Dubai, Oman and Abu Dhabi

Bookended by the immaculate modern picture frames of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the heart of our tour is in Oman. Oman blends traditional life and culture with some of the best innovations and infrastructure of the modern world.

DAY 1Dubai

Enjoy your flight from Perth to Dubai on Emirates Airlines.

DAY 2Abu Dhabi

After landing in Dubai you will be transferred from the airport to your hotel in Abu Dhabi. The remainder of your day is at leisure to become acquainted with this lavish metropolis and enjoy the amenities of your hotel.

Hotel: Intercontinental Abu Dhabi

DAY 3Abu Dhabi

This morning, a short drive provides you with insight into the skyline of the city; you’ll also make a stop at the famous Emirates Palace and Corniche. After some free time for lunch, visit the impressive Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque, a sprawling structure initiated by the late president of the UAE who created it in hopes of uniting the cultural diversity of the Islamic world. This evening, join your fellow travellers for a welcome dinner. (B, D)

Hotel: Intercontinental Abu Dhabi

DAY 4Abu Dhabi

Learn the importance of falcons to Arabian culture at the largest falcon hospital in the UAE. Explore its museum which takes you through the history of falconry and have the rare opportunity to see these majestic birds up close. Step into the examination room to witness a falcon checkup or perhaps a pedicure. You’ll have the amazing opportunity to have a falcon sit on your arm! Next, get a glimpse of the cultural life of this Middle East city at the Heritage Village, an open-air museum. Experience workshops with craftsmen showcasing their traditional skills. The remainder of your afternoon is at leisure. (B, L)

Hotel: Intercontinental Abu Dhabi

DAY 5Muscat

Fly to Oman where you will be met on arrival by Stephen Scourfield, Travel Editor of the West Australian.  Allow Stephen to guide you around the port city of Muscat, capital city of Oman, and a place close to his heart.

Stephen will explain the history of this fascinating Sultanate, and show you its modern face. This afternoon’s city tour reveals Old Muscat and the Corniche before arriving at Mutrah Souq, the oldest bazaar in Oman. You will have time to wander and browse the souq’s narrow lanes and colourful displays. Tonight, savour dinner with Stephen at a traditional Omani restaurant. (B, D)

Hotel: Park Inn by Radisson Muscat

DAY 6Muscat - Wadi Bani Khalid - Wahiba Sands

Board a 4-wheel drive vehicle for your journey to Wadi Bani Khalid. Stephen has particular stories to share as you pass through the striking Western Hajar Mountains with their colourful rock formations before arriving at the stunning wadi (valley floor).Take a stroll through the wadi before pausing to relax and enjoy a picnic lunch. Continue to the breathtaking desert dunes of Wahiba Sands, home to a nomadic Bedouin Wahiba tribe that once crossed the dunes in search of water. Spend time at their camp and get to know their culture.  And Stephen, a qualified professional photographer, will also take today to help guide those interested towards better travel photography, focusing on landscapes and portraits. Then take a short camel ride followed by an exhilarating “dune bashing” by 4×4, a favourite local activity. (B, L)

Hotel: Park Inn by Radisson Muscat

DAY 7Nizwa - Jabrin

Nizwa is one of Stephen’s favourite places and he’s looking forward to being there again, as we travel south to this traditional and historic city. Oman’s old capital city from the 6th and 7th centuries. Take a stroll with Stephen through history at the impressive 17th-century fort before exploring the souq, famous for Bedouin silver and beautifully crafted clay items. Next, discover the late 17th-century Jabreen Castle, the finest of Oman’s castles. Pause for a moment to take in the view from the top of the castle…it is mesmerizing. And, to round off the day, just before dinner, and as a parting gift, Stephen will share the journey you’ve just experienced together in Oman in a short Spoken Word performance. (B, L, D)

Hotel: Park Inn by Radisson Muscat

DAY 8Al Ain, UAE

Stephen will say farewell, as he continues on his assignment in the Middle East. And then we drive back to the UAE.
En route, visit the Grand Mosque of Oman. Stand in awe of this remarkable sandstone structure that is home to the world’s second-largest hand woven carpet and chandelier. Continue to Nakhal Fort which lies on a hill at the base of Mount Nakhal and was built 350 years ago to protect trade routes. Drive through a date plantation on the way to our next stop at Ain Thowarah, known for its hot springs. Then, cross the border into the UAE, arriving in Al Ain…a lush oasis of palm trees, flowers and fountains. (B, D)

Hotel: Mercure Grand Jebel Hafett

DAY 9Dubai

Get acquainted with Al Ain, “the garden city” of the UAE. With abundant groundwater springs, this “oasis town” was the perfect stopover on the caravan trail between the UAE to the Sultanate of Oman. Explore the museum to learn about the unique irrigation system – known as “Falaj.” Continue on to Hili Gardens and the city’s archaeological sites where a village and a burial ground dating back to 2700 B.C. were discovered. Later, drive to the city of Dubai, known for its beautiful coasts and magnificent man-made wonders. (B, L)

Hotel: Hyatt Creek Regency

DAY 10Dubai

Take to the sea and set sail on a privately owned luxury yacht, pausing along the way for photo opportunities of the famous Dubai skyline, including the famous Burj Al Arab. Later this afternoon, embark on a dune desert safari on an Arabian farm owned by a member of the royal family of Sharjah. Delight in the tranquility of this oasis in the desert. Savour a barbecue dinner highlighted by a captivating belly dancer performance accompanied by Arabic rhythms. (B, D)

Hotel: Hyatt Creek Regency

DAY 11Dubai

Begin your day with a visit to the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding located in the oldest traditional Emirati neighbourhood, Bur Dubai. Then, take a stroll through the neighbourhood’s narrow sikkas (alleyways) and gaze at the beautiful wind towers that adorn the original residences along Dubai Creek. Partake in a lecture on the traditions, customs and religion with a local expert. Visit the Dubai Museum and textile market before taking a ride across the dazzling Dubai Creek in a private “abra” (traditional water taxi). Witness the bustling waterfront as you pass by. Your day concludes at the famous gold souk where you learn firsthand why Dubai has earned its title as “The City of Gold.” Tonight, join your fellow travellers for a farewell dinner at a revolving restaurant with stunning views of Dubai. (B, D)

Hotel: Hyatt Creek Regency

DAY 12Dubai

Your tour comes to a close today. You will be transferred to Dubai airport in time to board your Emirates Airlines flight to Perth. (B)

DAY 13Arrive Home

Emirates Airlines arrives in Perth.