UMM AL QUWAIN (أم القيوين)

We drove through this tiny emirate of Umm Al Quwain, wrapped around an island-dotted lagoon, for a few hours with a stop in the museum (🎟️5 AED). It is, in many ways, the “anti-Dubai”. Its retro feel – without a flashy international resort or mega-mall to call its own – stands in sharp contrast to the glitz going on to the south. Much of the emirate’s 12km-long narrow peninsula, accessed by the busy strip-mall-lined King Faisal Rd, feels a bit lonely, though the few resorts on the peninsula tip are well-maintained. The lack of razzle-dazzle is because the emirate has no notable energy deposits to call its own. For an idea of how the entire UAE might have looked if oil hadn’t been struck, head here.

Parking location – Old Umm Al Quwain: 25.584388N 55.570368E (🚻)