Take a trip to the United Arab Emirates and experience the culture, rich heritage, and incredible blend of ancient architecture and modern developments it boasts. The UAE is full of surprises, with busy cities adjacent to idyllic beaches, iconic wildlife, and expansive deserts. The opulent cities give visitors the chance to feel like royalty, making for an unforgettable experience.

01Dubai Miracle Garden

Flowers Matt at the Dubai Miracle garden,Dubai, UAE WhiteLacePhotography / Getty Images

This stunning garden features more than 45 million flowers, making it the largest natural flower garden in the world. Carefully arranged in incredible and surreal patterns this lovingly maintained garden is a testament to the command that the people of Dubai have over the harsh climate.

02The World Islands

The World island in Dubai Nikada / Getty Images

This archipelago is made up of 300 islands and was designed to look like a map of the world when viewed from the sky. Only nine of the islands have been developed so far, as the rest remain uninhabited. Erosion detracts from the look, but the project itself remains a fascinating one. Marvel at the scale of the World Islands, and at how nature is fighting to claim back the waters.

03Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

The Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi with beautiful blue sky clearandtransparent / Getty Images

Marvel at the sight of this whitewashed mosque, which is now the resting place of Sheikh Zayed. Take a look inside at the world's largest carpet, and admire the combination of opulence, beauty, and quiet contemplation. The mosque is an important symbol of the journey that the UAE took into the modern world and a sign that it has not left the beauty of the old world behind.

04Burj Al Arab Hotel

Jumeirah Beach and Burj Al Arab and Jumeirah Beach Hotel arnabbhat / Getty Images

Enjoy living like royalty for a night with a stay at the Burj Al Arab hotel. From helicopter rides to the jacuzzi and gold plated iPads in the room, the luxury and attention to detail is second to none. Savor having a private butler, and being served by a staff whose only wish is to take care of you. The UAE is known for its opulence and extravagance, and Burj Al Arab hotel is proof of that.

05Ferrari World

 Ferrari World Theme Park in Abu Dhabi.

Test your mettle on the world's fastest rollercoaster, see a fully operational Ferrari factory, and take a luxury car for a spin at Ferrari World. Take a whistle-stop tour of a miniaturized version of Italy and browse seven decade's worth of classic cars. Ferrari's headquarters may be in Italy, but the UAE is home to the car maker's flagship amusement park.  

06Dubai Gold Souk

Daily In Life In Dubai Christopher Furlong / Staff / Getty Images

Join in the gold fever at Dubai's Gold Souk. Every day traders come to this sprawling gold market to buy and sell gold, silver, gems and other precious goods. Watch traders haggle, perhaps try your hand yourself, and explore this bustling souk which combines modern gentrification and the feel of a traditional Arabian market.

07Moreeb Dune

Man in kandura in a desert at sunrise Katiekk2 / Getty Images

Do you have what it takes to climb the "scary mountain"? This steep sand dune is tough to climb, and getting back down is a feat too, with many visitors opting to take a quick way down by riding a sled down the 50-degree slope. If climbing in sand sounds like a lot of exertion, visit the cultural center at the base and enjoy the events there instead.

08The Dubai Frame

Dubai skyline and the Frame Arnaud_Martinez / Getty Images

The Dubai Frame is a huge monument that acts as a metaphor linking the past and present in Dubai. Look north to admire the beauty of the heritage of Dubai, and turn south to marvel at the innovation and skill of modern architects.

09Jebel Hafeet Beehive Tombs

Beehive tombs in Al Ain alexeys / Getty Images

Get up close and personal with a piece of history that is more than 5,000 years old. The Jabel Hafeet Beehive tombs are igloo-shaped tombs made from stone. There are hundreds of them on the Jabel Hafeet mountain, and many still contain undisturbed human remains. A visit here is a rare opportunity to get so close to ancient history.

10Queen Elizabeth 2

QE2 Leaves Southampton For The Last Time Matt Cardy / Getty Images

See why so many dreamed of going on a cruise on the QE2. The ship is now permanently docked in Mina Rashid, and heritage tours give visitors the opportunity to learn about the history of the ship and what life was like for the crew. Hear stories of the celebrity guests that once graced the cabins and dining halls, and see first hand why this luxury liner was so beloved.