UAE and Oman offer an unexpected cornucopia of contrasts that, when taken together, make for an unforgettable vacation experience.
From the dazzling gem of sophistication that is Dubai, to the cosmopolitan capital city of Abu Dhabi, to Umm al-Qaiwain’s long sweeps of beautiful beaches, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has quickly become a star in the realm of luxury destinations. Seven emirates – Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al-Qaiwain, Ras al-Khaimah and Fujairah – joined together in 1971 to form a constitutional federation. Although most of the land is desert, it still offers vividly contrasting areas, from the Empty Quarter, the largest sand desert in the world, to lush oases, rocky mountains and fertile plains. UAE occupies a large sweep of land along the southeastern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, with Qatar to the west, Saudi Arabia to the south and west, and Oman to the north and east. The capital and the largest city of the federation, Abu Dhabi, is located in the emirate of the same name. Although UAE is known widely for its oil, wealth, shopping and sophistication, the country also has a quieter side that can be experienced in the desert of the Bedouin or the centuries old neighborhoods, mosques and markets of Dubai. Sharjah, the capital of the emirate of Sharjah, has built a strong cultural heritage and identity, and was named UNESCO’s ‘Arab Capital of Culture” in 1998.
The Sultanate of Oman, on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula, shares a border with the UAE as well as Saudi Arabia and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the southeast and the Gulf of Oman on the northeast. Oman is rich in history with about 500 forts, castles and towers in various architectural styles. Like UAE, it offers a wealth of experiences related to both the desert and the sea. Its appealing souks can be found in many of the towns throughout the country. UAE and Oman make perfect partners for an Arabian adventure.
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