Discover a marvelous fusion of ancient and modern framed by golden desert dunes and sparkling gulf waters on this intriguing journey to the United Arab Emirates. Whether it’s your first visit or a return to explore more deeply, enjoy a multifaceted immersion into Emirati history and culture. Stroll through old Dubai and the colorful Spice and Gold Souks, then admire spectacular contemporary landmarks like Palm Jumeriah and Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. In Abu Dhabi, tour the stunning Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the Louvre Abu Dhabi and the magnificent presidential palace, plus learn about the UAE’s national bird at a falcon hospital. You’ll also chat with Emiratis during two fascinating cultural exchanges and delight in a magical celebration under the desert stars!
- Pricing from
Call 800-323-7373 or click here. Make sure to mention that this is with National Trust Tours! NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT!
- Trip Type
- Group Travel Tour, International Land & Rail Voyages
- Departure Dates
Feb 6, 2024 - Feb 15, 2024
LE ROYAL MÉRIDIEN. ABU DHABI is at your doorstep while staying at this luxury hotel, one of the city’s iconic landmarks. Parks, shopping, restaurants, the beach and more are just steps from the hotel. You don’t have to leave the hotel, however, for a variety of restaurants. Get a bird’s-eye view of Abu Dhabi from Stratos, a revolving restaurant. Market Kitchen, a casually elegant spot, features menus planned by celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Savor delicious Italian cuisine at District by Amalfi. Poolside P.J. O’Reilly’s features music provided by a DJ and live bands. Café Palmier is a casual bistro open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Enjoy a fully equipped fitness center and indoor and outdoor pools.
SPECIAL COVID-19 NOTICE – During the period of COVID-19 contagion, you should refrain from joining a trip if you are feeling unwell, exhibit fever or other symptoms of contagious disease, or have been in contact with a person exhibiting symptoms of contagious disease within 14 days of trip departure. Affected passengers will receive a full refund in the form of a credit applicable to a future AHI Travel program. All passengers must complete a health questionnaire and execute an Assumption of Risk and Waiver of Liability Relating to Coronavirus/COVID-19 prior to trip departure. If you cannot or will not complete and execute these documents, AHI reserves the right to consider your booking cancelled as of that day and assess applicable cancellation fees.
day 1 & 2
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Arrive at Dubai International Airport, where an AHI Travel representative will be waiting to take you to the Al Seef Heritage Hotel Dubai, Curio Collection by Hilton.
Discover Dubai’s roots as a fishing village and pearl diving center at the Al Shindagha Museum, and stroll along narrow alleyways to see historic wind tower houses. Next, enjoy a discussion at a cultural center about Emirati life, values and religion, where all questions are welcome, and share in a traditional meal. Then, explore the Gold and Spice Souks, bustling bazaars packed with glittering jewelry and colorful, fragrant displays of ginger, chili, saffron and cinnamon. Tonight, gather for a Welcome Reception and Dinner.
Today, witness the contrast between old and modern Dubai. Now a cosmopolitan international center of commerce and finance, Dubai dazzles with a magnificent cityscape of sleek skyscrapers. Take it all in from the skydeck of the iconic Dubai Frame. Then see the grand Zabeel Palace, Jumeirah Mosque and Palm Jumeirah, a man-made archipelago. After lunch in Dubai Marina, check out the famous Dubai Mall, complete with its own aquarium and underwater zoo, and crane your neck for a look at Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building!
The entire day is yours to plan. Maybe you’ll return to the Dubai Mall or ride up to the Burj Khalifa’s “At The Top” observation deck on the 124th floor for incredible views! You can also join a morning Elective Activity to a conservation reserve in the Arabian Desert to see native wildlife and plants. Later this evening, learn about the UAE’s founding before dining at a restaurant near the hotel.
Check out this morning and head to Abu Dhabi. Your first stop is a falcon hospital, where you’ll observe these majestic creatures up close. Used for centuries by the Bedouins for hunting, falcons are revered throughout the Middle East for their beauty and speed. Today, the fastest birds can win millions in prize money at UAE’s premier racing competition! Next, step inside the awe-inspiring Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which welcomes people of all faiths. Marvel at the opulent marble-inlaid courtyard, the world’s largest hand-woven carpet and Swarovski crystal chandeliers. Later, check in to Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi.
First settled in 1761 by the Bani Yas Bedouin tribe, Abu Dhabi has matured into one of the world’s richest cities. Admire picturesque gulf views and renowned landmarks, including the Emirates Palace, Etihad Towers and the Corniche waterfront area, on your way to Qasr al Watan. Tour this modern, working presidential palace splendidly crafted in homage to traditional Arabian artistry. Enjoy lunch afterward at an Emirati home with time for conversation and questions. Finish with a visit to Qasr al Hosn, a former fortress and palace.
Visit the breathtaking Louvre Abu Dhabi on Saadiyat Island, a cultural district. The museum’s impressive dome appears to float over the complex and produces an enchanting, dappled light below. Enjoy a guided tour within the art galleries. Then head off on your own for lunch and more sightseeing this afternoon. Back at the hotel this evening, hear a firsthand account of desert living during an engaging talk.
Set off from Abu Dhabi this morning into the Arabian Desert and check in to the Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa. Spend your day relaxing by the pool or enjoying the resort’s optional activities, including spa treatments, falconry, archery, camel rides and desert drives over the sand dunes. This evening, join your group for a Farewell Reception and then celebrate beneath starry skies at a Farewell Dinner featuring delectable Middle Eastern dishes, traditional music and belly dancing.
Depart for home city
After breakfast, bid farewell to your fellow travelers. Depart for the Abu Dhabi airport and head home.
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