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Home: The Basics: The Seven Emirates of the United Arab Emirates

Abu Dhabi (aboo dub-bee): It is the federal capital of the United Arab Emirates and is the largest Emirate in the UAE. The name Abu Dhabi means 'Father of the Gazelle'. Visitors coming from the state of the art Abu Dhabi International Airport will find many nice surprises as they pass the Al Maqtaa Bridge. The central part of the emirate is found on an Island known as Abu Dhabi City, and the island was connected to the mainland by two bridges. Abu Dhabi City is a beautiful garden city of boulevards, green parks, and water fountains.

Dubai (do-bay or do-buy): Dubai is a city of contrasts, where the old and new makes it a mysterious exciting place to it's visitors. It is a very welcoming city and increasingly becoming very well known worldwide. Some people believe "Dubai' is a shorter form of the word "Daba" meaning a prospering or florishing market. It has several names such as the City of Gold because of its famed Gold Market, and The City that Cares since the merchants set aside money from its promotions for charities. Dubai has worked very hard to achieve its fame. It is also the venue of many major world class sporting events such as the Dubai Desert Classic Gulf Tournament, the ATP-sanctioned Dubai Tennis Championships, the Dubai Sevens (Rugby Meetings), the Emirates Grand Prix (off-shore Power Boat Championship), the UAE Desert Challenge, and the Dubai World Cup (the world's richest horse-race).

Sharjah or ash Shariqah (shar-ja): This city is also known as The City of Knowledge. It is known for it beautiful and impressive achitectual buildings, mosques, museums and distinctive Islamic designed souqs. It is a great place to visit and see the Al Buheirah Corniche and its local resturants such as The Al Sha-abiah Resturant on the Corniche and the Fisherman's Wharf overlooking the poolside and Khalid's Lagoon. Sharjah has many beautiful gardens and a nice atmosphere. Being in Sharjah gives you easy access to Dubai and Ajman. Sharjah also encompasses some beautiful oasis areas such as Al Dhaid where you can see many vegetables and fruit such as strawberries being grown.

Ajman (aj-man): This is the smallest Emirate of the United Arab Emirates and lies between Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain. The central area of Ajman is developed, while the rural area has many farms. It has a few good fast food resturants, a City Centre (shopping mall) and cinema, and a traditional Islamic designed souq.

Fujairah (foo-jay-ra): This Emirate has a beautiful and very scenic mountain scenery and the winding roads are part of its beauty as you always wonder what scene is at the next turn. It has waterfalls and beautiful untouched beaches which are a major attraction to tourists and visitors from abroad and within the UAE. The beaches are a great attraction to divers who enjoy discovering the amazing marine paradise of the UAE coasts . It is definately a major resort area.

Umm Al Quwain (um al kee-wayne): This is an Emirate where people like to go sailing and bird watching. It is famous for its Multi-million dirham "Dreamland" Aqua park Dreamland Aqua Parkwhich attracts thousands of visitors. Umm Al Qaiwain's popular archaelogical sites are Ad Door, a florishing port town and nearby Tell Abraq a fortified settlement from around 2,500 BC. It is also famous for Falaj Al Mu'ala a natural oasis and an important agricultural area.

Ras Al Khaimah (ras al kay-ma):Ras Al Khaimah Khor It's name means 'head of the tent'. I did a little research and found out that 'Al Khaimah' (the tent) also means a bedouin shelter symbolizing the traditional arab friendship and hospitality. This Emirate is one of the most natural beautiful spots in the country. It is surrounded by sea, desert and mountains. It is known for its camping grounds when the weather is pleasant, natural water springs where there are separate facilities for men and women to bathe in its natural warm waters. The springs are located next to the mountains In Sh'am. There are several very interesting archaeological sites such as The Queen of Sheba's Palace in the Shimal to the north.

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