Umm al Quwain

Travel Guide Middle East United Arab Emirates Umm al Quwain

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Introduction

Umm Al Quwain (أمّ القيوين) is an emirate between Ajman and Ra's al Khaymah on the west coast of the United Arab Emirates. Umm Al Quwain, one of the 7 members of the United Arab Emirates, covers an area of 800 square kilometres 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. The inland oasis and hinterland town of Falaj Al Moalla lies some 50km from Umm Al Quwain city.

The name Umm Al Quwain is derived from Umm Al Quwatain, which means "Mother of two powers", a reference to the powerful seafaring tradition of this emirate. The modern history of Umm Al Quwain dates back 200 years when the Al Ali tribe moved their capital from Al Sinniyah Island to its present location in the mid 18th century, when the water supply dried up.

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Sights and Activities

  • The dhow building yard where skilled craftsmen continue to assemble these traditional boats is still very much in existence. In the old town, around the fort, the once charming old coral stone houses still display features of the original architecture and intricate sculptured plaster work.
  • The Aquarium. Is on the headland beside the new port. Part of the Marine Research Centre and open to visitors by prior arrangement, it features the large variety of fish and sea life found in the region including rays, snakes and corals. Barracuda Beach Resort can arrange group visits.

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Getting There

By Plane

There is no airport in Umm al Quwain, however there are airports in nearby emirates Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Dubai, Sharjah and Ras al Khaimah.

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Eat

  • Wadi Al Neel Seafood Restaurant (Wadi Al Neel). Traditional Arabic seafood restaurant. Don't expect 5 star service or venue, but serves great food and a must visit in UAQ. Well known among the locals.

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Drink

Most of the hotels have a bar and/or nightclub; some have more than one. Barracuda serves and sells duty free alcoholic drinks. Fresh Naryal Pani (Coconut Water) is available at Al Thalla Bar near UAQ Roundabout. Juices and cock/mocktails are served at all the cafetarias

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Sleep

  • Umm Al Quwain Beach Hotel, +971 6 7666647. On the beach. Has a bar, restaurant and swimming pool.
  • Barracuda Beach Resort, ☏ +971 6 7681555, fax: +971 6 7681556. Sharjah – RAK highway. Sits on the edge of the lagoon that separates Umm Al Quwain. Has a beach (not a natural one), swimming pool and BBQ grills. Duty-Free liquor store.
  • Flamingo Beach Resort is a great place for beach vacationers. It has all kinds of water sports including snorkeling, diving, fishing, crab hunting and glass bottom boat rides.
  • Pearl Hotel, +971 6 7666678. Has a restaurant, nightclub-bar and a swimming pool.
  • Palma Beach Hotel, ☏ +971 6 7667090, fax: +971 6 7667388. Next to the UAQ Marine Club and Riding Centre.
  • Barracuda Beach Resort has a liquor retail outlet and a "hole in the wall" where booze can be brought rather cheap (at duty free prices), ID is usually not needed.
  • Royal Residence Resort Villas, P.O. Box 3144, ☏ +971 6-766-46-00, fax: +971 6-766-46-04. Two Hotel locations: Near Ittihad R/A Main Road and First Signal Left turn upon entering UAQ. Swimming pool, room service, restaurants and activities assistance. Can rental car with driver.

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafés are fairly common in the larger cities, and web censorship is at times odd, but rarely obtrusive. Free wifi is rolled out over the country, starting with Abu Dhabi en Dubai in 2014 and 2015, and many places like hotels, restaurants, bars and coffee places have free wifi as well.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The country code is 971. Emergency numbers include 999 (police), 998 (ambulance) and 997 (fire), though the general 112 number can be used as well.

The mobile phone network uses the GSM technology and use is widespread. The format for dialing is: +971-#-### ####, where the first "#" designates the area code. Key area codes include Dubai (4), Sharjah (6) and Abu Dhabi (2). Calls to mobile phones use the operator's area codes: (50/56) for Etisalat and (55) for Du.

If you bring your own cellphone, be sure to switch off roaming to avoid high costs, or otherwise purchase a local SIM card from Du or Etisalat. You need your passport with valid visa to purchase the SIM card.

Post

Emirates Post provides services in the country. It's fairly affordable and reliable and many post offices keep long hours from Saturday to Thursday, usually from around 7:30am to 8:00pm or even a little later. Most are closed on Fridays, though some are open for a few hours. If you want to send packages internationally, you might want to use companies like DHL, TNT, FedEx or UPS, as they are fast, reliable and competitively priced. A good alternative is the country's own Empost UAE.

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Umm al Quwain Travel Helpers

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This is version 2. Last edited at 8:46 on Jul 12, 19 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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