Sunday, November 27, 2011

Off the Beaten Track...

Al Hamra Eat Your Heart Out..
A few weeks ago we had the pleasure of a five day public holiday.  In the past we’ve used this as an excuse to see far-flung places…Africa, Syria, Bali, Singapore…this year we decided to try somewhere closer to home.  Um Al Quwain is one of the smallest Emirates and is essentially a sleepy fishing village.  I’ve driven in and out when visiting the booze shop there and have even popped into the marine club to watch others wakeboarding (I like to keep this as a purely spectator activity).

So it was with a little trepidation that we set off on our long weekend break there.  We’d found a beach front hotel that looked more Fawlty Towers than Burj Al Arab, and whilst that was exactly what we wanted, I’m always slightly concerned about adapting to what could be a less glamorous than camping option.  How we were pleasantly surprised! Weekend highlights:

  • Our own villa with lounge and fridge - stocked with soft drinks
  • Fruit Bowl
  • Terrace overlooking gardens
  • Miles of clear uninterrupted beach
  • Beer 10 dirhams (1.50 GBP)
  • On-site booze shop
  • Hilarious Philippino duet – think Carpenters with no talent
  • Amazing untouched villages and streets to explore
  • Rows of traditional shops with abayas and more National Day memorabilia than you can shake a stick at
In summary:  if you want a low-key, laid-back, stress-free weekend with more charm than glitz, head to Um Al Quwain. Just be prepared for some very creative renditions of your favourite songs from the band – I’ll never be able to listen to Jay Z’s Empire State of Mind in the same way….

1 comment:

Mrs Dubai said...

That sounds amazing. Nice alternative to the 5* chains!