The UAE is not just about tall buildings and modern skyscrapers. It is also a rich host of cultural places that boast stories and experiences, transcending time and people. That is why the UAE has been tagged as one of the most visited countries in the world, projecting to gather 20 million visitors by 2020.

Here are 7 historic places that you should never miss when visiting the UAE:

1. Qasr Al Muwaiji (Abu Dhabi)

One of the most historic places in the UAE is the birthplace of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The place has been preserved by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority. It also gives a picture of the lifestyle of the common folks before the country became what it is today.

2. Heritage Village (Dubai)

Built in 1997, the Heritage Village in Al Shindagah transports you back in time. Complete with photos and other displays, visitors are given the seamless view of old traditions and customs then and now.

3. Al Bithnah Fort (Fujairah)

Al Bithnah Fort is one of the oldest surviving forts with its long history of wars and battles that took place around the 18th and 19th century in the Middle East. It links to Central UAE and the Arabian Gulf from the East Coast city, and Emirate of Fujairah.

4. Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization (Sharjah)

The Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization keeps thousands of timeless artifacts showcasing the achievements of Islam throughout the years. It is a home to extensive historic collections that describe different aspects of Islamic faith, science, art and culture.

5. Dhow Yard (Ajman)

The UAE’s earliest sources of livelihood include fishing and pearl diving. Replicas and designs of old ships can be seen at Ajman’s Dhow Yard. It displays antique hand-built Arab sailing vessels and different types of traditional boats.

6. Umm Al Quwain Museum (Umm Al Quwain)

Umm Al Quwain, similar to Fujairah, also has forts to guard the entrance to the old town. The old fort located in Umm Al Quwain has been renovated and now houses several artifacts including relics from the excavated site Al Dur, which was a coastal city from 200 BCE to the third century CE.

7. Al Jazeera Al Hamra (Ras Al Khaimah)

The UAE’s geographical proximity to the Gulf meant that its people lived in coastal villages, especially those living in Ras Al Khaimah back in the day. Al Jazeera Al Hamra, also known as the Red Island, is one of the UAE’s coastal areas filled with beautiful historic forts, mosques, traditional schools and souqs that reflect the traditional Emirati lifestyle.

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