Explore the hidden gems of the United Arabic Emirates, more commonly referred to as the UAE. This country is notorious for its most phenomenal city, Dubai, and its unique infrastructures and skyscrapers such as the Burj Khalifa (standing at an impressive 828 meters tall). Not to mention the UAE’s second most populous city, Abu – Dhabi, which is home to more than 200 incredible islands. Yet, very rarely do we associate the UAE with its incredible outdoors and nature reserves. Follow us as we explore the other side of the country and the natural landscape that makes the country a true gem of diversity. In this blog, we bring you to the hidden heart of Dubai, Hatta Mountain Conservation Reserve and to Abu – Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas Island and the longest uninterrupted desert, the Empty Quarter.
Dubai, and its Hatta Mountain Conservation Reserve
Forget the city, this is the real Dubai! In the South-East of the UAE and the northern part of the Hajar Mountain Range – which borders with Oman – lies the scenic area of the Hatta Mountain, where a dam was built in 1990 to create a body of water, resulting in a scenic area of green lakes and sharp-edged brown mountains. Many people come here to experience the jagged mountain peaks and abundant water – so different from the red sand that covers most of the United Arab Emirates. Two different emirates claim the area – Dubai and Aiman. The arid landscape and temperatures that touch 55 degrees Celsius might seem inhospitable, but Hatta is swiftly becoming one of Dubai’s most popular attractions and worst-kept secrets. Dozens of new species have been discovered in the region since a series of studies were commissioned in 2008 by ecologists. There are larger species here too, including mammals.
Enjoy Glamping in the rugged mountains of Hatta, without having to worry about sleeping in bags or driving long drives to the inner city for luxurious property. This is where you get to enjoy various activities that Hatta has to offer, including Hiking, Kayaking, mountain Biking and other adventures.
From islands to deserts
No time to travel all the way to Southern Africa for a safari? Not a problem. Welcome to Sir Bani Yas Island and The empty Quarter, in Abu Dhabi. There, more than 10,000 animals are roaming free in the Island’s Arabian Wildlife Park, including Arabian Oryx, Flamingos, Cheetahs, Hyenas, and Giraffes.
The Empty Quarter is one of the world’s most unexplored regions, and personally, we like it that way. Even its existence feels like a secret reserved the truly adventurous. Those who make the journey here are a mix of expats in the UAE looking for a relaxing weekend, and local Emirati families escaping the flash and rampant development of the cities. The desert is home to more than just falcons. Camel, spiders, snakes, scorpions, sand foxes, oryx, sand gazelles, camels, and a variety of birds all call this harsh environment home. However, it is the Saluki dog that visitors will most want to pet. Saluki dogs are one of the oldest domesticated dog breeds, trained for the hunt by nomadic Arabian tribes. Several live at the Qasr Al Sarab, and are happy to show off their speed to visitors interested in learning more.
Something for everyone
At Art In Voyage, we have worked hard to showcase the Emirates as a country that has so much more to offer than just the fancy buildings, malls and cars found in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Yet, an unavoidable start to a journey in the Emirates, these two cities boats beautiful places to stay, food, unique architecture and incredible Islands. We call this experience “all in one”. Let us plan your journey to the Emirates today by connecting with one of our experts in the region. Click here to get started.