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Which of the 7 emirates is better to choose for a beach holiday in the UAE

Какой из 7 эмиратов лучше выбрать для пляжного отдыха в ОАЭ

Problems with visiting many Mediterranean resorts that have arisen in the last few years have forced many Russians to turn their eyes towards the UAE. The United Arab Emirates is a principality washed by the waters of the Persian and Oman Gulfs. All seven emirates that are part of the state are located in a subtropical climate and have access to the sea, so you can sunbathe and swim in them all year round. This article is about which emirate in the UAE is better to choose for a beach holiday.

Dubai

Dubai

This resort and entertainment area is the most popular among Russian travelers. People come here for shopping, for relaxing by the sea or for outlandish entertainment. Dubai is a megalopolis resort, accommodation in which does not belong to the category of budget. Here you can find entertainment for every taste, but everything is very expensive. Therefore, it is best suited for wealthy tourists who are accustomed to luxury, comfort and leisure time.

The business card of the resort is the perfectly white sandy beaches washed by the azure waters of the Persian Gulf. The entire coast is built up with luxury hotels of the highest class. The mainland is complemented by an artificial bulk island in the form of a palm tree, on which one of the most luxurious hotels in the world, Atlantis, is located.

All Dubai beaches are divided into three categories:

  • hotel rooms;
  • private;
  • public.

In most cases, hotel rooms and private ones are intended only for guests, public ones are open for free access. They do not have luxury, but they are not inferior to closed areas in terms of cleanliness and comfort.

The island of “Palma” is a place of elite pastime. But you can find cheaper options in the city. Many vacationers choose the beach areas of the Marina area. From here you can enjoy wonderful views of the city’s skyscrapers, rising directly from the sea. The world’s largest inflatable water park is also located here. Fans of club activities will be able to have fun in one of the dozens of restaurants and night entertainment venues located along the multi-kilometer embankment.

JBR Beach is very popular. It is great for families with children, but young people will also find a lot of interesting things for themselves: jet skis, catamarans. Water sports can be enjoyed at Kite Beach.

The water in the sea never drops below +20°C, but the air warms up to +50°C in summer. And the excess of concrete skyscrapers only worsens the situation. Therefore, it is better to go on vacation to Dubai in winter.

Also, when planning a trip, it is worth considering that in this city, active life does not stop either day or night. This technomegapolis is not suitable for those who are looking for silence, solitude, peace and proximity to nature. But it is perfect for those who prefer to be in the center of events around the clock.

Sharjah

Sharjah

This is the oldest of the emirates, where life flows in strict observance of Islamic traditions. Alcohol is prohibited here, and tourists’ appearance and behavior are much stricter. It is an ideal place to relax with family and children, a favorite resort for older vacationers. The resort is characterized by a quiet relaxing atmosphere, unhurriedness and regularity of life.

Sharjah is washed by both Persian and Omani bays at once, which is one of the main attractions. There are sandy beaches on the coast, all of them are landscaped and kept perfectly clean. The most popular are Al-Corniche and Al-Khan. Here you can swim and sunbathe, have fun riding jet skis or scuba diving in the coral bay. The quality of service in Sharjah is as high as in Dubai or Abu Dhabi, but its cost is much lower. Tourists are accepted by about two hundred three- and four-star hotels with an all-inclusive service system. Most of them do not have their own beaches, but there is a service for delivering guests to urban beach areas.

Another interesting accommodation option is glamping – bungalows in oriental style, located in the desert, but not far from the sea. Such accommodation adds a real oriental flavor to the journey. Between bathing and sunbathing sessions, you can wander through the mangroves of the Al Hefaiyah Nature Reserve, visit the excavations of the Mleikha archaeological center or safari park, and at sunset take a camel ride through the desert and take unique pictures of the sun setting behind the dunes.

Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi

The capital emirate, the most expensive in the country. There is no dominance of skyscrapers here, there are much fewer festivals and massive open-air shows. Nevertheless, Abu Dhabi is a true cultural capital. There are many architectural and historical attractions, places for family holidays, high-class hotels. The overall atmosphere is much more measured and calm than in Dubai.

The best time to travel to Abu Dhabi is from October to April, when the air warms up to no more than +28 °C. The territory of Abu Dhabi includes about 200 islands and archipelagos, some of them are interconnected and represent a single resort complex, where most of the hotels are located.

The beaches on Saadiyat Island are considered the best: They are located within walking distance from the city center and resemble the flat white shores of the Maldives with their clear turquoise waters. Most of the beaches here are public with free entry. Vacationers will find everything they need on them: sun beds, umbrellas, changing rooms.

The artificial island of Yas is famous for the strict observance of silence on it, so that vacationers can fully feel the closeness of nature, basking on the white sand near the shore of the warm sea under the spreading palm trees. Nevertheless, there is plenty of entertainment here: there is a water park, an indoor theme park with American mountains, an aquarium, a shopping center, a yacht marina.

On Yassa, an eight-kilometer Corniche embankment with a lot of entertainment for children and adults is laid along the coast. You can walk along it, ride a bike or roller skate. From the Corniche you can get to the Blue Flag Beach. This sign marks the resort areas with the cleanest sea and the highest level of service.

Fujairah

Fujairah

This principality is the only one of the seven located on the coast of the Indian Ocean: its shores are washed by the waters of the Gulf of Oman. The climatic conditions here are milder than in other places. In the summer months, the temperature is at least 5°From below, a comfortable +25°C is set in winter. There are no strong winds here, since the territory is fenced off from the desert by mountains, and the water temperature is kept at +24…+26°C all year round.

The coast is a multi–kilometer flat strip with palm trees and mangroves, and the seabed with many bright coral reefs teeming with marine life is a real paradise for divers. Diving centers offer scuba diving training, as well as scuba diving.

