Welcome to the UAE
A complete holiday destination
The United Arab Emirates is a constitutional federation of seven emirates - Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah. Spurred by the discovery of oil in the late 1950s, a visionary programme of development has evolved the UAE into a modern and stable state with exemplary infrastructure, excellent facilities, and a very low crime rate.
The UAE covers an area of 83,000 square kilometres and is situated at the south eastern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. On the world map, it sits conveniently between the Far East and Europe - a key factor in its emergence as the region's major air travel hub.
Ranked high as one of the world's fastest growing tourist destinations, it has all the right ingredients for a complete and unforgettable holiday - sun, sand, sea, sports, shopping, and safety.
- Modern country created in 1971
- Welcoming and hospitable society
- Unique blend of traditional and contemporary cultures
- Stable and secure
- Year round sunshine
- Varied landscape of beaches, mountains and desert
- Extensive range of hotels and resorts
- Wide choice of sports and leisure facilities
- Numerous attractions and activities
The earliest significant settlements in the UAE date back to the Bronze Age. Over the past hundreds of years, the country has been exposed to numerous cultural influences including Persian, Greek, Portuguese and British. In the 18th century, the British established a protectorate over the region, but the area remained a backwater for fishermen, pearl divers and Bedouin nomads until the 20th century, when oil was discovered.
In 1971, the British withdrew from the region and seven independent sheikhdoms came together to form the UAEs. The economy, once dependent on oil revenues, is now diverse and dynamic. Trade and manufacturing contribute significantly, while the tourism industry is accepted as an emerging global force, setting new standards and forever breaking new ground.
Although four-fifths of the UAE is desert, the landscape offers a lot more than sand dunes. In the North, the 200 million year old Hajar Mountains are a compelling sight, as are the rich fertile plains and quaint oasis towns in the East. The country's extensive coastline is peppered with secluded beaches, shallow inlets, and small islands.
Visitors to the UAE can choose from a wide selection of attractions and activities. These include extended shopping trips to designer stores, shopping malls and traditional souks, and cultural visits to museums, galleries and mosques. For the more adventurous, there are activities based in the desert, on the mountains, and in the water. The UAE also boasts some of the world's finest championship golf courses.
The warmth of the local culture is reflected in the traditional Arabian approach to hospitality, and the generous acceptance of other faiths, practices and customs.
The choice of hotels and resorts across the country is nothing short of exceptional. From city apartments to beach and mountain properties, and from exclusive desert resorts to some of the world's finest hotels, the service and facilities are of exceptionally high standards.
Despite the incredible growth in tourism, the UAE has not weakened the bond with its past, and local traditions and culture are cherished and respected across towering high rises and ancient boatyards alike. This fascinating mix of the old and the new has allowed the country to progress rapidly - without losing touch with its roots.
A beautiful and bountiful emirate
Nestled between the lunar landscapes of the Hajar Mountains, with 70 kilometres of sandy coasts, the emirate of Fujairah is blessed with unspoilt natural beauty. Free from the pressures of modern city living, Fujairah is the kind of place that makes people want to stay back.
- Less than two hours' drive from Dubai
- 70 kilometres of coastline against a dramatic mountain backdrop
- Endless stretches of pristine sandy beaches
- Paradise for water sports and diving enthusiasts
- Treasure trove of historical sites
- Annual power boat racing world championships
For those fascinated by history, Fujairah is a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered.
Fujairah was the first home for immigrants who came from the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula, and who were later known as the Phoenicians. Some immigrants also came from Yemen after the collapse of the Ma'areb Dam, from whom the Sharqis tribes descend.
Known in the old ages as the 'land of the sea giants', some of the most important archaeological finds in the Gulf region has been made in this area. Excavations show that man's presence in the region dates back to the Iron Age.
Fujairah looks out over the Gulf of Oman and the Indian Ocean, and has one of the richest marine environments on the planet. The crystal clear waters are a favourite of water sports enthusiasts and biologists alike. The rugged landscape also provides the perfect environment for a range of activities including wadi drives, desert safaris and mountain treks.
A major attraction is bull-butting, a bloodless form of bull fighting which takes place every Friday.
The emirate is dotted with places of interest ranging from the UAE's smallest mosque, to ancient forts and museums, spice souks, and pottery stalls.
The picturesque fishing village of Dibba, the fruit bowl of the UAE - Al Dhaid, Bithnah oasis and the abandoned Fujairah village are other key attractions. The resort town of Khor Fakkan - administered by the emirate of Sharjah - is a charming spot on the east coast of Fujairah, flanked by steep mountains and calm seas.
The Power Boat racing world championship is hosted in Fujairah every October, and organised by Fujairah International Marine Club.
In recent years, Fujairah has made tremendous progress in the tourism sector. Efficient highways link Fujairah to the six emirates, and to Oman, while its international airport is efficient and modern, with state-of-the-art facilities. Accommodation comprises both renowned international chains, and small independent hotels.
Officials are striving to position the emirate as a popular tourist destination, in the hope that it will soon match the prestigious reputation of its acclaimed commercial shipping port. Various plans are afoot to build new hotels and develop facilities as the emirate gears up to meet anticipated demand spurred by an overall growth of visitors to the UAE.