Umm Al Quwain may be only 40 miles from Dubai, but it is a world apart in atmosphere. Quieter and slightly less developed than Dubai, this small emirate has a beautiful sandy beach and plenty of traditional Arabian activities as well as modern family-friendly attractions and things to do.
Cultural Activities Around Umm Al Quwain
Camel Racing is a popular sport in the UAE and there is a race track at Al Labsa. Spectators are welcome to watch the thrilling races on Thursdays and Fridays in the cooler months. You may also spot camel caravans moving across the dunes as the camels are moved between race tracks.
The high sand dunes around the city of Umm al Quwain are ideal for off-road vehicles and quad bikes. Known as dune-bashing, this exhilarating experience provides a unique desert activity.
Take a trip to one of the islands in the creek. Al Sinnayah is the largest of these uninhabited islands which are an unprotected nature reserve for water birds, nesting cormorants and Arabian gazelle.
Historic Attractions Around Umm Al Quwain
Visit the old port area and see the fishing fleet and dhow boat builders who still make these simple wooden sail boats by hand.
Historic Umm Al Quwain Fort is a grand restored fortress with an impressive entrance. Once the home of the ruling sheikh and later used as a prison, it now is a museum filled with artefacts, weapons, jewellery and pottery unearthed in the region.
Family Friendly Attractions Around Umm Al Quwain
The top attraction for families has to be the Dreamland Aqua Park. Said to be the largest water park in the world, this oasis of palm trees and water-themed activities is a wonderful place to cool off on a hot day in the desert.
As well as a family raft ride and wave pool there is a high salinity pool for floating effortlessly, watersports, lazy river, aqua play, volleyball and an enormous Jacuzzi. Rides include the Black Hole, Twisting Dragons, Kamikaze, Space Bowl and Roaring Volcano, along with five giant water slides. Best of all the admission is all-inclusive so you can enjoy all the rides and pools for once great price (around AED 129 or £23). Dry off and enjoy a meal in one of the seven international restaurants or challenge the family in the video games arcade.
Swimming and snorkelling are popular right off the beach in Umm al Quwain, but if you don’t want to get your hair wet you can see plenty of marine life, rays, sharks and corals at the Aquarium and Marine Science Centre. Located beside the new port, the Marine Research Centre may require advanced booking.
Happyland is another local theme park with video games, bouncy castles and other kid’s activities. Suitable for all ages, this park offers plenty of opportunity for youngsters to run around and have fun.
Of course, the biggest attraction for visitors to Umm al Quwain has to be the beach where visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, snorkelling, sailing, jet skiing and waterskiing. Have fun!