Known For : Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Louvre Abu Dhabi Ferrari World
Abu Dhabi is a luxurious metropolis that is a stylish blend of beautiful cultural monuments and stark 21st century megastructures. It has everything from massive and beautiful mosques, one of the best theme parks in the world and endless deserts. One can spend a day or two here exploring the best the Emirati capital has to offer!
Best Time: Late October to April
Yas Island is a 2,500-hectare human-made island in Abu Dhabi and is one of the biggest tourist attractions in UAE. This engineering marvel encompasses everything from posh hotels to shopping centres, all to make your weekend getaway from Dubai. It is also home to the famous Ferrari World and the Yas Marina Circuit which hosts the Formula One Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix every year since 2009.
Dubai, mainly renowned for its great infrastructure, is also known for its adventurous streak. At the heart of Dubai is still its desolated desert. And so, to enjoy the desert a bit more effectively, the city presents various Desert Safari options. The experience is one of its kind and worth every penny spent! Visitors can experience desert camping with a delicious Arabian dinner, belly dancers and other traditional performers. Day safaris hold you in for an adventure as you get to try out Dune Bashing, sandboarding, quad biking, camel rides and more.
Located in the vast and mesmerising Liwa Desert of Dubai, this super luxurious resort is ideal if you're looking for a weekend trip from Dubai full of relaxation and sanctity away from the city hustle. With the hotel's activity centre, you can go on camel rides and sand treks as organised by the staff. Get an unforgettable experience of Arabian luxury at this resort!
Jebel Jais in Ras Al Khaimah rests at 1,934 metres above sea level and is the highest peak in the UAE. The mountain offers stunning sunrise and sunset views. The 35 km long road to the top of the hill features eight hairpins and countless sharp corners, making it one of the best routes in the world. It is also home to the World's longest zipline which attracts adventure enthusiasts from across the globe.
Al Ain Oasis was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and covers a massive 3000 acres. The oasis introduces visitors to the delicate oasis eco-system and the importance it has played in the development of the emirate. It is a space which is free for anyone who goes there to explore. Thousands of date palms provide shade and block out noise from surrounding roads, making it a haven of tranquillity and a highlight of a weekend trip from Dubai.
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Known For : Mutrah Corniche Grand Mosque Muscat Royal Opera House, Muscat
Muscat, the capital of Oman, has served as an integral trading link between the east and the west and still remains a major stop for cruises and trade vessels. The city has maintained its old charm with even the newer structures having Arabian details. Not to mention the emerald blue beaches and exciting watersports that attract adventure enthusiasts. A city among the hills and beaches, this one is a must-visit for culture fanatics as well. In fact, it is the largest city and also happens to be the seat of the government.
Best Time: October to March
Located at the foot of the grand Jebel Shams mountain, Al Hoota Cave is almost 2 million years old and the only show cave in the Arabian Peninsula that is 4.5 kilometers long. With a wonderful ecosystem consisting of bats, anthropoids, snails and molluscs, the cave is very well protected and preserved. Drive down to the Al Hoota caves for an unforgetable weekend trip from Dubai.
Staying true to the vision of the founders of the United Arab Emirates of expanding into modern horizons while sticking to its roots, Hatta is an amalgamation of adventure and culture. It is an exclave of the United Arab Emirates and is located high above in the Hajar Mountains. Cosseted in the mighty heights, it is landlocked by Oman, Ajman and Ras-Al-Khaimah. Popular for Kayaking and other adventure sports such as kayaking, hiking, climbing and camping - Hatta's economy mainly rests on tourism.
The rich Arabian heritage that the UAE is famous for can be experienced here. Stay in beautiful suites styled to look like typical Arabian homes. part of the Hilton Collection hotels, guests have an unforgettable stay here with their fantastic amenities and the in-house restaurant Saba that serves some of the best local cuisines in the city. Get pampered here this weekend!
Luxuries, the warm Arabian sun and breathtaking views of the Hajar Mountains on one side and sea on the other, what more could you ask for for a weekend getaway. The quaint and peaceful hotel is a tourist favourite as they can go island hopping, dolphin spotting and more.
Known For : Fujairah Fort and Fujairah Village Snoopy Island Al Bidyah Mosque
Calm and serene, the Emirate of Fujairah is a picturesque beach town tucked away from the fast-paced city life. A busy city lined with business skyscrapers and beautiful mountains and beaches, it is known to be a peaceful retreat for locals and travellers.
Best Time: September to December and January to March
A part of the Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve, the Al Qudra Lake is a series of human-made lakes located right in the middle of the Saih Al Salam desert, on the southern outskirts of Dubai. A perfect place to visit for all nature lovers, the attraction comprises of extensive dunes and oasis-like pools, along with plenty of fauna and over 100 species of birds and desert plants.
Stay at the many stunning private beach villas at this world-famous resort. Waking up to the views of the Arabian Sea is never a bad idea. Get a taste of paradise with the beautiful hotel campus, eat like a King at the five fine dining restaurants here and relax at the beachside spa and club.
Musandam is rich with modern architecture as well as serene beaches. It is a much-loved destination for scuba divers because of the clear waters and the amazing facilities at the destination. This Omani peninsula is bordered by rugged mountains and turquoise water bodies and guarded by two gulfs – the Arabian and the Omani. Rich in Arabian culture, mixed with that of Iran’s, Musandam is rich in its ethnicity as well.
The Al Ain Zoo is a humongous 400-hectare park near the base of Jebel Hafeet is where visitors can see many beautiful species of animals in enclosures that closely resemble their natural habitats. Over 4,000 animals reside in the zoo out of which around 130 species are considered endangered. There are plenty of green public spaces for picnics alongside several playgrounds, a cafeteria and a train tour of the wildlife area. There’s also a bird show featuring predatory and night birds which occurs in the evening.
With over 500 flamingos and several species of birds and fishes, Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary is a wetland reserve. Perfect for tourists, environmentalists, photographers and botanists, it is a protected area and has a large number of migratory birds, fishes, crustaceans and mammals. This delicate and vast ecosystem has three birding hides which allow visitors to explore and engage in bird spotting.
"Wadi" is the Arabic and Hebrew term for a valley, commonly used in North Africa and the Middle East. These wadis in Oman are mostly dry, though they fill with water during the monsoons. Oman has a large number of wadis in its desert terrain, many of which are popular trekking sites. Others have crystal-clear pools, making them fantastic locations for picnics. Despite their differing terrains, they all have beautiful views and offer unique experiences for the Oman tourist.
This post was published by Shalaka Sreekesh