Who doesn’t love a road trip? If you’re planning a trip to the UAE and want to know what the most scenic road trips from Dubai are, then keep reading.
Sure, Dubai is all about the glitzy hotels, pristine beaches, and world-class shopping. But sometimes you just need to get out of the city and explore a little bit of what the UAE has to offer.
There are so many amazing scenic road trips from Dubai – you could spend months exploring them all! But if you’re looking for a taste of the best that the UAE has to offer, these routes will take you through some of the most beautiful and varied scenery in the country.
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- How to choose the perfect road trip destination
- What to expect on a road trip in Dubai
- 11 Road trips from Dubai
- #1 Hatta
- Where to stay in Hatta
- #2 Fujairah
- Where to stay in Fujairah
- #3 Liwa Oasis
- Where to stay in Liwa
- #4 Al Ain
- Where to stay in Al Ain
- #5 Ras Al Khaimah
- Where to stay in Ras Al Khaimah
- #6 Jebel Jais
- Where to stay in Jebel Jais
- #7 Sharjah
- Where to stay in Sharjah
- #8 Ajman
- Where to stay in Ajman
- #9 Dibba
- Where to stay in Dibba
- #10 Khasab, Oman
- Where to stay in Khasab
- #11 Abu Dhabi
- Where to stay in Abu Dhabi
How to choose the perfect road trip destination
Before you set off on your road trip, it’s important to do a little bit of planning so that you can make the most of your time.
Think about what kind of scenery you want to see. If you’re looking for some desert landscapes and rolling sand dunes, then a trip to Liwa Oasis is perfect. Or if you’re after some stunning mountain scenery, head to the Hajar Mountains.
You’ll also need to consider how much time you have and how far you want to travel. If you only have a few days, it’s best to stick to shorter trips within easy reach of Dubai. But if you’ve got a week or two to spare, there’s plenty of scope for longer road trips.
Finally, make sure you have a good map and plan your route carefully, so you don’t miss any of the best sights along the way!
What to expect on a road trip in Dubai
Before you set off on your road trip, it’s important to know what to expect. Here are a few things you need to know:
The UAE is a very safe country and violent crime is rare. However, as with any destination, it’s always important to take precautions and be aware of your surroundings.
Driving in the UAE can be quite challenging, especially in the cities. Be prepared for busy roads, impatient drivers, and lots of beeping.
The weather in the UAE can be extreme, so make sure you pack sunscreen and plenty of water. You won’t likely have to drive in bad weather, however, as it only rains a few days out of the year (and they do cloud seeding to make this happen!).
11 Road trips from Dubai
For a road trip with a bit of everything, Hatta is a great choice. It takes you through dusty desert landscapes and soaring mountain peaks, all in a few short hours. Hatta is located 135km from Dubai and is an hour and a half drive from the city.
If you’re looking for some outdoor adventures, make sure to check out mountain biking, hiking, and kayaking in Hatta Dam. There’s also Hatta Heritage Village, which is a great place to soak in some culture.
Where to stay in Hatta
The JA Hatta Fort Hotel is a great base for families, offering panoramic views of the Hajar Mountains. Within the hotel, you can take part in archery, mini golf, yoga and trail hiking.
If you’re looking to stay within nature, the Hatta Cedr Trailers offers a luxury ‘glamping’ experience set within the beautiful surroundings of the Hatta mountains.
Nestled on the east coast of the UAE, Fujairah is a beautiful, unspoiled region that’s well worth a visit. The drive from Dubai to Fujairah takes around one and a half hours, making it the perfect day trip destination.
Fujairah is known for its dramatic mountain landscape, waters that are perfect for snorkeling, and some of the best beach sunsets you’ll find!
Where to stay in Fujairah
The beachside Al Bahar Hotel & Resort is a little piece of heaven, located right on the sand with spectacular views of the Gulf of Oman. Not only do you have the use of a private beach but you can enjoy water sports such as jet skiing, fishing, snorkeling and scuba diving.
