Umm Al Quwain, UAE

Umm Al Quwain Fort

Abandoned Russian Airplane

Traditional Dhow Boat, Fishing Port

“The Mother of Two Powers”, Umm Al Quwain is the meeting point of land and sea, quite literally in fact.  This itsy-bitsy coastal Emirate is the second smallest Emirate, it covers only one percent of the UAE’s land mass, and is the least populated.  But what it doesn’t have in space it makes up for in heart and chilled out vibes.  Even though it is less flashy than its other, bigger Emirate neighbours, Umm Al Quwain is the perfect place to switch off, mellow out and chillax.  Whether this is a stop off point or the main destination, Where To HQ has compiled a list of some go to places and things to do so you can stop being Umm and start being Ahhhh.

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Where To Wanderlust - Short Stay

Friday -

A day at UAQ Open Beach

You’ve just arrived, your legs are sore from the drive but don’t worry it’s time to relax, catch some rays, play in the surf and enjoy the sand beneath your toes… For the more energetic of you, you could book on to a kite surfing or Paddleboarding lesson at the fancy Kite Beach or you can leave that to the pros and find a hammock to fall asleep in.  Just don’t forget your sun cream!

 

Sunset Boat Trip to Seneyah Island

Spend the last of the sun’s rays skimming through the mangroves out to Seneyah Island.  See if you can spot some of the islands migrating birds whilst the sun goes down.

 

Stay at Vida Beach Resort

Splash out for the bright and beautiful Vida Beach Resort, a Where To hidden gem.  Relax in modern comfort, with nods to the local culture and heritage.

 

Saturday –

 

Splash the morning away at Dreamland Water Park

 Head to the UAE’s biggest waterpark for opening time to spend a couple of hours there before the heat of the midday sun.  Will you be brave enough to try Kamikaze?  Or if thrill rides aren’t your thing spend some time soaking in the Dead Sea Pool.  

 

An afternoon in Old Town

Towel off and spend the rest of the afternoon exploring old town, seeing what treasures you can find in the souk or heading over to the harbour to see how traditional Dhow boats are made.

 

Kayaking the mangroves at dusk

If you are not too tired grab a paddle and head out to see the mangroves in all their natural glory, in a kayak.  As the sun goes down, it’s time to head for home.

 

Where To Wayfarer - Long Stay

 
Thursday –

 

UAQ Fort and National Museum

Start off your trip with some heritage and history visiting one of the oldest buildings in Um Al Quwain.  Explore the exhibits and climb the watch towers.

 

Night time Crab Hunting at The Flamingo Hotel

Grab you spear, it’s time to go crabbing!  Learn the traditional art of crab fishing and let the chefs of the Flamingo hotel cook up a storm with your haul.

 

Stay at Umm Al Quwain Beach Hotel (2 nights)

This stunning beach-side resort is a firm favourite among Where To fans.  With a mix of different accommodation there is something to suit everyone’s budget. You are staying two nights here, so you can really enjoy the surroundings.  You might fancy a stroll along the private beach, a moonlit dip in the pool or just to fall into bed after the excitement of the day.  Your choice.

 
Friday –

 

A morning’s excitement at the Camel Racing

If you are visiting during the cooler months, it’s well worth trying to catch a glimpse of the national sport.  Usually, the races start at 7am on a Friday so it’s an early start but worth it for the giggles.

 

Afternoon exploring at Falaj al Mualla

Head out to the small oasis town to marvel at the sweeping date plantations and the restored fort with it’s three impressive watchtowers.  If the kids are a bit restless you can pop to the Garden Park for some family fun.

 

Arabic Lebanese evening live entertainment

It’s time to chill and let the UAQ Beach Hotel amaze you with some traditional Arabic Lebanese entertainment. 

 

Saturday –

 

A morning splash at Dream Land Water Park

Its waterpark time!  Don your swimwear for a fun-filled morning splashing around the UAE’s biggest waterpark.  Catch some waves at the wave pool and chill on the lazy river.

 

Afternoon wander around Old Town and a Harbour Tour

Give yourself some time to check out the Old Town.  Clamber over fishing pots and down alleyways and pick up some souvenirs along the way.  You might even have time to catch a harbour tour and find out how they still make the Dhow Boats the traditional way.

 

Sunset Boat trip to Seneyah Island

Take a sunset cruise around the mangroves and head towards Seneyah Islands.  This is a fantastic place to spot the native wildlife like turtles, flamingos, herons and many more.

 

Stay at Kite Beach Camping

If you fancy a bit of a rustic end to your trip to the ‘retro’ Emirate, why don’t you spend a night camping on Kite Beach.  Lull yourself to sleep with the sound of lapping waves without the risk of waking up with wet feet!

