Wonders of the United Arab Emirates
Arab countries keep the wondrous spirit of One Thousand and One Nights alive – and none does it better than the United Arab Emirates. This small country surprises the whole world with the realization of incredible ambitions. Cities of Emirates, especially Dubai and Abu Dhabi serve as showcases of latest achievements in engineering and architecture.
Visitors easily may get carried away with the wonders of modern times – but the United Arab Emirates are much richer than this. The country has diverse archaeological heritage and, happily, the rich Pre-Islamic heritage is not neglected. In the Emirates is found the oldest known human settlement outside Africa, prehistoric trade cities, and even a stray outpost of early Christianity – a monastery and church on Sir Bani Yas Island.
Map with the described wonders of the United Arab Emirates
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Top 25 wonders of the United Arab Emirates
One of the largest sand dunes in the world, 120 m tall, with 50 degrees steep slope.
Magharet Qasir Hafeet
450 m long cave, up to 96 m deep. Adorned with flowstones, stalagmites, and other cave formations.
A waterfall formed by spring that flows into Wadi Siji.
Coral reef and seagrass beds. The site contains one of the few natural forests in the United Arab Emirates – a natural mangrove grove. The waters of this reef are very rich with sea life, including the world’s second-largest population of dugongs – some 600 animals.
Umm Al Nar fossil finds
Find of the fossils of a very unusual bird – Bennu heron (Ardea bennuides), a giant heron that went extinct during the times of prehistoric Mesopotamian civilizations (2500 – 2000 BC). This bird was larger than people.
Hafeet graves (Mezyad graves)
Group of more than 500 prehistoric graves – circular buildings (beehive tombs), constructed during the Bronze Age, 3200 – 2700 BC. The largest structures are 4 m high.
This settlement from the late Iron Age was abandoned around the 4th century AD. Contains ruins of the fort and some other buildings, and monumental tombs (including one Bronze Age tomb from the 3rd millennium BC). The city had market districts, here have been found ancient inscriptions with Aramaic and Musnad (South Arabian) writing.
Hili Grand Tomb
Reconstructed grave – circular tower (beehive tomb) with a diameter of 12 m.
Remnants of a once large trading port that operated in 200 BC – 200 AD. Thousands of graves as well as a small fort with round towers and a temple of the Semitic god Shamash.
World’s tallest building, an 829.8 m tall skyscraper with 163 floors. It was constructed in 2010. In the building are some 35,000 people at any time.
Burj al Arab
Landmark building – a sail-formed skyscraper hotel, constructed in 1999. The building is located on a man-made island and is 321 m tall, with 60 floors. Impressive is the 180 m tall atrium lobby. One of the most expensive hotels in the world.
Sheikh Zayed Road
City highway with one of the most impressive displays of supertall skyscrapers worldwide.
Unique, inclined skyscraper with an 18-degree incline. 160 m high, 35 stories, constructed in 2011. The furthest leaning tower in the world.
World’s largest man-made archipelago, with a 520 km long coastline, mostly covered with villas. The group of islands forms a 5 by 5 km large shape of a palm tree. Connected to the mainland with the monorail. Similar projects include Palm Jebel Ali – 50% larger than Palm Jumeirah and The World – a group of artificial islands forming a world map.
The eighth-largest mosque in the world, constructed in 2007 as one of the most beautiful religious structures in the modern world. The building has 82 domes rising up to 85 m high. Tallest minaret is 107 m high. White color dominates the design, very impressive is the floral design of the marble courtyard.
Al Badiyah Mosque (Al Bidyah)
Oldest known mosque in the United Arab Emirates. The exact time of the construction is unknown, but it was built in the 15th century (1446 AD?) or earlier. Small but sophisticated structure with four domes. Still in operation.
Juma Mosque (Hatta)
An old mosque, built in 1780.
Al Bastakiya (Al Fahidi)
Possibly the best-preserved part of old Dubai. The historical part of the city with the characteristic causeways, wind towers, and other architectural forms from the late 19th – early 20th century, developed by Persian merchants.
Massive castle, built in 1670 from mud brick. Fully renovated in 2000.
Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House
A historical house in Dubai, built around 1894 as the seat of the Al Maktoum family. Now the building serves as a museum.
One of the most luxurious hotels in the world, constructed in 2006. Many rooms are furnished with gold and marble.
Large district with hundreds of historical houses. Here in the first half of the 20th century lived the rulers of Dubai.
Al Fahidi Fort
The oldest existing building in Dubai, built in 1787 – 1799.
Umm Al Quwain Fort (Ajman Fort)
An old fort that guarded the entrance in Umm Al Quwain. Now serves as a museum.
Al Heil Castle
Picturesque castle near mountains, former headquarters of the local ruler, constructed in 1735.
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Dubai and Abu Dhabi have so much to offer, and you can experience it all, from unique shops, malls, and souks to the finest restaurants and cafes. Luxuriate at the best golf courses, hotels, and spa resorts, or embrace adventure on exciting desert excursions, at local sporting events, or at lively bars and clubs. In addition to traditional historic palaces and mosques, Dubai and Abu Dhabi have amazing modern architecture, and your Top 10 Travel Guide will be your partner in experiencing it all.