While Dubai is a dynamic and exciting city to spend time in, you’ll be missing out if you don’t explore the UAE’s other hidden gems. From the northern mountains to the southern deserts, from coastal cities to natural hot springs; there are plenty of places to go to for the weekend. Here are the best weekend getaways from Dubai in the UAE which shouldn’t be missed.
Located in the southern part of the country, Al Ain is a tranquil oasis in the middle of the desert, thriving on its natural hot spring waters. Relax away the weekend in the UAE’s “Garden City” as you enjoy its lush green palm groves, natural spring-water pools, and cooler weather.
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1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
A towering rocky mountain giving shade to the city of Al Ain, Jebel Hafeet makes for the perfect getaway for those who want to feel the wild mountain air. With an amazing panoramic view of the country and hiking trails along its bright red rocks, Jebel Hefeet will leave you feeling refreshed and ready for toiling in the city for a (little) while longer.
A small town located high in the Hajar Mountains to the east of the country, Al Hatta is great for those who want to experience quiet-town Arabia. Visit its old town for a look at well preserved traditional houses, or hike along its cool mountain paths for an insight into a wilder side of the UAE.
For those who want to get away from Dubai but still stay in a city, head to the capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi. While still a large city, Abu Dhabi has a more relaxed and local atmosphere to it, where you can enjoy long walks on its clean beaches or get some quiet alone time at the magnificent Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.
The Empty Quarter
To really experience the raw beauty of the Arabian Peninsula, head over to the Empty Quarter along the southern border of the UAE. The largest uninterrupted stretch of desert sand mass in the world, this rolling desert will leave you breathless with amazement at the beauty of Mother Nature.
For a more intimate experience of UAE culture for the weekend, head over to the city of Sharjah for a relaxing break from the noise and rush of Dubai. Acting proudly as the educational and cultural heart of the country, enjoy your weekend with Sharjah’s numerous museums, cultural centers, and its grand University City for an appreciation of the arts and sciences.
Balancing both pristine beaches and the tumbling Hajar Mountains, Fujairah lies on the northeastern coast of the UAE and is one of the most popular weekend getaways from Dubai. Explore its ancient forts and historic old city while you bask in the wild northern air of the country.
Ras Al Khaimah
The northern most emirate in the UAE, this is about as far away (literally) as you can get from Dubai! It’s worth the drive up north, as Ras Al Khaimah boasts some of the most beautiful beaches and ancient archeological digs — and if you squint hard enough you can even see Iran across the Straits of Hormuz!
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
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