OT Itinerary: Day Trips From Dubai You Should Not Miss

Whether you're looking for adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, these day trips from Dubai offer unforgettable experiences and lifelong memories

Dubai, with its tall skyscrapers and vibrant city life, offers plenty of opportunities for exploration beyond its urban landscape. Embark on wonderful day trips from Dubai to explore the diverse and breathtaking attractions only a short distance away. From the serene Arabian Desert dunes to the spectacular mountain scenery of Hatta, every traveller can find something to enjoy. Here's our list of best day trips you must include in your Dubai itinerary:

1. Abu Dhabi

A trip to Abu Dhabi is a must in your Dubai itinerary if you have a few extra days in your hand. It is a luxurious city that combines 21st-century modernism with a touch of tradition. A must-see in Abu Dhabi is the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, with its onion-shaped domes and brilliant white marble. The mosque is 90 minutes from Downtown Dubai and offers free daily tours—with the exception of Friday prayers. 

For those seeking the thrill of speed and luxury, Ferrari World on Yas Island is an essential visit, providing an adrenaline-pumping experience with the world's fastest roller coaster and a fascinating collection of Ferrari cars.

For lovers of art and architecture, a visit to the Louvre Abu Dhabi on Saadiyat Island is a must. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel, the building is just as captivating as the 600 artworks on display. 

Distance from Dubai: 139 kilometres

Estimated driving time: 1 hour and 15 minutes

2. Mleiha

Nestled in the heart of Sharjah, Mleiha is among the most prominent archaeological sites in the United Arab Emirates. The Mleiha Archaeological Centre details the history of the area dating back to the Palaeolithic period and offers guided tours of the pre-Islamic forts and Bronze Age tombs. In the mood for adventure? Take a guided walk, a 4WD trip, a fat bike tour or a paraglide from one of Mleiha's highest peaks to experience the untamed beauty of the desert.

Mleiha offers a blend of adventure and history, from hiking Fossil Rock for breathtaking views to delving into early human history at the Mleiha Archaeological Center. Adventurous visitors can drive to Camel Rock, explore numerous archaeological sites, venture into the desert for dune bashing, or even camp under the stars. For those seeking a thrill, X-Quarry Adventure Park provides off-road challenges. At the same time, history enthusiasts can trace humanity's past through the Valley of the Caves Trail or visit the intriguing abandoned lifeboats in the desert.​

Distance from Dubai: 77 kilometres

Estimated driving time: 50 - 58 minutes

3. Hatta


While adhering to the aim of the United Arab Emirates' founders of growing into modern frontiers while sticking to its heritage, Hatta embodies adventure and culture. It is an exclave of the United Arab Emirates, situated high above in the Hajar Mountains. Nestled amidst towering peaks, it is landlocked by Oman, Ajman, and Ras-Al-Khaimah. Hatta is well-known for its adventure sports, which include kayaking, trekking, climbing, and camping. The primary source of income for the town is tourism.

Hiking trails on offer here provide stunning views of the town and mountains, catering to all levels of hikers with colour-graded paths. For cycling enthusiasts, mountain biking through Hatta's rugged terrain offers an exhilarating way to explore the landscape. The Hatta Dam is perfect for kayaking, offering serene views. For a dose of history and culture, Hatta’s Heritage Village showcases traditional Emirati life.​

Distance from Dubai: 135 kilometres

Estimated driving time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

4. Sharjah

Sharjah, which was named the 'Cultural Capital of the Arab World' by UNESCO in 1998, is renowned for its ability to preserve its heritage, culture, and traditions. Its world-famous Art Museum and the fascinating buildings in the Heritage Area are steeped in Emirati history.

Away from the splendour and sparkle of Dubai, the city has an abundance of things to do for entertainment, including well-maintained museums, gorgeous mosques, Souks and numerous parks. One such place is the National History Museum and Desert Park, where kids' favourite activity is petting the animals, and the Science Museum is brimming with fun facts and exhibits.

You can explore the Sharjah Fort for a dive into history, visit the vibrant Central Market for unique shopping experiences, and immerse yourself in nature at Al Noor Island with its butterfly house and art installations. For families, the Sharjah Aquarium & Maritime Museum presents educational sea life exhibits, while Souk Al-Jubail offers a lively local shopping experience. Nature enthusiasts will enjoy Kalba's mangrove reserves and wildlife, and Al Qasba provides evening entertainment and dining along the canal.​

Distance from Dubai: 29 kilometres

Estimated driving time: 30-40 minutes

5. Fujairah

An excursion to the Emirate of Fujairah, located around 167 kilometres away from Dubai, seamlessly blends history and natural beauty. The mud-brick Al Bidyah Mosque is believed to be the oldest mosque in the United Arab Emirates, With a history dating back to the 15th century (though it may be considerably older).

If you're looking for something less historic, some of the most gorgeous beaches in the United Arab Emirates can be found north of the city. These beaches are located along the Gulf of Oman and offer excellent snorkelling and, for those who want to explore deeper, the best scuba diving in the country.

Fujairah offers a variety of attractions beyond the pristine beaches and the ancient Al Bidyah Mosque. You can explore the rugged landscapes of the wadis offering stunning mountainous routes and insights into the region's natural beauty. Fujairah Fort, a testament to the emirate's heritage, provides a glimpse into its strategic historical importance with beautifully restored architecture and a heritage village displaying traditional Emirati life. Bithnah Fort, nestled in a scenic oasis, highlights the area's strategic past with its formidable stone walls and towers.​

Distance from Dubai: 122 kilometres

Estimated driving time: 1 hour and 23 minutes

6. Khorfakkan


Khorfakkan, a tranquil beach town halfway between Dibba and Fujairah on Sharjah's east coast, has been experiencing a surge in popularity recently and is quickly transforming into a popular tourist destination. A day trip to Khorfakkan offers a plethora of activities and sights to see. You can stroll along the corniche at your leisure, sail, fish or kayak for an exciting afternoon, or go to the highest point in Khorfakkan, the Al Suhub Rest House. 

For a modern twist, the manmade Khor Fakkan Waterfall and Theater presents unique attractions with an artificial waterfall and classical Roman-era style architecture. Al-Rafisah Dam, ideal for family outings, offers kayaking and pedal boating amidst breathtaking mountain views. 

Additionally, the Hisn Museum Khor Fakkan delves into the local culture, traditional crafts, and maritime history. The bustling Khorfakkan Fish Market offers an authentic local experience where visitors can witness the trade of fresh seafood.

Distance from Dubai: 132 kilometres

Estimated driving time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

7. Snoopy Island

Snoopy Island is a marine paradise with some of the best snorkelling in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The island got its name from the cartoon dog, which it is said to resemble in shape. This glistening cerulean water is home to turtles, rainbow-coloured fish, and even little white-tip reef sharks. If you're planning a day trip to Snoopy Island, you can go snorkelling or scuba diving or stay above the surface with an afternoon of paddle boarding or kayaking. You can hire the equipment for all of these activities from the shore. 

Distance from Dubai: 152 kilometres

Estimated driving time: 1 hour and 50 minutes

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