If you prefer to stay a little further from the beach and closer to the city, Concorde Hotel can still offer you water and mountain views within their rooms and from their rooftop pool.
#3 Liwa Oasis
On the border of Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia , Liwa Oasis is a must-visit for any road trip in the UAE. With its endless desert landscape and Bedouin villages, it’s like stepping into another world.
Some of the must see things in Liwa are the Liwa forts, oasis villages and the Sheikh Hamad Auto Museum, which houses some of the oldest vehicles in the world.
Where to stay in Liwa
The luxurious Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara is situated right bang in the middle of the desert about 40 minutes from Liwa Oasis, and it’s pure heaven! With desert views for miles, a spa and outdoor pool, and some of the best dining in the region, it’s the perfect place to relax after a day of exploring.
For a more authentic experience, Liwa Nights Bedouin Glamping Retreat is a great option. It offers traditional Bedouin tents with all the modern amenities, as well as camel rides, sandboarding and stargazing.
#4 Al Ain
Less than 2 hours from Dubai is one of the UAE’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Al Ain. This green oasis is the ideal spot for a road trip if you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
Al Ain is known for its palm trees, stunning oasis landscapes, and traditional villages. Some of the must-see attractions include Jebel Hafeet (the second highest peak in the UAE), Al Jahili Fort, and Al Ain Palace Museum.
Where to stay in Al Ain
The Radisson Al Ain is a great option for those who want to be close to all the action. It’s located just a few minutes from the city and is surrounded by lush gardens.
Alternatively, you can have an authentic Arabian experience if you stay at the Telal Resort Al Ain. Set within the tranquil surroundings of the Al Ain desert, it offers an outdoor swimming pool, wellness centre and a variety of outdoor activities.
#5 Ras Al Khaimah
Ras Al Khaimah, or RAK as the locals call it, is located just an hour north of Dubai and is a great destination for a day trip or weekend away.
RAK is known for its dramatic mountain landscapes, crystal clear waters, and luxurious resorts. Some of the must-see attractions include the RAK National Museum, Wadi Shawka, and Dhayah Fort.
Where to stay in Ras Al Khaimah
The beachside Waldorf Astoria is one of the best places to stay in Ras Al Khaimah if you’re looking for a luxurious beach stay. With its own private beach, lush golf course, award winning restaurants and outdoor pools, you’ll be spoilt for choice!
For a more unique experience, the award winning Ritz Carlton Al Wadi Desert is a peaceful resort set in the sanctuary of a protected nature reserve. Each villa comes with its own private pool and sun loungers to relax in the desert sun.
#6 Jebel Jais
While Jebel Jais is located in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, it warrants its own road trip from Dubai. Jebal Jais is the UAE’s highest peak and offers some of the best views in the country.
In addition to its natural beauty, Jebel Jais is also home to a number of man-made attractions. These include the world’s longest zipline and the new Jais Sledder! If you’re interested in hiking, Jebel Jais is also one of the best spots in the UAE.
Where to stay in Jebel Jais
Sharjah is probably one of the most underrated emirates in the UAE, but it’s definitely worth a visit! Just an hour from Dubai, Sharjah offers a more traditional Arabian experience.
Some of the must-see attractions in Sharjah include the Rain Room, the Arabian Wildlife Centre, Al Hisn Fort, and the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization.
Where to stay in Sharjah
The Occidental Sharjah Grand is a stunning 5-star hotel overlooking the Arabian Gulf. With its own private beach, outdoor pool and spa, it’s the perfect place to relax after a day of exploring this emirate.
Alternatively, the The Chedi Al Bait, Sharjah is a luxurious escape right in the heart of Sharjah’s historic centre. The hotel is made up of historic manor houses set across two and a half acres, and offers a range of traditional Arabic experiences.
Ajman is the smallest of the seven emirates, but still has plenty to offer visitors. Just a short drive from Dubai, Ajman has a tranquil and slower pace than some of the other emirates and is the perfect place to soak in some culture.
