Throwing an unmatched and lively ambience, Dubai is usually regarded as a destination unto itself. But the places surrounding this city beckon visitors with its refreshing scenery and majestic vistas, worthy of a road trip. You’ll not get to find the kind of Dubai’s kitsch and glistening sights in these places, but that is surely the reason of getting away from here. Depending on your primacies, there is a spectrum of routes to choose from; long and charming drives both within and outside the country. Take your pick from these seven enchanting routes that will let you to experience a classic Arabian road trip while in Dubai.
1.Liwa Oasis, Abu Dhabi
Road tripping from Dubai to Liwa Oasis reels past some of the Abu Dhabi’s beautiful spots, before you wind your way to the consummate Empty Quarter, known for its dramatically rugged landscape. An adventurous dune bash over the world’s biggest sand dunes Tal Moreeb Hill, coupled with a ride through a cluster of magnificent oasis villages as well as camel farms and a stopover at the Emirates National Automobile Museum, among others, make this 350-kilometers-long drive as varied as it’s exceptionally striking.
Route: The scenic drive starts on the E11 or Sheik Zayed Road via Abu Dhabi. With two routes to choose from to reach Liwa, it is recommended to follow the signs to Madinat Zayed.
Distance from Dubai: 350kilometers; Travel Time: Four Hours
Just 150 kilometers away, Hatta defies all typecasts of the contemporary Dubai. A Hatta Mountain Safari is sure to take any rider back in time, as the topography artistically changes from plain terrain to magnificent dunes and rocky mountain slopes. You’ll find here a heritage village dotted with small Bedouin houses, besides a 16th century fort and several pools set high in the Hajjar Mountains.
Route: From Dubai, drive through E44 which heads towards Hatta.
Distance from Dubai: 150 kilometers
3. Jebel Hafeet
This thrilling mountainous jaunt from Dubai is consistently on the top lists of the UAE’s most amazing road trips. Featuring exceptionally wavy roadways that will test any driver’s proficiency, a ride up to the Al Ain’s Jebel Hafeet (at an altitude of 1,240 meters) will, however, reward you with the sweeping vistas of both UAE and Oman. Make sure to enjoy the verdant greenery and mineral hot natural springs of Mubazarrah, a stop on this enchanting drive.
Route: Ride along the Route 66 or Al Ain Road from Dubai, while checking out the signposts leading to Sanaiya and Meziad. Keep an eye on the signs to Jebel Hafeet; this is a 12-kilometers-long road that takes you to the summit of this mountain. It’s also distinguished as one of the world’s top ten majestic mountain roads.
Distance from Dubai: Approximately 170 kilometers
4. Khasab, Musandam
Bordering the UAE’s Ras Al Khaimah, Khasab – Musandam is one of the most attractive spots in Oman, and a drive from Dubai to this wonderful place will reveal you a totally different side of Arabia. Start off from Sheik Zayed Road and ride past the sandy trails of Ras Al Khaimah, before you venture to the Khasab’s picturesque meandering road; this drive captures the incomparable coastline of Musandam, endowed with stunning fjords and quaint bays, in its entire grandeur.
Route: Take E11 or E311 via Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain, and look out for signs displaying Shams as you reach Ras Al Khaimah. Complete the mandatory to-do procedures at the border, and after getting your passport stamped, continue your journey through the beautiful coastal road that leads to Khasab.
Distance from Dubai: 200 kilometers; Travel Time: Three Hours
5.Jabal Al Jais
The UAE’s tallest mountain peak is also recognized as one of the most exquisite in all of the Middle East. With eight hairpins and numerous rocky edges, a drive up to the Jabal Al Jais, rising to a whopping height of 1,900 meters, allows you to experience the region’s raw serenity and admire the unrivaled views elongating for miles, in the most adventurous manner. A 4X4 vehicle, though not a must, is best suited to take this exciting road trip. Most importantly, be sure to carry required food and water and also fill up your vehicle, as you’ll find this drive, mainly from Ras Al Khaimah to the summit of the mountain, to be a long stretch without any facility in between.
Route: Approximately eight hours is needed to travel to Jabal Al Jais from Dubai. Follow the Emirates Road (E611) from Dubai. It’s almost a stress-free ride till Ras Al Khaimah, but hereafter, you should seek the help of locals for directions or take advantage of Google Map or GPS system to reach the mountain.
Distance from Dubai: Approximately 180 kilometers
Get a sampling of the striking beauty of the UAE’s east coast with a visit to Fujairah, which is the only emirate completely lying on the coastline of Gulf of Oman and of course not encircled by dunes but by mountains. An easy drive of less than 180 kilometers impeccably frames up the Fujairah’s mindblowing scenery comprising mountains, beaches, palm-fringed oasis, and coastal hamlets.
Route: Head towards Sharjah via E311. As you reach the National Paints roundabout, take S112 and drive straight until the E611, from where you should deviate to the Sharjah-Kalba Road and ride past the Al Malaiha, before entering the E84 that takes you to Fujairah.
Distance from Dubai: 175 Kilometers; Drive Time: Two Hours
A short flight of less than two hours will easily transport you to the Salalah’s lush greenery, but the easiest is not always the finest! This gorgeous drive, stretching for over 1,200 kilometers, loops you through the brilliant panorama made up of unparalleled desert, beautiful coastal towns, and breathtaking mountain ranges, giving you a kind of sightseeing experience that you’d or else be missing out on. Even though incredibly beautiful, this route which has claimed several lives is treacherous too.
Route: Beginning from Dubai and continuing through Al Ain and Adam, the long drive – quite surely abounds in beautiful views.
Distance from Dubai: More than 1,200 kilometers; Travel Time: 15 to 17 Hours
So what is the wait for now? Just buckle up and experience the region’s scenic diversity with a smooth and enjoyable ride.