You haven’t experienced the best of the UAE until you embark on a road trip around this stunning country. While there is no dearth of tourist, shopping, or luxurious places to visit in Dubai, at times, there is a need to step out from the bustling city life and visit places nearby Dubai. In fact, the road-tripping experience is one of the best ways to explore the stunning places in the majestic UAE.
You get to experience some of the most scenic mountain ranges, mesmerizing deserts, beautiful lakes, and picturesque beaches by undertaking road trips to different parts of the UAE. With this in mind, and to help you experience the best of Dubai and the UAE this summer, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite drive destinations from Dubai across the Emirates.
Get ready to discover the richness of the magnificent landscape just a short distance from Dubai – from desert plains and magnificent fjords to lush oases, towering dunes and more.
Ras Al Khaimah
Located around 113 km from Dubai that can be covered in around 45 km through Dubai’s smooth highways is the Ras Al Khaimah, a place known for its amazing range of picturesque mountains, lakes, and lush green spaces. This is an ideal place for nature lovers to indulge in nature and undertake adventure sports in the desert. You can also visit the Jebel Jais, UAE’s tallest mountain range and one of the most popular and best places in UAE.
GPS location: 25.685301, 55.773478
Driving time: 1hr 20mins (113km)
Any list of Road trips and best places in UAE is incomplete without the mention of the delightful road trip to the little town of Hatta. Located on the Oman border among the Hajjar mountains, Hatta is known for its pristine water bodies amongst mountains.
Over the years, Dubaians have used Hatta as a summer residence to escape the heat, and thanks to its relatively mild climate, it has become an attraction for travellers from the United Arab Emirates as a whole who want to do the same. It is an excellent place to indulge in water sports like kayaking, paddle-board sports, or plain swimming. The winding road towards Hatta that runs through mountains easily makes the road trip to Hatta most enjoyable.
GPS location: 24.82610, 56.12377
Driving time: 1hr 30mins (133km)
Known as the Garden city of UAE, Al Ain is a tourist place known for not only historical sites but also wildlife. After travelling on countless roundabouts, head to Al Ain Oasis, the nation’s first curated UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the incredible falaj irrigation system built about 3,000 years ago. The abundance of a natural oasis, greenery, lakes, and springs along the mountain-surrounded road from Dubai to Al Ain, makes the road trip a memorable experience. You can experience a jungle safari here and also visit famous forts here.
GPS location: 24.14958, 55.79746
Driving time: 1hr 41mins (147km)
The experience of travelling through sand-swept road highways is felt best while travelling from Dubai to Liwa Oasis. This desert trip of close to 350 km from Dubai gives you the experience of travelling through an endless road for around 4 hours. Liwa is UAE’s largest and one of the Arabian Peninsula’s largest oases, on the edge of the Empty Quarter (the world’s largest contiguous sand desert) with many places of historical significance.
The Emiratis and expats connect this majestic part of Arabia with the legendary explorer Wilfred Thesiger, who was the first to walk through these colossal dunes by camel. There are many ultra-luxurious resorts in Liwa that offer an unparalleled experience.
GPS location: 22.95628, 53.98906
Driving time: 3hr 45mins (350km)
If you are the kind of traveller who likes to explore new places but prefers living close to a city, a drive from Dubai to Fujairah is just right for you. Fujairah is located on the coastline of Oman and has numerous places to explore. The road journey from Dubai to Fujairah is filled with spectacular mountains and scenic routes. You may even get to see herds of camels while driving to Fujairah. The Snoopy island in Fujairah is a must-visit for water sports lovers. You can do snorkelling, boating, deep water diving, and a host of water sports. Since this place is located near the mountain, there are many hiking routes in the town.
GPS location: 25.12931, 56.32999
Driving time: 1hr 30mins (127km)
Located around 130 km from downtown Dubai, Khor Fakkan is a road trip you should undertake if you like visiting beaches. The road from Dubai to Khor Fakkan is hilly and offers excellent views. The Khor Fakkan beach is one of the best beaches in UAE. If you want to watch a perfect sunset in UAE, the beach doesn’t disappoint. Only an hour and a half drive from Dubai, this is an excellent location for a long drive after days’ work.
There are many smaller islands and oceanic sites that are known for scuba diving and snorkelling. Marine life patterns can be predicted based on prior behaviour. So if you ask local experts in the field, they can advise you where you are likely to find a certain species of fish, stingrays, turtles, etc. Travellers can also visit Al Badiyah Mosque, which is a short drive away and check out the relaxing spas in the Fujairah hotels.
GPS location: 25.35820, 56.35404
Driving time: 1hr 30mins (130km)
Wasit Wetland Centre
This is one of the most interesting and best places in UAE where you can find numerous species of flora and fauna belonging to the UAE. This ecologically active place where you can view close to 60+ species of local and migratory birds, is located only 50 km from Dubai and an excellent place to visit for relaxation and enjoying a somewhat cooler climate compared to Dubai. If you are a nature lover, a visit to Wasit Wetland Centre is a must.
GPS location: 25.36232, 55.47112
Driving time: 30mins (35km)
The Musandam Peninsula is not technically in the United Arab Emirates (it is an Omani enclave). However, this journey from Dubai to Khasab is one of the most amazing and jaw-dropping in the Arabian Peninsula.
So, if you are looking for a day spent amongst nature and full of adventure, visiting the Musandam Peninsula may be just apt. Located close to 3 hours from Dubai, this place offers great hiking tracks and, at the same time, an opportunity to pamper yourselves in water sports. Within minutes of entering Musandam, you will be blessed with spectacular views of the craggy Hajar mountains!
When renting a car in Dubai, make sure the rental agency allows you to drive your vehicles in the Omani enclave, some companies do not.
GPS location: 26.22921, 56.25651
Driving time: 2hr 30mins (197km)
On the practical side, you will find first-class roads, cheap fuel and hassle-free car rental. So call your in-house explorer, get the international driver’s license you need here, and leave Dubai in the dust (sand) on one of these unforgettable road trips. Because restrictions have finally been lifted in the UAE, which also means that you can now take long journeys. Apparently not during curfew hours. All you need is some snacks, sanitisers, gloves, facemasks, your camera and you’re sure to love it.