You haven’t experienced the best of the UAE until you embark on a road trip around this stunning country. The sparkling beaches, picturesque mountains and mesmerising deserts are best enjoyed during an exciting road trip around the UAE. So pack your bags, find your favourite playlist and get ready to hit the road to visit the best places for road trips in the UAE.
Ras Al Khaimah – One of the best places in the UAE
One of the best places for road trips from Dubai, this exquisite, historic northern emirate is known for its beautiful mountains and an amazing line-up of activities for adventure-junkies. Located at a distance of about 113 kilometres from Dubai and 300 kilometres from Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah is all about feeding your wanderlust with endless views of dunes and beautiful green spaces. Perfect for nature lovers, this city is the idyllic retreat from the hustle and bustle of the busier emirates of Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi.
If you love a little adventure, you must visit RAK’s beach resorts and try the various activities offered there, including horse riding, paragliding, fishing and golfing. You can also enjoy the pure wilderness of the Arabian deserts with exclusive, authentic camps complete with sumptuous dinners.
Ras Al Khaimah also has popular hiking spots in the UAE. It features Jebel Jais, the tallest mountain in the country. The emirate’s claim to fame, however, is the world’s longest zip line, the Jebel Jais Flight, where you can soar across the mountains in an aerial adventure unlike any other. If you want to try some of the popular things to do in Ras Al Khaimah, plan a weekend getaway to this charming emirate with your friends! You can also take a shuttle bus from Dubai Airport to visit Ras Al Khaimah for a day from Dubai.
Other Attractions is RAK
- Ras Al Khaimah National Museum
- Iceland Water Park
- Khatts Spring
Fujairah – A Diving Paradise
The scenic routes, spectacular views and surprise sightings of herds and wild camels makes Fujairah the perfect destination to explore with your friends and family. Located on the coastline bordering the Gulf of Oman, Fujairah is all about the sea with activities like marine clubs, beach resorts, fishing, sailing, diving and snorkelling.
Home to some of the most amazing 5-star hotels and beach resorts, Fujairah is one of the best places to embark on road trips in the UAE during the weekend. Some of the popular attractions here include Snoopy Island, Sandy Beach and Khor Fakkan. The resorts in Fujairah also offer activity packages for guests to try out which include deep-sea diving, snorkelling and more. If a hike or trek seems more up your alley, you can explore the Wadi Waruyah in the Hajjar Mountains and see some of the most spectacular views from the ‘Grand Canyon of the UAE’. Explore some of the exciting activities in Fujairah that you could try on your next road trip to the emirate.
Other attractions in Fujairah:
- Al Hayl Castle
- Fujairah Fort
- Sheikh Zayed Mosque
Al Ain – the ‘Garden City’
Al Ain is easily one of the most popular choices when it comes to scenic road trips in the UAE. The city gets its name from its abundance of natural oases, lush greenery and springs which are complemented by a majestic mountainous backdrop. If you decide to stay in the city for a day or two, there are several interesting places to visit in Al Ain to cater to all tastes. From exploring historical sites to being up close with wildlife in the Al Ain Zoo, there’s plenty to do in this charming town.
One of the must-do things to do in Al Ain on your UAE road trip is to check out Wadi Adventure, home to the world’s largest man-made white-water channels in addition to a super-sized surf pool.
After your aquatic adventures, you can make your way to the nation’s first curated UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is located alongside a 3,000-year-old irrigation system which will leave you awestruck. If you are a fan of wildlife, don’t forget to include the Al Ain Zoo in your itinerary, where you can also experience a safari and see everything from lions, giraffes and deer to Arabian oryx up close!
Other attractions in Al Ain:
- The Hilton Al Ain
- Danat Al Ain Resort
- Jebel Hafeet
Umm Al Quwain – A Tour to Islands
Although Umm Al Quwain is one of the smaller emirates in the UAE, the region is gifted with scenic landscapes and alluring natural reserves. There are an array of gorgeous islands located near the Umm Al Quwain coast, covered with well-preserved mangrove forests. Al Sinniyah Island is the most popular island located there. Additionally, travellers can also check out stunning sunsets at sandy Umm Al Quwain beaches. Kite Beach Center UAQ is one of the top beachside destinations in the emirate.
