The cosmopolitan buzz, best-in-class restaurants, and lots of shopping avenues in Dubai can keep the visitors hooked in the city for at least a week. Even some serious city slickers should take a break every now and then. Luckily there are many tourist attractions and things to do in the UAE which are just a short drive away so you can easily choose from a lot of fun activities for day trips in Dubai.
Everyone should take a desert safari to sand dunes, to have a thrilling break with startling contrast between high-rises and rolling desert sands. If you want to stick to cities, you must visit Abu Dhabi to witness the Sheikh Zayed Mosque and its dazzling white architecture. For culture vultures, the city of Al Ain is very attractive for its museums. So, without further wait, here are some of the best day trips and activities you can enjoy in the city of Dubai.
1) Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque :-
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque of Abu Dhabi is among the leading modern landmarks of UAE and it is grandeur of contemporary art meets traditional Arabic artistry and architecture. The mosque is decked out with great use of gold, marble, crystals and ceramic work. The high ornamentation of mosque has the combination of Fatimid, Mamluk, and Ottoman design to have the symbol of all ages of Arabic empires.
Located around 132 km from Dubai, the mosque is famous for the largest Persian carpet in the world (crafted by 1200 weavers), 82 domes, and seven dazzling crystal chandeliers (largest one weighs around 12 tons). You can tour the complex from 9am to 10 pm from Saturday to Thursday and 4:30 pm to 10pm on Fridays. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan, the first president of the UAE is buried behind the main complex.
2) Al-Ain :-
Also known as ‘The Garden City’, Al Ain can make a memorable day trip for culture vultures from Dubai, which has well restored fortresses, museums and archeological site of Bronze Age. The Al Ain Museum has a collection which showcases the ethnography and archeology of the Emirates, which is the oldest museum in the UAE located in the Al Jahili Fortress. In addition, the Al Ain Palace Museum collection is placed in the old residence of the first president and has displays of traditional life and fine art gallery of the Emirates.
The Al Ain Zoo is the major highlight here for families, which now has safari tour experience where you can find Arabian and African species. You shouldn’t miss visiting the Jabel Hafeet summit, the second highest peak here.
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3) Wadi Adventure Park :-
The city heat can definitely get you exhausted. Located around 153 km from the city, Wadi Adventure Park is a great option for you to relax. It offers surfing, kayaking, wakeboarding and white water rafting in manmade facilities. It also offers zip lines, climbing, swimming pools and obstacle courses. The course for white water rafting stretches around 1 km, while the pool offers safe haven for absolute beginners to excel in surfing techniques.
4) Desert Safari :-
You must try this activity if you are in Dubai. You can find a lot of opportunities for excursions and safaris in the wild desert. You can also go with camel trekking to experience the silent beauty of this dry landscape. You can get far away from the city with 4WD safaris. You may visit and drive through vibrant dunes for some adrenaline rush. Dune bashing gives you the feel of roller coaster ride in a car. Speeding it will tilt you up and down through a huge wave of sand. Well, there are other options for thrill seekers. You can also surf on sand with sand boarding and quad biking on the dunes.
5) Musandam Peninsula :-
Located around 194 km from Dubai, Musandam Peninsula in Oman is the ideal and peaceful getaway from Dubai’s city buzz and bright lights. This jagged area is very scenic with its hilly and tall coasty plunging into the Arabian Gulf. Because of its similarity in character to Norway’s fiords, it is also known as the Arabian Fiords. But these mountains were carved well by the movement of tectonic plates, instead of glacier movement.
6) Hajar Mountains :-
Ranging around the east of UAE and in Oman, the Hajar Mountains make an ideal escape from Dubai and offer the great road trip experience in Emirates. The winding mountain goes through serene panoramic views and there are lots of options to spot gazelles, when bird watchers should keep their eyes open to find Egyptian vultures.
You may visit the small and isolated villages here which are out of Dubai and the Hatta Heritage village is the ideal spot on the way. It is an ancient and fully restored village with a lot of details on traditional Hajar lifestyle with renovated residences.
7) Fujairah :-
Located around 167 km from Dubai, Fujairah combines both history and nature. It houses the oldest mosque in the UAE named Al-Bidyah mosque with history which dates back to the 15th century. If you are done with history, you may also chill out at the beaches on the Gulf of Oman.
8) Ferrari World :-
This theme park has a lot more than just cars. It is known as the largest indoor theme park in the world. It has Formula 1 race courses, roller coaster rides, audio-visual rides to experience the most popular highlights of Italy from the air, and also visit the Ferrari factory.
9) Horse Riding :-
You can have a great city escape while exploring the desert landscapes in Dubai on a horseback. The Equestrian Center here arranges desert safaris for pro riders on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday while a lot of private stables serve all levels of horse riders, from beginners to experienced riders.
10) Fishing :-
There are specialized tour operators offering deep sea fishing in the Arabian Gulf waters, where you can try your luck at catching tuna, grouper, snapper, and barracuda. You can take any fishing tours from local companies.