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United Arab Emirates: Dubai & Abu Dhabi

with Oman extension
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Revel in the incredible contrasts of one diverse country.

As one of the the wealthiest countries in the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates is often associated with glamour and opulence, and the centers of Dubai and Abu Dhabi live up to the reputation. Be dazzled by these cosmopolitan cities, both meccas of culture, finance, and innovation. Then, set off into the desert to discover how civilizations lived for centuries, long before skyscrapers rose to reach the clouds.

Your tour package includes
  • 7 nights in handpicked hotels
  • 7 breakfasts
  • 1 lunch
  • 3 dinners, select meals with beer or wine
  • 5 guided sightseeing tours
Included highlights
  • Dubai Creek cruise
  • Sheikh Mohammed Centre
  • The Burj Khalifa
  • Sharjah Heritage Museum
  • Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital
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Day-by-day itinerary
Print itinerary
Overnight Flight1 night
Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Dubai today.

Dubai4 nights
Day 2: Arrival in Dubai

Welcome to the United Arab Emirates! Take tonight to get settled in to your hotel.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Dubai
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Discover both Dubai’s traditional and ultramodern sides on today’s guided sightseeing tour.

• Walk through the Dubai souk, a traditional marketplace that sells everything from jewelry to textiles

• Hop aboard an abra, a traditional water taxi, for a cruise along Dubai Creek

• Get a taste of Emirati cuisine during lunch at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding

• Drive down Sheikh Zayed Road to New Dubai and admire the Burj Khalifa, the tallest tower in the world

• Travel along the coastline, stopping to snap photos at Burj Al Arab, the iconic sail-shaped hotel, and the man-made island of Palm Jumeirah

Tonight, gather with your Tour Director and fellow travelers at a welcome dinner.

Day 4: Sightseeing tour of Sharjah
Included meal: Breakfast

Travel to the neighboring Emirate of Sharjah, the UNESCO-named “cultural capital of the Arab world.”

• Visit the Sharjah Heritage Museum in the neighborhood of Old Sharjah

• View the Faisal Mosque, the largest of 600 mosques in the emirate

• Pass by the Souk al Markazi, called the “Blue Souk”

• Make a photo stop at the Al Noor Mosque

Later, enjoy a free evening in Dubai or add an excursion.

Burj Khalifa Observation Deck & Dinner
Excursion (additional cost)
Day 5: Free day in Dubai
Included meal: Breakfast

Spend a full free day getting to know Dubai on your own or add an excursion.

Desert Safari & Bedouin Camp Dinner
Excursion (additional cost)
Abu Dhabi2 nights
Day 6: Abu Dhabi via Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

On your way to Abu Dhabi, stop at the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital to learn about rehabilitation efforts and enjoy a demonstration of the ancient hunting technique of falconry.

Continue on to Abu Dhabi and sit down for an included dinner.

Day 7: Sightseeing tour of Abu Dhabi
Included meal: Breakfast

Set out to explore Abu Dhabi on a guided tour.

• Pass by Saadiyat Island cultural district

• Pass the Emirates Palace and the Corniche, a five-mile waterfront walkway with incredible views of the Persian Gulf

• Enter the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, one of the largest in the world, and marvel at its detailed marble work and magnificent interiors

Then, spend a free afternoon in Abu Dhabi or add an excursion.

Louvre Abu Dhabi
Excursion (additional cost)
Al Ain1 night
Day 8: Transfer to Al Ain
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel through the desert to serene Al Ain. When you arrive, get to know the “Garden City” on a guided sightseeing tour.

• Stop at the Al Ain Oasis to enjoy the lush greenery of the surrounding date palm plantations and farms

• Get a glimpse of how locals lived and worked for centuries at a camel market

• Enter the Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum and Al Jahili Fort, which was built to protect the city in 1891

Tonight, celebrate your trip with your fellow travelers at a farewell dinner.

Overnight Flight1 night
Day 9: Transfer to Dubai & departure
Included meal: Breakfast

Head to Dubai this morning to relax in a dayroom before boarding your flight home late tonight or early tomorrow morning.

If you are continuing on the tour extension to Oman, you’ll travel to Muscat, Oman where you’ll spend the night.

Arrive Home
Day 10: Arrive at home

Arrive home today.

Extension to Oman

Filled with rich history and stunning landscapes, Oman stands out among its often-flashier neighbors for its authenticity. Travel to the ancient capital, explore once-great desert forts and set out over the sand dunes to see a new side of the Arabian Peninsula.

Muscat3 nights
Day 9: Transfer to Muscat & sightseeing tour
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel through the desert to Muscat, the capital of Oman. When you arrive, enjoy a late-afternoon guided sightseeing tour.

