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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Largest Cities in the United Arab Emirates - Dazzling Desert Megapolises
Joanna James Joanna James
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Largest Cities in the United Arab Emirates - Dazzling Desert Megapolises

With the emergence of the Middle Eastern countries as global players, many cities in the region have been transformed into cosmopolitan mega polis while retaining traditional elements in some areas.


Dubai-Shopping and Entertainment Galore

Sited on the South East coast of the Persian Gulf Dubai is the capital of the Emirate of Dubai and the biggest city in the United Arab Emirates. Ranked as a top tourist destination Dubai is a paradise for shoppers and the Dubai Mall and the Deira Gold Souk are not to be missed places. The Burj Khalifa is the world's tallest tower and the observation deck on its 124th floor offers spectacular views of Dubai. For a taste of old Dubai visits the Bastakia or Al Fahidi neighbourhood. Other places of interest are the Dubai Aquarium, the Miracle Garden and the Global Village- a night entertainment spot. Desert safaris, aqua sports and ice skating at the Dubai Mall are fun things to do in Dubai.


Abu Dhabi - Cosmopolitan and Luxury Living

This mega polis is the capital of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the second most populous city in the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi located on an island in the Persian Gulf is a shopper's Mecca with many luxury malls among which are the Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre and Gold Centre and Hamdan Centre. For sightseers, there is the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital, Emirates Park Zoo, the Al Hosn Fort, Heritage Village etc.; Fun activities include visits to Ferrari World and Water World at Yas Island and the beaches at Corniche and Saadiyat. Abu Dhabi spa resorts are star class and if it is luxury living and spa treatment among desert sands need then Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara would be a good choice.


Sharjah- City of Arabian Heritage

Sharjah lies on the southern coast of the Persian Gulf and has the distinctions of being the 3rd biggest and 3rd most populous city in the UAE. The city was recognized by UNESCO as the Cultural Capital of the Arab World' in 1998 and in 2014 UNESCO named it 'Capital of Islam Culture'. It is also a modern city with luxury resorts, modern malls, and high-end boutiques. There are many museums including the Sharjah Maritime Museum and the Sharjah Archaeology Museum. The Eye of the Emirates Ferris Wheel, the Planetarium, the Arabian Wildlife Centre, the nature reserve, and mangroves at Khor Kalba (Kalba Creek) are interesting places to visit. Decency laws are stringently observed and alcohol is banned.


Al Ain

Green And Environmentally Friendly Known as the ' Garden City' Al Ain is the second largest city in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and is a fast developing tourist hub. Al Ain is 160 km from the capital city of Abu Dhabi and is approximately 1 1/2 hour drive from the capital. There are many forts in Al Ain and the Al Jahili Fort is one of the UAE's oldest. The Al Ain Oasis 147,000 date palms belonging to a 100 varieties. Among other Al, Ain Oases are Al Jimi and Al Hili. The Al Ain Palace Museum, the Al Ain National Museum and the Classic Car Museum are well worth visiting. There are several shopping malls and high-end hotels and resorts in Al Ain as well as bars and clubs to have a fun night out.


Ajman - Fusion Of Old and Modern

The capital of the Emirate of Ajman the city has 16km of pristine beach, mangrove forests, and a natural harbour. Camel racing and dhow sailing, museums, castles, and souks offer a taste of traditional Arab culture in Ajman. The Hajar Mountains lie 120 km away from the city of Ajman and the ranges foothills offer good hiking and walking. The Al Zorah Nature Reserve is home to nearly 60 species of resident and migrant birds including the pink flamingo. Ajman also offers world-class golf and a wide range of accommodation options from upmarket hotels to city apartments.