Since we spend over half of the year baking under an unforgiving desert sun, we are taking advantage and making the best use of our fantastic winter weather here in the UAE and getting the kids outside as much as possible. From hidden gems that don’t get as much love as they should to exciting…Read More
Brave it through a haunted palace, explore an oasis and more…
Though Dubai has some amazing places to visit from Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood to the glitzy Burj Khalifa, if you venture out to some of the other emirates, you’ll find some gorgeous gems that you absolutely need to check out!
1. Jebel Hafeet
2. Mangrove Kayak Nature Tours with Quest For Adventure
Take your family time outdoors and experience an eco-friendly adventure with a guided tour on kayaks. Explore the Al Zorah Nature Reserve, an invigorating green space experience, which includes an inland creek that extends over 2 square kilometers of biologically and ecologically rich wetland.
Home to the fish nursery of the coast, the creek and mangrove are designated as conservation areas, where you’ll also find a close to 58 different species of birds inhabiting this incredible ecosystem.
Al Zorah Nature Reserve, Ajman, AED 175 for adults, AED 135 for children, more info
3. Al Qasimi Palace
Make your way through a mysterious abandoned palace which has remained empty for 35 years. The stunning 4-story palace, which is reportedly worth AED 500 Million, was abandoned after the home-owners claimed it to be haunted.
Inside the Palace, you’ll be amazed by the stunning artifacts and paintings that add charm to all the 35 rooms. The four-story structure is designed with glass chandeliers and marble floors, with a mix of Islamic, Moroccan and Persian influences. Don’t miss the room with a huge pyramid structure, at the top of the mansion!
Al Qasimi Palace, Ras Al Khaimah, AED 75 per person, more info
4. Al Ain Oasis
UAE’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, Al Ain Oasis, is considered one of the world’s oldest permanently inhabited settlements, dating back more than 4,000 years. Nowadays, you and your family can explore shaded pathways that wind through over 145,000 date palms, check out the aflaj irrigation system, and learn more about the Oasis at the Eco-Centre.
Al Ain, Al Mutawaa, Daily 8am-5pm, free entry, more info
5. Snoopy Island
Off the shore of Fujairah, you’ll find ‘Snoopy Island’, named after everyone’s favourite beagle from the Peanuts comics. You can kayak and snorkel around the island, rent a chalet on the beach and even settle down to camp.
Fujairah, accessible 24/7, free entry to public beach, activities chargeable, more info
6. Ghost Town - Al Jazirat Al Hamra
Explore the mystery of Ras Al Khaimah’s Ghost Town, built in the 14th century and home to thousands of pearl fishermen who suddenly abandoned their homes in the 20th century. Rumours say that the place is haunted – so if you and your family are up for a spook, head there for a bit of adventure.
Al Jazirat Al Hamra, Ras Al Khaimah, free entry, more info
7. Sharjah Planetarium
Make your way to Sharjah’s Planetarium, the gateway into the deepest secrets of the universe and the brightest views of the sky. Take a journey through the cosmos with a picture of the sky blanketing you above your head inside the sun-shaped dome. The Planetarium’s advanced digital projectors will take you through our impressive solar system, and will give you insight into topics like astronauts, black holes, stars, super volcanoes, undiscovered worlds and much much more.
Sharjah Center for Astronomy and Space Sciences, AED 22 for adults, AED 11 for children 4-12yrs, more info
8. Heritage Village
Get a glimpse of the past way of life in Abu Dhabi. Along with a traditional souk, a mosque, and dhows, you can also explore artifacts and watch artisans in action as they make pottery, weave fabrics, and blow glass.
Occasionally, you can view (and sometimes participate) in public workshops where craftsmen demonstrate traditional skills such as metal work, pottery and weaving.
Emirates Heritage Village, Abu Dhabi, free entry, more info