Umm Al Quwain Travel Guide: The UAE’s Most Underrated Destination

Umm Al Quwain Kite Beach

My Umm Al Quwain Travel Guide

Looking for something different to do in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)? Well you have come to the right place!

In this article, you’ll discover one of the most unique destinations in the UAE, which should be immediately added to your bucket list!

The lesser known gem I’m talking about is Umm Al Quwain, which is a seemingly undiscovered Emirate of the UAE.

Umm Al Quwain lies between the Emirates of Sharjah to the southwest and Ras Al Khaimah to the northeast. It’s located along the Arabian Gulf’s western coast and covers an area of approximately 777 square kilometers. It took us under an hour to drive here from downtown Dubai.

This underrated gem has a population of around 80,000 people, and since it’s generally not on peoples radar, it feels totally serene and uncrowded.

The economy of Umm Al Quwain isn’t as diversified as some of the larger Emirates like Dubai or Abu Dhabi. Currently, the main economy is based on fishing, pearl diving, and agriculture.

We were fortunate enough to spend a blissful week here and it’s truly a hidden paradise. This gorgeous coastal city is generally overlooked by tourists, but trust me when I say it has plenty to offer!

Read on to discover all of the best things to do in Umm Al Quwain and where to stay, as well as some insider tips.

Top things to do in Umm Al Quwain:

So what kind of fun things can you get up to in Umm Al Quwain? Despite there being almost no travel blog posts in existence on this wonderful place in the UAE, there’s actually quite a lot to do here!

#1 Umm Al Quwain‘s Mangrove Beach

As its name suggests, Umm Al Quwain’s Mangrove Beach is home to a lush mangrove forest! This creates a picturesque landscape that’s totally different from the other beaches in the region.

The mangrove trees provide a natural habitat for a wide variety of marine and bird species and you can often spot herons, flamingos, and other wildlife here.

Entry tips: There’s a checkpoint upon arrival at Mangrove Beach, and if you mention that you’re visiting the on-site restaurant (Mikoko) you won’t be charged an entry fee (usually AED20). You just need to keep the receipt for any purchases and show it at the checkpoint upon exiting the beach.

Where to eat at Mangrove Beach? I highly recommend lunch at Mikoko. This restaurant seriously exudes boho Zanzibar vibes and the coffee selection is to die for! Mikoko overlooks the mangroves and feels extremely peaceful, like a world away from the hustle and bustle of city life. For me, this is the top Cafe in Umm Al Quwain!

Activities at Mangrove Beach: In my opinion, Mangrove Beach is easily one of the best things to do in Umm Al Quwain, as it has so much to offer.

The beach itself is super fun, as there’s loads of activities to do here, like Kayaking and even riding giant water tricycles! We went for the second option, which is a totally unique Umm Al Quwain activity and a great way to check out the mangroves.

Overall, Mangrove Beach is one of the top things to do in Umm Al Quwain, offering you the chance to connect with nature and enjoy a fun and relaxing day out in the UAE.

#2 Umm Al Quwain Kite Beach

I spent my 30th Birthday at Umm Al Quwain’s Kite Beach, which is undoubtedly one of the most underrated places in the UAE and a true highlight of Umm Al Quwain.

As the name suggests, Kite Beach is a hot spot for kite surfers. The consistent wind and shallow waters make it an ideal spot for beginners and advanced kite surfers alike. I spent practically half the day watching the surfers fly through the air!

Kite Beach is relatively uncrowded and there are loads of optional activities to choose from, including kite surfing, kayaking, and mangrove tours. This makes Kite Beach one of the best beaches in Umm Al Quwain.

You can even rent a private beach hut at Kite Beach in Umm Al Quwain (pictured above), which accommodates up to 6 people. However, if don’t want to splash out the cash, there’s so many gorgeous and free seating areas on the beach.

The food at Kite Beach Centre is extremely good as well. I highly recommend getting a pizza, as they’re made fresh in a giant pizza oven. If you’re looking for chilled vibes over a tasty lunch, this is the place to be in Umm Al Quwain!

After devouring some fresh pizza, you can head to the on-site ‘’Tarzan Gym’’ to burn off some calories! The gym is all natural and made from African wood and stone, it’s pretty fun to use and very ‘’insta-worthy.’’ This definitely has to be the coolest gym in Umm Al Quwain or even the UAE!

Beach access charges: AED 75 for weekends and 45 AED for weekdays. 

Timings: 06:00 am to 10:00 pm.

For more information feel free to check out the Kite Beach website.

Where to stay in Umm Al Quwain:

#1 Vida Beach Resort Umm Al Quwain

We stayed at Vida Beach Resort, which is arguably the best resort in Umm Al Quwain. This resort is absolutely stunning and incredibly peaceful.

Vida Beach Resort comes with all the facilities you need and more, including a gym, a kids club, and high speed Wi-Fi. The Spa is also fantastic – the couples massage we had here was total bliss 💆

If you can’t sit still for long, this incredible Umm Al Quwain resort offers loads of optional activities and excursions, like kayaking, paddle-boarding, and fishing trips. You can also make use of the on-site tennis court, completely free of charge.

For any digital nomads, the business centre here is a great place to work in between sunbathing on the private beach and by the pool!

Vida Beach Resort is very conveniently situated as well. Sharjah International Airport is only 35 minutes away, Umm Al Quwai airport is 25 minutes away, and the Mall of UAQ is about a 10-minute drive from the resort.

Overall, Vida Beach Resort is one of the best Umm Al Quwain hotels, and the perfect choice for anyone looking for a luxurious beachfront getaway in the UAE.

kite surfing UAE

#2 Camping on Mangrove Beach

A more budget friendly place to stay in Umm Al Quwain is Camping on Mangrove Beach (AED 20 per car). This Umm Al Quwain beach is an ideal place to stay, as the soft sand makes it perfect to set up camp! The site is practical too, with several toilets on site and a dedicated BBQ spot at the Mini Mangroves.

If you’re looking for somewhere cheap to stay in Umm Al Quwain, this is where you need to go!

If neither of these Umm Al Quwain hotels appeal, you can always check out the best deals on Hotellook, where you can find and compare prices!

Best Restaurants in Umm Al Quwain

  • Al Seef Restaurant: Located in the Umm Al Quwain Marina, Al Seef Restaurant offers a beautiful waterfront dining experience with a menu that includes fresh seafood and traditional Emirati cuisine. This is undoubtedly one of the top restaurants in Umm Al Quwain.
  • The Palms Restaurant: Situated in the Palma Beach Resort, which is one of the top resorts in Umm Al Quwain, the Palms Restaurant offers a diverse menu featuring delicious international dishes. You’ll get to enjoy your meal here with stunning views of the Arabian sea.
  • Bin Majid Flamingo Beach Resort: This gorgeous beachfront resort has multiple dining options to choose from, including an all-day dining restaurant with buffet options, a seafood restaurant, and a poolside bar and grill. So head here to sample some incredible food in Umm Al Quwain.

These are just a few of my recommendations as to the best restaurants in Umm Al Quwain, however this gorgeous Emirate has many more restaurants to explore and discover.



Umm Al Quwain is by far one of the coolest places to visit in the UAE, yet it’s still very uncrowded. So, I highly recommend experiencing this Emirate for yourself, before it’s overrun with tourists.

I hope my Umm Al Quwain Travel Guide will help you to plan your own trip to this amazing Emirate. If you have any questions about Umm Al Quwain, feel free to post a comment below, and I’d be happy to help!

Umm Al Quwain Travel Map

Find my Umm Al Quwain Travel Map below with all of my recommendations conveniently pinned for you!

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