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PopSci in Dubai & Abu Dhabi: Cities from the Future



  • Duration: 9 days
  • Price: from $2,799

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Save up to $1000 per couple!!!

For a limited time only save up to $1000 per couple on our Dubai and Abu Dhabi tour, the crown jewels of the UAE! Reserve by June 14, 2018 to qualify for the early booking discount. Space is limited so please reserve early for your vacation in Dubai!

Itinerary at a glance Tour Highlights Your Dubai tour package includes
  • Overnight flight on Emirates Airline
  • 3 nights in Abu Dhabi
  • 4 nights in Dubai
  • Return flight to USA on Emirates Airline
  • Emirates Airline
  • Fish Market (Abu Dhabi)
  • Corniche (Abu Dhabi)
  • Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque (Abu Dhabi)
  • Dhow Cruise Dinner (Abu Dhabi)
  • At the Top of Burj Khalifa (Dubai)
  • Lost Chamber (Dubai)
  • Dubai Museum & Abra Ride (Dubai)
  • Desert Safari with BBQ Dinner (Dubai)


Special PopSci Experiences

  • Masdar City Visit
  • Wildlife Sanctuary Visit (Dubai)
  • At the Top of Burj Khalifa (Dubai)
  • Heritage Desert Safari in the Dubai Conservation Reserve
  • Round-trip, non-stop flight on Emirates Airline from JFK (add $100 from LAX for 2017 departures & $150 from LAX for 2018 departures).
  • Airfare taxes, fees & fuel surcharges
  • Tourism Dirham Fee in Dubai
  • Ground transportation
  • Accommodations at deluxe hotels (5-star hotel in Dubai and a top hotel according to Tripadvisor in Abu Dhabi)
  • 9 meals: 7 breakfasts (B) and 2 dinners (D)
  • Comprehensive sightseeing as per itinerary
  • Science & technology experiences handpicked by the PopSci editorial team
  • Experienced, English speaking tour director
  • Popular Science Representative for most (or all) of your trip

Click on the tabs below to learn more!

Guided Tour Pricing

Pricing includes land and airfare

(Land only pricing available upon request)



Best Value Pricing
Reserve by Jun 14 2018

Reserve after
Jun 14 2018






After Sale

Oct 22

Oct 30

$ 2799

$ 2899

$ 3299

Eleanor Cummins

Nov 6

Nov 14

$ 2799

$ 2899

$ 3299

Sophie Bushwick

Dec 10

Dec 18

$ 2799

$ 2899

$ 3299

Amy Schellenbaum

Rates are per person based on double occupancy.
Single room supplement is $449
Los Angeles (LAX) Departures: 
Add $150 from Los Angeles (LAX)
Business Class Upgrades: 
* JFK/Dubai/JFK on Emirates or JFK/Abu Dhabi/JFK on Etihad: $5295* LAX/Dubai/LAX on Emirates or LAX/Abu Dhabi/LAX on Etihad: $5395
For more information on this tour, please contact us here or call us during business hours (Mon-Fri, 9:30-5:30 EST) at 844-565-8582.
Reservations and Payments 
Reservations for your tour to Dubai can be made by phone (1-844-565-8582) and will be confirmed upon receipt of $300 per person non-refundable, non-transferable deposit (by check payable to smarTours) which must be received within 7 days of reservation. Full payment is due 75 days prior to departure. Baggage fees may apply. Space and prices subject to availability. For your Dubai and Abu Dhabi vacation complete booking information and terms & conditions click here.
Day 1
Depart USA
Your deluxe journey to Dubai and Abu Dhabi begins as you depart New York or Los Angeles today on Emirates Airline.
Day 2
Arrive Abu Dhabi
Your Emirates Airline flight will land in Dubai in the afternoon (from JFK) and evening (from LAX) where you will be greeted and transported to your deluxe hotel in Abu Dhabi, the vibrant capital and second most populous city of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Just 50 years ago, Abu Dhabi was best described as a fishing village, and today, thanks to enormous wealth due to the city’s oil reserves, Abu Dhabi has transformed into a spectacular, attractive, and distinctly Arab city. Upon check in at one of Abu Dhabi’s best reviewed hotels, you’ll have the remainder of the evening at leisure to explore your beautiful hotel or the surrounding area.

Accommodations: Southern Sun Abu Dhabi Hotel

Day 3
Abu Dhabi City Tour & Dhow Cruise with Dinner
You’ll wake up in Abu Dhabi, one of the seven sheikhdoms of the UAE and the largest geographically, making up more than 80% of the UAE’s total area. Known for its impressive skyscrapers and beautifully landscaped parks, Abu Dhabi also strikes a balance by preserving its Islamic heritage and Arab cultural roots.

After breakfast at your hotel, you’ll embark on a city tour where you’ll become acquainted with the city’s striking examples of modern architecture, which reflect distinctly Islamic themes captured using modern materials. Learn everything about the oil, the so called “black gold” and how it transformed Abu Dhabi into the wealthy city of today.

