Dubai has become an essential destination on any traveler’s bucket list. From futuristic-looking skyscrapers to high-end dining venues and maze-like shopping malls, the glitziest city in the UAE has much in store to keep visitors busy. But if you’re willing to go the extra mile, Dubai is also the ideal base to explore the region. So, here are four easy day trips to add to your Dubai travel itinerary.
Ras Al Khaimah
Out of the seven emirates in the UAE, Ras Al Khaimah is probably the best pick for nature lovers as it sits by the tallest mountain range in the Arabian Peninsula. And while the Hajar Mountains offer a picture-perfect backdrop for a road trip, visitors may see a different side of these rugged peaks by sliding down the world’s longest zipline.
The 3-km long Jebel Jais Flight is a wet dream for travelers looking for an adrenaline-pumping activity. A stone’s throw away, the Via Ferrata gives you pause to soak up the sights in a slightly less speedy fashion.
Panoramic views also await on top of the ruined Dhayah Fort, while hikers and climbers alike meet up on the slopes of Jebel Jais. A mere 110 km from Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah is a short ride away on a private tour. If you’re not the adrenaline-seeker type, though, some tour operators might take you on a more cultural journey to the Al Jazirah Al Hamra ghost town and the Al Suwaidi pearl farm.
Dubai may often strike visitors as a modernist utopia with no heritage landmarks. Yet, it only takes history buffs a 1.5-hour-long trip to travel back in time. Southwest of Dubai, Al Ain is a popular retreat for locals. Families come visit the Al Ain Zoo and the go-kart circuit or stroll down the lush alleys of the Oasis and its 100,000 date palm trees.
But the Garden City is mostly famed for its deep historical roots, which date all the way back to the Neolithic period. Al Ain’s cultural landmarks stand as the only UNESCO-listed sites in the UAE. The Al Ain National Museum is the perfect introduction to the area’s storied history before exploring Bronze Age sites, such as Bidaa Bint Saud and the tombs of Jebel Hafeet.
The 19th-century Al Jahili Fort is another must-visit. Full-day shared and private tours operate from Dubai daily, but Al Ain may also stand as a worthy stopover en route to Oman.
Approximately 112 km from Dubai, Yas Island hosts three theme parks for families to enjoy a day trip of endless action. An outdoor water park, Yas Waterworld is the perfect destination to escape the scorching heat with a splash. Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi makes for a thrilling up-close encounter with DC superheroes and cartoon characters.
And the epic rides and attractions of Ferrari World Abu Dhabi cater to all motorsport fanatics with a need for speed. But Yas Island is only one of the reasons why the emirate is known as the entertainment capital of the Middle East.
Entertainment centers abound within the city, from adventure parks like TEPfactor to indoor combat gaming hubs like Battle Park. When it comes to gambling, however, casinos are prohibited throughout the MENA area.
Still, local gamers and tourists may play in online casinos in Kuwait. Top websites cater to all Arabic players, offering anonymous payment methods and safety tips for a secure online experience. Players may thus indulge in casino favorites, from classic table games and slots to immersive live dealer sessions. And lofty bonuses are only a click away, be they high roller offers or free spins.
About 160 km from Dubai, Abu Dhabi has long been overshadowed by its glamorous neighbor. Yet, the capital of the UAE has grown into a tourist magnet in itself. The opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi did much to put the emirate on the map. This cultural juggernaut combines state-of-the-art architecture and dazzling permanent collections alongside temporary exhibitions with a universal approach to human history.
Besides the most visited museum in the Arab world, culture vultures may also discover a stunning feat of Islamic architecture by visiting the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Most organized day tours include both landmarks in their program. But if you’d rather travel on your own, you may hire a private car for the day. Alternatively, public buses connect Dubai to Abu Dhabi in about 1.5 hours.
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