Summary: A family holiday during Christmas time to first Dubai for some days to explore this region, from there to Bahrain for a few days to explore that small country, and last to Qatar for a few days to see this country in detail. We ended again for a few days in Dubai.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites visited: Cultural Sites of Al Ain: Hafit, Hili, Bidaa Bint Saud and Oases Areas (2h from Dubai) (see all UNESCO sites here)
Day 1 – Amsterdam to Dubai
A super flight on Emirates A380. The way to Dubai was Economy, but it’s so good! On the way back we had business, see at the last day the story.
Day 2 – Beach
Relax, cocktails, sun, beach and relax. Nothing else.
Day 3 – Mosque & Old Dubai
First stop today the Jumeira Mosque where it’s possible to visit, get a guided tour with explanations and all. Very informative visit! After this we went to Old Dubai to see Shindaga Museum and old Sheik house, Bastakiya (wind tower, old houses and souk) we walked around the creek and visited the gold souk. From here we went back to our hotel to do some more time on the pool and beach.
Day 4 – Off-road in dessert
A day in the dessert in a Humvee. Dune bashing, quad biking, sand boarding and camel riding. We decided to go on private basis to have lots of time for all without 200+ people groups in the same place! More value for money.
Day 5 – Modern Dubai
Today we explored modern Dubai and the Dubai Mall. Of course we went “to the top” in the Burj Khalifa – this is really an amazing view! Book in advance as it’s sold out quite quick.
Day 6 trough 13 – Bahrain & Qatar
Day 13 – Dubai
Back to Dubai, with unexpected 3 extra days. We rescheduled our flight and decided to do some more Dubai as we did not see all yet. Today beach time in the morning. Then we went to Sega world indoor themepark and to iFly Dubai. iFly Dubai is indoor skydive; we booked an hour for 4 people, this is great time and great experience! Less them we think you do not get the “kick” and more time you will have too much muscle pain the next day 🙂 In the evening we went to the Burj Khalifa again to see the fountain with music and show.
Day 14 – Al Ain
Today a day trip to Al Ain, the only United Arab Emirates UNESCO World Heritage Site (at the time of our travel). It consists of oasis, water system, forts, archaeological site and tombs. We checked most, but not all sights. Al Ain actually is in the Abu Dhabi Emirate on the border with Oman. We also crossed the border to Oman; a funny story. At the border check point the customs officer asked us if we needed an exit stamp, which was actually not needed if you return an hour or two later again. We said “yes sir”. So, we kind of left the U.A.E. After an hour or so we got back to the border to enter U.A.E. …. BUT we could not get a new entry stamp because, we needed to get first an Oman entry & exit stamp. So, we thought ok, 100 meters back to Oman checkpoint, no way to get a stamp at this border crossing, we had to drive 1 hour to a check point to get the entry AND exit at the same time, drive back to the U.A.E. crossing to get the entry again for U.A.E. A weird situation but the drive was scenic! A long day it became.
Day 15 – The Creek
Last day! Swimming pool and a short excursion to the creek on a boat ride.
Day 16 – Back Home
Emirates A380 Business class, one word: superb! Great seats with lots of room, huge screen to watch movies. In the back of the plane a private bar area where your favorite cocktails are made! At the airport a whole terminal only for A380, lounge with direct access to the plane. Really great but, the end of the holiday.