Although things to do and experience in Dubai span a lifetime, this Arabian city is best known for its larger-than-life sights, shows and leisure options. But, if you find it all exhausting, come take a day trip that allows you to see a bit more of UAE and Arabia. So looking to escape from Dubai’s chaotic rat race for a day or at least a few hours? Here are some of our top suggestions for the

best day trips from Dubai


1. Hatta


Take a ride out to Hatta; it’s less than an hour’s drive away, but you’ll find its rugged, untouched landscape as a refreshing contrast to Dubai’s glittery sights and hectic crowd.

More Reasons to Visit Hatta
  • The 16th century Hatta Heritage Village where its age-old mud huts, the fort, the watchtower, and the mosque all retained to its original state.
  • Lush scenic surroundings endowed with natural mountain wadis and rocky terrains
  • Endless mountain-biking and hiking trails
  • Chance to kayak at its clear turquoise green lake
  • Superb options available for axe-throwing, zorbing etc at Hatta Wadi Hub
  • Exciting Glamping opportunities with Hatta Sedr Trailer
How to reach Hatta?

As an enclave of Dubai, Hatta is easily accessible via taxi, shared guided tour, or public bus (number 65).

Distance from Dubai: 135 kilometers

2. Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi

A day trip from Dubai to the capital city of Abu Dhabi may appear like hopping from one extraordinary city to another. Just two hours’ apart, it still guarantees you a delightful escape with its unspoiled beaches, striking islands, delicate mangrove ecosystem, breathtaking cultural sights, and incredible leisure attractions.

More Reasons to Visit Abu Dhabi
  • Architectural gems, mainly the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
  • The luxurious ever Emirates Palace
  • The protected Mangrove National Park
  • The Abu Dhabi Corniche which is one of the most favored hangout places in the city
  • Cultural and historical treasures such as Heritage Village, Qasr Al Hosn, Qasr Al Watan, and Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital
  • The ultimate leisure and entertainment venue of Yas Island where you can visit the first of its kind Ferrari World, Yas Water World, CLYMB Abu Dhabi, Warner Bros Abu Dhabi, and Yas Marina Circuit, among others.
  • The cultural district of Saadiyat Island with the region’s first universal museum –Louvre Abu Dhabi, plus Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and Zayed National Museum
How to reach Abu Dhabi?

Take a full day guided sightseeing tour of Abu Dhabi or hire a private transfer to experience the city at a relaxed pace. There are also convenient public buses available from Al Ghubaiba Bus Station in Bur Dubai region.

Distance from Dubai: 150 kilometers

3. Al Ain

Al Ain

Lying just one and a half hour away, the blissful quietude and cool natural beauty of Al Ain stands as a welcome contrast to Dubai’s packed sights. Yes, it’s the UAE’s very own garden city that is encircled all over by greenery and mountainous scenery. The quaint city scores for its cultural, historical and of course, thrilling attractions too.

More Reasons to Visit Al Ain
    • The supremely verdant Al Ain Oasis – the UAE’s first UNESCO site, with over 150,000 trees from over 100 trees. All are fed by the traditional falaj irrigation system which dates back to more than 3000 years.
    • Al-Ain Palace Museum where you’ll be able to know more about the UAE’s ruling family.
    • The 19th century Al Jahili Fort once used to the summer residence of the royal family.
    • Hili Archaeological Park with 5000-year-old tombs
    • Jebel Hafeet which is the UAE’s second highest peak – an ascend here will feast you with the awe-inspiring views of surroundings
    • Green Mubazzarah – it lies at the foot of Jebel Hafeet and is most noteworthy for its natural hot springs with medicinal properties
    • Al-Ain Zoo (Al Ain Wildlife Park) – a safe abode for many indigenous and endangered animal species
    • Camel souk which is the country’s largest and last of its kind
    • Wadi Adventure – the region’s ultimate zone for fun and adventure; there is Airpark, Giant Swing, Zipline and more to keep you busy here.
How to reach?

You can drive your own (by taking to E66), hire a comfortable cab, or more affordably catch a bus from Al Ghubaiba Bus Station in Bur Dubai to reach Al Ain.

Distance from Dubai: 160 kilometers

4. Sharjah


Sharjah is the cultural capital of UAE means it’s a distinctive world of its own with its thriving art and culture scene (complemented by right amount of fun and thrill elements). Being not far from Dubai, this real Arabian gem is accessible with a quick 30 to 40 minutes drive from the city center.

More Reasons to Visit Sharjah
      • History-drenched museums, mainly Sharjah Arts Museum and Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization
      • The 200-year-old Sharjah Fort
      • Blue Souk – the authentic traditional market
      • The activity-packed Al Qasba region
      • Red Dune Safari
      • Mleiha Archaeological Centre with opportunities for Fossil Rock tour and overnight camping
      • Theme parks including Adventureland and Al Montazah Parks (with Pearls Kingdom Water Park and Island of Legends Amusement Park)
      • Kayaking adventure at Kalba mangroves
How to reach?

Board Dubai metro and get off at one of the metro stations closest to Sharjah, such as Stadium and Al Nahda. Take the right bus to arrive at your desired spot in Sharjah. Another alternative is to hire a cab or private transfer. But to avoid all hassles, you can choose a guided Sharjah city tour with transfers.

Distance from Dubai: 30 kilometers

5. Umm Al Quwain

Umm Al Quwain

If distinct sand, water or outdoorsy activities are central to your day-tripping pleasure, Umm Al Quwain is your go-to spot. And a short drive of not more than 50 minutes from Dubai will land you at this pristine land of lush mangroves, gleaming waters and endless sands.