Fujairah has many wild beaches, but there are also well-equipped urban ones with equipped changing rooms, showers, sun loungers and umbrellas. On the closed beaches you can ride slides, rent scuba gear, catamarans, jet skis.

Fujairah is the best emirate for a beach holiday in the UAE for lovers of silence and measured pastime. There are no noisy celebrations and parties here. There are much fewer vacationers than in other places, so there is no hustle and bustle. There are no special attractions here either. Local guides offer excursions to the mountains, to the desert, along the beds of dried rivers, bathing in healing springs, visiting ancient fortresses.

A trip to Fujairah will be much cheaper than to other resorts, but there are disadvantages. The sand on the shore is littered with coral fragments, sea urchins are often found, so they do not walk barefoot on it. Some backwaters are teeming with poisonous plankton and jellyfish. In addition, there is an oil terminal in the port of Fujairah, where fuel oil leaks occur from time to time.

Ras al Khaimah

Ras al Khaimah

It is the northernmost principality, which means that it is hotter and wetter here throughout the year than in other places. If you come to the resort in the summer, you will have to spend the whole vacation in the cool pools of the hotel or in an air-conditioned room. It is best to go to Ras al Khaimah in the winter months.

This resort is one of the most exotic, in any place tourists do not leave the feeling that they have fallen into an Arab fairy tale: the azure sea, the eternally blue sky, picturesque mountains on the horizon, framing terracotta deserts, white buildings in the Arabic style. At the same time, vacationers will find a variety of entertainment: noisy parties on the shore with alcoholic beverages, which are legalized here, and water attractions, excursions that introduce the history and cultural traditions of the region. Guests are also offered:

  • boat trips;
  • fishing in the open sea on small sailing yachts;
  • a canoe trip through the mangrove swamps;
  • visiting the Haat hot springs;
  • desert safari with dinner by the campfire;
  • camel ride;
  • hiking in the mountains with a visit to the ancient forts.

Children will love the zoo and the water park.

There are many free beaches in Ras al Khaimah, but they are not comfortable enough for vacationers: there are few sun beds and umbrellas on them. Locals come here, so guests have to observe strictness in their clothes: men should only wear long shorts, and women in closed swimsuits.

Ajman

Ajman

This is the smallest principality in terms of area. The resort is characterized by silence, a cozy family atmosphere, lack of fuss and human pandemonium. The coastline occupies only 16 km, the coastal area is covered with soft snow-white sand, the descent into the sea is gentle. All hotels are located right on the shore and have their own beach areas, but you can also visit public ones. Both are equally comfortable and safe.

Unlike other places, there are many barbecue areas on the coast of Ajman. You can also spend time in a cafe or riding water slides, diving, parasailing or surfing. Guests are offered excursions to the Ajman Fort, to the reserve, where amazing pink flamingos live, and to the fish market.

Umm al-Kaywain

This emirate is least engaged in the development of tourism, so there are few five-star hotels and the tourist infrastructure is not as developed. But it is sparsely populated, quiet and peaceful. Umm al Khaimah is mainly engaged in fishing. Vacationers often choose guest houses for settlement. This allows you to relax and at the same time explore the peculiarities of the local household culture.

The coast in Umm al Khaimah is flat, with many shady palm trees, the sea in the coastal area is shallow, safe for swimming with children, the sand is clean and pleasant. Guests can enjoy fishing in the open sea, catamaran rides, motorcycles, walks on uninhabited islands and mangrove swamps.

Travel tips

  1. To determine for yourself which emirate of the UAE is better to go on vacation, think about what you want. If you are inspired by futurism, round-the-clock celebration, noise, fun, choose Dubai, this New York City on the shores of the Persian Gulf. If you want to enjoy the silence and beauty of nature, go to Ras al Khaimah. Sharjah or Abu Dhabi are suitable for lovers of history, culture and traditions.
  2. When choosing the time to travel, pay attention to the air temperature and some natural phenomena. So, in the summer months, the average air temperature everywhere is +35…+40 °C. In cities with modern concrete buildings, it is even higher, the sea warms up to the temperature of warm tea, so you definitely won’t get a comfortable stay. Despite the fact that the price of tours is minimal, the trip itself and the excursion can be dangerous to health. Fujairah is the coolest in summer: the temperature does not exceed +35 °C. But it’s best to plan a trip from October to April. It is also worth making sure that the wind season does not start at your resort at the chosen time: in some places, strong winds blow from December to February. And winter and the beginning of spring in the UAE are the time of festivals and fairs.
  3. The UAE has relied on tourism and is turning a blind eye to many things that are alien to local traditions. But this does not mean that tourists are allowed to do everything. All principalities have a dress code, including beachwear (too revealing women’s outfits are unacceptable), alcohol can only be consumed on the territory of hotels, and this is prohibited in Sharjah. It is unacceptable to show feelings for each other in public places.
  4. When deciding which emirate to choose for a beach holiday in the UAE, tourists mostly plan to spend time at sea or in shopping malls. However, 9/10 of the country’s territory is a desert. Visiting it will be a unique experience. Here you can ride camels, arrange jeep races or meet the sunrise in the sky by going up there in a hot air balloon.
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Vladimir Sviridov
Vladimir Sviridov
General Manager RLC Consulting
With a Postgraduate Masters in Finance from The, Moscow State University, Russia. Vladimir started his professional career as an auditor of the financial sector of EY. After that, he worked for several years in senior positions in corporate banking. In 2018-2021, he managed the finances of a large agricultural holding, and is currently responsible for strategic planning, corporate partnership and financial management in the role of General Manager of RLC Consulting GROUP in the UAE.

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