Visit Dubai and the Seven Emirates April 20-30, 2015

We have explored the world together and have experienced many special places which we will always treasure. We are now ready to venture to another great part of the world - the Arabian deserts where glimmering cities rise from the sands. The world’s tallest building (160 stories high) punctures the skyline. Sprawling man made islands shaped like a palm tree host entire communities. Camel races are a sheik’s favored pursuit, as well as a public park to honor the Ferrari automobiles.

Join us as we explore The Seven Emirates and Oman April 20-30.

Alex Rusciano is the station host

•    Motor coach transportation from Peoria to O’Hare Airport
•    Air transportation from Chicago to Abu Dhabi on Etihad Airways scheduled flights.
•    9 nights of First Class hotel accommodations
•    Three meals daily beginning with breakfast on April 22
•    Dubai City Tour
•    Visit and tea at The Emirate Palace
•    Visit to Ferrari Land, the largest indoor theme park and exhibit
•    Cross the Dubai Creek by “Water Taxi”
•    Photo stop at the Atlantis on Palm Island
•    Visit Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world
•    Abu Dhabi City Tour
•    Visit to AL AIN Oasis
•    Visit to the east coast with a cruise to the country of Oman
•    Visit to the Emirates of Sharjah
•    Excursion to Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain and Ajman
•    Shopping (Dubai Mall)
•    Desert Safari in 4x4 Vehicles with BBQ dinner
•    English speaking tour director
•    Current airline taxes and fuel surcharge subject to change
Not included: U.S. and foreign departure taxes of $150.00 per person, tips to guide and driver, and optional trip insurance.

April 20 – Chicago en route
Depart Chicago on Etihad Airways for your non-stop flight to Abu Dhabi.

April 21 – Arrive Abu Dhabi
Welcome to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. You will be welcomed by your tour director who will accompany you to your hotel in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.  It is a privilege to be invited into the extravagant world of the United Arab Emirates, especially in a deluxe fashion like you have never experienced before. Enjoy the warm hospitality of the local culture, and witness the amazing transformation the country has undergone in the last 10 years.

Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi

April 22 – Abu Dhabi
Embark on a city tour of Abu Dhabi, the largest city of the United Arab Emirates. This comprehensive tour is the ideal introduction to the UAE capital and the island on which it stands. The name Abu Dhabi means “Father of the Gazelle.” The first stop will be at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, one of the largest mosques in the world, that is able to accommodate more than 30,000 worshipers. The beautiful mosque is completely clad in marble and features intricate Islamic decoration, carvings, as well as extensive landscaping works. Continue the tour towards downtown Abu Dhabi. Pass through the old city stop at the Heritage Village, which houses a small museum and depicts the traditional daily activities of the Arab community prior to the discovery of oil. You then drive along the spectacular Corniche, past gleaming white mosques, glass-clad offices, and elegant high-rise apartments to the tip of the breakwater for a superb view of the city’s magnificent skyline. Lunch is included at a local restaurant.  The afternoon is at leisure. If golf is your game, the world class Kyle Phillips designed Yas Links Golf Course is the place for you. Set against striking views of the Arabian Gulf, the links course offers a challenge for all golfers, no matter their level of golfing experience. For the others, maybe explore one of the shopping malls or local markets where you can shop for products from all over the world. You also have the opportunity to relax at your hotel and enjoy the facilities.  Dinner and overnight are at the hotel.  (B, L, D)

Ferrari World Theme Park, Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
Palm Island, Dubai

