Amalia Lazarov's 12-day United Arab Emirates Itinerary

Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi
Photo: badahos/Getty Images

Amalia Lazarov is a member of Travel + Leisure’s A-List, a collection of the top travel advisors in the world, and can help plan your perfect getaway. Below is an example of the type of itineraries she creates. To work with Amalia, you can contact her directly at

Day 1: Arrive in Abu Dhabi

Arrive at the Abu Dhabi airport, where a Marhaba ("welcome") greeter will escort you through immigration to your chauffer. With a stay at Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi in Abu Dhabi (Abu Dhabi Corniche), you'll be convenient to Open

Beach and Marina Mall. This 5-star hotel is within close proximity of Al Khubeirah Garden and Abu Dhabi

International Marine Sports Club.

Stay: Emirates Palace

Day 2: Abu Dhabi

Take a driving tour of Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates and the residence of the Federal National Council. Recognized as one of the world’s largest producers of oil, Abu Dhabi is undergoing a massive diversification of its economy and is investing in many different areas such as commerce, tourism and culture. Visit the Grand Mosque, Union Square, the Corniche, and the Heritage Village. Before heading to dinner, we will pass through Saadiyat Island to visit the new Louvre.

Stay: Emirates Palace

Day 3: Abu Dhabi

Transfer to Ferrari World, the world's first Ferrari theme park. After a day of high-speed fun, dine at Li Beirut — Lebanese cuisine at its best!

Stay: Emirates Palace

Day 4: Empty Quarter

Transfer to the Rub' al Khali desert, or "Empty Quarter," in the western part of Abu Dhabi Emirate. In Mahdar Bin Usayyan, you will check into the Anantara resort ar Qasr al Sarab. In the late afternoon, take a sunset camel trek — climbing aboard the "ship of the desert" to explore the valleys around the hotel, with a stop for traditional Arabian refreshments. Dine on top of a sand dune with Middle Eastern specialties like local hummus and fresh pita.

Stay: Qasr al Sarab

Day 6: Empty Quarter

Rise early for a desert bike experience, exploring the awe-inspiring beauty of the desert aboard a fat bike — the only type of bicycle that can be ridden on sand dunes. Afterward, relax at the pool before heading back to the desert in the afternoon to learn the traditional sport of falconry, and the method of hunting with Saluki dogs, practiced in the region four thousands of years.

Stay: Qasr al Sarab

Day 7: Dubai

Transfer via private car to Dubai, where you will check into the new Jumeirah Al Naseem. The property's extensive lush gardens edge the sandy beach, providing pockets of privacy and peacefulness. You can visit the turtle lagoon, part of Jumeirah's turtle Rehabilitation Project, or venture to nearby Wild Wadi Waterpark. In the evening, head to Al Habtoor City to see a show.

Stay: Jumeirah Al Naseem

Day 8: Dubai

Head to Dubai Creek, where you will catch a seaplane for an aerial tour above Dubai's ever-changing coastline. Then, cross the peninsula to the emirate of Fujairah and the Indian Ocean, where you will land and cross into Dibba, an exclave of Oman. There, you will board a traditional wooden dhow four a cruise around the fjords of Musandam, where dolphin sightings are common — and even the occasional whale shark or orca. Transfer back to Dubai for dinner at one of Dubai's best Turkish restaurants.

Stay: Jumeirah Al Naseem

Day 9: Dubai

Visit the famous Al Fahidi Fort, also known as the Dubai National Museum.This is the place where once rulers of Dubai lived. Afterward, we will have a lovely ride aboard an abra, or traditional ferry, to Dubai's famous old markets in the spice and gold souq. Next, we will drive to the palace of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum — Dubai's ruler, and Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates – and then to Jumeirah Mosque, the Islamic Art Museum, and finally, the 148th floor of the Burj Khalifa. In the evening, cruise on the Arabian Gulf around Palm Island, one of the largest man-made islands in the world.

Stay: Jumeirah Al Naseem

Day 10: Dubai

Take a morning hot air balloon flight over the desert of the UAE. View the giant dunes, the moon-like landscape of the rugged Hajj Mountains in the East, and the majestic skyline of Dubai in the west. After landing, we will see a falcon show before taking a dune buggy tour of the desert's extraordinary terrain. Later, tour the Burj Al Arab waterfront area by jetski.

Stay: Jumeirah Al Naseem

Day 11: Ras al-Khaimah and Dubai

Ras-al Khaimah is an oft-overlooked emirate of teh UAE, but it is one of the most spectacular, known for its Arabian Gulf Beaches. Take a spin on the world's largest zipline, starting at the highest point of the UAE in the Jebel Jais mountains. Later, transfer back to Dubai for a guided tour of Dubai's best markets with a personal shopper and souq expert — you'll find textiles, gold, and spices, as well as Indian fashions and Afghani carpets.

Stay: Jumeirah Al Naseem

Day 12: Depart from Dubai

Check out and transfer to Dubai Airport for your flight home.

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