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United Arab Emirates -
Land of Contrasts

A magic holiday in the realm of One Thousand and One Nights: The seven Emirates offer everything from immaculate beaches, adrenaline-pumping activities, fascinating excursions and, of course, superb luxury hotels as well as extravagant shopping. Certainly, all these factors combine most admirably and are convincing in themselves. However, take into account the extraordinary value for money, excellent public safety and political stability and you will understand the United Arab Emirates great appeal.

The Emirates have seen a fairytale development. Back in the 1950s, the country was characterised by a jumble of villages spread out among the vast desert. Everything changed with the discovery of oil in the 1960s. In a matter of a few years, the petroleum business became the dominant industry and cash poured into the country – a development that sparked the construction of extravagant, architectonic avant-garde and top of the notch luxury hotels.

The most well known of the luxury temples is, of course, the world's only true seven-star hotel: the majestic Burj Al Arab shaped like a sail in reference to the country's sea-faring history. However, the world's most expensive hotel is the six-star Emirates Palace located in Abu Dhabi. Quite naturally, it is a fine choice for those in search of the extraordinary – luxury beyond the power of words to describe!

The Emirates are indeed a world of wonder: Quite surely projects like the “Palm Jumeirah”, “The World” or the spectacular new hotel Atlantis The Palms Hotel in Dubai would and could not have been realised anywhere else. There are no borders within the Emirates. A British protectorate until 1971, the independent sheiks formed a well organised union after the colonial power withdrew. The famed and fabled Arabian hospitality, however, is by far more ancient than these rather recent incidents. A holiday with friends – make yourself at home! You will be welcomed most graciously.

The forecast TV show hardly every takes down the cardboard sun idealising fine weather. The subtropical climate is hot and arid, only the mountains see lower temperatures. The winter months are more moderate, the summer can be hot to blistering. Talk to our experienced team of travel consultants for more information.

Despite the seemingly harsh environment, the Emirates are a fine choice for nature enthusiasts. The people have their origin in the desert and hold its pristine nature in the highest esteem. Stumble upon a lush oasis hidden within an ocean of shifting sand and find the dunes artfully sculpted and planted with blossoming plants. The ambience is intriguing. Open your heart and soul to the charms of the desert.

The Emirate's cuisine is as varied as the country. Not only Arabian specialities but Indian and Persian delicacies tempt the tongue and please the palate. Do not miss the chance to dine in one of the villages, where the local traditions are still strong – a feast for the senses! Exotic spices of all kinds enhance such delicacies as lobster, seafood and fresh fish. When dining in company, keep in mind to avoid using your left hand, which is traditionally considered unclean. Moreover, please note that alcoholic drinks are not conform with the Muslim religion and are often frowned upon if not downright banned. The larger hotels, however, all have concession to serve alcoholic drinks. It is within the rights of every Emirate to define its own laws and regulation concerning alcoholic beverages. There are always plenty of juices, water, tea and coffee available.

Many guests pass through Dubai but miss the great chance to discover more of the country. Talk to the INTOSOL team to make plans for exciting Jeep safaris deep into the heart of the lonely desert and remote mountain regions. The Emirates have more to offer than their glittering cities. Learn about this fascinating region on desert adventures and round trips. Of course, you may also cross borders and include the Oman, Qatar or Bahrain into your itinerary.

And then there is the Persian Gulf with all its thrills: The three large Emirates Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharja will delight water sports enthusiasts with everything from sailing, windsurfing, water-skiing, snorkelling and diving to kite surfing. Lush golf courses create a stark contrast with the desert surroundings. Improve your handicap amidst the dunes. See the section “golf travel” for more information. Countless other sports include squash, tennis, riding, biking, archery and many, many more.

Looking for a different challenge? Shopping is another sport practised with enthusiasm in the Emirates. The larger cities offer sensational shopping at incredibly low prices. Many visitors arrive to hunt down the bargains, especially in Dubai, which is also a major trading post for gold.

Allow INTOSOL to introduce you to the magic of the Emirates – enjoy the humble traditional delicacies in a fish shack by the harbour or dine finest gourmet cuisine. Reside in the world's most opulent luxury hotels and refresh yourself with a splash in the Persian Gulf's crystal-clear waters. Send a golf ball flying high or pick up a bargain at one of the luxury shopping malls.

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