If you mention the United Arab Emirates, for most people, this means Dubai, the city of iconic skyscrapers, city-sized malls, palm-shaped islands, palatial beach resorts and exquisite indoor ski slopes. However, beyond this glitter of glass and out of this world shapes, awaits six more emirates, each with its own character and allure.
Positioning itself as the culture and leisure hub, the oil-rich city of Abu Dhabi, looms beyond the vast region of Al Dhafra and is home to the northern reaches of the Rub Al Khali or the Empty Quarter desert of rippling dunes. Here in this magical silence, the only interruption is the whisper of the shifting sands.
While Sharjah is the UAE's art and heritage centre, Ras Al Khaimah is all about the beaches. Head east into the embrace of the Hajar Mountains and experience a side of the UAE far removed from Dubai's gloss.