Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Arabia Unforgettable end Taif

Duration

16 Days

Physical rate

Moderate

Starting city

Dubai

Available

April 2023 / March 2024

Cities to visit: Dubai; Abu Dhabi; Doha; Bahréin; Dammam; Al Hofuf; Riyadh; Al Qasab; Shaqra; Ushaiqer; Buraidah; Medina; Jeddah; Mecca; Al Hada; Taif

Detailed day by day description

Introduction

This tour is part of our flexible coach touring range, guaranteed with a minimum of 2 people. Once the tour is booked, it is guaranteed so it will definitely go ahead, and will never cancel.

This tour is guided in English only. Please note if English speaking attendance numbers are low, the tour can become bilingual either accompanied by two tour leaders, one for each language, or a single tour leader providing explanations in both languages.

The tour offers flexibility, allowing you to customize it to your preferences. By clicking 'Quote or Book,' you will have the choice to select your desired start and end dates and destinations within the tour's defined parameters. Given this flexibility, it's important to note that the same people, tour guides or drivers may not be on your entire journey.

Day
Welcome to Emirates! Arrival at the airport and transfer to the hotel.
At the end of the afternoon, we will be transferred to visit the impressive city of DUBAI that shines in the night. We will go to witness the show of "Dubai Fountain", where the water dances to the rhythm of music and light; we are at the foot of Burj Khalifa which with its 828 meters is the tallest tower in the world; free time to walk and dine (dinner not included) in the immense Dubai Mall. Return to the hotel.
Today we have a spectacular day getting to know Dubai. We include going up the spectacular tower "Dubai Frame" with its spectacular bridge shape and its view at 150 meters high. Afterwards we go to the old part of Dubai, a walk through the souk of Bur Dubai and the spice souk. We will take an Abra (traditional boat of the Emirates) to move to the historic neighborhood of Al Fahidi and the center for cultural understanding (with its motto "open minds, open doors"), in this area we will include in a traditional building, a typical meal of the country; if the group is more than 15 travelers they will give us an explanation to get to know better the gastronomy of the Emirates.
In the afternoon we will have time in Madinat Jumeirah, which offers us a contemporary version of a traditional Arab village with its souk, its canals, and its colorful villas.
We still have all morning to get to know Dubai. We will have a panoramic tour in which we will pass in front of the great mosque of Jumeirah, afterwards we continue passing by Burj Al Arab, a spectacular hotel in the form of a sail; the island of "Palm Jumeirah" in the shape of a palm tree. We will take the very modern monorail. A walk through the area of The Marina. We then have free time next to the most popular and active beach in Dubai: JBR beach. If you wish you can bathe in the warm waters of the Persian Gulf, or if you prefer you can stroll through its many luxury shops. Time to bathe or rest and have lunch (not included).
After lunch we will continue our route to ABU DHABI, the most important Emirate and capital of the country. Before entering the city, we will stop at Ferrari World, a theme park dedicated to Ferrari racing cars (stop to see outdoor areas). After that we visit the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, a beautiful white mosque, the largest in the Emirates, with an area of more than 12 hectares, a point that seeks the encounter with other cultures and people of other religions. We will pass in front of Capital Gate, a 160-meter-high building known for being the steepest skyscraper in the world. From the beautiful "Corniche", by the sea, we will get a great panoramic view of the city.
Already, after dark we will go to The Founders Memorial, built in memory of Zayed, the first sultan of the Emirates; The Constellation stands out, with its magnificent night lighting.
In the morning we continue our visit of the city. We will visit (entrance included) the Heritage Village, this place allows us to understand the traditional life in the Emirates, we enjoy its views, we can buy in its craft shops and visit its small museums that illustrate us about the history of the Emirates. After that we include a visit and entry into Qasr Al Watan, the presidential palace of the Emirates, magnificent construction of white granite profusely decorated, highlights its dome of 37 meters and its chandelier lamp of 350,000 pieces of glass. After that we go to the "cultural district" where there are several museums, highlights the Louvre, with its spectacular architecture by the sea and an incredible collection. You have the opportunity if you wish to visit one of the museums or enjoy your free time in the area. Lunch included.
In the afternoon, transfer to the airport, we include the flight to DOHA, the capital of QATAR. Arrival and transfer to the hotel.
