middle East.
For most Western tourists, the UAE offers an environment that is extremely familiar. The malls are extraordinarily modern, filled with virtually any product available in the West Alcohol is widely available at many restaurants and bars in Dubai and in the tourist hotels of every other emirate save Sharjah. However, in Dubai you must obtain a liquor license in order to buy a full bottle at a liquor store. The liquor license is proof that the bearer is a non-Muslim. A passport will not suffice. However, you can purchase liquor duty-free at the airport to bring into the UAE. No liquor license is required to purchase alcohol in any of the other Emirates.
* Abu Dhabi – The capital of the UAE
* Ajman – The smallest emirate, One of the budget destinations.
* Al Ain – Inland and close to the Omani bordertown of Buraimi, Al Ain comprises a triangle between the proper cities of Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
* Dubai – The most common entry point for travelers, it is the transport and commerce center of the UAE.
* Sharjah – A cheaper destination, dusty and chaotic in places but with its own unique charm.
The United Arab Emirates is a modern and dynamic country. To some, it is an advanced and clean country, to others a touristy “Disneyland”.
The roads and other public facilities are modern if, at times, extremely crowded. Supermarkets offer a vast assortment of products from the U.S. and Europe, mainly from the U.K., along with local and regional items. Major international chains such as Ikea and Carrefour have a presence and fast-food chains .such as McDonald’s and KFC operate widely. On the other hand, there are still crowded traditional souks filled with products from around the world, rug stores. These can be hard to find for the average traveler, as the malls tend to gain an overwhelming amount of attention.