Visit a reminder of Abu Dhabi’s historical past, the renovated Al Hosn Palace, now home to the Center for Documentation and Research. Then, enjoy a drive along the beautiful Corniche for a breathtaking view of the city.

Proceed to the magnificent Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, a massive yet beautiful structure that is said to be able to accommodate more than 40,000 worshipers. This stop is an absolute “must see” for anyone visiting Abu Dhabi.

Next, visit Masdar City where the goal is to become the world’s most sustainable eco-city. Masdar is leading the way by developing a “greenprint” for how cities can accommodate rapid urbanization and dramatically reduce energy, water, and waste.

This evening, enjoy a spectacular Dhow Cruise with a festive dinner — the perfect way to appreciate the beauty of the city under moonlight on a traditionally decorated wooden boat. Your vessel will slip silently across the sea overlooking Lou Lou Island and the Emirates Palace Hotel.

Accommodations: Southern Sun Abu Dhabi Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4
Abu Dhabi
A day at leisure to explore Abu Dhabi, relax at your beautiful hotel, or perhaps enjoy an optional panoramic tour of Abu Dhabi. Please refer to the “Optional Tours” tab for more detail.

Accommodations: Southern Sun Abu Dhabi Hotel
Meals: Breakfast

Day 5
Abu Dhabi – Dubai
This morning you’ll depart for dazzling Dubai, a truly global city that has experienced such a rapid pace of development that perhaps the only constant themes are progress, and excess. Rooted in Islamic tradition, Dubai is a refreshingly open society where it’s easy for visitors from all over the world to feel at ease and immerse themselves in the wide variety of exciting experiences that are possible in Dubai.

Arrive in Dubai, and then stop at the Lost Chambers within the Atlantis, where you’ll explore a labyrinth of elaborately themed chambers with forgotten artifacts, mysterious scripts, and an array of marine life.

Next, you’ll visit the Dubai Marina Walk which features seven kilometers of pedestrian walkways leading to some of Dubai’s most popular restaurants. Set along a picturesque waterfront location, Dubai Marina Walk offers an al fresco lifestyle for those that love the outdoors with easy access to cafes, shops, restaurants, spa facilities and more!

Next, visit a Wildlife Sanctuary. Here, there are three bird reserves, but it’s the flamingos that steal the show each winter. If you look closely you may spot great egrets, grey herons, cormorants, black-winged stilts, osprey, and more!

Accommodations: Hyatt Regency Dubai
Meals: Breakfast

Day 6
Dubai Heritage & Modern Dubai City Tour (including Burj Khalifa “At the Top”)
Dubai is a city that provides a new setting at every turn, richly mixing together the old and the new.

Today, you’ll start with a magnificent view of Dubai Creek, passing by Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, one of the city’s most picturesque heritage sites. Then, proceed to Al Fahidi Fort, the oldest standing building in Dubai and home to the Dubai Museum, where you’ll gain an appreciation for the city’s fascinating story of development.

Continue your journey by abra (traditional boat), crossing the Dubai Creek towards the Spice Souk (market), followed by the Gold Souk where you’ll have the opportunity to indulge in a bit of shopping.

You’ll then shift from “Heritage Dubai” to “Modern Dubai”, which mixes the charm of traditional souks with inspiring modern skyscrapers. Naturally, you’ll start with the world’s tallest building, “Burj Khalifa”, where you’ll have the opportunity to experience the amazing “At the Top” visit.

Adjacent to the Burj Khalifa, you’ll visit one of the world’s largest shopping malls, which is home to a spectacular aquarium, designed to world class standards allowing you to experience the exotic wonders of aquatic life first-hand through breathtaking views.

Accommodations: Hyatt Regency Dubai
Meals: Breakfast

Day 7
Dubai at Leisure or Optional Musandam Cruise.
A full day at leisure in Dubai, where perhaps you’ll decide to go skiing in the Mall of the Emirates, or participate in an optional full day Musandam Cruise. Please refer to the “Optional Tours” tab for more detail. (B)

Accommodations: Hyatt Regency Dubai
Meals: Breakfast

Day 8
Desert Safari & BBQ Dinner
After a morning at leisure, you’ll embark on an exciting desert safari! Take a step back in time and experience Dubai as it was 50 years ago. Your safari guide will escort you with a Vintage 1950’s Land Rover to Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve.

Watch the sun drop under the horizon as you watch a falcon soar around you. Your Bedouin camp, lit with the gentle flames of the traditional lamps is nestled inside a private Royal desert retreat.

Explore cultural activities such as henna tattoos, music, dance, bread and Arabic coffee making before enjoying a scrumptious dinner under the stars. History comes to life in this once in a lifetime desert safari in Dubai!

Accommodations: Hyatt Regency Dubai
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9
Depart Dubai & Arrive in the USA
Bid farewell to Dubai this morning as you transfer to the airport and board your return flight to the USA. Your memorable journey comes to an end as you touch down in the USA later today.

