Time for a road trip…

Now the weather is cooling down, there’s never been a better time to discover the delights that the UAE has to offer. From stunning beaches to nature reserves, there’s so much on our doorstep.

Whether you’re going on an adventure or a road trip, here are some epic nature spots to visit, right here in the UAE… 

Dubai

Love Lakes – Al Qudra

 

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Time from Dubai: Approx 1hr

Perhaps the most well-known man-made lakes in Dubai, the interlocking hearts of the love lakes have garnered plenty of interest and visitors since they were first revealed a few years ago. The Love Lakes can be found in Al Qudra Oasis and are best seen from an aerial view. On land, whether you’re picnicking, walking or taking in the sunset, it’s certainly a wonderful UAE nature spot to do it in. Nearby at Al Qudra Lakes, you’ll find plenty of flamingos, ducks and swans.

Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary

 

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Time from Dubai: Approx. 20min drive

Why pay money to visit a zoo when there’s some incredible wildlife right on your doorstep? We are, of course, talking about the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary, located at the mouth of Dubai Creek. While more than 20,000 birds inhabit the sanctuary, it’s perhaps most famous for its magnificent flock of flamingos. To see them, all you have to do is rock up to one of three viewing hides dotted around the perimeter of the sanctuary. Entrance is free and there are binoculars available to borrow, too.

Hatta Dam

 

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Time from Dubai: Approx. 1hr 30min drive 

Believe it or not, this stunning turquoise dam is less than a two-hour drive from Dubai. Surrounded by rocky mountains, you’ll enjoy some spectacular views along the way – don’t forget to bring a picnic to this epic UAE nature spot. To make the most of the calm waters, we recommend renting a kayak or pedal boat from Hatta Kayak (this is currently temporarily closed). One thing many people visit this stunning rocky landscape for is the hiking, so make sure you take some comfortable shoes and get ready for some breathtaking scenes.

Umm Al Quwain

Mangrove Beach

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Time from Dubai: Approx. 1hr drive

A stunning new ‘Mangrove Beach’ recently opened in the UAE. You’ll find the beautiful beach at Khor Al Yeefrah, Umm Al Quwain, which is approximately a 55-minute drive from Dubai. Currently, public-friendly facilities are being constructed on the beach. A number of images of the Mangrove Beach have been revealed and it looks absolutely stunning, with swathes of sea water trickling through the mangrove trees. As well as exploring, it looks like the perfect spot for sunbathing, walking and relaxing, and its free to use.

Abu Dhabi

Jubail Mangrove Park

Time from Dubai: Approx. 1hr 17min drive

The stunning Jubail Mangrove Park in Abu Dhabi is an absolute must-visit for nature-seekers. A huge boardwalk will take visitors on a nature trail through the natural landscape of mangroves near Yas Island and, take it from us, it’s amazing. As well as the stunning nature walk, there’s loads of activities for the whole family to get involved in such as guided boardwalk tours (from Dhs50), kayak trips (Dhs100), and e-canoe tours (from Dhs80) of the mangroves.

Find out what What’s On thought when we visited here.

FYI: Visitors coming from outside of Abu Dhabi will need to obtain a negative PCR or DPI test obtained with 72 hours of intended entry. Check out our guide for more information.

Ajman

Masfout

 

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Time from Dubai: Approx 1hr 30min drive 

A 90-minute drive from the centre of Ajman, this tiny enclave is located in the rugged Hajar Mountains, flanked by Hatta, Ras Al Khaimah and Oman. It’s an off-the-beaten-track favourite for hiking and mountain biking – and the old fort is particularly photogenic. If you’re not a GCC national, be sure to take the Sharjah-Kalba Road, as this avoids the Oman border crossing.

Ras Al Khaimah

Stairway to Heaven – Ras Al Khaimah

 

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Time from Dubai: Approx 1hr 30min drive 

Did you know that Ras Al Khaimah is home to a Stairway To Heaven? The breathtaking mountain trail, located in Wadi Ghalilah near the Oman border, is not for the faint-hearted – only experienced climbers should attempt it – but making it up the 1,900 metres to the top will not only score you an epic photo, but some serious bragging rights.

Fujairah

Wadi Al Hayl

 

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Time from Dubai: Approx 1hr 30 drive 

If you love nothing more than a challenging hike on a craggy, rocky natural landscape then popular nature spot Wadi Al Hayl might just be what you are looking for. Along the way, there’s plenty to see, from the Hayl Fort and Watchtower looking Northwest up Wadi Hayl, the dam in the Wadi Hayl, as well as birds and other native creatures

Sharjah

Al Qurm Nature Reserve

 

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Time from Dubai: Approx 1hr 40min drive 

Another stunning UAE nature spot to marvel at a natural mangrove forest is the Al Qurm Nature Reserve, which you’ll find at Kalba on the southern outskirts of Kalba village, on Sharjah’s east coast. The 500-hectare park of protected mangroves is home to species such as Arabian-collared kingfishers and hawksbill and green turtles. Enjoy guided kayak tours or go paddle-boarding around the area.

Fossil Rock

 

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Time from Dubai: Approx 1hr drive 

If you visit Fossil Rock in Sharjah, you’ll find an expansive stretch of natural desert, juxtaposed with craggy marine fossils. This UAE nature spot is great for camping, trekking and hiking, and if you want an educational experience, you can opt for a guided tour, which will be undertaken by the nearby Mleiha Archaeological Centre.

Images: Social