Middle East

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Day Trips From Dubai

While Dubai is well-known for its luxury hotels and sprawling mall, its location also makes it perfect for all types of day and weekend trips.

We’ve gathered some of our favorite quick trips to try next time you’re in the City of Gold, whether you’re interested in art, nature, history, or adventure. .

Just over an hour’s drive away, Abu Dhabi makes an excellent day or weekend trip from Dubai. The top two must-see sites there are the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the Louvre Abu Dhabi. Both are traditional tourist destinations that are absolutely worth visiting – the sprawling marble mosque is the largest in the country while the Louvre is the largest art museum in the Arabian Peninsula. If you have more time, visit Rub’ al Khali (Empty Quarter), the world’s largest sand mass – choose from camel rides, sandboarding, or quad bikes. If you’re feeling adventurous, book a night at the stunning Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara to enjoy luxury hotel service surrounded by a seemingly endless desert.

 

 

Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve

Just half an hour from the heart of the city, you’ll find the stunning desert nature reserve, Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve. Only select tour guides have permission to enter the area so be sure to doublecheck your bookings (the concierge at most Dubai hotels should be able to assist). Different guides offer different services – common offerings are camel and horse riding, falconry, archery, camping, hot air balloon rides, sandboarding, and private dinners in the dunes. If you can’t choose and need more than a day out in the desert, book a night at Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa. The hotel offers a spa, multiple restaurants, and luxury suites with unbeatable desert views, many with private pools.

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Hatta

Rent a car and drive a little over an hour to the picturesque area of Hatta. Surrounded by turquoise waters and the Hajar Mountains, this is the perfect escape from the busy city. Hike or bike through the mountains or rent kayaks to spend time on the water. Visit the Hatta Heritage Village to learn about the history of the area; while in the village, stop by Al Hajarian restaurant for simply prepared, fresh Arabic food, including lamb and chicken kababs, curries, and more.

Kalba

Animal lovers should travel East to Kalba. There, you’ll find the Al Hefaiyah Mountain Conservation Centre. While visiting you’re likely to catch a glimpse of an Arabian leopard, wolf, or desert lynx. The area is also great for bird watching, kayaking, deep sea fishing, snorkeling, and hiking. If you’re traveling with children, head over to Al Noor Island for an adventure the little ones will adore – the whimsical island hosts a cactus garden, playground, maze, literature pavilion, historic fossil rocks, and a butterfly exhibition home to 20 exotic butterfly species. Stay after dark to enjoy illuminated sculptures and art installations in all colors.

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