Umm al-Quwain is the least populous of the seven sovereign emirates in the United Arab Emirates, located in the north of the country. The emirate has around 62,000 inhabitants, living in an area of 750 square kilometers. In 1971, its ruler Sheikh Ahmad II joined its neighbours Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman and Fujairah in forming the UAE.
Although it is comparatively sedate compared to its fellow emirates, there is plenty to do and see in Umm al-Quwain. The largest water park in the UAE is located on the coastline of Umm Al Quwain; about 40 minutes’ drive from Dubai, with 250,000 square meters expanse of landscaped gardens and over 30 rides, slides, and attractions. The islands of Umm Al Quwain lie to the east of the mainland peninsula on a unique stretch of coastline consisting of sandy islands surrounded by dense mangrove forests, separated by a series of creeks. On the mainland, the old harbour overlooks the traditional dhow building yard where skilled craftsmen continue to assemble these traditional boats, and is surrounded by old coral stone houses that display features of the original architecture and intricate sculptured plaster work.
Like many of the Gulf nations, Umm al-Qawain can experience extremely hot temperatures during summer and rainfall is comparatively rare. However, the coastline experiences cooling sea breezes throughout the day.