What to do in Abu Dhabi
What to do in Dubai
What to do in Sharjah
What to do in Ajman
What to do in Umm al Qaiwain
What to do in Ra's al-Khaimah
What to do in Fujairah and on the East Coast
The tiny emirate of Umm al-Qaiwain is about about 20 minutes drive north of Ajman. The city lies along a narrow peninsula encircling a large creek, Khor Umm al-Qaiwain, whilst the old town and the business district are at the northern tip of the peninsula, along King Faisal Rd. The town boasts no less than seven forts, one of which, its main gate flanked by defensive cannons, has been renovated and is now a museum. The emirate also has a long clean beach and traditional occupations of fishing and date cultivation sit comfortably alongside modern developments.
1. As in Ajman, Umm al-Qaiwain Fort and Museum is be first on the list of things-to do. This is a good opportunity to appreciate the idiosyncracies of traditional public buldings. The kitchens and storerooms are downstairs and a very attractive majlis, or meeting place, upstairs.
2. Windsurfing, waterskiing and sailing can all be enjoyed at Umm al-Qaiwain Marine Club on Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Moalla Rd on the calm waters of the Creek. The Club also has a popular horse-riding centre.
3. Hire a boat at the Marine Club and explore Sinaiyah island, across the Creek. Landing on the island is prohibited. Sinaiyah, along with Khor al-Beidah, which lies between it and the mainland, is an expansive area of sand and mud flats of international importance for its waterfowl. The island is home to the UAE's largest Socotra cormorant colony. Arabian (mountain) gazelle have been introduced to Sinaiyah and marine life is abundant and diverse. Black-tipped reef sharks patrol the outer shoreline, while green turtles swim lazily in the inner leads. You can also take boat trips around Khor al-Beidah and Sinaiyah from Umm al-Qaiwain Tourist Centre at the top of the Corniche.
4. An air tour from Umm al-Qaiwain Aeroclub will give you a bird’s-eye view of these locations. The Club also offers tandem jumps for the intrepid.
5. Umm al-Qaiwain’s Aqua Park-Dreamland north of the city, has over 30 rides and attractions set amongst extensive grassy areas.
6. Falaj al Mu'alla, an enclave of Umm al-Qaiwain, is an attractive natural oasis, about 50 kilometres south-east of Umm al-Qaiwain City on the road (E55) to Al Dhaid. It has a a delightful camel racetrack and you may be fortunate enough to experience a camel race in action.
7. The emirate is also home to a number of archaeological sites. These include Tell Abraq (on the border with Sharjah and the location of an important settlement dating from the Bronze Age), and Ed Dur. a site with far-flung connections of considerable significance in the first centuries AD. However, there is not much to see on the surface at these sites.
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