The United Arab Emirates is a holidaymaker's paradise. With pristine beaches, cool blue water and a gleaming skyline, the UAE is quickly named as a favorite destination by vacationers from around the world.
Along with palm-laden hotels, shiny yachts and colossal malls that would make even the most dedicated shopper wide-eyed with wonder, new attractions are opening up all over the country, drawing new audiences and appealing to an ever more diverse set of vacationers.
Guests seeking the ultimate hotel experience can sleep like a king in Abu Dhabi's Emirates Palace, where everything that glitters is indeed gold.
Thrill seekers will not be disappointed with Yas Island, where visitors can experience the adrenaline-fueled Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, or turn a lap like their favorite racing star at Ferrari World – Ferrari's first dedicated theme park.
Art lovers will appreciate Saadiyat Island – a cultural haven just off the coast of Abu Dhabi. In 2013, a Middle East extension of the legendary Louvre will welcome visitors to the island, bridging Eastern and Western art in the heart of the Gulf. By 2017, the Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum will open to the public, reflecting Islamic and Middle Eastern culture.
Travellers seeking a moment of solace will find refuge in Abu Dhabi's Grand Mosque, named for the UAE's beloved founder Sheikh Zayed. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center, in addition to overseeing daily worship activities, offers visitors an opportunity to learn more about Islam through its discovery programs offered in eight different languages.
Just north of the capital is the glimmering emirate of Dubai. As one of the world's preeminent luxury tourism destinations, Dubai certainly lives up to its reputation.
In the heart of the city, reaching nearly over a half-mile into the sky, stands the Burj Khalifa - the tallest building in the world. Named after the President of the UAE, the iconic tower features the world's highest observation deck on the 124th floor, where visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of the city below.
Just next door, shoppers will be in paradise at the sprawling Dubai Mall, One of the world's largest shopping malls. In 2011, the Dubai Mall was named the most visited destination on the planet, attracting more than 54 million visitors to its over 1,200 stores.
Just down the beach stands the Burj Al Arab, Dubai's legendary landmark. Built in the shape of an Arabian dhow, the Burj Al Arab is the only seven-star hotel in world, offering guests unrivalled luxury accommodations and services.
As more attractions open all over the country, the UAE is quickly becoming one of the world's most desired destinations, rivaling contenders with centuries of experience, and realizing the dreams of the nation's founders.