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If its beaches you want, then Dubai won't disappoint. Many of the hotels have beachfront locations, while the fact there are man made islands like The Palms mean you're never likely to be far from some sea and sand. The range of beaches provides the opportunity to find whatever kind of atmosphere you're hoping for.
If you fancy being close to some attractions, JBR Beach is a popular choice. It is near The Walk, a strip in Dubai that is famous for its restaurants and ice cream stalls, making it easy to grab a bite to eat and stroll through a part of the city before returning to the allures of the beach and taking a dip in its cool blue waters. For something more private and peaceful, the Club Joumana Beach is a magnificent stretch of white sand, not far from the Dubai Marina and surrounded by palm embellished gardens. It is the beach at Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa and therefore has three swimming pools nearby along with a beach bar and restaurant.
The Club Joumana along with some other club beaches provides an ideal location for escaping the hustle and bustle of the public beaches. If you thought the natural scenery of the beach was luxurious enough, you might change your mind after a visit to the Nasimi Beach, which spoils its visitors with a shopping boutique, four poster day beds to relax on, and BBQ's, bubbly and a DJ spinning relaxing tunes every Saturday. It's very likely that your hotel will either be near to a beach or have its own private beach. There's also always the opportunity to venture to different stretches of sand, experiencing what each has to offer.
Abu Dhabi has some magnificent beaches, all of which are within close proximity to the city's attractions. Some of these beaches are to be found through hotels such as the Shangri-La Hotel, which even looks out onto an enchanting view of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, and has a chilled out pool bar and lounge on the grounds so that guests can watch the sun set over the sea with a drink in hand.
The Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi is a wonderfully peaceful stretch of beach, which allows those who pay for a whole day to also get use of any hotel facilities. This means that in between soaking up some sun on the beach you can take a dip in one of the four swimming pools or make a trip to the sauna. For a lavish atmosphere there is the popular Beach Rotana, which has a private beach where those visiting can play squash or tennis and eat at the local BayView restaurant.
The Saadiyat Beach on the other hand is a public beach, and has 400 metres of silky white sand to entice visitors, along with clear sea water and views of the desert dunes. If looking for a beach that is peaceful, and not crowded with fellow beach enthusiasts, Yas Beach is perfect. It's kept exceptionally clean and has little cafes and bars on site along with attractions such as Volleyball and kayaks. There are many beaches to be explored within Abu Dhabi, and therefore there should be something to suit everyone, with livelier, more populated beaches along with quieter, private or secluded ones. The majority tend to be a part of a hotel, which works well as means you can sometimes use other facilities. The price of entrance to beaches depends, though some like The Corniche are completely free.
When visiting the United Arab Emirates a visit to the desert is essential. It not only provides a retreat from the extravagance and bustle of the cities, but also allows you to experience the adventurous spirit that is to be discovered within such an iconic and unspoilt part of the Arabian environment.
There's a lot to do in the desert too. One of the most popular activities is the desert safaris, which often include dune bashing where visitors hop into a 4wd and hit the slopes with some serious vigour. This exhilarating ride may not be to everyone's taste though, so you can opt to go without the dune bashing if you like. Or, how about a camel ride instead? You'll find yourself feeling very much like Lawrence of Arabia roaming the desert in this traditional fashion.
Desert camping is a lovely way to fully experience the tranquillity of the desert by immersing yourself in its desolate landscapes over night. This is usually arranged in groups as part of a tour, and allows you to stay in an authentic Bedouin tent and dining beneath magical evening skies.
As you'd expect from an Arabian country, there are plenty of camels to be found roaming amongst the rolling dunes of the desert scenery. They're also the inspiration behind many activities to be tried here, including traditional camel rides, camel polo, and even a camel beauty pageant to the West of the country. Alongside the camels are fellow mammals and desert dwellers such as the sand gazelle, the hare, and the sand fox.
The humidity and dry landscapes of the environment are perfect for scorpions, spiders and other creepy crawlies. You can also expect reptiles such as lizards and snakes to thrive here, though that's not to put you off! There are also the less intimidating creatures such as the marine turtles, which wade in and out from the sea to lay their eggs on quiet beaches.
There are around 500 types of sea life known to live in the UAE Sea, which makes this a magnificent place to go scuba diving as you are assured a fascinating variety of sights. You'll also be able to go whale and dolphin watching. From the seas to the sky, you'll find over 400 species of bird, both migratory and domestic to spot here. Some examples include the Arabian Babbler and Pied Wheatear, though it depends on the seasons of course as to which birds you're most likely to catch a glimpse of.
When it comes to flora, you wouldn't think that the UAE would be home to that much due to its harsh landscapes. This isn't the case however, with a plethora of exotic and mesmerizing plants that glow with colour amongst the neutral tones of the environment. Some of the plants you might see include the Salsola imbricate, which is a kind of shrub, along with scatterings of Tamarix plants. The Haloxylon salicornicum is a common lounger on the coast while the Cynomorium coccineum is a Bedu delicacy amongst the desert sands.