Umm al Quwain

Umm Al Quwain (أمّ القيوين) is an emirate between Ajman and Ra's al Khaymah on the West coast of the United Arab Emirates.

Understand

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.

From November to March temperatures are idyllic and average 26C in daytime and 15C at night (79F to 59F). Temperatures can rise over 40C (104F) in the peak of the summer and the humidity levels are high. Rainfall is minimal and averages 42 millimetres a year. The coastline experiences cooling sea breezes during the day.

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 some 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 sweet water supply dried up.

Get in

By plane

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

Get around

There are no buses in Umm al Quwain. People generally take taxis, which are plentiful. A taxi around the central section of UAQ costs 2 to 3 AED and from the comercial sector (say near Lulu) to the main roundabout costs 5+ AED--

See

Do

Birdwatching

Avid birdwatchers can enjoy the wonderful wildlife at Khor al Beidah and other popular sights lie to the south and east of the town. Al Sinniyah Island is also visible from the corniche. The shallow tidal lagoons and mudflats create the perfect feeding, nesting and resting habitat for several species of heron and plover, Greater Flamingo, gulls and terns.

Between November and March, hundreds of Great Cormorants are regularly spotted flying just a few feet above the sea, as they move from one sand bar to another. Coastal flats and dune tracks around the lagoon to the south east of the promontory provide excellent mountain hiking terrain, varied enough to suit any age and ability.

Al Sinniyah, the largest of the islands, is a marine sanctuary covering 90 square kilometres. This was once the original settlement site but now shelters huge colonies of cormorants, other seabirds, gazelle and al qaram trees, and dugong (sea cows) and turtles can be seen in the shallow waters surrounding the island.

Buy

Eat

Drink

Most of the hotels have a bar and/or nightclub; some have more than one.

Sleep

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), no id is usually needed.

Swimming Pool, Room Service, Restaurants and an Outdoor Activities assistance. As well rent a car with a driver facility.

Stay safe

As law is strict in the entire UAE, don't do anything which could harm anyone or is offensive. Never drive without a driving license. And never over-speed your vehicle as the roads are being controlled by radars.

As Umm Al Quwain is a Muslim city, don't eat/drink in public in the holy month of Ramadan.

Also, appropriate clothing must be worn at all times as anywhere else in the UAE if you don't want to attract unwanted attention.

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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, September 20, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.