• Take a panoramic drive through the city, stopping at Fort Al Jalali, Fort Al Mirani, and the Al Alam Palace, the ceremonial palace of the Sultan of Oman

• Stop at the Muttrah Souk and spend free time exploring the traditional market’s varied stalls

Sit down for an included dinner this evening.

Day 10: Nizwa & Desert Forts
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

This morning, pay a visit to the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat. Then, set out into the desert for a full-day excursion.

• Explore the souks in the center of Nizwa, the oldest city in Oman

• Enjoy a lunch of local specialties

• Admire the UNESCO-recognized Bahla Fort and visit Jabrin Castle, once an important academic center for students of astronomy, medicine and Islamic law

Day 11: Free day in Oman
Included meal: Breakfast

Spend a free day in Oman or add an excursion.

Wahiba Sands
Excursion (additional cost)
Overnight Flight1 night
Day 12: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Arrive Home
Day 13: Arrive at home

Arrive home today.

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Dates & prices
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33 Departures
Tour prices are per person, before flights, and based on two travelers per hotel room.
Oct 10–Oct 19, 2019
Extension available
$2,199
Only 3 spots left!
Oct 24–Nov 2, 2019
$2,199
Nov 28–Dec 7, 2019
Extension available
$2,099$1,899
Jan 2–Jan 11, 2020
$2,199$1,999
Jan 16–Jan 25, 2020
Extension available
$2,199
Feb 6–Feb 15, 2020
$2,199
Feb 20–Feb 29, 2020
Extension available
$2,199
Apr 9–Apr 18, 2020
$2,299
Sep 10–Sep 19, 2020
Extension available
$2,299
Sep 24–Oct 3, 2020
$2,199
Oct 8–Oct 17, 2020
Extension available
$2,199
Oct 15–Oct 24, 2020
$2,199
Oct 22–Oct 31, 2020
Extension available
$2,199
Oct 29–Nov 7, 2020
$2,199
Nov 5–Nov 14, 2020
Extension available
$2,099
Nov 10–Nov 19, 2020
$2,099
Dec 3–Dec 12, 2020
$2,199$1,999
Dec 3–Dec 12, 2020
$2,199$1,999
Dec 17–Dec 26, 2020
Extension available
$2,199
Jan 14–Jan 23, 2021
$2,199
Feb 18–Feb 27, 2021
Extension available
$2,199
Mar 4–Mar 13, 2021
$2,199
Mar 18–Mar 27, 2021
Extension available
$2,199
Apr 1–Apr 10, 2021
Extension available
$2,299
Sep 9–Sep 18, 2021
Extension available
$2,299
Sep 23–Oct 2, 2021
$2,199
Oct 7–Oct 16, 2021
Extension available
$2,199
Oct 21–Oct 30, 2021
$2,199
Nov 4–Nov 13, 2021
Extension available
$2,099
Nov 11–Nov 20, 2021
$2,099
Nov 18–Nov 27, 2021
Extension available
$2,099
Dec 2–Dec 11, 2021
$2,199
Dec 16–Dec 25, 2021
Extension available
$2,199
Reviews
4.6 average
Our reviews are authentic and unedited.
Beautiful Place
by 10th time traveler 

I didn't know people lived like that......so beautiful. I*m glad I got to see it. I never dreamed it would be so nice.

UAE - Disappointing Trip; Oman Excursion Excellent
by 2nd time traveler 

I was initially excited about traveling to UAE; however the vacation was one disappointment after another. There were many 10 minute photo stops and a great deal of driving around the cities in the bus. When the description says "driving past", it literally means that. There was a 10 minute photo...

Read more +
Go Ahead Tours replied on 01/21/2019

Dear James, Thank you for traveling with Go Ahead,...

Good trip, especially the Omani Extension
by 12th time traveler 

This was another wonderful Go Ahead tour. Dubai is a fascinating city; Abu Dhabi has history and Al Ain was wonderful in the desert. Muscat and Oman were the highlight for me! I love the people there, truly a wonderful extension. Both tour guides were good, but Ali in Muscat superseded by far. He wa...

Go Ahead Tours replied on 01/02/2019

Dear Anthony, We're so happy to read that you had ...

Welcome to "OZ" A surprise at every turn!
by 15th time traveler 

Go! GO! GO! This was an unexpectedly wonderful adventure. Dubai is a city on steroids. Just outstanding architecture and incredible skyscrapers at every viewpoint. Easy to get around on your own in your free time. There is a great metro system that goes most places you want to see. It is modern, sl...

Go Ahead Tours replied on 12/27/2018

Dear Traveler, Thank you so much for your detailed...

Scrap the Tour Director.
by 2nd time traveler 

First of all...thank you for providing one of the few tours to UAE! If you can find a better tour director and make a few adjustments I would give this tour a 4+. The tour director did not have leisure time recommendations. He dumped us off at mall food courts for lunch and the offerings were fast...