April 23 – Abu Dhabi

Today, start the tour with a visit to the famous Emirates Palace Resort which was completed in 2006. It is an enchanting landmark that's a wonder to behold for all who venture through its magnificent gates. Fairytales come to life as your senses are treated to an extraordinary and unforgettable experience as you are enjoying your morning tea ceremony there.  You then drive through the famous giant Saadiyat Island project where the LOUVRE museum and GUGGENHEIM museums are being built to complete the image of Abu Dhabi as a cultural city. The tour will continue towards the famous Yas Island which houses the FORMULA 1 YAS circuit & the first Ferrari attraction park in the world. It is the largest covered air conditioned park in the world with a huge RED FERRARI sign as a landmark.  Among the attractions is Bell’Italia (Beautiful Italy) - an exhibit showcasing recreations of famous Italian cityscapes, structures, and racing venues. Guests can choose to drive a Ferrai 250 California Spyder throughout the exhibit or walk the 1,870 ft network of paths.  Other attractions include the Carousel, Ferrari’s version of the traditional carousel featuring prototype cars, Cinema Maranello - a theatre showcasing a film which takes guests back to the 1920s, Driving with Champions is an interactive  3-D show which follows the life of a Ferrari engineer, Formula Rossa - a hydraulically launched roller coaster manufactured by the Swiss coaster design firm Intamin, and is currently the world's fastest roller coaster reaching a top speed of 149 mph, and finally,  Galleria Ferrari -  the world's largest Ferrari gallery outside of Maranello. After enjoying this thrilling experience, return to your hotel for dinner. (B, L, D)

Hajar Mountains
Walkway through the Al Ain oasis

April 24 – Abu Dhabi – Al Ain
Departure to the oasis city of Al Ain, located on the Hajjar Mountains. Al Ain is one of the oldest cities in the UAE and rich in tradition. For thousands of years the oasis of Al Ain has been an important caravan stop onthe ancient trade routes across Arabia. Visit the camel market, the largest in the UAE. You will pass by Al Ain Palace, which is one of the most important cultural places in Al Ain. It is a direct testimony to the period of rule of the late Sheik Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan in Al Ain and his original place of residence. The Palace is also the birthplace of HH Sheikh Mohamad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Visit the Jahili fort, one of the largest castles in Al Ain and best-in-class example of local Islamic military architecture. Then, proceed to visit the National Museum of Al Ain, where you learn everything about the history of this region. After lunch, step back in time at the Hilli Gardens, famous for archaeological excavations from the third millennium B.C.  Transfer to the hotel in Al Ain for dinner and overnight   (B, L, D)

Dubai Creek

April 25 – Al Ain – East Coast – Fujairah
Proceed through picturesque landscapes with sandy deserts and mountains, the east coast of the Emirates, located on the Gulf of Oman. Drive through the small oasis towns of Dhaid and Masafi, situated in an agricultural region where fruits and vegetables are cultivated. Stop at the local “Friday Market” followed by a quick city tour of Fujairah with a stop at the Bidiya Mosque, the smallest and oldest mosque in UAE. Enjoy lunch en route in a local restaurant. You then head towards the Dibba/Fujairah area to your hotel. You have just reached the warm coasts of the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Oman. Check in, followed by a buffet dinner at the hotel with a variety of food from East to West.  (B, L, D)

Blue Souk (market)

April 26 – Fujairah – Massandam Cruise to Oman - Fujairah
Today, enjoy a full day excursion to Mussandam, where you witness the warm beaches of the Indian Ocean.  The Musandam Peninsula is the northern-most part of the country of Oman, and has one of the most rugged, isolated and beautiful coastlines in the world.  The towering Hajar Mountains rise directly out of the sea creating spectacular fjord-like scenery, providing an awe-inspiring backdrop for the caves, bays, and  pebble beaches along the coast. The sheltered bays also offer a safe environment for snorkelers and non-divers to explore.  Marine life of the gulf of Oman is rich in diversity with fish, corals, turtles, and invertebrates. A dhow boat trip into the fjords of Musandam offers an insight into this fantastic landscape, and guarantees an ambience of peace and tranquillity. There is also a possibility of seeing dolphins along the cruise. Lunch is on board. The traditional dhows (sail boats) are equipped with comfortable seats, cushions and carpets. Enjoy sea safaris, snorkeling, swimming, playing and see Omani limestone houses, beautiful caves and more. (Note: Please carry your passport along with you, as it is required for the border crossing)  At the end of the day, return to the resort to relax.  Dinner and overnight are at the hotel in Fujairah. (B, L, D)

