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Luxurious Dubai & Beyond
Oct 9, 2023

10 Days

October 9, 2023

From: $7,099*
per person

Journey to the United Arab Emirates featuring Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the mesmerizing Empty Quarter Desert!

You are invited to join AAA Travel on a custom designed luxury journey to the United Arab Emirates. Enjoy captivating views of rolling windswept dunes from your luxury hotel in the fabled Empty Quarter Desert. Trace the history of Abu Dhabi, visit the Presidential Palace, the Ethiad Tower and participate in a guided tour of the new Louvre Abu Dhabi. In Dubai, experience breathtaking views atop the tallest freestanding structure in the world, the Burj Khalifa. Visit authentic Arabian Bazaars and enjoy a relaxing 2-hour yacht cruise, offering a different perspective of the iconic landmarks of Dubai and the Palm Jumeirah. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, we hope that you will join us!

*Rates are per person, land only and based on double occupancy. A Non-Refundable Deposit of $600 per person (double/triple) $1200 (single) is due at time of booking. Travel insurance is highly recommended. Rates, hotels, events and itinerary are subject to change without notice.  Exclusive amenities listed may be substituted/eliminated and have no cash value. This tour includes moderate physical activity, walking slightly longer distances, upstairs or on uneven walking surfaces should be expected. Passports are required for US citizens (Passport must be valid 6 months beyond return date.) Cancellation and change fees apply. Other restrictions may apply. The Auto Club Group is not responsible for any errors or omissions in the printing of this document.

DAILY ITINERARY:

On arrival at the Dubai International Airport, our exclusive Ahlan VIP Arrival Service whisks you from the terminal to a comfortable lounge where you can relax while entry formalities are handled – and your checked luggage is retrieved and brought to you.

Upon completion of immigration and customs, the group will be escorted by private coach to the luxurious Taj Dubai in the heart of the city to rest and relax.

Later in the evening dine on a set menu with wine and beer. (Note: flight must arrive by 8pm for group transfer – individual transfers sold separately) (D)

Taj Dubai Hotel – 1 night

Leaving the glittering skyline of Dubai behind, this morning’s private transfer takes you deep into Rub’ al Khali – the fabled Empty Quarter Desert. Uninterrupted by any tree or vegetation, rolling windswept dunes of fine khaki and orange-colored sand, sometimes soaring hundreds of feet high, stretch endlessly toward the cloudless horizon. Rising like a mirage in this vast silent landscape is the luxurious Anantara Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort. On arrival, settle in to your spacious air-conditioned rooms with its captivating views of the desert, private terrace, complimentary WiFi, and a sumptuous bath with oversized round soaking tub and rain shower.
 
The balance of your afternoon and evening is free to experience the exceptional desert setting of Qasr Al Sarab. You might also lounge by the pool, indulge in a spa treatment or join one of the guided activities offered by the resort. Three dining venues offer a range of international cuisines including Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and a fine steakhouse. (B)  
 
Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort – 2 nights
“It was very still with the silence we have driven from our world.” So wrote the British explorer Sir Wilfred Thesiger as he sat atop a dune here in Rub’ al Khali. It’s been 70 years since he made that observation, but little has changed in the Empty Quarter. And today you’ll have a chance to tailor your desert exploration to your personal tastes and love of adventure. Our resort offers a variety of expertly-guided small group expeditions and excursions – and you can choose one of these to enjoy with our compliments:

+ Desert Walk: With a variety of terrains and routes available near our resort, this guided nature expedition can be tailored to your taste for physical challenge. Sunrise and sunset are the best times to experience the majestic beauty of the desert. Along the way, your expert guide will share great insight into the history, culture and animals of the Empty Quarter.

+ Sunset Camel Trek: As the sun dips towards the horizon and desert shadows begin   to lengthen, this small-group adventure offers a genuine experience of the desert’s silent beauty.

+ Falcon and Saluki Show: The ancient sport of falconry and hunting with Salukis     are ancient time-honored traditions in the United Arab Emirates. In addition to     observing first hand and learning about the skill and grace of these creatures, you’ll    engage with local residents for an authentic cultural experience.

