Best Attractions in UAE for First Time Travelers

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a captivating destination for travelers from around the world. With its diverse landscapes, rich culture, and a plethora of attractions, this Middle Eastern gem offers an unparalleled experience. Traveling to the UAE for the first time can be exciting and overwhelming. To ensure that you make the most of your trip, this comprehensive UAE travel guide for first time visitors will take you through the must-visit attractions and provide essential tips for your journey.

Traveling to UAE:

Before delving into the best attractions, let’s explore some of the essential information about traveling to the UAE.

UAE Visa Requirements:

Visitors from many countries can obtain a visa on arrival, while others may need to apply in advance. It is important to check the visa requirements for your specific nationality and plan accordingly. We at Travnook Travel & Tourism offer UAE visa assistance services. Get our expert help to travel to UAE

How Many States Are There in UAE?

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) consists of seven independent city-states or Emirates: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Umm Al Qaiwain, Fujairah, Ajman, and Ras Al Khaimah. Abu Dhabi is the capital state of the UAE.

What is The Best Time to Visit UAE?

With its arid desert climate, the UAE can get extremely hot, especially during the summer months (May to September), where temperatures can exceed 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit). The best time to visit is between October and April when temperatures range from a pleasant 20 to 30 degrees Celsius (68 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit).

How is The Transportation System in UAE?

The UAE has an excellent transportation system, particularly in major cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Taxis are readily available, and ride-hailing services like Uber and Careem operate throughout the country. Public transportation, including metro and buses, is also reliable and cost-effective.

What is the UAE National Currency?

The UAE’s currency is the United Arab Emirates dirham (AED). Many establishments accept credit cards, but it’s always advisable to carry some local currency for small purchases or when visiting local markets.

What is the UAE Local Language?

Arabic is the official language of the UAE, but English is widely spoken, especially in major tourist areas, hotels, and restaurants.

Now that you’re familiar with the essentials, let’s explore the magnificent attractions the UAE offers.

Best Tourist Attractions You Must Visit in UAE:

We are sharing here the best tourist attractions from among the most popular states of the UAE. It will help you to choose a suitable place to visit as per your interest.

Best Attractions in Dubai:

Dubai is undoubtedly the most renowned destination in the UAE, known for its awe-inspiring skyscrapers, luxurious resorts, and world-class shopping opportunities. Here are some of the must-visit attractions in Dubai:

1. Burj Khalifa:

The Burj Khalifa stands as the world’s tallest building, offering a breathtaking panoramic view of the city from its observation deck on the 148th floor. An iconic symbol of Dubai, this architectural wonder is not to be missed.

UAE Travel Guide for First Time Visitors - Burj Khalifa, Dubai

2. Palm Jumeirah:

An artificial island in the shape of a palm tree, Palm Jumeirah is home to luxurious resorts, including the Atlantis, and The Palm. The island offers stunning views, pristine beaches, and a host of recreational activities.

UAE Travel Guide for First Time Visitors - Palm Jumeirah, Dubai

3. Dubai Mall:

Luring shopaholics from far and wide, the Dubai Mall boasts over 1,200 stores, including high-end brands, alongside a variety of entertainment options. Don’t miss the Dubai Fountain show, a captivating water and light spectacle held in the mall’s lake.

UAE Travel Guide for First Time Visitors - Dubai Mall, Dubai

4. Dubai Marina:

The Dubai Marina is an exquisite waterfront development that features a stunning skyline, elegant restaurants, and an array of water-based activities. An evening walk along the marina is a fantastic way to soak in the vibrant atmosphere.

UAE Travel Guide for First Time Visitors - Dubai Marina, Dubai

5. Dubai Miracle Garden

Dubai Miracle Garden is the world’s largest natural flower garden. It has over 150 million flowers occupying over 72,000 square meters. Launched on Valentine’s Day in 2013, since then it has been one of the most favorite tourist places in Dubai. It is mostly open every year from October first week to April end.

UAE Travel Guide for First Time Visitors - Dubai Miracle Garden, Dubai

6. Ski Dubai

Ski Dubai has so much to offer including a variety of activities, skiing, snowboarding, meeting the penguins, zip lining, or taking a chairlift ride. You can enjoy this manmade snow-filled adventurous place anytime over the year in the extreme heat of Dubai.

UAE Travel Guide for First Time Visitors - Ski Dubai, Dubai

7. Desert Safari

Desert Safari takes you on an adventurous ride through the wavy dunes of sand either on a camel caravan or on a vehicle. powder-soft sand, dune bashing in the desert, dreamy sunsets, and dinner at an authentic Bedouin camp offer a thrilling experience of a lifetime that you cannot have anywhere else in the world.

UAE Travel Guide for First Time Visitors - Desert Safari, Dubai

8. Museum of The Future

Museum of The Future gives you an interesting perspective of the future of the UAE in outer space. Spread across seven floors, each floor of the museum is dedicated to different concepts, including space travel, climate change, technological advancement, etc. It is really a visual treat that could make you feel you are in a dream.