The emirate is home to many historic attractions including Umm Al Quwain National Museum, Umm Al Quwain Fort and Falaj Al Mualla Fort. Visitors also love to visit Dreamland Aqua Park in Umm Al Quwain that is one of the biggest water parks in the UAE. Apart from these, there are many other places to visit in Umm Al Quwain.
Other attractions in Umm Al Quwain:
- UAQ Marine Club
- Emirates Motorplex
- Happy Land City
Liwa – A Sandy Journey
Feel like zipping through the desert with your favourite tunes keeping you company on an endless road? The vast desert of Liwa is exactly the kind of scenic UAE road trip that you are looking for! Known as the ‘Empty Quarter,’ Liwa is a desert settlement located 220km from the main centre of Abu Dhabi and about 100 miles to the south-west of the capital. History buffs, culture vultures and adventurous souls will love to explore the forts, heritage sites and 300-meter high dune called Tal Mireb.
One of the best times to plan a road trip to this destination in the UAE is during the Liwa Date Festival. It involves the celebration of traditions and customs related to the indigenous date palm tree. Liwa Oasis is another location in the area which you definitely won’t miss out on. The villages appear as a series of dots along the routes, which movie-buffs will recognise as the location where Star Wars: The Force Awakens was shot. The Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort and Liwa Guesthouse are also popular options for desert getaways in the area.
Other attractions in Liwa:
- Mezairaa Town
- Liwa Forts
- Sheikh Hamad Auto Museum
Hatta – Unforgettable adventures
Located on the Oman border and a short drive from Dubai, a road trip to Hatta is one of the most time-honoured ways of celebrating long weekends in the city. Striking mountains, gorgeous natural pools, kayaking trips, beautiful picnic spots and quaint hotels and resorts, add a touch of adventure to road trips to Hatta.
Resting at the foothills of Hajjar Mountains, this charming little town is known for the Hatta Dam, where you can kayak, paddle-board or swim in the sparkling turquoise waters. You can also check out the Hatta Heritage Village which dates back to almost 3,000 years; a goldmine for explorers. Poised to become a huge eco-tourism destination, Hatta is also home to the Meraas development of Wadi Hub Centre, where you can try out some adventure sports. Hatta is one of the most popular road trip destinations in the UAE, with spectacular mountain views and a winding route. Being a popular tourist spot, there are also a lot of things to do in Hatta, which you can enjoy with friends and family.
Other attractions in Hatta:
- Hatta Fort Hotel
- The Hatta Hill Park
- Hatta Rock Pools
Other Scenic Stops for Your Road Trip:
- Dibba: This is an incredible beachside destination towards the UAE’s east coast with mountains on one side and the blue sea on the other. A perfect spot for diving, visitors to Dibba also often take dhow cruises into Musandam.
- Jebel Akhdar: Not actually in the UAE, this awe-inspiring mountain range is located in Omani Hajar Mountains and has been known as the Pearl of Islam for many centuries. Filled with antiquated forts, exploration sites, traditional marketplaces and a row of exquisite summits, Jebel Akhdar should find a place in your list of road trips from the UAE.
- Sir Bani Yas Island: Combine your road trip with a ride on the ferry to explore this beautiful island in the capital. Home to a wildlife sanctuary and some upscale hotels and resorts including the Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara, this is an idyllic retreat away from the bustle of the city.
- Musandam Peninsula: Musandam Peninsula road trip from Dubai is a two to three hour-long trip that is filled with spectacular views. Upon reaching this Oman enclave in the UAE, visitors can also enjoy kayaking, spot dolphins while snorkelling, go for fishing and trek the arduous yet, sublime mountain ranges.
- Al Wasit Wetland Nature Reserve, Sharjah: The Wasit Wetland Centre is only 15km far from the emirate of Sharjah. Spread across 86 hectares, the region is full of lakes, reed beds, dunes and mudflats apart from a large variety of plants.
The presence of water bodies near the coastline also invites a lot of native and migrant bird species to the Wasit Wetland Nature Reserve. It takes around 30 to 40 minutes to reach the spot from Dubai.
So are you ready to hop into your vehicle and cruise through the dunes, drive past the skyscrapers and make relaxed rest stops on your way to these awesome destinations for road trips in the UAE? Travel enthusiasts can also choose to go for short weekend trips from Dubai by air. Moreover, those who want to travel to top international destinations for solo holiday trips from Dubai can also choose from many options, including Baku, Istanbul, Bangkok and more.