Discover a tantalizing fusion of ancient and modern framed by golden desert dunes and sparkling gulf waters on this intriguing journey in 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. Take in the forward-looking cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi on engaging tours and marvel at World Expo Dubai, a global extravaganza of culture, innovation and entertainment. Chat with Emiratis during two fascinating cultural exchanges, visit a falcon hospital and delight in a magical celebration under the desert stars!
Overlooking Dubai Creek, the Al Seef Heritage Hotel Dubai is a short water taxi ride away from the city’s glittering gold souk and aromatic spice souk. Al Seef itself is a newly developed neighborhood that blends the old and new. Visitors and locals alike come to Al Seef to stroll along waterfront promenade and enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants or to join the café culture. As part of Al Seef, the hotel reflects the local architectural style. Its public areas and guest rooms have a cozy feel and warmth. Savor the Emirati flavors at Saba’a, the hotel restaurant. Vintage pieces complement the traditional décor in the inviting guest rooms. Wi-Fi is complimentary.
CANCELLATION-Cancellations for any reason from date of booking to 76 days prior to trip departure will be subject to a $300 per person administrative fee. The withheld administrative fee may be applied to a future AHI Travel program that will operate in the current calendar year or year following cancellation. The credit will be applied to the final billing and may not be used as part of the initial deposit. It is non-transferable and is not valid toward the purchase of an AHI Cruises independent cruise. Cancellations from 75 to 60 days prior to departure will result in forfeiture of 25% of the entire cost of the trip per person; 59-30 days, 50% of the trip cost per person; cancellations from 29 days up to the time of departure will result in 100% forfeiture of the entire cost of the trip. TRIP CANCELLATION INSURANCE IS AVAILABLE. AN APPLICATION WILL BE SENT AFTER YOU RESERVE. All cancellations must be submitted in writing to AHI Travel. CANCELLATION OF TRIP OPTIONS-Purchases of optional excursions, trip extensions and additional hotel nights become fully non-refundable 45 days prior to departure. Air transportation and private transfer purchases are subject only to penalties assessed by the airlines and transfer suppliers.
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.
At a cultural center, enjoy a discussion about Emirati life, values and religion where all questions are welcome, and share in a traditional meal. Then discover Dubai’s roots as a fishing village and pearl diving center at a museum inside Al Fahidi Fort, and stroll along narrow alleyways to see historic wind tower houses. Next, explore the Gold and Spice Souks, bustling bazaars filled 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!
Head off to World Expo Dubai this morning! Dubai is the first Middle Eastern city to host the six-month Expo, the modern-day version of the World’s Fair. Explore unique pavilions hosted by nearly 200 countries; taste your way through a dining scene of more than 50 global cuisines; see mind-blowing architecture; delight in cultural events and entertainment, plus much more! Shuttles back to the hotel will run during the afternoon and evening.
Hear a firsthand account of desert living during an engaging talk this morning. Then set off from Dubai into the Arabian Desert. On your travels, visit an archaeological center that traces the story of human life in this arid region. Check in to the Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa. Later, take an exciting ride over the sand dunes in a 4×4 desert vehicle. This evening, celebrate beneath starry skies at a dinner featuring delectable Middle Eastern dishes, traditional music and belly dancing.
Al Ain | Abu Dhabi
Al Ain sits at the crossroads of ancient routes that connected the Arabian Peninsula, Oman, the Arabian Gulf and Mesopotamia, and many significant prehistoric remains are located here. Today, visit Hili Archaeological Park, which contains Bronze and Iron Age settlements, tombs and other ruins. View other interesting archaeological finds at the Al Ain National Museum. At the nearby Al Ain Oasis, a lush, beautiful landscape of date palm plantations, take a stroll on its peaceful, shaded paths. Continue to the 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. Delve into its history at Heritage Village, then admire celebrated landmarks on your way to Qasr al Watan. Tour this modern Palace of the Nation 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. Later tonight, learn about the UAE’s founding.
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 the UAE’s premier racing competition! Observe these majestic creatures up close at a falcon hospital. 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. This evening, join your group for a Farewell Reception and Dinner.
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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