In association with Milestone
Dubai is a city in the United Arab Emirates known for luxury shopping, ultramodern architecture and a lively nightlife scene. Burj Khalifa, an 830m-tall tower, dominates the skyscraper-filled skyline. At its foot lies Dubai Fountain, with jets and lights choreographed to music. On man-made islands just offshore is Atlantis, the Palm and a resort with water and marine-animal parks.
Although rooted in Islamic tradition, this is an open society where it’s easy for newcomers and visitors to connect with a myriad of experiences be it eating like a Bedouin, dancing on the beach, shopping for local art or riding a camel in the desert.
Bargain hunter or power shopper, you’ll have a fine time spending your dirhams in Dubai. Dubai is a top retail haunt that hosts not one but two huge annual shopping festivals. Shopping is a leisure activity here, malls are much more than mere collections of stores. Some look like an Italian palazzo or a Persian palace and lure visitors with surreal attractions like an indoor ski slope or a giant aquarium. Traditional souqs are beehives of activity humming with timeless bargaining banter.
After dark, Dubai sometimes seems like a city filled with lotus eaters, forever on the lookout for a good time. It caters for just about every taste, budget and age group. From flashy dance temples, sleek rooftop terraces and sizzling beach clubs to fancy cocktail caverns and concerts under the stars. Much of the nightlife centres around the fancy hotels, but there’s no shortage of more wholesome diversions either, including sheesha lounges, community theatres and live music venues
The world’s largest hand-loomed carpet, the fastest roller coaster, the highest high tea, the tower with the greatest lean, the largest cluster of cultural buildings of the 21st century – UAE capital Abu Dhabi isn’t afraid to challenge world records.
Abu Dhabi’s culture is firmly rooted in Arabia’s Islamic traditions, creating a shining example of Islam’s true commitment to tolerance and hospitality. The combination of international influences and a strong commitment to local heritage has created an intriguing mix of new and old.
Sample Activities in Dubai & Abu Dhabi
- Dune Bashing
- Helicopter tours
- Desert Safari with BBQ dinner, camel rides and henna painting…
Oman is a land of rich history and fascinating culture that dates back well over 5000 years. The relics of one thousand forts and watchtowers stand as sentinels over Oman’s now peaceful landscape. While many have been left in ruins, a great number have been beautifully restored to their former glory and are open for visitors to explore. Nizwa Fort, perhaps Oman’s most famous heritage landmark, is a great example of this. Surrounded by the equally alluring Nizwa Souk, this impressive monument to Omani architecture features mazes of passageways linking rooms of museum displays beneath its grand central tower.
Oman is often referred to as the ‘true Arabia’ because its ancient culture has been so beautifully preserved. Here, you’ll still find souks selling silver and frankincense, cattle and pottery, in the same way as has been customary for thousands of years. The Omani people themselves also have a well-deserved reputation for being amongst the world’s most hospitable. Their smiling faces testify to their eagerness to share their unique culture with visitors, and most travellers to Oman will have at least one story of remarkable local hospitality.
Sample Activities in Oman:
- Scuba Diving
- Rock Climbing
- Camel Racing
- Wadi Bashing
- Turtle Watching
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