On the cusp of the Persian Gulf, Abu Dhabi City oozes high-end style, as you'd expect from one of the world's financial nerve centers. Lavishly lit skyscrapers like the ADIA make up the glittering skyline, while the pearl-white Sheikh Zayed Mosque, lined with over 80 domes, is a stunning landmark. After wandering the lavish malls and emerald-green parks, head over to Corniche waterfront to take in the views.
Dubai's often thought of a sleek, uber-modern metropolis, but there's plenty of history to be had in the Bur Dubai district. You'll see for yourself in Al Bastakiya, with its winding alleys and quaint courtyards. As well as showing off ancient archaeological treasures, Dubai Museum is itself the oldest building in all of Dubai. You'll also be gobsmacked by the Grand Mosque, which boasts the highest minaret in the land.
By the shimmering waters of Dubai Creek, Deira is a blend of the ancient and ultra-modern. Yes, there's the sleek labyrinth of Deira City Centre mall, with its hundreds of stores, but you can also wander the old markets – including the famed Gold Souk, a place gleaming with precious stones where your bartering skills will be tested. Don't forget to visit the dhow wharf with its traditional wooden merchant boats.
The word cosmopolitan doesn't quite cover Jebel Ali. This buzzing expatriate port town is a world in itself, with thousands of companies based here. You can expect an exciting cocktail of cultures wherever you go, with restaurants to suit every taste and plenty of sights to see by the lapping waters of the port. The new Al Maktoum International Airport is bound to make it an even buzzier hub.
Immaculate white sands and waters which sparkle as if speckled with diamonds – it’s no wonder Jumeirah Beach is lined with exclusive hotels including the Burj Al Arab hotel – the sail-shaped symbol of Dubai. Have a go on jet skis, go wind-surfing, soak up the rays, and – if you can bear to tear yourself away from the beach – Jumeirah Mosque allows non-Muslims to take a tour of its sumptuous interior.