 

Sunday –

 

Spend the day at Umm Al Quwain Open Beach

Why wouldn’t you take time to enjoy the second of the “Two Powers”: the ocean.  Let your worries wash away as you relax on the pristine beach, and maybe enjoy some water sports such as kayaking, Paddleboarding, kitesurfing or even riding a banana boat at the UAQ Marine Club.

 

Where To - What's there?

UAQ Beach.jpg

In Umm Al Quwain there really is something for everyone and so we’ve picked a few of our favourites for every member of your family.

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Umm Al Quwain Beach

For Couples:

 

Boat trip to Seneyah Island

Take a romantic boat trip around the peaceful and tranquil islands just offshore from UAQ city. Seneyah Island, the biggest of the islands, is stunning and perfect for eagle-eyed birdwatchers to get some snaps!

 

Kite Beach Glamping

What can be more romantic that spending the night on a beach, under the stars, in a tent with your loved one?  If you are not sure about an overnight stay, check out the beach huts on Kite Beach for daytime use.  They are in a word... epic!

 

Bird Watching at Khor Al Beidah

“Twitchers” get your binoculars out. Khor Al Beidah is a fabulous place to sit, relax and spot (birds that is!) with your loved one.  Flamingos, Herons, Terns and Plovers are often spotted here.

 

“Crab Hunting” – The Flamingo Hotel

This is definitely not for everyone (!) but has creeped, or should I say crawled, its way on to the list for those couples looking for a more unique date night.  Grab a spear (I’m not kidding) and wade out in the water to catch yourself some dinner!  Don’t worry, the chefs will cook it for you though!

 

For Teenagers

 

Palma Bowling

Beat the heat and don those fancy bowling shoes and challenge your mates to ten pin.  There is also snooker, video games, foosball tables and ping pong which would sure to interest even the most uninterested teen.

 

Paddleboarding at UAQ Marine Club

Teens, how good is your balance?  Try to stay upright on a paddleboard on the choppy waters next to the UAQ Marine Club.  It’s harder than it looks, I promise!  Or is you fancy a more exhilarating balance test – they have banana boats as well!

 

Kayaking the Mangroves

Grab those Kayaks and head out for a couple of hours exploring the expanse of luscious mangroves surrounding UAQ.  Tranquil but definitely more of a workout than it seems!

 

Marine Research Center – Aquarium

For the budding marine biologist, the marine research center is the place to head to. Colourful corals, fin-tastic fish and even some Snakes thrown in for good measure.

 

For Small Kids and Families

Dreamland Water Park

Splash around at the biggest waterpark in the UAE!  There are countless attractions to take your pick from including a giant roaring volcano and kamikaze slides.  Lots of shaded palm areas too to hide from the sweltering heat.

 

UAQ Open Beach

Buckets and Spades at the ready, head to the beach for some good ole’ family fun.  Splash around in the waves and try to spot the different wildlife common to this area.  There are parking facilities, but it should be noted there are no public toilets or changing facilities here.

 

Happy Land City

Not just an amusement park, Happy Land City, offers a variety of different activities for kids and adults to explore.  Its aim is to inspire creativity as well as entertainment.  Check out the artistic corner for budding artists.

 

 

Falaj Al Mualla Garden Park

This park has it all, playgrounds, swimming, BBQ areas, bicycle tracks and tonnes of green space.  This park will surely let the kiddos burn off some energy as you enjoy some quality family time.

 

Adults Only:

Imar Spa (Ladies Only)

Ladies, this one is just for you.  For a couple hours of relaxation and ultimate ‘me-time’.  Check out the natural salt therapy baths and the Silk Well Being Massage to have you skin feeling baby soft!

 

Kite Surfing Lesson at Kite Beach

Learn a new skill and book a kite surfing lesson at the swanky, private Kite Beach Center on Um Al Quwain Open Beach.  Will you feel wind rushing through your hair or water rushing up your nose?!

 

Emirates Motorplex

This off-road track is the dream of petrol heads. Whether watching or getting behind the wheel this is the must-see destination for all speed demons!

 

Dhow Building Yard Tour

Take a wander down in to the old harbour and perhaps take in a tour of the boat yard and find out how UAE craftsmen continue to build these traditional boats.

 

Good For All:

 

Camel Racing

Make sure to catch the UAE’s national sport at the camel racing track in Al Labsa, where you will see the majestic beasts hurtling down the track with robot jockeys.  The races start early on Friday morning in the cooler months (October – April).

 

Um Al Quwain Fort/National Museum

Take a break from the sun and head to the UAQ Fort which now houses the national museum – so you get two treats in one!   Learn the history behind this small nation and its sometimes-grisly past!

 

Wander Old Town

Take a wander through the old town, stepping over fishing nets and looking up at the traditional architecture to really get a feel for what the emirates might have been like if oil wasn’t discovered.

 

Falaj Al Mualla

Take a short trip to this small oasis town, to take in the sweeping date farms and the impressive fort, with three watchtowers and its museum.