#Sport in all seasons (or almost!)
Nine months out of twelve to get some fresh air, from temperate to very hot. Then four months of hot summer, more suitable for jogging in air-conditioned malls! The Emirates you are about to explore have nearly 800 km of coastline, lagoons in salt pans, beaches in creeks. We dive, we golf, we walk, we swim. Do you have a few days? Travel the desert on camels and approach the oryx, ride a Ferrari on rails at 240 km/h or fly over the orange dunes in a hot air balloon, walk along huge artificial islands on a fast boat and climb to the top of the world in Burj Khalifa, watch the sunset over the mangrove of Khor Kalba and smoke the hookah after a spa treatment in Ras al-Khaimah, taste the local grouper on a beach in Aqah and then explore Wadi Wurayah National Park. Why don't you attend a bullfight on the cornice of Fujairah?
A federation at the forefront of modernity :
Of course, don't expect to dive into a postcard market, smelling like spices and camel leather! Here, shopping malls have grown very quickly, investing this desert which never had to know the big markets and caravanserais. Are we already in the post-oil era? Abu Dhabi, whose owners are the richest Earthlings, seems to want to invent a more distant future every day, a development turned towards cultural and entertainment projects that allows buildings, campuses and soon world-class museums to flourish, without losing sight of the fundamentals of the millennium past. A modernity is being invented, who knows what it owes to pearl fishermen and agricultural palm groves. Dubai, for its part, recomposes each day its own portrait, from road lifting to "botoxed" towers. Under a canine sun, or in that beige mist that falls from the sky and seems to paint the landscape like a terracotta, here, in these gardens near the Creek, we breathe this city like no other.
Palm groves in the hollow of the desert
True bonus of the destination, these palm groves which reserve soft hours facing the desert or mineral reliefs, on the side of Al-Ain, Liwa, Hatta, Khor Fakkan - an opportunity to admire many restored forts - and these mangroves rich in birds, as in Umm al-Quwan, Ras al- Khamah or Sir Bani Yas. Nature, in the molten light, seems absent and is only revealed later, when the eye has become accustomed.
The shopping paradise
Chanel, Dior, YSL, Cartier, Vuitton... the most prestigious brands seem to have made an appointment in the Emirates, the land of choice for Gold cards. Most European brands have one or more shops, as well as the big names in IT and decoration! Some sixty malls - these covered shopping centres - compete in ingenuity to attract customers who stroll around in amazing settings and enjoy unparalleled services (many bars and restaurants, daycare and playgrounds for children, cultural centres, amusement parks, etc.). For the variety of brands and brands, Dubai has the world silver medal, just behind London.
Security, stability and a peaceful cosmopolitanism
The United Arab Emirates is a safe haven. You can walk around in peace without having to watch your bag or fear for your vehicle. Delinquency is non-existent or very marginal, and pickpocketing or theft from extremely rare hotels is rare. You'll just have to be vigilant behind the wheel, as the drivers of these huge 4x4s tend to play the game. On the religious level, the government ostensibly condemns fundamentalism and accepts cultural differences. Children are welcomed with happiness and can walk with their parents without fear for their health. Hygiene is very good, there are no or few insects and no vaccinations are required for the visitor.
© Dominique Auzias & Jean-Paul Labourdette