The UAE is famous for the glitz and glamour of cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi. However, there is so much more to this incredible country that deserves to be explored. There are vast deserts with undulating golden sand dunes, towering rugged mountains and shimmering turquoise seas.

Each of the emirates has its own distinct character and local flavor, but you might not have time to discover all of them. That is why we bring you our recommendations for some of the most picturesque road trips you can take in the UAE to discover some of its hidden gems. Just get a car rental in Dubai or Abu Dhabi and pack your bags for a mini adventure with your gang.

Here are some of the best road trip destinations worth a visit.

Al Ain:

This postcard-pretty destination is a great place to start exploring the other side of life in the UAE. Surrounded by sand dunes and full of plentiful date palms, there is a lot to see on the way. Just 90 minutes away from Dubai, it’s a great option for a day out as the drive is relatively short. Make sure to visit the famous Al Ain Zoo (especially if you’re taking the kids along) for an interesting and educational day with the whole family. There are also a number of forts in the area worth checking out such as the Lisali Fort.

Khor Fakkan:

This picture-perfect town on the UAE’s east coast is a quiet little place where you can rest and rejuvenate. Located about 100 km from Dubai and about 2 hours by car, the drive features all the usual displays of a desert landscape – camels and sand dunes. Once you reach Khor Fakkan, your eyes will be refreshed by the abundance of palm trees swaying in the breeze and the smell of salt in the air. Whether you’re traveling with family or friends, it is worth going to the beach and spending your time relaxing by the waters.

Ajman:

Located between Al Quwain and Sharjah, Ajman is the smallest Emirate in the UAE. With a travel time of 3 hours from Abu Dhabi, it is a comfortable and pretty drive. Ajman Corniche is one of the prettiest roads in the Emirate and is definitely worth a visit. The Corniche also has shops and small eateries where you can grab a delicious shawarma as you stroll along the road. Check out Ajman Museum, an 18th century fort and residence.

Fujairah:

Head out to Fujairah if you’re in the mood for a change of scenery. The drive is utterly thrilling as it passes through the spectacular and rugged Hajjar Mountains. Make sure to take a drive through the road to Jebel Hafeet for some of the most spectacular panoramic views of the entire city and its surrounding areas. A visit to Snoopy Island is also a must if you enjoy snorkeling and relaxing by the surf and sand.