As the National Day long weekend approaches, we’re gearing up for what promises to be the best road trip season ever. Dubai’s delightful climate sets the stage for a perfect break from routine, inviting you to embrace the calming influence of nature. Imagine serene drives, a gentle breeze and open roads: a recipe for relaxation during this long-awaited weekend.
Trade your office view for stunning scenery as we recommend destinations that not only offer tranquility but also serve as a welcome respite from daily life. With the National Day long weekend just around the corner, it is an ideal time to relax, rejuvenate and savor the positive energy that your chosen locations have to offer. Let the soothing winter melodies guide you to places where time slows down and every moment becomes a refreshing pause.
Read on for our top picks, as we reveal not only road trip destinations, but also moments of tranquility that last long after the trip is over.
Take a road trip to Liwa, located on the edge of the Empty room, the world’s largest contiguous sand desert, is a rewarding adventure from Dubai. This trip, about 332 kilometers, lasts approximately 3 hours and 28 minutes and leads to one of the largest oases on the Arabian Peninsula. Liwa’s 650-foot-high dunes, featured in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens“offer a blend of historical significance and modern cinematic fame.
liwaAbout 220 km from Abu Dhabi, it is rich in heritage sites, including the imposing 300-meter-high monument. Tal Mireb Dune. The area is packed with villages and attractions such as the town of Mezairaa, the Liwa Forts and the Sheikh Hamad Automobile Museum, which dates back to its origins in the 18th century with the Bani Yas tribe.
Accommodation options like the luxurious Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort and Liwa Nights Bedouin Glamping Retreat offer a combination of comfort and authentic desert experience. Visitors can participate in activities such as sightseeing, hiking, exploring forts and oases, and enjoying local architecture and culture.
The journey through the desert, with its serene environment and mountains of golden sand, is beautiful and peaceful, although care must be taken due to occasional sandstorms. This road trip offers a unique combination of natural beauty, cultural richness and a touch of cinematic history, making it a must-visit destination in the United Arab Emirates.
The road trip from Dubai to the Musandam Peninsula, a omani enclave, is an impressive trip that lasts between 2 and 3 hours and covers a distance of 196 km. The drive itself is stunning, with the route winding along the coast, offering views of calm bays and local fishermen at work. Musandam is famous for its amazing fjordsmaking it an ideal place to practice water sports such as fishing, kayaking and rafting.
The city of Khasab, surrounded by mountains, offers unique trekking experiences using secret stairs built by Pakistani goat herders. An overnight stay in Khasab is recommended to enjoy a dhow cruise, dolphin spotting, and a thrilling ATV tour of the 6,260-foot Jebel Harim Mountain.
Dibba, another highlight of Musandam, is located between towering mountains and the sea. It is famous for its vibrant marine life, crystal clear turquoise waters and diving sites. A dhow cruise on Dibba is a must to fully explore the fjords and incredible islands.
A day in Musandam can be magical, with activities such as sailing with dolphins, swimming with green turtles and enjoying a generous lunch on a boat with freshly caught local fish and traditional Oman dishes.
A crucial tip for those planning this trip is to make sure your rental car from Dubai can travel to Oman, as some rental agencies have restrictions.
Hatta, a picturesque destination located 135 km from Dubai, is an ideal place for a road trip offering a mix of desert landscapes and mountainous terrain. The trip from Dubai takes approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes, making it perfect for a weekend getaway.
In Hatta, outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy activities such as mountain biking, hiking and kayaking at Hatta Dam. He Hatta Heritage Village provides a cultural experience that showcases the rich history of the area. For those seeking adventure, the Hajar Mountains Offers hiking opportunities with stunning views.
Accommodation in Hatta ranges from the luxurious JA Hatta Fort Hotel, which offers panoramic mountain views and activities like archery and mini golf, to more nature-immersive options like Hatta Cedr Trailers for a’glamping‘ experience. Additionally, Hatta is home to the Meraas development of the Wadi Hub Centre, where visitors can try various adventure sports.