Go Ahead Tours replied on 12/21/2018

Dear Traveler, We want to thank you for taking the...

Hotels, flights & FAQ

Here's the nitty-gritty—where you’ll stay, how you’ll get there, and what to know about your destination before you go.

Hotels

We handpick every hotel to strike the balance of comfort, location, and local charm. Specific accommodations will vary based on your departure date, but these are frequently used hotels for this tour and we're confident you'll be satisfied.

Mercure Grand Jebel Hafeet Al Ain Hotel

This modern hotel is located in Al Ain. Guests enjoy a sauna, outdoor pool, and free internet access. Nearby, you'll find Jebel Hafeet, Al Ain Zoo, an...

Southern Sun Abu Dhabi

This luxurious, modern hotel is located in the business district. Guests enjoy a spa, sauna, and laundry services. Nearby, you'll find the Abu Dhabi M...

Hyatt Place Dubai

This contemporary hotel is located in the Al Muraqqabat neighborhood. Guests enjoy Wi-Fi, a gym, and outdoor pool. Nearby, you'll find Deira City Cent...

Courtyard World Trade Center, Abu Dhabi

This stylish hotel is located in the Al Danah district in central Abu Dhabi. Guests enjoy free Wi-Fi, a fitness center, and pool. Nearby, you’ll find ...

Al Falaj Hotel Muscat

This contemporary hotel is located in heart of Muscat. Guests enjoy Wi-Fi, a fitness center with badminton and tennis courts, and a swimming pool. Nea...

Flights

Round-trip flights are one more thing we handle to make your journey as smooth as possible. Our team of travel experts will find the best flight itinerary for you at a competitive rate, thanks to our partnerships with top airlines.