We discover an exciting city. In this city’s city tour we will visit the Corniche, with its line of skyscrapers and its beaches; we will get to see the very modern football stadium of Al Thumama, host of the 2022 World Cup; we will pass by the National Museum with its impressive architecture and include an entrance and visit of the Museum of Islamic Art, that houses the largest collection of Islamic art in the world. Uniting modernity and tradition we visit the Souk of the Falcons where we will understand the importance of falconry in this country; a time to walk in the Waqif Souk, built on the site of the old market remodeled to have the appearance of a nineteenth-century souk, nearby we will pass by the stables where the neighbors house Arabian horses. At lunchtime we will go to "The Pearl of Qatar" an artificial archipelago, here we will see Porto Arabia and we will have free time in Qanat, a shopping area inspired by Venice. Lunch included.
At the end of the day, we move to KATARA, a cultural village that has architectural replicas from all over the world, with several places to eat, its opera and its amphitheater.
We will travel through the road, 120 km of modern highway through the desert separates us from the border of Saudi Arabia. Transit through Saudi Arabia, we travel to BAHRAIN, a small country located on an island in the Persian Gulf, we pass by the 25 km friendship bridge that connects Arabia with Bahrain. Border procedures. Bahrain is a small country of 765 Km2 inhabited by just under two million inhabitants that always had great historical importance. MANAMA, arrival in the middle of the afternoon. Upon arrival we will know the historic neighborhood of Muharraq, in its pedestrian alleys are some of the most beautiful historical buildings in the country: royal residences and houses of rich pearl merchants very well restored.
At the end of the day, we will walk through the souk of Manama, with its active life and through Little India, over 300 000 inhabitants of Bahrain were born in India, this neighborhood preserves its life, the temple of Krishna and numerous small Indian restaurants.
Note: If the number of participants is small, the trip between Qatar and Bahrain can be made by air without transiting through Saudi Arabia.
We will get to know thoroughly this small country; by coach we follow the coast, we include the entrance to Beit Al Qur´An, museum on the Qur´an, the Muslims’ holy book. We also visit the fantastic Bahrain National Museum that allows us to see the art, ethnography and traditions of this country and understand the importance it had throughout history. We will visit with a guide the impressive Al Fatih Mosque the most important in the country. Lunch included.
In the afternoon we will leave Manama, on the outskirts is located QALAT AL BARHEIN, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, an impressive fortress by the sea inhabited for 4000 years (the current castle was built by the Portuguese). We enter one of the most important oil production areas in the world, between refineries and pipelines we will stop next to the first oil extraction well opened in the country. We will also stop at the "tree of life", which with its more than 500 years being alive in the desert is a symbol of this country.Return to Manama, free time.
We leave in the morning from Manama, take the long bridge of 25 km that separates this country from SAUDI ARABIA. Border procedures. We enter a country that until very recently has been closed to tourism.
We will be surprised by the city of DAMMAM, provincial capital with almost a million inhabitants. By the sea we get the chance to take a photo of the water tower of Khobar. Following its modern maritime strip we follow the Heritage Village, next to the sea, in the form of a fortress we´ll visit its small museum of ancient objects (including its collection of historical cars); Lunch included. We continue towards the impressive Ithra site and its very modern King Abdulaziz center for world Culture - an architecturally very striking place (being rock shaped), with its leisure areas, its museums, its library.
Mid-afternoon continuation to the oasis of AL-AHSA, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Arrival at AL-HOFUF, the main city of the oasis. We will take a night walk through the King Abdullah Park, a pleasant park where its artificial lake and the fountains that dance to the rhythm of the music are a stand out.
We visit the Oasis of AL AHSA, with its gardens, canals, wells. Inhabited since the Neolithic; it is considered the largest oasis in the world with its almost 3 million date palms. In the center of Al-Hofuf we visit the Ibrahim Palace, historical fortress (World Heritage Site) dominated by its white mosque, built in 1556 by the Ottomans. After that we visit the "House of Allegiance" that shows us a small palace characteristic of the oasis. We will stroll through the elegant souk of Al Qaisariya, one of the oldest markets in Arabia, reflecting the commercial tradition of the region. We will approach the lively area where the Muhaires Palace stands, with its many restaurants, shops and parks where the local population goes.
