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One Day Away from Abu Dhabi

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From Abu Dhabi, several day trips (or overnight trips) make easy destinations for explorers. A 45-minute morning flight takes you to Muscat, in Oman, and has you back in time for a late dinner. Or, the entire family can enjoy Sir Bani Yas Island, where animals roam free. Both Dubai and Al Ain lie within easy driving distance. Dubai's shops, cultural activities, and architectural sights will keep you busy for a day—or longer, if you can extend your trip.
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Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve - Dubai - United Arab Emirates
The Arabian oryx was hunted to extinction on the Arabian Peninsula by the mid-1970s, but became the first animal species upgraded from Extinct in the Wild to Vulnerable by the IUCN index when conservation efforts bolstered wild population numbers...
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Frankincense is made from special trees grown only in southern Oman and northern Yemen. It's a coveted item traded around the world for centuries. This giant frankincense burner above an amusement park in Muscat, Oman, is lit once a year and makes...
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Sultan Qaboos St, ولاية بوشر، Oman
Proportions can be deceiving in a mosque that is littered with superlatives – largest, biggest, most, prettiest are common words you hear when researching the mosque that was completed in 2001. The mosque’s total capacity is 20,000...
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Al Dhaid Rd, Near Sharjah Zoo - Sharjah - United Arab Emirates
A highlight of my time in the United Arab Emirates was the Desert Safari that I took on the recommendation of the friend who I was staying with. The tour company picked me up with a group of others at my accommodation in Dubai and drove us...
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Sadaf 3 - King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud St - Dubai - United Arab Emirates
On the 27th floor of the soaring Burj Al Arab, sample an array of eclectic drinks and tapas like foie gras terrine, Arabic hot and cold mezzeh, as well as a comprehensive afternoon tea (that might just include champagne). Live jazz or piano music...
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26 34 St - Dubai - United Arab Emirates
Going to markets has an air of excitement in the Arab World, where the souks are still the place where locals and tourists can go to meet each other, trade, and shop around for all sorts of commodities. I was lucky enough to visit the gold and...
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Hessa Bint Mohamed St - Al Mutawaa, Al Ain - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
Not as glamorous as Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi or the new royal residence taking shape in the Capital, the Al Ain Palace, former home to Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan and his family, is equally as interesting. The palace grounds are quite...
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Cattle Market, Zayed Bin Sultan Road, Al Ain - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
For an unusual wildlife experience, take a day trip to Al Ain's Camel Market, one of the last remaining in the U.A.E. Watch livestock traders and merchants drive hard bargains and haggle mercilessly. It's an excellent photo opportunity, but be...
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I've heard there is a nice shawarma stand at the top of Jebel Hafeet to go along with the view, but on my trip up the mountain, it was so busy with Eid celebrations, that I had to drive straight down again without finding any parking! On the...
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Sir Bani Yas Island wildlife refuge, set on a desert island in Abu Dhabi, is best experienced by booking one or two nights with Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Resort. With three distinct properties on the island, visitors can choose from the Desert...