Some of the must-see attractions in Ajman include the Ajman Museum, Sheikh Zayed Mosque, and the Ajman Fort. A must do when in Ajman is watch the sunset from one of its famously pristine beaches.
Where to stay in Ajman
The Ajman Saray is a luxurious hotel located on a private beach in the heart of Ajman. With its own spa, 5 star restaurants, and direct access to the beach, it’s the perfect place to enjoy the stunning views of the Persian Gulf.
For those looking for a more traditional experience, the Bahi Ajman Palace Hotel is a 5-star heritage retreat in the heart of the old city. With its beautiful architecture and traditional Arabian interiors, it’s the perfect place to immerse yourself in Arabic culture.
Dibba is a small town located on the east coast of the UAE, in the emirate of Fujairah. Dibba is famed for its stunning coastline and crystal clear waters, making it a popular spot for scuba diving and snorkeling.
Some of the must-see attractions in Dibba include water sports, whale watching and hiking.
Where to stay in Dibba
The Dibba Beach Resort, Fujairah is a luxurious hotel located right on the beachfront in Dibba. With its own private beach, outdoor pool, and fitness centre, it’s the perfect place to stay in Dibba after a day of watersports and exploring.
#10 Khasab, Oman
The road to Khasab offers the most spectacular scenery in the UAE (and Oman), making it one of the best road trips from Dubai. The route takes you through the Hajar mountains and across the border into Oman.
Khasab is a small town located on the shores of the Persian Gulf in Oman. It’s a popular spot for scuba diving and snorkeling, as well as dolphin watching.
Where to stay in Khasab
The best place to stay in Khasab is on the water! And the Khasab Musandam Overnight Stay on a Dhow Cruise lets you do just this, using a traditional Omani dhow for an overnight stay surrounded by mountains and white sandy beaches. With all your meals included, as well as snorkeling and fishing gear, it really is the perfect way to experience Khasab.
#11 Abu Dhabi
Last up on our list of the most scenic road trips from Dubai is the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi. Just a 2-hour drive from Dubai, Abu Dhabi is home to some of the most iconic attractions in the region
Some of the must-see attractions in Abu Dhabi include the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the Corniche, Ferrari World, and kayaking around the Louvre.
Where to stay in Abu Dhabi
The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort is a luxurious beachfront resort located on Saadiyat Island. With its own private beach, six restaurants and bars, and an award-winning spa, it’s the perfect place to relax and rejuvenate after a long day of exploring Abu Dhabi.
If you’re looking for spectacular gulf views, the Conrad Etihad Towers is exactly what you need. While it offers the same private beach and outdoor pool as many hotels in the UAE, the Conrad Etihad Towers features an observation deck on the 74th floor and 12 restaurants and bars, one of which offers panoramic views on the 63rd floor.
So there you have it, my list of some of the most scenic road trips from Dubai.
If you’re looking for an escape from city life, or simply want to explore more of the United Arab Emirates, then hop in the car and take a road trip.
These 11 scenic road trips from Dubai will take you through some of the most beautiful areas in the UAE. From rugged mountain ranges and lush oases, to pristine beaches and rolling sand dunes, there’s something for everyone on these trips.
Heading to Dubai? Here are some posts you might be interested in reading before your trip:
- One Day in Dubai: Everything You Can Possibly See & Do in 24 Hours
- One Week In Dubai: Your Ultimate 7-Day Dubai Itinerary
- Ultimate 2-Day Dubai Itinerary: What To Do In Dubai For 2 Days
- Packing List For Dubai: Your Essential Holiday Packing List
- Can You Visit Dubai On A Budget?
- A Weekend of Adventure in Hatta Dubai
Vourneen is a travel junkie and chronic illness warrior. Although she was late to game in terms of travelling, she has picked up numerous tips and tricks from the almost 30 countries she has visited in the past 5 years.