+ Dune Bashing: Thrill seekers will love this action-packed 4×4 expedition! Setting       out in the early morning or late afternoon, skilled professional drivers will take you     across the desert dunes for an unforgettable adventure.
 
This evening, enjoy included BBQ Dinner under the stars at Al Falaj Restaurant with wine and beer included. (B, D)
 
 
After breakfast and resort check-out, journey through the desert to Abu Dhabi. With your private guide, today’s tour plumbs the old and new facets of this vibrant desert city.  You’ll begin at Qasr Al Hosn; this is the symbolic birthplace of the Emirates and traces its origins to the middle of the 18th century when Bani Yas tribesmen built a single coral and stone watch tower to protect their settlement and coastal trade routes. Later, succeeding generations of the ruling Al Nahayan family added imposing walls, towers, entrances and residential quarters – transforming Qasr Al Hosn into an impressive fort and finally the iconic palace it is today. On-site exhibits tell the fascinating story of Abu Dhabi and its people through the evolution of the city’s oldest building. 
 
Newly opened to visitors in 2019, Abu Dhabi’s Presidential Palace is next on today’s program. Inside the Palace complex, you’ll visit Qasr Al Watan. Also known as the Palace of Nations, this glorious landmark pays homage to the region’s heritage and design – with soaring white domes, lovely Arabian gardens, a vast marble-inlaid courtyard and the Great Hall – sumptuously decorated using white, yellow and blue to symbolize the landscapes of the UAE. Inside there are also exhibits celebrating the region’s customs and traditions. 
 
You’ll finish your sightseeing on a high note at the Observation Deck 300 at Etihad Tower, enjoying High Tea and spectacular views of the city. Afterwards, you’ll be brought to your hotel, the luxurious Anantara Eastern Mangroves for check-in. (B)
 
Anantara Eastern Mangroves (2 nights)
 
This morning, visit the unique Falcon Hospital which provides critical care for up to 200 of these amazing birds of prey. Learn about the enduring importance of falconry in the local culture and watch as these birds are treated by specialist veterinarians and skilled technicians – including pedicurists who care for the birds’ sharp talons! A flying demonstration by healthy falcons reveals extraordinary grace and power. 
 
As you continue your sightseeing, you’ll be spellbound by the new additions to Abu Dhabi’s glittering skyline and the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Visible from all of the bridges that connect Abu Dhabi with the mainland, this is one of the world’s largest mosques – topped with 80 white marble domes that are supported by 1,000 pillars and punctuated by graceful 350-foot tall minarets. In the heart of the city, Union Square will fascinate you with its unusual sculptural landmarks inspired by the rich customs and traditions of the United Arab Emirates. Continue along the lovely waterfront Corniche you will reach the city’s liveliest markets. Hidden among the fruit and vegetable vendors at Port Zayed, Abu Dhabi’s Date market is a bustling alley where merchants specialize in the remarkable variety of dried fruits and dates popular throughout the Middle East; don’t be surprised if you are invited to sample some of these tempting treats! Not far away, the Fish Market is filled with freshly caught seafood brought in that day by the city’s fleet of dhows. Other businesses specialize in cleaning and preparing the fish to their customer’s exact tastes – grilled, fried, or seared! 
 
Today’s sightseeing also includes the newly-opened Louvre Abu Dhabi, set in a striking waterfront building designed by the accomplished French architect Jean Nouvel. This is a ground-breaking cultural partnership with the Louvre in Paris and includes the sharing of artwork and important temporary exhibitions that will range from the ancient world to the modern era.
 
Tonight, we’ve arranged dinner at the Sayed Restaurant at Emirate Palace. Wine, beer and soft drinks are included. (B, D) 
This morning, we’ll travel back to Dubai. On arrival, you’ll visit Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Beach Residence, showcasing Dubai’s 21st century engineering and architectural wonders. You will have free time for optional lunch and some shopping at Souq Jumeirah, an evocative re-imagining of an authentic Middle Eastern marketplace complete with winding streets, pillared arcades, merchant stalls and boutiques selling both high-end luxury goods and traditional artisan -made crafts. Tantalizing food stalls, street musicians and the ringing sounds of craftsmen at work complete this experience of an old world, Arabian bazaar. 
 
