When it comes to visiting the UAE, everyone knows which staple touristic places to visit, like the Burj Al Arab in Dubai and the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, which should definitely be on every visitor’s itinerary. However, for those looking for something a bit more unusual and adventurous, there are several amazing places in the country that don’t make international headlines and that most people don’t even know exist!
Who can really say they don’t love Ghostbusters? Well, only around one hour and a half away from Dubai, is a place rumoured to be haunted. Jazirat Al Hamra, or better known as Ghost Town, is an abandoned village made up of ruins in the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. What many years ago was an inhabited village is believed to be haunted by Jinns, mystical creatures in Islamic folklore. Warning: this is not for the faint of heart and will definitely make for a thrilling experience!
Dreamland Aqua Park
Dubai and Abu Dhabi have several waterparks in between the two cities. However, the often overlooked Emirate of Umm Al Quwain is home to one of the best waterparks in the country, Dreamland Aqua Park. This spot is great for those looking to skip the long lines found in Dubai-based parks. Additionally, Dreamland Aqua Park has a number of unique rides and allows visitors to actually camp in the park!
Dreamland Aqua Park, Umm Al Qwain, +971 6 768 1888
Dubai Garden Glow
Most visitors who come to Dubai choose to spend their nights in fancy restaurants or cool bars. However, for a truly unique and unforgettable experience, travellers should head to Dubai Garden Glow. Although it’s not the most well-known place in Dubai, this spot is true magic. The venue brings together massive light structures, creating a whimsical world for visitors. Additionally, Dubai Garden Glow often holds shows and live music for extra entertainment.
Dubai Garden Glow, Zabeel Park, Dubai, +971 52 478 5605
Fujairah is one of the Emirates that definitely does not get the credit it deserves. Being the only Emirate located on the country’s East Coast, Fujairah has a singular landscape, surrounded by sea and mountains. Perhaps one of its most interesting spots is Snoopy Island, an island right off the coast of Sand Beach, which is best known for looking like Snoopy laying down. This is a great spot for snorkelling and spotting marine life.
Al Qudra Oasis
One of Dubai’s best-hidden gems is definitely the Al Qudra Oasis. Only about 50 minutes away from downtown, this epic spot looks completely different than the rest of the metropolis. The few manmade lakes, which compose the Oasis, provide visitors with a perfect spot for a picnic and a quiet day. Perhaps the most exciting thing to see in this already magnificent spot is its birds. Dozens of flamingos and swans live in the Al Qudra Oasis.
Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital
Every city in the world should have decent hospitals. Well, Abu Dhabi takes this to the next level with its Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital. No, this isn’t a fancy name for a regular hospital, this truly is a hospital for falcons. With the bird being such an important animal in Emirate culture, with some being priced at exorbitant amounts of money, Abu Dhabi has its own hospital in order to provide falcons with state-of-the-art technology and impeccable health care.
Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital, Sweihan Road, Abu Dhabi, +971 2 575 5155
Dubai has no shortage of cool and trendy neighbourhoods. However, Al Satwa offers a completely contradictory setting and is completely unknown to tourists. This is the area of Dubai where everyone gets everything done. Need a tailor? Al Satwa. Want to frame a picture? Al Satwa. Want to buy fabric? Al Satwa. The neighbourhood looks much simpler and more humble than the rest of the city, but it is the ideal place for anything cheap, easy and fast.