Inside the most famous of Sharjah's 600 mosques, smiling representatives of Sharjah's Centre for Cultural Communication explain the significance of Five Pillars of Islam and present us with Arabic coffee and dates.
Nearby, within stunning tropical gardens, is the warm, humid Butterfly House of plant-covered walls, where around 200 paint-box-coloured, winged insects call it home. Species include the chocolate pansy, blue glassy tiger, autumn leaf and common rose. Just reading their names makes me feel happy.
The Formula 1 Powerboat World Championships is a platform for, among others, the rich and famous. With prime VIP seats, we hear the roar of the engines as we watch the world's foremost international series of inshore circuit powerboat racing.
We feel an adrenalin rush and the thrill of the race, like the competitors as, at full throttle, they implement their skills to outwit and outshine others, skimming the foaming water, their craft almost rising above it in a quest to break records and their rivals' hearts.
We return to the Mleiha desert to join 600 invited guests for a gala dinner. It's a balmy night, but, on low Arabic seating, we sit round open fires under a dark, starlit sky.