Less than 100 years ago, Dubai was a sleepy trading post known primarily for the pearl trade. But in just a few generations, it has morphed into a truly cosmopolitan global city, a major world transport hub, and a regional financial center. Its skyline is recognized around the world – and there’s no better way to view today’s Dubai than with visit to the top of the Burj Khalifa for the breathtaking views from its Observation Deck.  Designed by the American architectural firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill and soaring 2,722 feet, it’s the world’s tallest freestanding structure.
 
Afterwards, you’ll check into your hotel to rest and relax. This evening, you’ll be picked up again for dinner at the Observatory Restaurant at Dubai Marina. Set menu includes wine and beer. (B, D)
 
Taj Dubai – 4 nights
For all its 21st century exuberance which we showed you yesterday, Dubai is also a land of enduring cultural traditions…And today’s sightseeing with your personal guide will plumb the unique facets of the city’s ancient heritage. With penetrating insight from an Emirati citizen who will join you especially for today, your exploration begins at the Jumeirah Mosque. For the past 10 years, the Open Doors + Open Minds program of this landmark mosque has allowed non-Muslim guests to learn about Arab culture and religion in a casual, friendly and authentic setting. 
 
Continue to the Al Fahidi Historic  District on Dubai Creek to explore its quiet labyrinthine streets and meandering narrow lanes, all lined with impressive sand-colored homes built a century ago by Persian merchants. Look up and you’ll see graceful wind towers which were ingeniously designed to catch lofty breezes that could cool the entire house. Today, theses historic buildings are home to museums, cafes, craft shops and galleries. 
 
Our unique heritage tour ends at the Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding. Here in this traditional wind-towered house, we’ll sit down to a congenial lunch of authentic Emirati cuisine. Your engaging private guide and special local guests will be on hand to continue this morning’s exploration into the culture, stories and daily life of Dubai. 
 
Later this afternoon, a relaxing 2-hour yacht cruise will offer a different perspective of the iconic landmarks of Dubai and the Palm Jumeirah. Relax onboard and take in the many impressive sites that grace this manmade archipelago and the shores of the Arabian Gulf – including the sprawling Madinat Jumeirah, the impressive Atlantis resort and of course the iconic, sail-like silhouette of the Burj Al Arab!
 
The evening is at leisure. (B, L) 
Following breakfast, we’ll begin the day with a visit to the Miracle Gardens (subject to opening schedule in 2023 which is not yet determined). 
 
Dubai Miracle Garden is one of Dubai’s signature creations and one of the world’s largest botanical gardens. Seeing the Miracle Gardens in bloom with its 150 million flowers arranged in the spectacular floral displays of arches, pyramids, houses, and floral sculptures created from millions of blooms is magnificent experience.
 
In the afternoon, we’ll take a drive to the Atlantis, The Palm, the first hotel resort to open on the world’s largest manmade island, Palm Jumeirah, with a one way ride on the monorail included. You’ll visit the Lost Chamber of Atlantis, The Palm, stop at the Pointe and visit the View the Palm Tower.
 
Then return to the hotel for the evening at leisure. (B)
 
The entire days is at leisure to explore the city on your own. 
 
In the evening, we’ll gather again in the hotel for a short one hour cocktail farewell party including selected red and white house wines, beer, assorted fresh juices, and deluxe spirits. (B)

You’ll be escorted to the Dubai Airport for your onward journey. Revel in your memories from this immersive once-in-a-lifetime experience! (B)

AAA EXCLUSIVE HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Rub’ al Khali – the fabled Empty Quarter Desert
  • Abu Dhabi Presidential Palace
  • Visit the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest freestanding structure at 2,722 feet
  • Embark on a private cruise to behold the iconic skyline of Dubai and Palm Jumeirah
  • Falcon Hospital visit
  • Dubai Miracle Garden
  • Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding
  • Guided tour of the new Louvre Abu Dhabi
  • High Tea 1,000 feet in the air at the Observation Deck of Jumeirah Etihad Towers
  • 13 meals; 8 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 4 dinners with wine or beer
  • Services of a Professional Tour Guide
  • Services of a AAA Tour Manager

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Please contact your local AAA Travel Advisor or call 1.877.371.5757
Colorado call 1.866.212.8639 / Carolinas call 1.877.912.8747