Middle East

United Arab Emirates

Photo credit: Courtesy of Desert Adventures

Forging a Future while Respecting the Past

When it became a nation in 1971, the United Arab Emirates was a confederation of Bedouin tribes with just over 500,000 citizens. Since then, sparked by oil and gas wealth, it has exploded into international prominence, becoming a center of commerce and innovation and home to nearly 10 million residents, a majority of them expats. In the process it’s also become one of the most welcoming and most engaging places to visit in the Arab world.

The biggest cities, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, are renowned for their ambition and abundance, conspicuously on display in futuristic architecture and ultra-lux shops and hotels. At the same time, Emiratis are proud of their culture and eager to preserve it. Traditional street life, historic buildings, and first-class museums have earned Sharjah the UNESCO designation Cultural Capital of the Arab World, while the inland city of Al Ain is famed for its Neolithic tombs and its oasis of lush date groves, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Why travel to United Arab Emirates with MIR

MIR’s expert guides and travel planners understand the duality of the UAE’s modern cities and cherished heritage. They know where to find the country’s most fascinating destinations, both ancient and modern, and how to connect with the authentic local culture often hidden behind the flashy veneer.

  • 35 years of travel experience
  • Twice named one of National Geographic Adventure’s “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth”
  • Personalized travel planning from start to finish
  • On-the-ground support
  • Guides and tour managers that clients rave about
  • Quality you can trust
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Our Trips

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Walkway to the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Vertical view of sheik zayed mosque in Abu Dhabi with its blue moat.
Dubai's famous Burj Al Arab Hotel, UAE.
Dubai's historic Al Fahidi district, UAE. Photo credit: Courtesy of Desert Adventures
A view of the Burj Al Arab from the Jumeirah Al Naseem hotel's private beach. Photo credit: Courtesy of Desert Adventures
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  • Walkway to the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Walkway to the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
  • Vertical view of sheik zayed mosque in Abu Dhabi with its blue moat. Vertical view of sheik zayed mosque in Abu Dhabi with its blue moat.
  • Dubai's famous Burj Al Arab Hotel, UAE. Dubai's famous Burj Al Arab Hotel.
  • Dubai's historic Al Fahidi district, UAE. Photo credit: Courtesy of Desert Adventures Dubai's historic Al Fahidi district. Courtesy of Desert Adventures
  • A view of the Burj Al Arab from the Jumeirah Al Naseem hotel's private beach. Photo credit: Courtesy of Desert Adventures A view of the Burj Al Arab from the Jumeirah Al Naseem hotel's private beach. Courtesy of Desert Adventures
  • Photo credit: Joanna Skladanek, courtesy of Desert Adventures Joanna Skladanek, courtesy of Desert Adventures
  • Photo credit: Courtesy of Desert Adventures Courtesy of Desert Adventures
  • Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed White Mosque. Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed White Mosque.
  • The Jumeirah Mosque in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Photo credit: Courtesy of Desert Adventures The Jumeirah Mosque in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Courtesy of Desert Adventures

Traveler Reviews

  • "My favorite part of the trip was the opportunity to meet regular people…in their home, their mosque, etc. It’s authentic and provides insight into the place and culture."

    D. Thompson

    Richland Center, WI

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