Later we travel through the oasis, we go to AL QARA , a spectacular landscape area, labyrinth of mini-gorges-caves in the mountain, and a historical site; it will seem that "you penetrate the mountain", all year round the temperature is around 25 degrees. We also visit its museum "land of civilizations" that describes the history of the area.
Note: At the time of writing this itinerary, the Ibrahim Palace was closed for restoration. During the period when it is closed, the palace will be visited from the outside.
In the afternoon we take a modern high-speed train, in two hours and 20 minutes we travel almost 350 kilometers of desert that separate us from Riyadh.- RIYADH, arrival. To end the day, we will include transfer and entrance to the Boulevard Riyadh, you will be surprised by its life and activity, the attractions, the numerous restaurants with specialties from numerous countries, its live shows, and -above all- the spectacle of colorful fountains. Time to stroll, dine (dinner not included) and enjoy this place. Return to the hotel.
Today (the order of activities may vary depending on the time of year) we will visit the impressive capital of Saudi Arabia. We will include the climb to the tower of just over 300 m high, the "Kingdom Centre", with its beautiful design and its "bridge-shaped" viewpoint that offers spectacular views over the city. We will also visit, surrounded by a beautiful park, the National Museum, the largest museum in the country, where we will learn about the history, culture, and art of the Kingdom. After that we will visit the Masmak Fortress, the ancient fortress of the city, whose interior allows us to understand the incredible change that took place in this city during the last century. Afterwards, we will have time to stroll through the neighborhood, with its souks and commercial life.
Free time for lunch in a shopping center- Mall- where you can choose from the various restaurants and types of food offered there.
In the afternoon we will also visit the district of Al Turaif DIRIYA, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This place - on the outskirts of Riyadh - was formerly the first capital of the Saudi dynasty, which we will be able to discover thanks to the vestiges of its numerous palaces and the urban complex at the edge of the oasis of Ad-Diriya.
At the end of the day, we will visit the Al Rajhi Mosque, the largest mosque in Riyadh with its Andalusian style architecture, where we will witness a prayer and have an introduction to Islam that will surely make us learn something about this religion. Return to hotel.
Today we follow the ancient route of pilgrims traveling from Iraq to Mecca, with its many historic towns in small oases. AL QASAB was known since ancient times for its salt and wheat production, also for its poets. We will visit the walled city and the small salt ponds where 200,000 tons of salt are still produced each year.
Desert landscapes of dunes lead us to SHAQRA, a city that is growing along with its university. We visit the well-fortified ancient city, with its picturesque old market and adobe alleys. Continue to USHAIQER. Lunch included before transferring to Ushaiqer Heritage Village, a village that was an important stop for pilgrims because of its springs and the beauty of its oasis. We will also visit its small museum and its Najdi architecture houses with its carved wooden doors, its beautiful windows and triangular roofs. Continuation to BURAYDAH, capital of the province of El Kasim with more than 600 000 inhabitants located in a large oasis. Arrival in the late afternoon and free time.
Early in the morning we will visit the largest Camel Market in the world, located in Buraydah - a city that also houses a camel hospital. The city´s economy is also based on agriculture of oasis products (dates, lemons, oranges, wheat), and annually, around August, holds a huge date market that attracts many people from different places to buy their date annual requirement. We will visit "the city of dates" -more or less active depending on the time of the year- and we will be able to taste this sweet fruit of the palm tree. Afterwards, we will have time to stroll through the city center, with its vegetable market, its great mosque, its jewelry souks and its activity. We will visit the Al Oqilat Museum that tells us about the traditions of Arabia and the customs of the region. Free time for lunch.
In the afternoon, we continue our route by an excellent highway through the desert. Arrival in the evening to the holy city of MEDINA, "the luminous city". We find ourselves in an outstanding historical and religious destination as it is one of the two most sacred cities of Islam. Medina is visited by millions of pilgrims every year and has been forbidden to non-Muslims until very recently. Respect its inhabitants and beliefs and remember to use the required mode of dress. In the evening, we will go to see - today from outside - the Al Masjid Mosque, built by the prophet himself and the place where he is buried. We will be touched to see the thousands of people who enter at prayer time. Dinner included.

