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Top road trip routes worth taking in the UAE

01 Jan 2018

The UAE is one of the world’s greatest destinations for those who love a bit of adventure in their travels. From sweeping deserts to towering mountains, dazzling skyscrapers and azure-blue oceans, the UAE has everything you need for a road trip to remember. 

Lots of smooth, well maintained roads make travelling around the UAE easy, and with plenty of good quality hotels to choose from, you’re never far from a shower and a great meal at the end of a day’s adventures. Here are some of the best routes to take as you travel around the UAE.

Go diving in Fujairah

With a coastline on the Gulf of Oman and one of the best diving spots in the Middle East, Fujairah is a diver’s paradise. It’s 184km from Dubai and 300km from Abu Dhabi, and the trip will take you through deserts and mountains, as well as giving you the chance to explore some pretty little towns and villages along the way. You’ll find the roads are excellent, and there are lots of hotels to stop off in at the end of the day. The destination is well worth the journey, and you’ll also get the chance to see other tourist spots such as Al-Hayl Castle and the magnificent Sheikh Zayed Mosque, too.

The Norway of the Middle East – Khasab

This spectacular region is filled with charming fjords (hence the term ‘Norway of the Middle East). 198km from Dubai and 339km from Abu Dhabi, it’s a winding and challenging road with plenty of camping spots along the way so you can see the magnificent night sky without any light pollution – one of the most incredible sights you’ll ever see. Make sure you have your ##s with you when you travel as you are crossing borders, but it’s well worth packing your passport and hitting this route for the breath-taking scenery alone. 

Liwa – The Empty Quarter

The UAE is a desert region, and the best way to experience the vastness of this arid region is to take a trip to Liwa through the desert known as the Empty Quarter. It’s towering red sand dunes go on for miles, and the smooth tarmac road runs like a ribbon through them, leading you to Liwa’s attractions. The trip is 292km from Dubai and 220 from Abu Dhabi, and takes you through the very heart of the UAE.

Jebel Hafeet

Fancy some serious twists and turns on your road trip? The road to Jebel Hafeet is one of the most exciting and challenging, with hairpin bends and steep inclines that take you up over 1,250m to the UAE’s second highest mountain. It’s only a short road but it still manages to pack in 60 turns as you climb up the mountain. It’s 146km from Dubai and 163km from Abu Dhabi, and is well worth the trip for an exciting day out.

As well as plenty of routes to choose from (we haven’t even mentioned Hatta or the wonderful coast of Musandam), there are also lots of guided trips you can take that send you a little further off the beaten track.

If you love going off-road then head out to the desert with a guide to go dune bashing in 4x4s, just an hour away from the bright lights of Abu Dhabi or Dubai. At the end of the day you can head back to the comfort of your hotel, or camp out under the stars. 

With so much choice, you’ll always have somewhere new to explore when you go on a road trip through the UAE.