Dubai Souk

April 27 – Fujairah – Ras Al Khaimah-Umm Al Quwain – Ajman – Sharjah - Dubai
Depart through the coastal mountains of Fujairah to Ras Al Khaimah, the northernmost of the 7 Emirates. Continue via the smaller Emirates of Umm al Quwain and Ajman to enjoy more scenery. Proceed to Sharjah for a city tour, well known as the “cultural capital of the Emirates.” Visit the Sharjah's Museum of Islamic Civilization, the first of its kind in the UAE. Opened in 1987 as the Souq al-Majarrah, it quickly became a popular landmark. Its most outstanding feature is its majestic gilded central dome, decorated on the inside with an intricate mosaic depicting the night sky and the signs of the zodiac. Stop at the famous Souk Al Arsa, the oldest souk (market) in the UAE. One of today’s highlights is the exciting Blue Souk, where more than 600 local traders offer their goods. Drive along the spectacular Corniche to your hotel in Dubai.  In the evening, enjoy dinner in Madinat Jumeirah, the Arabian Resort. It is “old Arabia” in a totally luxurious context: a combination of authentic Arabian themes and a luxurious oasis. After dinner, return to the hotel and overnight. (B, L, D)

Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building

April 28 - Dubai
Depart to discover the spectacular and lively metropolis of Dubai. The city, developed from a small fishing village at the Dubai Creek, is a glamorous metropolis on the Arabian Gulf. The distinctive skyscrapers and gigantic shopping malls will impress every visitor. On the way, you’ll photo stop at the awe-inspiring Grand Mosque of Jumeirah. You then continue to Bastakyia, the old town district of Dubai. Learn everything about the local history and geography of the city when visiting the Dubai museum, located in the ancient fortress of Al-Fahidi. Another highlight will be the use of the local water taxis, called “abras” to cross the Dubai Creek. Enjoy spectacular views of the city while heading towards the district of Deira. Here you will be enchanted by the large variety of exotic spices in the famous Spice Souk (market). Take the chance to get a unique and affordable souvenir when you visit the adjacent Gold Souk. Lunch is at a local restaurant. Afternoon is at leisure to allow shopping at the many of malls and stores with a wide selection of fashion, jewelry, and arts and crafts. Dinner and overnight are in Dubai.   (B, L, D)

Burj Al Arab Hotel

April 29 - Dubai
Today you will start your visit with a photo stop of Burj Al Arab hotel, the first 7 star hotel in the world. Next, stop at the Atlantis hotel located at the crescent of The Palm, the manmade city built into the sea. Pass by the region of Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest tower and the centerpiece of the Gulf region's most prestigious urban development to date. Burj Khalifa will radiate out in a series of ellipses from the sky scraping tower encompassing residential, commercial, hotel, entertainment, and the world's largest shopping mall. Before lunch, you will have the option to ascend the Burj Khalifa at the Dubai Mall site.  Lunch will be served around the magical musical fountains of the mall where you enjoy a unique show and a marvelous meal. It is a manmade creation, but it is unique. In the afternoon, join a desert Safari, after settling down in 4WD vehicles. The jeeps will speed through the desert of the golden sand dunes. Your driver will navigate the dunes and take you on an exciting ride into the open desert. The final leg of this program takes you to the main camp site. Witness a memorable sight, the true Arabian sunset with its glory and majesty. A delicious barbecue dinner is prepared over open fires, and a variety of beverages are available. The beat of the music increases as a belly dancer starts dancing to the rhythm of the music. What a better way to experience a true Arabian night than this!  (B, L, D)

April 30 – Abu Dhabi/Chicago
Bid farewell as you board your non-stop flight from Abu Dhabi to Chicago, arriving the same afternoon with unforgettable memories of your tour to Dubai and The Seven Emirates.

Price - $3,999 per person

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