UAE Travel Guide for First Time Visitors - Museum Of The Future, Dubai

9. Dubai Frame

Dubai Frame is an observatory, museum, and monument in Zabeel Park, Dubai. It holds the record for the largest frame in the world. It is an iconic structure that ‘frames’ impressive views of Old and New Dubai while serving as a metaphorical bridge connecting the emirate’s rich past with its magnificent present.

10. Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo

Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo consists of thousands of aquatic animals with over 140 species that include Sharks, Rays, Sand Tiger Sharks, Giant Groupers, and a host of other marine species. It’s worth visiting this place for families.

UAE Travel Guide for First Time Visitors - Dubai Frame, Dubai

11. Global Village

Global Village is the largest seasonal, cultural extravaganza in the region, offering an amazing array of festivals, shopping, and entertainment in an open-air theme park. It is spread over 17,200,000 sq. ft. with 27 pavilions representing 78 nations from around the world. There are about 3,500 shopping outlets and various concerts and events for every season to enjoy.

UAE Travel Guide for First Time Visitors - Global Village, Dubai

12. Dubai Parks and Resorts

Dubai Parks and Resorts is the largest theme park destination in the Middle East. It includes 3 parks Motiongate, Legoland, and Legoland Water Park all in one incredible location along with luxury resorts for staycation. It has more than 100 fun-packed indoor and outdoor rides and attractions.

UAE Travel Guide for First Time Visitors - Dubai Parks and Resorts, Dubai

13. Dubai Gold Souq

Dubai Gold Souq is a traditional market (or souk) in Dubai, UAE. The souk is located in Dubai’s commercial business district in Deira, in the locality of Al Ras. The souk consists of over 380 retailers with some of the shops being four decades old. The major items that the mall deals in are gold, platinum, diamonds, and sometimes silver. It is one of the major tourist attractions in the UAE.

UAE Travel Guide for First Time Visitors - Dubai Gold Souq, Dubai

14. Al Fahidi (Al Bastakiya)

Al Bastakiya is officially named the Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood and is one of the oldest areas in Dubai. The place has traditional buildings beautifully crafted from stone, gypsum, teak, and palm wood. You experience the twisted alleys and architectural history belonging to the times before the formation of the Emirates in 1971. The best attractions include the Dubai Museum, Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU), Coffee Museum, Bastakiya Nights Restaurant, Majlis Gallery, and Sahara Gate.

UAE Travel Guide for First Time Visitors - Al Fahidi(Al Bastakiya), Dubai

15. Al Shandgha

Al Shandgha is a neighborhood in the historical center of the city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates built in the 1830s and was the home of the ruler of Dubai- H.H. Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum. The area opened to the public as a museum, and the most important landmark is the Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum’s House. Anyone interested in knowing more about Emirati culture must visit Al Shandagha.

UAE Travel Guide for First Time Visitors - Al Shandgha, Dubai

16. Hatta

Hatta is an inland exclave of the emirate of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. It is the go-to spot for hiking, biking, kayaking, paragliding, and horse riding. The best attractions in Hatta include the Hatta Water Dam, Hatta Mountain Bike Trail Centre, Hatta Hill Park, Hatta Heritage Village, and Hatta Rock Pools. Hatta desert is ideal for camping and caravan stays being climate cooler than Dubai; ideal for a quick getaway.

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UAE Travel Guide for First Time Visitors - Hatta, Dubai

Best Attractions in Abu Dhabi:

As the capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi offers a more traditional and cultural experience in contrast to the glitz and glamour of Dubai. Here are the top attractions in Abu Dhabi:

1.Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque:

A true architectural marvel, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a symbol of religious tolerance and opulence. With its stunning white marble facade, intricate carvings, and exquisite chandeliers, this mosque is an absolute must-visit.

UAE Travel Guide for First Time Visitors - Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

2.Louvre Abu Dhabi:

Combining art, history, and culture, the Louvre Abu Dhabi is a masterpiece in itself. The museum showcases a remarkable collection of global art and hosts temporary exhibitions that will leave you in awe.

UAE Travel Guide for First Time Visitors - Louvre, Abu Dhabi

3.Yas Island:

Yas Island is a hub of entertainment for visitors of all ages. From the adrenaline rush of Ferrari World and Yas Waterworld to the luxury of the Yas Marina Circuit and Yas Links golf course, there is something for everyone on this vibrant island.

UAE Travel Guide for First Time Visitors - Yas Island, Abu Dhabi

4. Heritage Village:

For a glimpse into the UAE’s rich cultural heritage, head to the Heritage Village. Located in the heart of Abu Dhabi, this reconstructed village showcases traditional aspects of Emirati life, such as handicrafts, pearl diving, and Bedouin tents.

UAE Travel Guide for First Time Visitors - Heritage Village, Abu Dhabi

5. Emirates Palace:

Emirates Palace is located on a pristine private beach. It is the epitome of luxury in Abu Dhabi, showcasing Arabian hospitality at its finest. Each of the resort’s rooms and suites is furnished with the highest levels of comfort, has stunning views, and offers 24-hour butler service. The majority of the suites are furnished in gold and marble. The main primary building houses an expensive marble floor and a large patterned dome above, picked out in gold.