We will explore Medina. We will walk around the immense Prophet´s Mosque (Al Masjid an Nabawi), an amazing and luminous mosque of 10 minarets with a capacity for one million visitors. On the hill of UHUD, an important pilgrimage site, the prophet´s forces clashed with Meccan troops. You can walk through its vast esplanade and climb the hill, but remember to do so in silence and respecting the hundreds of pilgrims who will surround us any day. At the Quba Mosque, in the year 622, the prophet and his followers laid the first stone of what was to be the first mosque in history, although the present building is more recent. From here, we will walk to the nearby garden and well of Ethiq where the different tribes of the place went out to drink water and greet the Prophet and his companions recently arrived in Medina after their persecution in Mecca. Afterwards we will have some free time in the city center to stroll around the shopping areas or -if you wish- visit the Hejaz Railway Museum (in the former Ottoman railway station).
In the afternoon we travel to JEDDAH, on the shores of the Red Sea, the second largest city in the country, with four million inhabitants. Before going to the hotel, we will visit the Al-Rahma mosque, better known as the floating mosque, because it is built on the shores of the Red Sea with pillars over the water. We will also enjoy the lively sportive port, very close to the tracks where the Formula 1 circuit is held.
Full day in Jeddah. With a local guide we will visit this city that will surprise us by its contrasts. At this time, a large part of the city is being rebuilt to make it a great world megalopolis. Among others, the construction of the Jeddah Tower, which will be the tallest building in the world with more than a thousand meters high, stands out.
We will follow the Corniche, with its beautiful views, its mosques by the sea and its recreational areas. We will contemplate the King Fahd Fountain, the highest of its kind in the world, its water jets reach more than 300 meters high. We will stop at the lively and picturesque fish market. We will include the entrance to “Tabeyat International city” an architectural complex of great beauty with its very interesting museums of history and ethnography. We will then visit the historical center, entering through Bab Makkah – the most important gate of Jeddah – and we will also pass by the cemetery of Eve, where tradition says that Eve, Adam’s wife and the first woman of humanity according to the bible, was buried. Free time for lunch in a shopping center- Mall- where you can choose from the various restaurants and types of food offered there.
In the afternoon, we will take a walk through its historic center, better known as Al-Balad, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, with its impressive set of medieval alleys and its houses made with coral and wooden balconies. We will visit inside the elegant house of Beit Sallum, today converted into a museum.
Important Note: Mecca is a city that is not accessible to non-Muslim tourists. If you are Muslim, if you wish, we can adapt your program so that you can visit it (you will stay in Taif with the rest of the members of the group and the visit of the remaining points of the day will not be included). In this case, there will be a supplement that will depend on the number of travelers who can and wish to visit Mecca.
Today we travel to Taif, a city authorized for non-Muslim travelers in the province of Mecca. This city, located at almost 2000 meters above sea level, is popular for its mild climate, so every summer the Saudi Government moves to this point -not as hot as Riyadh-. The route, up the mountain, is spectacular in scenery. We will stop at AL HADA, with its tourist market, great views and rose fields. Lunch included.
TAIF, this popular city with very modern shopping malls and great amusement parks, has numerous rose gardens. On the outskirts of the city of Qadeera, we will visit the King Faisal Park, which hosts an annual rose festival, and experience the roses used to make local perfumes. In this city 300 million roses are produced annually in more than 900 farms. We will visit a rose oil factory -Attar- . We will also stroll through the central market, with its maze of narrow streets and its different areas (honey, perfumes, jewelry...). In the evening we will go to the modern shopping mall district where you will have time to dine in one of its many restaurants of all kinds of cuisines.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport and end of our services.

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From AUD 6,511