Umm Al Quwain, a tiny emirate wrapped around an island-dotted lagoon, is in many ways the 'anti-Dubai'. Small, sleepy, quaint and without a single international resort or megamall, its retro feel stands in sharp contrast to the more glamorous emirate to the south. Steer here if you’re after a taste of the UAE as it was in its pre-oil days.
Across the creek, uninhabited Al Sinniyah Island is a protected marine environment noted for its mangrove swamp and large colony of Socotra cormorants. It's also a stopover for migrating birds, including flamingos, gulls and terns.
The old town, the business district and a few hotels are at the northern tip of a 12km-long, narrow peninsula accessed by the busy, strip mall-lined King Faisal Rd. Other attractions are along Hwy E11 heading north.