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Umm Al Quwain

2.1 /5
Sub-Region: North U.A.E


Best Time: November - March Read More

Ideal duration: 1-2 Days

Nearest Airport: Sharjah International Airport Check Flights

"A traditional fishing village amidst a futuristic nation"

Umm Al Quwain Tourism

Umm Al Quwain is the least populous and the second smallest emirate of the United Arab Emirates. Unlike its neighbours, the sudden burst of modernisation hasn't impacted here like its southern Emirate. This makes it a quaint and retro village where fishing is still the main occupation amongst the locals.

With a lack of luxury hotels, extravagant malls and other grandeur, Umm Al Quwain is like a city that was frozen in time. It is still reminiscent of a fishing village, with dhows carved out on the beach, its large population of green turtles and mangroves. It represents what UAE was before getting its oil wealth and basks in the remains of its once-flourishing fishing culture as evident from the importance of seafood export to its economy. 

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History of Umm Al Quwain

Umm al-Quwain is a place of immense archaeological interest. Various flintstone tools have been extracted across UAQ. Evidence of a full-fledged ceramic industry that existed as early as the 3rd century B.C have also been discovered in the area. The modern history of Umm al-Quwain began around 200 years ago. The Al-Ali tribe shifted from Al-Sinniyah Island to their present location due to a scarcity of water resources.

A sheikhdom in Umm al-Quwain was established in 1775 by Sheikh Majid Al Mualla. Sheikh Abdullah signed the General Maritime Treaty 8 January 1820 thus accepting a British protectorate. This was done to keep the Ottoman Turks out. The position of Umm al-Quwain on the route to India made it important enough to be recognised as a salute state with a three-gun salute just like Ajman, Dubai, Ras al-Khaimah and Sharjah. Sheikh Ahmad II joined the UAE federation which included its neighbours Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman and Fujairah on 2 December 1971.


Although Umm al-Quwain isn’t exactly a shopper’s paradise, there's enough material to momentarily satisfy your shopping needs. The city has a couple of malls with good enough brands. The local shopping centres known as the souks can also prove to be very interesting places to shop for Arabian clothing, cuisine and souvenirs.

Nightlife in Umm Al Quwain

Nightlife is limited to a few sheesha bars in the city. The emirate otherwise has no nightlife and alcohol too is hard to come by, especially when compared to the rest of UAE. There are no public bars in the city.

Retro Feel of the CIty

The most fascinating thing about the city would be the fact that it has no mega malls or world-class resorts, in stark contrast to its neighbours. The place has a distinctly retro feel to it and the old town area has very few landmarks, namely the fort and the museum.

There's an island right off the coast named Al Sinniyah. The island is protected by a lagoon and sees several varieties of seabirds annually. Umm al-Quwain is nothing like the rest of the UAE. 

Restaurants and Local Food in Umm Al Quwain

Despite being seemingly small and rural, Umm al-Quwain still houses all the major restaurant chains in the world and there are also excellent options to discover authentic Arab cuisine.  

The traditional cuisine comprises mainly of barbequed chicken, shawarma rolls, Khubz (Arabic bread), mandi rice, Kabsa rice and so on. All these apart from international cuisines such as Indian, Chinese, Continental, American, Italian etc are available in Umm al-Quwain. The city also has a myriad of cosy cafes. 
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Holidify's Opinion

What's Great?

Coasts, Mangroves, Laidback lifestyle, Perfect for birdwatchers, Historically value

What's Not So Great?

Rural, underdeveloped, seemingly poor infrastructure, not much to do

How To Reach Umm Al Quwain

Umm al-Quwain has only one domestic airport. There are no public buses available either. Personal vehicles and taxis are the only option.

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