Umm Al Quwain
Umm Al Quwain means “Mother of two powers” is one of the Emirates in the United Arab Emirates. It is located in the north of the country, in the coast of the Gulf of Arabia and is bordered by Sharjah in the west and Ras Al Khaimah in the east. It covers an area of 800 square kilometers and stretches from the beautiful, lush green coastal mangroves lining the shores of the Persian Gulf, inland across the rolling sand dunes to the fertile oasis surrounding Falaj Al Moalla. Umm Al Quwain city is the capital of the Emirate of Umm Al Quwain and has gone through rapid developments in the past few years. The Ruler of Umm Al Quwain is H.H.Sheikh Rashid Bin Ahmed Al Mu’alla. He succeeded his father in 1981.
Umm Al Quwain, a tiny Emirate wrapped around an island-dotted lagoon, is in many ways the ‘anti-Dubai’. Small, sleepy, quaint and without a single international mega-resort, its retro-feel stands in sharp contrast to the glamour-emirate to the south. The old town, business district and a few hotels are at the northern tip of a long and narrow peninsula accessed by the busy; strip mall-lined King Faisal Road. The traditional occupation of this Emirate has been fishing and date cultivation. Umm Al Quwain exhibits far more topographical diversity than the other emirates in the UAE.
Umm Al Quwain city has witnessed drastic developments over the last few years including construction of buildings, roads, markets, banks, parks and other amenities. Also, a modern network of roads links the city with the typical villages set up for settlement of Bedouins. Living life on the edge mixed with a tinge of insane fun and a dash of daring sports marks the qualities that make Umm Al Quwain an extreme holiday for anyone.
Umm Al Quwain has no bus service. Minibuses from Dubai drop passengers off on the highway opposite the Emarat station. You’ll have little luck catching a shared taxi to leave; engaged taxis can be flagged anywhere in town for travel to Sharjah (Dh40), Deira (in Dubai; Dh60), Ajman (Dh30) and Ras Al Khaimah (Dh50).
Umm Al Quwain’s attraction lies in its long clean beaches, an enclosed lagoon and public horse riding stables. Umm Al Quwain lagoon is a famous tourist center. The lagoon has green islands and the open sea is ideal for water sports and boating. The oasis town of Falaj Al Moalla is located in the Al Batha Valley, which is rich in agriculture. Beautiful scenic road connect this town with Umm Al Quwain city.
The Al Dur Island is near the coast of Umm Al Quwain, which is a famous archaeological site. The island is famous for its tools, glassware, stone houses and large storage jars found in the successive excavations.
The Seneyah Island is located one kilometre away from Umm Al Quwain city with a total area of 90 Sq km. Al Siniyyah Island is a natural reserve for a large species of birds, deer and Al Qaram trees that is the best for bird lovers. The island has a bird sanctuary with beautiful mangrove swamps. Umm Al Quwain is the fastest growing spot for extreme sports. It has numerous places worth visiting.
Dreamland Aqua Park
Dreamland Aqua Park – is a huge entertainment park offering different games and rides. Dreamland Aqua Park is the multi-purpose facility is considered one of the largest water theme parks in the UAE. The Go-kart competitions, water polo, beach volleyball and even overnight camping attract the young and the old. It includes 25 aquatic and non-aquatic attractions for children and adults. The scream of people as they jump off their planes can be heard in the air, the smell of burnt rubber looms over the area and the booming sound of shotguns fired into the air awakens people from their dreamy state.
The food stalls and restaurants here serve a variety of food like pizzas, hamburgers, fries, doughnuts, salads, seafood, fruit cocktails, soft fizzy drinks, fruits and cotton candy.
The Aquarium – is located in the headland of the new port. It is the part of the Marine Research Centre. It showcases the vast variety of sea creatures. It also includes rays, snakes and corals.
Umm Al Quwain Museum
The renovated old fort of Umm Al Quwain is changed to Umm Al Quwain Museum. The museum has an invaluable collection of artefacts that were excavated from important nearby sites like Al Dour. Restoration work is scheduled to recreate the aged wall that once surrounded the original settlement.
The Dhow Building Yard
The dhow-building yard where craftsmen still manufacture traditional boats is another site that should not be missed. In the old town, around the fort, you can see the charming old coral stone houses still display features of the original architecture and intricate sculptured plasterwork.
In the inland, the road to the Camel racetrack at Al Labsa affords interesting glimpses of the surrounding terrain. The dunes in this area, interspersed with wooded dales, provide a challenging terrain for off road desert drivers or as they are commonly called “dune bashers”.
The Flamingo Beach Resort also organises crab-hunting trips to the lagoon’s mangroves. Rates include the boat ride, equipment, instruction and a dinner buffet at the resort where everyone’s catch is cooked up on the spot.