Arrive at Dubai Airport and meet your driver for a private transfer to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. Relax around the pool or take advantage of the numerous activities available. Dubai has an exciting food scene. In the Bur Dubai area alone, you can feast on various cuisines including Iranian, Filipino, Yemeni, Bangladeshi, Indian and Pakistani.
After breakfast, meet your local guide for a tour of Dubai, both old and new. Start with a ride in an Abra, a traditional wood ship akin to a water taxi, across the Dubai Creek - the original heart of the city, where traders from all over the Middle East have traditionally congregated. Walk through the grand spice and gold souks, huge markets dedicated to their specialties. Here you can haggle for turquoise trinkets from Iran, silver treasures from Oman, and dates from Saudi Arabia, along with all manners of treasures from around the world.
Next, travel to Zabeel Park to snap a photo or two with the Dubai Frame, an architectural landmark, and the largest frame in the world, before visiting the Burj Khalifa to see the top of Dubai. At 2,716 feet, the views from the At The Top observation deck are truly astounding. With state-of-the-art telescopes and historic displays, there is plenty to take in and to learn from. Afterwards, return to your hotel or enjoy the arrangement of activities, from shopping to dining, at The Dubai Mall.
(Breakfast & Accommodations, Dubai)
Leave your hotel and the city behind as you head into the desert with your entertaining safari guide in four-wheel drive Land Cruisers. Enjoy the fun of a dune drive in the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve. At sunset, there'll be time to stop for photos from the top of a dune.
Upon arrival at the Bedouin-style camp where desert activities and a bonfire await, you can try a camel ride, mini sandboarding (weather permitting) and henna hand painting, or simply relax on large carpets and cushions. Moving to the seating area, enjoy an Arabic style, three-course dinner along with beer, wine and alcoholic beverages (except on the eve of religious holidays). After dinner, you'll be treated to an authentic belly dancing performance* before returning to your hotel.
*Except in Ramadan and during religious holidays when belly dancing will be replaced with a Tanoura dance performance.
(Breakfast, Dinner & Accommodations, Dubai)
After breakfast, meet your driver for a private transfer to Abu Dhabi (approx. 90 minutes). Later after checking into your hotel, meet your guide to explore the panoramic sights and grand landmarks of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, on a private half day tour. Highlights will include a tour of the majestic Sheikh Grand Mosque. Completed in 2008, the building is spectacular, with a mix of Mughal and Moorish styles, 82 marble domes of various sizes and minarets up to 351 ft high. Pass the tree-lined residential area of Al Bateen and the royal palaces. Visit the Heritage Village showcasing traditional times. An open museum, it displays everything from a goat's hair tent to a campfire with pots, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the local culture. Drive along "The Corniche", a seaside promenade lined with popular restaurants, shops, and hotels. Then stop at the Louvre, the new museum of world cultural history, which has transformed the image and the appeal of Abu Dhabi. The city is permitted use of the Musée du Louvre's name for 30 years and has been supplied with some 300 loans from 13 leading French museums during its first decade.
(Breakfast, Dubai, Accommodations, Abu Dhabi)
Enjoy this day in Abu Dhabi at your leisure or select an optional tour to explore the sites outside of Abu Dhabi. We suggest taking a tour to Al Ain - the green city of the UAE. Less than 2 hours from Abu Dhabi, the "garden city" is known for palm groves and natural springs. You can visit the camel market and museums to learn about the traditional way of life as well as see Jebel Hafeet, the UAE's tallest peak. This trip wouldn't be complete without a stop at local hot springs and a traditional date palm grove.
If you chose to remain in Abu Dhabi, there are plenty of activities to enjoy. Abu Dhabi is beginning to rival Dubai with its collage of magnificent architecture, stunning beaches, traditional monuments, and ultramodern shopping plazas. Make your way to the Etihed Towers and the Observation Deck at 300. Here on the 74th floor, enjoy high tea and snacks while having the best possible view of the capital. For a unique experience, visit the Falcon Hospital. Visitors are welcome to take a tour to better understand the relationship between falcons and the Emerati culture. For those that prefer outdoor activities, stop at Abu Dhabi's Mangrove National Park, with over 10 miles of protected coastal mangrove forests. The mangroves protect against tidal surges and promote biodiversity by providing a home to fish, small coastal critters and birds. And at Saadiyat Public Beach, you can enjoy the white sandy shores and clear blue waters, as well as a multitude of water sports and activities.
(Breakfast & Accommodations, Abu Dhabi)
After breakfast, you'll have a private transfer to Abu Dhabi Airport for your return flight, or onward to your next Avanti Destination!
(Breakfast, Abu Dhabi)