The UAE has much to offer beyond its skyscraper strewn cities that are infused with an endless line of man-made marvels. But to explore these offerings you need to leave the city behind and get into the driving mode. All you need is a car rental and you will be ready to explore the wealth of spectacular scenery, ranging from desert plains to lush oases, that a road trip in the UAE has to offer. One such road trip starts at Abu Dhabi and ends at Al Ain with a halt at Dubai in-between.

Getting to Dubai from Abu Dhabi

The distance between Abu Dhabi and Dubai stands at approximately 139 km and takes about 1.5 hours via the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Street (E10) and the Abu Dhabi – Ghweifat International Highway (E11).

Once in Dubai, you can marvel at the magnificence of the Burj Khalifa and the Palm Jumeirah. For the shopaholics, a stop at the Dubai Mall is a must. Take a little beach detour and head to the Kite Beach, the perfect place to laze around or indulge in some water sports; the beach opposite to JBR is perfect for some evening entertainment. You can also indulge in a charming ride across the water in a traditional abra at the Dubai Creek. Those wanting a closer look at the Arabian desert can also enjoy the desert safaris.

Final Stretch from Dubai to Al Ain

After Dubai, we head to Al Ain via the Dubai – Al Ain Rd (E66). The distance to Al Ain stands at 147 Km and takes about an hour and forty minutes to cover.

If you’re reaching Al Ain in the morning, head over to the camel market for a glimpse of the traditional Arab life. You can escape the sweltering Arabian sun at the lush green Al Qattara oasis that is dotted with countless date palm trees. Green Mubazzarah is another area where you can witness beautiful greenery. It is the local picnic spot and has some hot springs where one can indulge in a relaxing hot bath. In vicinity is the artificial Mubazzarah dam where you can get small boats to rent for a ride.

History buffs will enjoy a sojourn to the Al Jahili Fort, built in 1898, and considered to be one of the most beautiful forts in the UAE. If you’re not up to a tour of the fort, then you can also check out the photo exhibition of the British explorer, Sir Wilfred Thesiger. The first one to have crossed the Empty Quarter desert, the photographic accounts of his life are worth seeing.

For amazing panoramic views, head to Jebel Hafeet, just outside of Al Ain. The mountain is adorned with a winding and super smooth road that leads up to the top of the Hafeet mountain.