More Reasons to Visit Umm Al Quwain
      • Umm Al Quwain National Museum where you can glance into the region’s historic past
      • The 18th century Umm Al Quwain Fort
      • Dreamland Aqua Park with the best of rides and attractions ideal for all age groups
      • Imposing islands which are nestled off the coast of Umm Al Quwain
      • Water sport activities at the UAQ Marine Club
      • An exciting adventure like nighttime crab hunting at Flamingo Beach Resort
How to reach?

There are well-laid-out tours available to take in the natural splendors of this off-beat destination. You can also opt to discover this emirate on your own with a private transfer.

Distance from Dubai: Roughly 60 kilometers

6. Ras Al Khaimah

Ras Al Khaimah

Want to get out of Dubai but don’t want to travel too far? Head off to Ras Al Khaimah which is less than one and a half-hour away. It’s modern in its own right but is gracefully traditional and further comes with enough grit to make your day trip as exhilarating and unforgettable as possible. From the immaculate beaches and colossal desert sands to the luxurious islands and charming cultural attractions, you can expect to enjoy the best of both worlds here.

More Reasons to Visit Ras Al Khaimah
      • Ras Al Khaimah National Museum with a huge repertoire of archaeological and ethnological displays
      • The 16th-century Dhayah Fort
      • The abandoned village of Jazirat Al Hamra makes for a spooky adventure
      • Khatt hot springs with therapeutic elements
      • Easy accessibility to Jebel Jais – the UAE’s highest mountain peak
      • Opportunity to experience the world’s longest zipline adventure
      • Desert Safari
How to reach?

If you’re on a budget, split your Ras Al Khaimah journey by traveling in metro and bus. For this, take Dubai Metro and disembark at the nearest metro station and continue your ride in a bus to reach your Ras Al Khaimah spot. But to skip all hassles, you can also choose to drive your own or consider a private transfer.

Distance from Dubai: 110 kilometers

7. Liwa Oasis

Liwa Oasis

Some four hours’ drive away, Liwa Oasis may be a bit far-flung for a day trip from Dubai, but we can assure that it offers you an authentic Arabian retreat! So come here prepared to spend an entire day deep amidst the mysteriously isolated sands of Rub Al Khali, which is the largest of its kind sand desert and obviously the largest desert in the Arabian Peninsula.

More Reasons to Visit Liwa Oasis
      • Liwa Forts give you a glimpse of how the region’s life used to be in ancient times
      • Mezairaa – the main town with facilities for camping and outdoor activities
      • Qasr Al Desert Resort by Anantara where you can experience the traditional Arabian hospitality and luxurious comforts
      • More dune which is the highest of its kind in the region (at a whopping height of 220 meters)
How to reach here?

While you can choose to drive your own to the destination, you can also opt for our exclusive Liwa oasis tour of inclusive of desert drive and overnight camping in the desert.

Distance from Dubai: 350 kilometers

8. Fujairah


Unlike most of the UAE’s emirates, Fujairah is one destination that is viciously protected from any modernity or serious urban development. It further stands out being the only emirate that completely lies on the Gulf of Oman. And the best thing about this quiet and alluring land is that it’s just two-hour ride away from Dubai.

More Reasons to Visit Fujairah
      • Al Bidya Mosque which is the oldest of its kind in the region
      • Fujairah Fort which dates back to the 17th century and evidently the UAE’s oldest fort
      • Glorious beaches along the Gulf of Oman
      • Snoopy Island where you can swim, kayak, and snorkel under its crystal clear waters
      • Wadi Wurayah which is considered the UAE’s version of Grand Canyon
      • Arabian Bull Fighting takes place every Friday in a muddy field near Fujairah Corniche
      • Friday Souk (despite its name, this traditional market is open on all days and is one of the best places to taste fresh, succulent locally grown fruits and vegetable)
How to reach?

Take our Fujairah city tour with convenient transfers – this covers all of the region’s top attractions. You can also arrive here via a private transfer or by driving your own.

Distance from Dubai: 175 kilometers

9. Musandam


Musandam may not be a part of the UAE, but it’s unimaginable to wind up this list without including this gorgeous place. Nestled in the northern part of Oman, this picturesque enclave is however separated from other parts of the country by the coastline of UAE. It’s rightly called the Norway of the Middle East for its natural fjords, rugged mountain, emerald green waters, and exuberant marine species. And all it takes to reach here from Dubai is just two hours’ straight drive.

More Reasons to Visit Musandam
      • The 17th-century Khasab Castle built by the Portuguese
      • Traditional Omani dhow cruise not only comes with all dining and refreshments but also allows for activities like dolphin watching, bird watching, fishing, kayaking, banana boat ride, diving, snorkeling, etc
      • Mountain Safari
How to reach?

Musandam can be best explored with our Musandam Dibba and Oman Khasab tours. It includes all transfers plus cruise, dining and other activities means all you’ve done is to sit back and make the most of this trip.

Distance from Dubai: 200 kilometers


There is no doubt that you’ll have a fabulous time during your Dubai trip. With that being said, it’s worth taking a quick day trip to take in what lies beyond Dubai’s borders. Wherever you choose to go from this list, it promises you an invigorating break with some quality memorable moments to add to your Dubai holiday.

Aanchal is a writer by profession and an avid foodie. She loves travelling, exploring and adding cherished experiences to the book of life.

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