UAE Travel Guide for First Time Visitors - Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi

6. Abu Dhabi SeaWorld:

SeaWorld Abu Dhabi is a marine life theme park and animal research, rescue & rehabilitation center. The park hosts 150 species of marine animals, who live in environments that replicate their natural habitats. The park features eight marine environments or so-called “realms” that are home to immersive experiences and interactive exhibits, with more than 15 rides, 13 retail options, and 17 dining options.

UAE Travel Guide for First Time Visitors - Abu Dhabi SeaWorld, Abu Dhabi

7. Warner Bros World

Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi is the world’s largest indoor theme park in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, owned and developed by Miral for $1 billion. The park features characters from Warner Bros.’s franchises, such as Looney Tunes, DC Comics, Hanna-Barbera, and others.

UAE Travel Guide for First Time Visitors - Warner Bros World, Abu Dhabi

8. Qasr Al Watan

Qasr Al Watan also means Palace of the Nation. You can experience the royal culture, history, and inspiring journey with a transformational tour of the presidential palace in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Qasr Al Watan is one of the most important buildings in the UAE. Built between 2010 and 2017 to house dignitaries and leaders, the presidential palace boasts more than 1 million square meters of intricate stonework, as well as numerous decorative elements in the style of the Mughal era.

UAE Travel Guide for First Time Visitors - Qasr Al Watan, Abu Dhabi

Best Attractions in Sharjah:

Just a short drive away from Dubai, Sharjah is often overshadowed by its neighboring city but holds its charm and unique attractions worth exploring. Consider visiting the following during your trip to the UAE:

1. Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization:

Step into a world of Islamic art, history, and culture at the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization. With its impressive collection of manuscripts, coins, ceramics, and textiles, this museum offers a deeper understanding of the UAE’s religious art and cultural heritage.

UAE Travel Guide for First Time Visitors - Sharjah Museum Of Islamic Civilization, Sharjah

2. Sharjah Arts Museum:

A haven for art enthusiasts, the Sharjah Arts Museum showcases contemporary Arab artwork alongside a collection of contemporary pieces from around the world. The museum regularly hosts rotating exhibits, providing visitors with a diverse artistic experience.

UAE Travel Guide for First Time Visitors - Sharjah Arts Museum, Sharjah

3. Al Noor Island:

Escape to nature at Al Noor Island, an enchanting oasis located within the heart of the city. Marvel at the Butterfly House, walk through beautifully landscaped gardens and immerse yourself in art installations that celebrate the beauty of the natural world.

UAE Travel Guide for First Time Visitors - Al Noor Island, Sharjah

4. Al Qasba:

Al Qasba is a vibrant waterfront district brimming with entertainment options, including an array of restaurants, cafes, and shops. Take a leisurely boat ride along the canal, catch a show at the Maraya Art Centre, or simply enjoy the scenic surroundings.

UAE Travel Guide for First Time Visitors - Al Qasba, Sharjah

5. Khor Fakkan

Khor Fakkan is the largest town on Sharjah’s East Coast, offering relaxing spas and beaches, water sports, and a glance into the local fishing scene. Sheets Park, Al Rafisah Dam, Khor Fakkan Beach, Khor Fakkan Square, Waterfalls and Amphitheatre, Al Rabi Hiking, enjoy all these amazing things in Khor Fakkan which is away from the noise of city life.

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UAE Travel Guide for First Time Visitors - Khor Fakkan, Sharjah

As you explore the UAE’s diverse attractions, keep in mind these additional tips for a smooth and enjoyable journey:

1. Dress Code:

While the UAE is relatively liberal compared to some neighboring countries, it is important to dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites. This means covering your shoulders and knees and avoiding transparent or tight-fitting clothing.

2. Cultural Etiquette:

Respect local customs and traditions by refraining from public displays of affection, particularly during Ramadan, the holy month of fasting. It is also important to avoid consuming food, drink, or smoking in public during daylight hours.

3. Water and Sun Protection:

The UAE’s intense sun and dry climate can be harsh, especially during the summer months. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and wearing sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun’s rays.

4. Respect for Local Laws:

The UAE has strict laws and regulations, especially regarding drug possession, alcohol consumption, and public decency. Ensure that you familiarize yourself with the local laws and regulations to avoid any legal issues during your visit.

Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah are major tourist attractions in the UAE. Other emirates Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah, Ajman, and Umm Al Quwain have naturally beautiful places that include huge mountains, deserts, beaches, valleys, waterfalls, and oases.


The UAE is a captivating destination that offers a diverse range of attractions sure to leave a lasting impression on any first-time visitor. From the futuristic skyscrapers of Dubai to the cultural richness of Abu Dhabi and the hidden gems of Sharjah, the UAE has something for every type of traveler. By following this UAE travel guide, you can ensure a well-planned and fulfilling journey, allowing you to make the most of your time in this fascinating country.

Contact us for any assistance with your UAE visa, our expert agents will guide you with your application. Get ready to embrace the magic of the desert!

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