The United Arab Emirates, often referred to as the U.A.E, is a federation of seven emirates, which includes the modern and dynamic Abu Dhabi and Dubai emirates.

If ever a city was being on steroids, it’d have to be Dubai. The attractions and projects in Dubai are on a scale from another world, from Palm Jumeirah, Palm Jebel Ali, the World Islands, the Burj Al Arab, the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, Dubai Marina, Ski Dubai – the list goes on. The malls are extraordinarily modern, filled with virtually any product available in the West (save sexually explicit material; movies are censored, as are, to some extent, magazines). The less well known side of the UAE includes remote, magnificent desert dunes on the edge of the Empty Quarter and craggy, awe-inspiring wadis in the north-east bordering Oman.

The roads and other public facilities are modern if, at times, extremely crowded. Supermarkets offer a vast assortment of products from Europe and the U.S., depending on the shop, along with local and regional items. Major international chains such as Ikea, McDonald's and Carrefour have a presence. On the other hand, there are still a few crowded traditional souks filled with products from around the world. These can be hard to find for the average traveler, but if you make your way to Deira and Dubai Creek you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the sights and sounds of old Dubai, complete with rustic ancient port working Dhows that’ve plied their trades around the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea – adapted from Wikitravel.

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