As soon as a weekend (and especially a long weekend!) is round the corner, all your plans ought to be in place to rest and relax with your near and dear ones. I hope you have not been lured by that oh-so-boring 3 days/2 nights package from some obscure travel agent, once again.
Vacationing at some super clichéd place, sharing space with a million others, fighting for parking spots or elbowing strangers out of your selfie (because touristy places are bound to be crowded on long weekends like these!) – this should not be your idea of a holiday.
Why do ordinary and predictable, when you can do a road trip over the weekend?! If you’re living in Abu Dhabi or Dubai, treat yourself and your family by driving down to any of these 10 iconic places. Your biggest reward, you ask?
The journey will be as beautiful as the destination, and in some cases even better!
10 Scenic UAE Road trips You Must Take!
10 scenic road trips from UAE that are perfect for long weekend holidays:
1. Fujairah – For a drive through lofty mountains
Distance from Dubai: 184kms. Distance from Abu Dhabi: 300 kms.
The scuba-diving destination of UAE, Fujairah is one of the major emirates of UAE and has a coastline exclusively on the Gulf of Oman. The drive takes you through lofty mountains, and several gorgeous towns that are dotted with mountain ranges. The roads are ultra-smooth, and there are several hotels/restaurants at appropriate intervals making the journey from Dubai to Fujairah easy and enjoyable.
Places to see in & around Fujairah: Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Fujairah Fort, Al-Hayl Castle.
You can also read: 101 Things to do in Dubai
2. Khasab – Visit the ‘Norway of Middle East’
Distance from Dubai: 198.1 kms. Distance from Abu Dhabi: 338.9 kms.
A clear day, a winding yet smooth road dotted with fjords and quaint bays for camping, what possibly could one ask for more? Conveniently located, Khasab is a beautiful city that has been nicknamed the ‘Norway of the Middle East’, thanks to multiple fjords. One tip though, whether a resident of UAE or not, it is always good to cross-check whether you’re permitted to drive the car in Oman. Also, make sure, you have all the documents handy.
Places to see in & around Khasab: Oman Fjords, Khasab Castle, Khasab Fort.
3. Liwa – A drive for desert lovers
Distance from Dubai: 292kms. Distance from Abu Dhabi: 220 kms.
Mount on a SUV, put on your favourite song and head to what it seems like an endless stretch of road, making its way through a vast desert, aptly named ‘The Empty Quarter’. Want to up the game a little; choose to spend a night in a secluded hotel, Tilal Liwa, sitting right at the edge of the desert.
Places to see in & around Liwa: Sheikh Hamad Auto Museum, Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort, Liwa Forts, Mezairaa Town.
4. Dibba – Sea on one side and mountains on the other
Distance from Dubai: 130kms. Distance from Abu Dhabi: 285 kms.
Road trips provide a great bonding opportunity and a much needed respite from the hectic city life. Not to mention, the laid-back pace and panoramic views are additional perks of hitting the road. And, when you plan your trip to the popular getaway, Dibba, towards the UAE’s east coast, the rewards are even higher… I mean you don’t drive by soaring mountains on one side and a sea flowing on other, every day. Do make sure you are carrying your passport though, for Oman has a strict policy, no passport, no entry.
Places to see in & around Dibba: Dadna Beach, Blue Planet Diving.
5. Ras Al Khaimah – For those who love adventures
Distance from Dubai: 112.8kms. Distance from Abu Dhabi: Approx.: 301.3 kms.
For the adventurous souls driving and reaching Ras al Khaimah is rewarding, both, in terms of drive and also because Ras Al Khaimah is a great mini-break destination, with variety of activities to do such as paragliding, water sports, golf, fishing and horse riding. The emirate is also full of fabulous five-star hotels and beach resorts making it a viable weekend option.
Places to see in & around Ras Al Khaimah: Iceland Water Park, Ras Al Khaimah National Museum, Khatts Springs.
6. Jebel Hafeet – One of the best roads in the world for a drive
Distance from Dubai: 146.9 kms. Distance from Abu Dhabi: Approx.: 163.2 kms.
A sturdy climb that rises 1,240 metres, rocky limestones that have survived for a million years, and access to the UAE’s second highest peak, the drive to Jebel Hafeet is extremely gratifying. Jebel Hafeet is the United Arab Emirate’s highest point and offers a massive scenic views of the adjacent desert, Oman and of the city of Al Ain. This immaculate road was built by Strabag International of Cologne, Germany, and with 3 lanes and 60 turns; it is has been recognised as ‘greatest driving road in the world’ by Edmunds.com. Make sure you take breaks at appropriate intervals to admire the stunning views of both the mountain and the surroundings.
Places to see in & around Jebel Hafeet: Al Ain Palace, Al Ain Zoo.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
7. Salalah, Oman – A drive by the Dhofar mountain range
Distance from Dubai: 1276.6 kms. Distance from Abu Dhabi: Approx.: 1273.1 kms.
A road trip in the truest form (long distance, gorgeous views), thousands of tourists travel to Salalah to enjoy the spectacular greenery (Yes! you read that right!) which blankets the Dhofar mountain range in the months of June, July, August and September. Although, it is an extremely scenic drive, do not be too surprised if your joyride is interrupted by camels or sheep wandering to the other side to graze. Motorists need to be watchful throughout as the road passes through numerous small coastal towns and pedestrians sometimes thoughtlessly run across often on dark unlit stretches of the highway.
Places to see in & around Salalah Oman: Ain Jarziz, Wadi Darbat, Mugsayl beach, Marnif cave.
8. Musandam – The drive with the best views
Distance from Dubai: 172.9 kms. Distance from Abu Dhabi: 313.7 kms.
What could be a better way of spending a weekend other than touring the beautiful fjords on dhows (traditional sailing vessels), swimming with dolphins, and getting lost in some of the region’s most magnificent views? And, do all of that after you treat yourself with a rewarding road trip from Dubai/Abu Dhabi to the Musandam. Located roughly two and half hours away from the emirate of Dubai, Musandam, is an ideal destination for a 1-day trip. Read more
9. Jabal Jais – Perfect for a road trip with friends
Distance from Dubai: 176.7 km. Distance from Abu Dhabi: 316 km.
Who doesn’t like a good ole’ road trip with friends and some good music? One of the best ways to bond and unwind, road trips are fast gaining popularity among today’s generation. The Jabal Jais mountain road provides a fantastic opportunity to road trip enthusiasts who will surely love gliding along its neat curves, treating themselves to breath-taking views. Read More.
10. Hatta – A quick getaway from boredom
Distance from Dubai: 136.9 kms. Distance from Abu Dhabi: 263.8 kms.
There are times when you want a quick getaway from the daily drudgeries, something you don’t want to waste your time planning upon… A road trip to Hatta, Oman from Dubai or Abu Dhabi, fits the bill completely. The drive is short and the vistas are spectacular. The drive is even more enjoyable if chosen on a random week day. Imagine the comparatively traffic-free road, your favourite track on and, your loved ones with you! Perfect, isn’t it? Read More.