United Arab Emirates

I visited the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the first time in January till April 2021 for 88 days. Jonas and I visited six out of seven emirates: all but Abu Dhabi. Below you can find some articles about the UAE that I wrote. I didn’t write about every emirate (yet), but I had a good time in pretty much all of them. I started in Dubai, traveled to Sharjah, did day trips to parts of Ajman, then went to Umm al Quwain, Ras al Khaimah, and Fujairah before returning to Sharjah. Once I hitchhiked with fellow tourists in Ras al Khaimah.

Next Time in the United Arab Emirates

These are the things I’d like to do upon a return trip to the United Arab Emirates. You can see it’s very Abu Dhabi-focused!

  • Hitchhike with locals (and tourists), perhaps I can finally say something useful in Arabic
  • Explore the capital Abu Dhabi (I heard good things)
  • Visit the really deserty parts with sand dunes, such as the Liwa Oasis
  • Kayak in the mangroves of Abu Dhabi
  • Visit the inland exclave of Hatta in Dubai emirate
  • Visit some ghost towns, abandoned airports, abandoned aircraft, etc.
  • Eat delicious vegetarian food at the many Indian eateries (I loved that during my first visit), same with Lebanese!
  • Go hiking a bit more. I should visit only in November till March (note to self)

I might add more ideas to this later. For now, enjoy the posts I have about the UAE

If you know cool places and things to do in the UAE, comment at the bottom of this page so I can always find your suggestions again once I start plotting my return!

Are you a travel blogger and do you have good posts about the United Arab Emirates? Drop them in a comment below and I’ll read them!

Ajman in an Afternoon (United Arab Emirates)

During our stay in Sharjah, we decided to take a day trip to Ajman (pronounced: ADZH-man). This was our third emirate out of seven. Even though it’s the smallest emirate, I think Ajman has enough to offer for a couple of days, depending on one’s interests and ‘disposable’ income. We visited Ajman on Monday the 22nd of February, 2021 on this 4.6-kilometer long walk. Sharjah to Ajman Our accommodation in Sharjah is only about 10 kilometers away from Ajman. Even though we prefer to stay in each emirate a couple of days, we couldn’t really find a good reason; theContinue reading

Two Weeks in Dubai (United Arab Emirates)

This is a diary-style post about what we did during our two weeks in Dubai before moving on to Sharjah within the United Arab Emirates (UAE). I tried to make it a bit informative if you’re traveling to Dubai, but I usually don’t write about cities that are already well-written about. Everything written here happened in 2021. Jonas had already visited Dubai for three days back in 2010 and told me it was a very misunderstood place. Saturday 30th January: Sleep Sunday 31st January: Walking to the Waterfront Monday 1st of February: Supermarket Time Tuesday 2nd of February: Downtown DubaiContinue reading

The Seven Emirates of the UAE and Their Borders—An Interactive Map

When I arrived in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), I couldn’t find any good maps of the borders between the seven emirates. There are plenty of good maps of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, but nothing about the lesser-known emirates such as Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah, and Fujairah. I wanted to give them some attention in this post. All these emirates have their own rulers and their own borders. These function like state borders. They’re inherited from the predecessor country before 1971, called the Trucial States. During this year’s (2021) National Day, the UAE will celebrate itsContinue reading

Sharjah’s Abandoned Airport—Al Mahatta Museum

On the 21st of April, 2021 we visited Al Mahatta Museum in Sharjah. The nearby King Abdul Aziz Street is the former runway of Sharjah’s old airport (RAF Sharjah). There’s an Abandoned Airport in the Middle of Sharjah You might already know that I really love visiting abandoned airports. Same for abandoned aircraft, which you can often find there. So when Jonas told me that there’s an abandoned airport right in my favorite city in the UAE, I knew I needed to go. The thing is, Sharjah’s appetite for growth already devoured this airport’s runway whole. It has been thisContinue reading

How the Pandemic Put Me in a Language Learning Crisis

I wonder if any people who love language learning and traveling to speak to people feel the same? Learning Portuguese for Timor-Leste It’s February 2020. I’ve been learning Portuguese on Duolingo for months already. And I picked up the pace again after traveling through Myanmar and losing my streak. I’m back in Thailand and Portuguese is useless here. Why am I learning it? Because in a few months, we’ll go to Timor-Leste. In that country, the two official languages are Portuguese and Tetum. The latter is based in part on colonizer language Portuguese combined with indigenous languages and Malay/Indonesian. PerhapsContinue reading

Vaccine Tourism: Why I’ll Probably Get My COVID-19 Vaccines Abroad

As more and more people outside the risk groups are receiving vaccines, I’ve been thinking about how to get one myself. Vaccine tourism is becoming a better option than making a trip to the Netherlands and risking getting stuck there. This post is probably highly unrelatable unless you’re also a Dutch passport holder, nomadic, and in a relationship with someone with a different passport. Where Am I? I’m happy to already be in a country with a high vaccination grade: the United Arab Emirates (UAE). At the time of writing, the UAE has administered 76.88 doses per 100 people. OnlyContinue reading

Manama, Ajman — Visiting the Inland Exclave + Al Dhaid as a Day Trip from Sharjah

On the 25th of February, 2021, Jonas and I traveled from Sharjah City to Manama in the United Arab Emirates. Manama is an exclave of the Emirate of Ajman. To travel there, we needed to take a bus from Sharjah’s bus station to Masafi and disembark halfway. We also visited the town of Al Dhaid in the Emirate of Sharjah. Doing the Research on Manama During our stay in Sharjah, we visited the Al Jubail bus terminal to figure out how to travel to Umm Al Quwain. During this exploratory trip, we also learned that this is where bus 116Continue reading

Hello, Dubai?! Leaving Malaysia for the UAE After 339 Days (Semi-Live Blog)

You know I’ve been ruminating on it. But after 339 days, it’s finally time to leave Malaysia. We’re traveling to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This is a semi-live blog that I’ll update throughout the journey. I’ll edit in photos once I’m back on my laptop. The Weeks Before Departure to Dubai On the evening of the start of ‘MCO 2.0’, Jonas and I were smoking shisha at Chimney Hookah Café in Johor Bahru (JB). We’d just made the most of our last day without stay-inside-order and we finished it off with a banger. One thing had beenContinue reading

Chernihiv to Kharkiv via Sumy by Thumb (Ukraine)

These events happened on the 19th and 20th of August, 2021. We were hitchhiking in Ukraine. The first day, we hitchhiked from Chernihiv to Sumy. On the second day, we finished our trip from Sumy to Kharkiv.  The Plan Back in Kyiv, I really wanted to make a visit to Chernihiv and Slavutych. We booked five days in an Airbnb in Chernihiv, left one day open, and then booked an Airbnb for two weeks in Kharkiv. Everything was already plotted from Kyiv and this was the most pre-planning – three weeks ahead – we’d done since the start ofContinue reading

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Fujairah—How to Visit as a Non-Muslim

This article contains both a story of how we managed to visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Fujairah (as non-Muslims) as well as actionable tips. We visited on Wednesday the 7th of April, 2021. To skip forward to the how-to, click here. UAE Mosques that Allow Non-Muslim Visitors There aren’t that many mosques in the UAE where non-Muslims can enter. The most famous ones are in Dubai (e.g. the quite commercialized Jumeirah Mosque) and in Abu Dhabi (also called the ‘Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque’). On our journey from Dibba Al Fujairah to Fujairah City, we made a stop atContinue reading

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