Add our airfare package and you'll get:
  • Round-trip flight for your tour
  • Airport transfers at your destination
  • A great price locked in today
  • 24/7 support from our dedicated service team
  • Options for arriving early, staying longer, or requesting an upgrade
  • Flexible rebooking options if your tour itinerary changes
  • Find out more about flights
Local weather
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Weather averages
Today
High 102°F Low 87°F
 / 
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JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
Weather averages
Today
High 111°F Low 91°F
 / 
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JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Weather averages
Today
High 99°F Low 84°F
 / 
74°76°81°88°96°100°102°102°99°94°85°77°65°67°71°77°84°87°90°90°86°81°75°69°
JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Muscat, Oman
Weather averages
Today
High 92°F Low 84°F
 / 
74°76°82°89°96°98°96°94°93°90°82°76°66°68°73°80°87°88°88°86°84°80°74°68°
JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
FAQ
Print FAQ
Passport & visa requirements
  • This tour visits the United Arab Emirates (plus Oman on the tour extension). In order to enter these countries, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of reentry.
  • We recommend having at least two blank passport pages for entry stamps.
  • There is no visa required for U.S. or Canadian citizens to enter the United Arab Emirates.
  • U.S. and Canadian citizens must obtain a visa prior to entering Oman (on the tour extension). Travelers can choose to obtain an e-visa at evisa.rop.gov.omby clicking "Apply for Tourist Visit Visa" under "Services" on the main page. Please note the visa is only valid for 30 days after approval. Travelers can also purchase the visa by using a visa provider, such as our partner VisaCentral.
  • If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.
Tour pace
  • You will walk for about 2 hours daily across moderately uneven terrain, including unpaved roads and desert paths, with some hills and stairs.
  • Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding optional excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour.
  • You should feel comfortable managing your own luggage at times, as well as getting in and out of boats and small vehicles.
  • Go Ahead Tours and the Tour Director who accompanies your group are unable to provide special, individual mobility assistance to travelers on tour. The responsibility of the Tour Director is to ensure the group as a whole enjoys a relaxing and informative journey, and he or she cannot be relied upon to provide ongoing, individualized assistance to any one traveler.
  • If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team.
Transportation & arrival information
  • Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead Tours arrive in and depart from Dubai (or Muscat, Oman for the tour extension). A representative from Go Ahead Tours will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival.
  • Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead Tours. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead Tours for an additional cost.
  • All other included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach.
Baggage allowance
  • Please note that our travelers are limited to one checked bag and one carry-on bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other transfers, which may include train connections or flights.
  • Contact your airline(s) for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flights, which may include on-tour flights in addition to your round-trip flights to and from tour. Please note that your included on-tour flights may have more restrictive baggage limits.
  • Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage or exceed baggage size and weight restrictions. Be advised that you are responsible for any baggage fees incurred on all flights.
  • Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication, and documents in your carry-on bag.
Clothing & packing tips
  • While Dubai and Abu Dhabi are considered to be more liberal than some neighboring cities, local customs concerning dress are strict and should be respected. Bare shoulders and knees are considered inappropriate in public places, though swimwear at beaches and pools is acceptable.
  • Loose-fitting, breathable clothing can help keep you cooler in desert heat. Cotton, linen, or a quick-dry material is best for hot days outside, though a light scarf or extra layer may be needed for chillier evenings and early mornings.
  • You may want supportive walking sandals to keep cool on city sightseeing. Comfortable closed-toes shoes, such as sneakers or lightweight hiking boots, are best for activities in the desert.
  • Sun protection is very important. Bring sunscreen, sunglasses and a broad-brimmed hat to protect your face and the back of your neck from the sun.
  • You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance.
  • It is preferable not to visit mosques or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis). In addition, we recommend women bring a light scarf as they may have to cover their heads and hair to order to enter mosques.
Health
  • There are no major health risks associated with traveling to any of the countries on this tour.
  • At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at cdc.gov.
  • If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour as well as any possible delays encountered.
  • Temperatures in this region often exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius), especially during the summer months. Drinking plenty of water, limiting your alcohol intake and using proper sun protection is extremely important in order to prevent the effects of dehydration and heat stroke.
  • Be sure to take proper care for sun exposure by regularly applying sunscreen or covering up with long, loose-fitting layers.
  • There are inherent risks associated with water activities, particularly for those with preexisting medical conditions. Discuss your planned activities with your doctor or healthcare provider for the best advice on participation.
  • If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead Tours at least 30 days prior to your departure by logging in to your account and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team.
Local laws
  • The United Arab Emirates (and Oman on the tour extension) is an Islamic country that follows Sharia law. While both Dubai and Abu Dhabi are considered more liberal than some neighboring cities, it’s important to note that very conservative laws governing public behavior are strictly enforced.
  • Among these laws are prohibitions against public displays of affection. Hand-holding is permissible, but kissing and other affectionate displays are expressly forbidden, even between married couples.
  • Obscenity laws are also upheld throughout the country. Offenses for using foul language and making indecent gestures are punishable by jail time.
Cuisine
  • The United Arab Emirates reflects its diverse history in its cuisine. Asian, Moroccan, and Levantine influences feature heavily, as do spices brought through the country by trade routes. Saffron, cardamom, and turmeric flavor many meals.
  • One-pot dishes like fareeth, a stew made with vegetables and bread, and al harees, a porridge of barley and meat, are popular recipes. Seafood is a staple—if you’re feeling adventurous, you might try jisheed, a soup made with shark meat.
  • In Oman (on the tour extension), you’ll find African and Indian cuisine reflected in many traditional recipes. Coconut, berries, and nutmeg are ingredients not often found in Middle Eastern dishes, but which play a big role in Omani kitchens. Don’t miss madrouba , a slow-cooked dish made with rice, chicken, and dried Persian limes.
  • At very traditional meals, diners eat with their hands, sometimes using pieces of flatbread to scoop up portions of food. Don’t be afraid to dig in!
  • Consumption of alcohol is strictly regulated throughout the country. Alcoholic beverages may only be served to non-Muslim visitors at certain licensed hotels and restaurants.
Electricity & air conditioning
  • The United Arab Emirates operates on the European standard 220–240 volts and uses a Type G plug with three pins.
  • Oman (on the tour extension) operates on the European standard 220–240 volts and uses a Type C or G plug with two or three pins, respectively.
  • We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other electrical device without a built-in converter.
  • Air conditioning in Emirati hotels may be much cooler than what you might be used to in the U.S. or Canada. When air conditioning is available, it is usually regulated seasonally and controlled centrally by the hotel.
  • Your hotels may provide hairdryers, irons, and other small appliances. However, these amenities cannot be guaranteed.
Connectivity
  • Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply.
  • There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches.
  • Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.
Time zones
  • The United Arab Emirates is four hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and eight hours ahead of Eastern Time (ET).
  • When it’s noon in New York City, it’s 8pm on tour.
Currency
  • You will use the United Arab Emirates dirham in Dubai and Abu Dhabi (plus the Omani rial in Oman on the tour extension).
  • Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive.
  • We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks, as needed.
  • You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees.
  • Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
  • International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.
Tipping
  • At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity in local currency. Please keep current exchange rates in mind.
  • We recommend tipping the equivalent of $7USD to $10USD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3USD per person per day for your driver.
  • If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD per local guide.
  • Tips can only be paid in cash.
Purchasing excursions on tour
  • Most optional excursions will be available for purchase while you are on tour.
  • Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa, or MasterCard as payment for excursions.
  • Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged.
  • Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See page four of your tour itinerary for more information. International travel is, by its very nature, unpredictable. We must therefore reserve the right to change this itinerary, without advance notice, to meet with local conditions at the time of travel. We appreciate your understanding. Please refer to our website for Terms & Conditions, dates, and prices.