< ">Once an obscure corner of Arabia, the United Arab Emirates has transformed itself into an Arabian success story through a mix of oil profits, stability a sharp eye for business. Visitors are attracted by beaches, deserts, oases, camel racing, Bedouin markets and the legendary duty-free shopping of Dubai-all packed into a relatively small area. Dubai is the Singapore of the Gulf, with bustling harbours, gigantic shopping malls and bold architecture. Each of the seven emirated bears a unique character.
BEST TIME TO VISIT:
November to April
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The oil-rich emirate of Abu Dhabi has two beautiful oases: the attractively green and orderly Al-Ain and the spectacular contrast of green farms and towering pink dunes at Liwa. Sharjah offers the country’s best museums and art gallery, and a magnificent zoo, as well as the charming port of Khor Fakkan. The smaller emirates quieter-Umm as-Qaiwain is the closest thing to what the frishing and pearling towns of 50 years ago must have been like.