Everyone loves a road trip. There’s a sense of adventure to be found in cramming yourself into a car with your friends, en route to a destination none of you have ever been to before.
Whether it’s for a BBQ campout on Fujairah Beach, or a full-day dhow cruise in Musandam, Oman – there’s a destination to suit everyone’s tastes. So what are you waiting for? You’ve got the whole weekend ahead – so round up some buddies, grab yourselves some road snacks and hop in the car.
It’s not quite Everest (you can drive to the top), but Jebel Hafeet is the UAE’s second highest peak at 1,240 metres. From the top, you’ll be treated to sprawling views of Al Ain and the foothills, where supposedly some 500 ancient burial tombs have been discovered. At the bottom, you can find hot water springs as part of the Green Mubazzarah park.
Distance from Dubai: 2 to 3 hours, 165km.
Stay? Al Ain Rotana Hotel, near Sheikh Zayed Palace and Al Ain Oasis.
Don’t forget to… Bring a camera, it’s a photo opportunity not want to miss!
The Desert Camper
A humungous desert landscape as part of the Empty Quarter between the UAE-Saudi border. Containing some of the largest sand dunes in the world, Liwa is an incredible spot if you’re looking for isolation, sprawling desert and zero light pollution.
Distance from Dubai: 3.5 to 4.5 hours, 300km.
Stay? In a tent, in the desert – back to basics at its best.
Don’t forget to… Make sure you know how to drive in the desert. Getting stuck while miles away from the nearest road may lead to some seriously long treks for help.
The Beach Bum
If you’re looking for beach camping, or just a secluded area to while away a lazy Saturday, then Fujairah Beach is a top spot. For campers, the beach tends to clear out of tourists come sunset, allowing you a bit more privacy. If you’re not much into beach BBQ, there’s a Subway and a petrol station only a couple of minutes away, and bathrooms in the nearby hotels for well… obvious reasons.
Distance from Dubai: 2 to 3 hours, 180km.
Stay? Either camp out, or book yourself into the nearby hotels including Hilton, Concorde and the Nour Arjaan.
Don’t forget to… Stop off at Masafi market if you happen to be travelling on a Friday. Expect bargain deals on rugs, earthenware, antiques and souvenirs.
The Outdoorsy One
Situated in Oman, Wadi Madbah is located close to the Al Ain border. You’ll find a paved main track which leads into the main ‘pool’ and waterfall after around 200m. Feel free to jump into the bigger pools, the water’s pretty deep! If you’re not feeling swimming, the surrounding area serves as a great hiking spot too.
Distance from Dubai: 2 to 3 hours, 190km.
Stay? In a tent! Or at home, if you’re only there for a day trip.
Don’t forget to… Bring swimming gear, and a camera. You’ll want both.
The Ocean Hippie
Khasab, Oman, is a little taste of paradise. Book a half or full day-trip on one of the dhows, and you’ll be be taken out into the water for a day’s worth of dolphin-spotting, swimming and snorkelling.
Distance from Dubai: 3 to 4 hours, 200km.
Stay? Either camp out on one of Khasab’s many beaches, or one of the nearby hotels with rooms ranging from Dhs300 to Dhs600 a night.
Don’t forget to… Bring food if you’re going on a half-day dhow trip – food isn’t provided. And don’t forget swimming gear!