For many, the United Arab Emirates is all about the skyscraper-strewn cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. But those who venture beyond the glittering emirates are rewarded with a wealth of unexpected scenery, from desert dunes to quaint fjords.
We’ve picked out a number of spectacular destinations to head to with the family which won’t break the bank. Grab the camera, hire a car and unleash your inner explorers on these unique road trips.
You can’t go wrong with a lazy beach day in Fujairah. Kids can frolic in the crystal clear waters of the Gulf of Oman while you relax on the warm sands. The city is one of the best spots in the UAE for diving - don’t miss Snoopy Island to see some beautiful fish.
Fujairah road is an easy-going drive – head to Wadi Wurayah, the UAE’s only WWF-protected mountain range, to picnic by a waterfall and discover the oldest working mosque in the country along the way.
Exploring the vast lands of the UAE isn’t expensive. Book a cheap flight with flydubai and explore the regions must-visit family destinations.
Dunes, date farms and ancient forts - Al Ain is one of the UAE’s most laidback road trips. Cruise your way round smooth stretches of road as the kids spend the journey camel spotting. There’s a reason it garnered the nickname ‘Garden City’ – the Arabian paradise is blessed with an abundance of natural springs, oases, and lush greenery.
By far the highlight of this route is the dizzying height of Jebel Hafeet. Take a winding drive up the 1250m mountain and enjoy stunning views of the dunes below. Once you reach the city itself, treat the kids to a trip to Al Ain Zoo - they can watch wild animals and participate in giraffe feeding.
The UAE’s dramatic east coast is a heady mix of looming mountain ranges and twinkling seascapes, with plenty of places to stop for a picnic and a snorkel. Jump aboard a dhow cruise into the heart of Musandam for a chilled-out swim in pristine waters or take the family mountain biking through the rocky scenery. Don’t forget to carry your passport – part of Dibba is on the Gulf of Oman, so you’ll need one to get in.
Drive through a kaleidoscope of sandy desert as you make your way through one of the largest oases in the Arabian Peninsula. Located 250km south of Abu Dhabi, Liwa is made up of breathtaking dunes, villages and farms. The gigantic dunes are famed for legendary explorers and Hollywood blockbusters like – “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”, filmed here in 2014.
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