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If you have never heard of Umm al-Quwain then I’ll forgive you because up until two weeks ago, neither had I.  Umm al-Quwain is the lesser known of the seven emirates which make up the United Arab Emirates (yes, there are more than just Dubai and Abu Dhabi) and the second most Northern.

A friend of mine had suggested an overnight trip to Umm al-Quwain (UAQ) to go on a Crab Hunting Safari, which is – apparently – what people go to UAQ to do.  Luckily I was able to get out of stabbing myself some dinner after doing a little research and discovering there is also a waterpark there.  With only one day off work, there was only enough time for one activity – phew!

Through Cobone we found a deal for a hotel with dinner and breakfast included, as well as tickets to Dreamland waterpark, for dirt cheap.  A three-star hotel, The Pearl was quite basic and seemed to only have us and a massive Arab family as guests which made for an interesting experience.  The restaurant was empty both times we used it yet the others suddenly materialized in the wee hours and seemed to think it a fantastic idea to lounge outside our patio door until the sun came up, BBQ-ing, laughing loudly, and smoking shisha.  Not the rest and recharge I was hoping for but what to do.  I haven’t been to a waterpark for about 15 years (yes, it’s true) so I actually had a fun, albeit pretty relaxed, time at Dreamland and the 40C sunshine was perfect.

If you decide to make the trip to UAQ, proceed with caution, and with a GPS, as the worst drivers in UAE seem to congregate around Sharjah and Ajman and there is absolutely no signage along the way.  I definitely won’t say it is the place to go for a luxurious getaway or the most modern, thrilling waterpark however if you want a change of scenery, then take a little drive to Umm al-Quwain.  The journey there was surprisingly pretty. Enjoy!


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