When you think of the United Arab Emirates, you likely think of its blockbuster, over-the-top city: Dubai. With the world's tallest building, man-made islands, an aquarium big enough for scuba-diving, and indoor ski slopes, there's no shortage of experiences to check off and sights to see. But beyond the glitz and glamor of this shiny, new city, there's another side to the United Arab Emirates, which existed long before Dubai started booming. Explore the Hajar Mountains, towering over the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah; or visit the hub of culture and athletics in Abu Dhabi, the capital, with highlights including the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the museums at Saadiyat Island. Get to grips with art and heritage in Sharjah via visits to the Grand King Faisal Mosque, Souk Al Arsa, and the Heritage Village. No trip to the UAE is complete without a foray out into the desert, whether it's dune-bashing, riding a camel, or experiencing a cultural presentation under the protection of a luxury tent. Luckily, many of these experiences can be combined on a desert day tour. Finally, for relief from the hot, sandy desert, travelers can head to the Gulf of Oman for swimming and other water activities, visit the Aquaventure Waterpark, or experience the indoor Ski Dubai snow park.