From breathtaking natural wonders to architectural marvels, discover the seven wonders of the UAE’s seven emirates
The UAE is home to a diverse landscape, boasting everything from scenic desert dunes stretching for miles to record-breaking man-made structures piercing the sky. Add to it the stunning coast surrounding the region and the avenues to explore are endless. Best of all, some of the country’s wonders, natural and man-made, are within easy reach and there’s hardly the need to travel far to find them.
/ Dubai: Burj Khalifa
It’s impossible to mention Dubai without this towering landmark springing to mind. A true architectural feat, this gleaming skyscraper, the tallest in the world, stands at an incredible 828 metres. Taking a mere five years to construct, Burj Khalifa officially opened in 2010 and is home to the world’s highest restaurant, At.mosphere, on level 122, the highest observation deck with an outdoor terrace, Burj Khalifa SKY, on level 148 as well as the world’s highest lounge, The Lounge, on level 154.
/ Abu Dhabi: Sir Bani Yas Island
Just a short seaplane flight or boat trip off the main island is one of the capital’s most precious gems. Cherished by the country’s founder, the late Sheikh Zayed, Sir Bani Yas Island is a protected nature reserve, home to an array of wildlife. Here, visitors can embark on a safari, in true African-fashion, and encounter indigenous Arabian oryx and gazelles, in addition to giraffes, cheetahs and hyenas. Boasting more than 10,000 animals roaming freely in the natural habitat, these desert-dwelling creatures take up more than half the island.
/ Ras Al Khaimah: Jebel Jais Flight
Soaring 1,680 metres above the ground on the world’s longest zip line has become a bucket-list item for adrenaline enthusiasts in the country. Set amidst the UAE’s highest mountain, Jebel Jais Flight sees thrill seekers tearing through the air at a speed of up to 150 kilometres per hours. The 2.8-kilometre zip line takes just two to three minutes to complete but offers the rush of mountain winds and the stunning vistas as you fly through the skies.
/ Umm Al Quwain: Wetlands
A truly spectacular spot, the wetlands of Umm Al Quwain are a nature lover’s wonderland. Surrounded by several little islands, the spot attracts thousands of birds as well as other wildlife. For an even closer look at this emirate’s thriving eco-system, explore this picturesque setting by boat or kayak through the mangroves.
/ Sharjah: Mleiha Archaeological Centre
From Bronze Age tombs to stargazing opportunities, Mleiha Archaeological Centre is a historical treasure trove. Tucked away in the picturesque setting of Sharjah’s golden desert, the centre gives an insight into life dating back to the Paleolithic period and delves into the region’s history spanning millions of years. Through exhibits, interactive displays, artefacts and more, visitors can uncover the past of the UAE’s bedouins. From flora and fauna workshops to fossil hunting, and even space camp, there are activities for children and adults, exploring the region’s history from sea to sky.
/ Fujairah: Al Hajar Mountains
Located on the country’s east coast, this mountain range, with its ocean proximity, is the perfect destination for the outdoor lover. With some interesting and challenging hikes, coursing through rocky terrains, past farms and ruins, and the area’s rare wild inhabitants, it could be mistaken for walking on the moon. There is little greenery but the setting is magical in its vastness.
/ Ajman: Ajman Museum
Despite being the smallest emirate in the UAE, Ajman’s laid-back vibe and sprawling beach means it has plenty to offer. Much like its neighbouring emirates, the city also has a proud heritage to share. Gain an inside look at the city’s past with a visit to Ajman Museum. Housed in an 18th-century fort, it is brimming with an eclectic range of photographs, manuscripts, weapons, archaeological artefacts as well as reconstructions of the region’s traditional way of life.
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