Hatta Dam It is a highlight, with stunning turquoise waters surrounded by rugged mountains. Visitors can rent kayaks, paddle boards or enjoy tours of the waters, rich in bird and fish species. Nearby, Hatta Heritage Village, dating back almost 3,000 years, offers insights into the area’s history and culture.
Popular attractions in Hatta include the Hatta Fort Hotel, Hatta Hill Park, and Hatta Rock Pools. The green Hatta Dam Lake is another must-see, offering opportunities for hiking, mountain biking and kayaking in a picturesque setting.
Jebel Hafeet, standing at a height of 1,249 meters, is the highest peak in Abu Dhabi and the second highest in the United Arab Emirates. This mountain, located near the border of the United Arab Emirates and Oman, is a must-see for its spectacular driving experience and stunning natural beauty. He Jebel Hafeet mountain roadStretching over 12 km with 60 curves, it is hailed as one of the best driving roads in the world and offers a thrilling ride with stunning views.
The drive from Dubai to Jebel Hafeet covers a distance of 159 km and takes approximately 1 hour and 53 minutes. In addition to the drive, there are several activities to enjoy in Jebel Hafeet, including hiking, mountaineering and photography. The area is known for its beautiful sunsets and sunrises, making it a perfect location for nature lovers and photographers.
At the base of the mountain, you can find Jebel Hafeet Park and the Al Ain Hot Springs, ideal for relaxing. Jebel Hafeet Desert Park, part of Jebel Hafeet National Park, includes historical sites such as Hafit Graves and Mezyad Fort.
The Jebel Hafeet summit offers panoramic views of the city of Al Ain, the adjacent desert and parts of Oman. There is also a cafe at the top, although many prefer a homemade picnic to fully enjoy the landscape. The journey up the mountain is as spectacular as the destination itself, making a road trip to Jebel Hafeet a memorable experience for anyone visiting the United Arab Emirates.
Fujairah, on the east coast of the United Arab Emirates, offers a rich mix of natural beauty and adventure, making it an ideal destination for a road trip from Dubai, about an hour and a half away. Known for its spectacular mountains, crystal clear waters for snorkeling and stunning beach sunsets, Fujairah is a treasure trove of experiences.
Accommodation options range from the beach Al Bahar Hotel & Resort, which offers water sports and private beach access, to the central Concorde Hotel with its rooftop pool. The region is also famous for its golden sand dunes, herds of camels, bedouin cultureand local food, providing an authentic UAE experience.
The journey to Fujairah and Masafi is best enjoyed via the Maleha Highway, known for its stunning views of sand dunes turning into mountains. The route offers opportunities for photography, with chances of capturing camels crossing the desert. A popular lunch stop is ‘Rage Al Dar,’ a local restaurant known for its delicious biryanis.
Fujairah Friday market It’s a vibrant local market perfect for a stop-over, while nearby food trucks offer authentic local kebabs and snacks. The region is ideal for camping, with the Masafi Mountains providing a stunning backdrop for outdoor enthusiasts. These mountains are also ideal for hiking, trekking and overnight camping.
For a sweet treat, the local Masafi dumpling shop offers traditional dishes. Lukheimat, an essential local delicacy. Fujairah is also a top diving destination, with nearby attractions such as the Al Rafisah Dam, Snoopy Island and Wadi Wurayah in the Hajar Mountains. The emirate offers a host of activities, including parasailing, deep sea fishing, kayaking, snorkelling and hiking.
Popular attractions in Fujairah include Al Hayl Castle, Fujairah Fort and Snoopy Island, known for its resemblance to the animated character. The Sandy Beach Hotel and Resort nearby Snoopy Island Offers a variety of water sports and beach activities.
The United Arab Emirates offers a variety of stunning road trip destinations that are perfect for exploring during the National Day holidays. Each destination, from the soaring heights of Jebel Hafeet in Al Ain to the serene waters of Fujairah, presents its unique combination of adventure, culture and natural beauty.
These road trips offer the opportunity to witness the diverse landscapes of the UAE, ranging from rugged mountains and tranquil beaches to vast deserts and lush oases. As the UAE celebrates its unity and progress, these road trips offer a fitting way to experience the heart and soul of the nation.