Meals: Breakfast

Optional Tours

To enhance and make your visit to Dubai and Abu Dhabi more complete and memorable, your Tour Director will offer optional tours during your stay. Additional optional tours may be added for your enjoyment, and the optional tours listed below may not be available on all departure dates. Payment should be made by cash in U.S. dollars or local currency. You may also pay with credit card. Please note that additional 3% service charge will be charged for Master and Visa card and 5% for American Express. All rates are approximates and are subject to change based on fluctuation of exchange rates and suppliers rates. Note that optional tours are non-refundable.

Abu Dhabi
Day 4: Ferrari World Abu Dhabi
$65 per person, transfers included
Begin the tour with a visit at the Heritage Village which takes you on a journey to the past to explore life here before oil was discovered.

Later, visit the Louvre Abu Dhabi. It is the first museum of its kind in the Arab world: a universal museum that is a cultural beacon, bringing together different cultures to shine fresh light on the shared stories of humanity.

The next stop will be Yas Mall – Abu Dhabi’s ultimate retail experience and home to the region’s largest international department store, and with a direct link to the Ferrari World. Later today return to the hotel.

Day 7: Musandam Cruise
$110 per person, lunch, refreshments, & transfers included
On this full day cruise, you’ll venture out to Oman’s spectacular Musandam Peninsula, passing beautiful scenery of rugged mountains between the border of UAE and Oman. Board your vessel at Dibba Al Byah’s Fishing Port and begin cruising by famous stone houses, fishing villages, beaches, mountains, caves, and the magnificent bays of Musandam. Lunch and refreshments will be served on board. You can relax under the magnificent view of East Coast or enjoy swimming during your scenic cruise experience.

PopSci Representatives

Eleanor Cummins
Eleanor Cummins
Departure: Oct. 22
Eleanor Cummins is a science journalist with a particular passion for climate resiliency, waste management, and urban design. She is currently Popular Science’s editorial assistant, splitting her time between the print magazine and website.
Sophie Bushwick
Sophie Bushwick
Departure: Nov. 6
Sophie Bushwick is the senior editor at Popular Science, where she covers a variety of topics including DIY, physics, and space.
Amy Schellenbaum
Amy Schellenbaum
Departure: Dec. 10
Amy Schellenbaum is the online director at Popular Science, which means she oversees the brand as it exists on the world wide and wild web. Interests include architecture, real estate, urban development, and roller derby.

Trip Preparation


Your flights from the USA to UAE and back are on Emirates Airliner.  We recommend that you check-in 3 ½ hours before departure. 

Date Airline JFK LAX





2018: Oct. 22 & Nov. 6

Emirates Airlines



4:30pm 2:00pm
2018: Dec. 10

Emirates Airlines



3:30pm 1:00pm

Please make sure to allow sufficient time for clearing immigration and customs if you are planning a connecting flight.  We recommend at least 3 ½ hours.  Please keep in mind that flight schedules are always subject to change.

Emirates Airline does not assign seats in advance. Seat assignment can only be arranged upon check -in at the airport.

You must be in possession of a passport valid for at least 6 months after the date of travel. All visitors are required to have one blank page on their passports for the UAE entry stamp.  Visa not required for American and Canadian passport holders. Non U.S. citizens should check with the respective consulates as to the most current visa requirements to all their travel destinations. Please remember that it is your responsibility to obtain the necessary travel documents before the trip.

If you are a citizen of a foreign country that requires a visa to the United Arab Emirates, we are able to secure the visa through our UAE land operator at a cost of $100 per person (included on your invoice and paid directly to smarTours with your final payment). You must email the following to no later than 75 days prior to your departure and include your travel dates in the subject line. Unfortunately, we cannot accept these documents by mail.

  • *Clear scanned color passport copy (Photograph of the passport will not be allowed).
  • *Passport size (2” x 2”) color picture in JPEG format with below 38 KB size (Not zip file)

Your airline tickets along with final instructions and additional travel tips will be sent to you 10 – 7 days before the scheduled departure of your tour.  Please make sure to advise us in case your address changes.

Immunizations are NOT currently required; however, you should consult your personal physician, local public health authorities or the Center of Disease Control (CDC) as to their suggestions.

The UAE has a very warm climate, and we recommend that you bring comfortable clothing. Certain religious sites require a dress code (specifically, long sleeve shirts and long pants or floor length skirts). The temperature in January and February is in the mid 60’s; March, April, November, and December is in the 70’s; May and October is in the 80’s, and September is in the low 90’s.

Your Tour Director will be happy to offer suggestions for restaurants for non-included meals. The average cost for dinner (excluding drinks) in a restaurant is about $20-25 per meal per person. Your hotel will accept credit cards for your non-included meals. 

Hotels and most stores accept major credit cards.  However, for “street shopping” you will need local currency or U.S. Dollars.  Your hotels will be able to exchange for you cash to local currency. It is recommended that you bring along cash in small denominations.

Each passenger may bring one piece of checked-in luggage (suitcase maximum 44 pounds) and one carry-on piece not to exceed 18”x10”x8”. We recommend that you do not over-pack and that you take a variety of separates with climate and comfort in mind.

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