The Best Weekend Getaways From Dubai

Ras Al Khaimah in the north
Ras Al Khaimah in the north | ©Nazrul Islam/flickr | Flickr
Jessica Harn

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.

Al Ain

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.

A well-needed walk among trees in Al Ain

Jebel Hafeet

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.

View from the road up to the top of Jebel Hafeet

Al Hatta

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.

Old-time feel in Hatta

Abu Dhabi

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.

Time for self-reflection at the 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.

Getting lost (in thought) in the desert


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.

The Sharjah corniche at night


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.

The Hajar Mountains are perfect for stretching your legs after too much office work in Dubai

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!

Perfect place to relax on an empty beach

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