Abu Dhabi is flat and sandy, and within its boundaries is the Buraimi Oasis. Dubai has a 16km (10-mile) deep-water creek, giving it the popular name of ‘Pearl of the Gulf’. A predominantly modern city, Abu Dhabi nevertheless retains some of its ancient past. The Diwan Amiri (White Fort) was built in 1793 and still survives. There are many mosques, from the huge blue mosque on the corner of the Corniche to the smaller one in the centre of Khalifa Street Roundabout, surrounded by trees. Dubai has outstanding sporting and conference facilities. Bur Dubai, the original town, has old buildings, atmospheric alleyways and markets.
Shopping: Abu Dhabi is synonymous with shopping. People come from all over the world to shop at the "Old Souk" where you can buy precious jewelry made of gold and other valuable metals. Also while shopping you will find electronics, clothing, antiques, even cars.
Golf: Dubai has been declared the number one golf destination worldwide, by the International Golf Tour Operators Association. The Emirates Golf Club, Dubai, which opened in 1988, was the first grass golf course in the Gulf. In addition, there is also the Abu Dhabi Golf Club (whose facilities include two 18-hole grass courses and a floodlit driving range), Dubai Creek Golf Club and the Nad Al Shiba Golf and Racing Club.
Watersports: Boats and water-skiing equipment are available for hire. Sailing and windsurfing are popular around Dubai and boats are available for hire. The waters off Dubai are considered among the best areas in the world for diving. There are sub-aqua clubs in main centres and an extensive range of equipment is available for hire. Swimming is possible in the many hotel pools or beaches. There is an abundance of game fish in the Gulf. Fully-equipped boats with crew can be hired from the Jebel Ali Hotel marina for deep-sea fishing trips.
Spectator sports: Boat racing for about 30 rowers is a traditional sport that is becoming increasingly popular. Camel- and horseraces are also held at various race tracks. Football has become more popular and can be seen in most large towns and there are three thriving rugby clubs in Dubai. Falconry is extremely popular among Arabs.
Other: Horseriding is available at several riding centres, and rides through the desert are organised regularly. Many hotels and clubs have tennis courts and there are squash courts in main centres. Bowling alleys can be found in hotels and clubs.