Just over an hour’s drive from the bright lights of the city, Hatta is a mountainous enclave of Dubai Emirate that has something for everyone. Adventurous types can bike, hike or climb up craggy peaks, history buffs can explore the Hatta Heritage Village, while pleasure seekers can indulge in a leisurely lunch with a view at the four-star JA Hatta Fort Hotel.
Distance from Downtown Dubai: 130 km
If you’re craving greenery, then set your SatNav for Al Ain’s oasis, the UAE’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, containing more than 147,000 date palms. A road trip to Al Ain would not be complete without driving up the nearby Jebel Hafeet, the UAE’s most famous mountain. You’ll be rewarded with smooth, winding roads and stunning views over the oasis city.
Distance from Downtown Dubai: 150 km
One of the seven emirates of the UAE, Fujairah straddles the country’s eastern shoreline and is famed for its mountains, castles, forts and chilled-out resorts. Beach lovers should head to Fujairah’s northern tip, with plenty of global hotel brands claiming their own stretch of golden sand. The emirate is also the home of the UAE’s oldest mosque, Al Bidiyah, which is estimated to date back to the 15th century.
Distance from Downtown Dubai: 120km (to Fujairah City)
The UAE’s capital is a simple journey south from Dubai, although the drive may not be as scenic as the northern highways. However, road-trippers will have plenty to do once they arrive; Yas Island is synonymous with the glamour of Formula 1, while Saadiyat Island is home to the much-awaited The Louvre Abu Dhabi, due to open in 2017. No visitor to the capital should miss a trip to the beautiful Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the world’s second favourite landmark according to TripAdvisor.
Distance from Downtown Dubai: 115 km (to Yas Island)
The Empty Quarter
If you really want to escape from it all, then traverse the desert in the aptly named Empty Quarter – the largest uninterrupted sand mass in the world. It’s a three-hour trek from Dubai, so certainly worth hiring a comfortable set of wheels from rentalcars.com. Weary road-trippers can rest their feet (and motors) at the majestic oasis resort, Qasr Al Sarab by Anantara.
Distance from Dubai: 300 km
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