3 Amazing Day Trips From Abu Dhabi
Let’s kick-off February with a guest writer, Neha Singh! Neha is full-time travel blogger who runs DubaiWikia.com, a website dedicated to everything Dubai and the United Arab Emirates. On our recent trip to Abu Dhabi, we only managed to cover the city but did not venture beyond so Neha is happy to share three amazing days trips you can take from Abu Dhabi.
The beauty about vacationing in the UAE is that all the Emirates are just a few hours away from each other. For example, if you’re in Abu Dhabi, you can take day trips to Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al Quwain, Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah.
You can travel to the other emirates via car, bus, metro, helicopter, flight, and in some cases, even trains. With this level of convenience available, why not go on day trips from Abu Dhabi and check out the neighboring attractions?
Also known as the Blue Souk, this market houses over 600 shops selling gold and jewellery, perfume, clothing, food, electronics, and souvenirs. The market has the air of a genuine Arabian bazaar, with the upper floor galleries selling antiques, carpets, Omani and Yemeni jewellery and more.
Get to this pristine island park created on the Khalid Lagoon and accessed by bridge. Here you can stroll amidst the perfect mix of art and nature. There are blissful gardens strewn with sculptures created by famous artists. There’s also the famous butterfly house which houses 500 different butterfly species.
Sharjah Arts Museum
This museum, until the Louvre Abu Dhabi opened, was the largest arts museum in the UAE. It contains the artwork collection of H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Sharjah’s ruler. There are 72 galleries across three floors which exhibit mostly works by Arab artists.
Sharjah Maritime Museum
If you want to learn more of Sharjah’s maritime history, visit this museum. You’ll see interesting exhibits on pearl collecting, fishing and traditional wooden dhows. There’s a collection of shiny pearls as well in this museum, including the oldest pearl ever salvaged in the world.
Sharjah Heritage Area
The Sharjah Heritage Area houses various museums – the Sharjah Heritage Museum, Souk Al Arsah, Al Midfaa House, Al Hisn Sharjah, and Hisn Fort. Be sure to include a trip to Sharjah Heritage Area on one of your day trips for Abu Dhabi.
Want to take a break and head out to Sharjah’s glittering night-time destination? Enjoy a nice promenade on the seafront road at Al Qasba, and take in the evening atmosphere. Take a ride on the 60-meter-high Eye of the Emirates observation wheel and obtain a soaring view of the city.
Check out artefacts that date from the early Bronze Age. You’ll find Iron Age and Bronze Age painted pottery, weaponry, carved soapstone vessels, and silver coins. There’s also a bowl made out of ostrich egg, which dates back 2,200 years ago.
Check out the oldest mud-brick mosque in all of the UAE in Fujairah. There’s a prayer hall that has lovely arches and excellent ventilation openings, things that were a true feat of engineering during the period of the mosque’s construction. The site around the mosque has been excavated to discover that it has been inhabited since 4,000 years ago.
Another reason to visit Fujairah is to go wadi bashing. A wadi is a dry riverbed or a valley oasis. You’ll enjoy the high-octane four-wheel-driving along the wadis, which is akin to a rollercoaster experience. Wadi Al Taiwan is a beautiful mountainous route, and Wadi al-Wurayah is known for its waterfalls and water spots.
Sheikh Zayed Mosque
Fujairah’s beautifully modern Sheikh Zayed Mosque is built in an area that’s as big as three football pitches. The mosque has six minarets each 100 meters tall. The prayer hall can hold 32,000 worshipers at a given time. This is the second biggest mosque in the UAE.
Ain al-Madhab Hot Springs
Who can say no to a relaxing dip in natural hot springs? Just outside Fujairah city, you’ll find the Ain al-Madhab Hot Springs at the foothills of the Hajar Mountains. Soak in the warm sulphuric water and allow it to soothe away your niggly pains.
Fujairah’s beaches sit on the Gulf of Oman, which offers some of the best diving and snorkelling sites in the country. If you are an underwater enthusiast, do take a day trip to Fujairah and explore its exciting, exotic marine life.
Ras Al-Khaimah National Museum
This is where the ruling family lived till the early 1960s. Check out the excellent collection of artefacts here, both archaeological and ethnological, plus exhibits of traditional weapons.
Jebel Jais Zipline
The world’s longest zipline awaits you at Jebel Jais, the UAE’s highest mountain. Here, thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies get to travel at speeds of up to 120kph to 150kph at 1,680 metres above sea level. Participants are fitted with a special harness for the 3-minute zipline flight. The other attraction at Jebel Jais is the wonderful drive to the top, for the most incredible vistas imaginable.
This area has several mineral-rich hot pools, whose water is famous for its relaxing and therapeutic properties. The Khatt resort itself is located in a palm-strewn oasis, framed by the tall Jebel Hafeet Mountains. When you’ve soaked enough, check out the 170 archaeological sites nearby where prehistoric tombs have been found.
This abandoned fishing village is a photogenic setting, as most of its structures are made of black coral. This village is a reminder of how life used to be in the days before oil was struck.
This fort was built during the 16th century, entirely out of mud, on a strategic hilltop facing the gulf. There are watchtowers and other ruins, which are all that’s left of the 1891 battle between Ras Al-Khaimah and the British. Enjoy the panoramic views from the fort’s ramparts.
The raw beauty of the Hajar Mountains dominates Ras Al Khaimah’s scenery. There are many opportunities for trekking, hiking, mountain biking and more. The Hajar Mountains are rugged, ragged and totally unexpected amidst the desert.
Ras Al-Khaimah Beach
The Ras Al-Khaimah beach life is great – there are some fabulous resorts and great restaurants. You can use resort facilities even if you are a non-guest – all you need is a day pass. Enjoy the golden sands and all resort facilities such as cafes, sun loungers, sun shades, freshwater showers and more.
Ras Al-Khaimah Desert
Ras Al-Khaimah’s Al Wadi desert is just perfect for a party this New Year. The beautiful golden sand dunes welcome you on a wonderful desert safari, complete with dinner, entertainment and fireworks for New Year. Join other party-goers on a New Year party in Ras Al Khaimah desert this year and you’ll remember it for ever.
Fujairah is more of a laidback, simple place to escape to when things get too stressful. Ras al Khaimah is earning more tourist attention now because of the zipline, but it’s still a peaceful, not very bustling city. Both emirates are perfect for a day trip outside of Abu Dhabi, along with Sharjah.