One of the seven members of the United Arab Emirates, Umm Al Quwain covers 800 square kilometres and is made up of rolling sand dunes and lush, coastal mangroves. This Emirate has a powerful seafaring history, and there is much to see and do. Visitors seeking a more relaxed, authentic view of the Emirates will enjoy delving into the rich heritage of Umm Al Quwain.
Traditional Emirate pastimes such as dhow building, camel racing, falconry and fishing are very much in evidence in Umm Al Quwain. Bird watchers will enjoy trying to spot the peregrine falcon or the light skinned hunting hawk in these parts. Visitors can explore the building yards where dhow river boats are constructed. These traditional boats are frequently in many Emirate countries for day to day trading and living, along with the creeks and riverbanks. The Aquarium is located on the headland next to the new port. Part of the Marine Research Centre, curious travellers can discover an array of marine life, reptiles and corals. Venturing inland to the race track, visitors can watch camels racing. Alternatively, the rugged, challenging terrain is a great place in which to indulge in some off road driving. There are stunning desert camping areas which offer an opportunity to dine and sleep under the Arabian stars. Culture-driven explorers will enjoy Umm Al Quwain Museum housing a variety of artefacts which offer clues to bygone eras and original settlements in the area. Family fun and adventure can be undertaken at Dreamland Aqua Park where rides, slides and wave pools await.
There are no public buses in Umm Al Quwain, as visitors can get around by taxi or car. Taxis to and from main touristic areas are reasonably priced, and there’s a multitude of excursions available for those wishing to venture inland. The nearest International airports are located in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the latter, less than an hour by car.
The name Umm Al Quwain means “mother of two powers” in reference to the rich seafaring heritage of this Emirate. History in the area dates back over 200 years when the Al Ali tribe moved here when they suffered a drought. Today, this small, lesser known Emirate is rich with marine life, and offers a desert oasis and kilometres of sand dunes. Visitors seeking an insight into traditional Arabia, minus the glitz and glamour of Dubai and Abu Dhabi should consider a trip to Umm Al Quwain.