Road trip_Jebel Jais
The route to Jebel Jais in Ras Al Khaimah offers a wonderfully scenic driving experience Image Credit: Gulf News archives

With summer upon us, here is a list of fun destinations to drive to with friends or family so you can escape city life for a day or two.

Many of these destinations are also relatively cooler during summer, so you can get a breather from temperatures in the high 40s.


 The new zip line in Musandam
Image Credit: Oman Adventures Official

With the ongoing 'khareef' or monsoon season in Oman, you can expect cooler climes in Musandam for a couple of months. Positioned perfectly between mountains and the sea, you get the best of both worlds here. The destination has a packed list of activities including scuba diving, boat rides, snorkelling, and more. With a newly opened adventure centre, Musandam has added adrenaline-packed options including a zip line ride over water. You can get summer discounts on rides here.

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Musandam is a popular destination and the roughly 150-kilometre four-hour drive from Dubai to Khasab is a frequent route for UAE residents. The Musandam region is rich in its geographical diversity, flora and fauna.

The destination is also a treasure trove when it comes to historic landmarks and archaeological attractions. One thing you shouldn’t miss on your Musandam trip is a dhow ride.

For visas, make sure you carry your passport, Emirates ID and a printed copy of your mulkiya or car registration.

Al Ain

Jebel hafeet anu dhabi uae coolest winter
Image Credit: WAM

Head to this underrated gem and embrace serene palm trees, stunning oases, and cultural gems like Jebel Hafeet, Al Jahili Fort, and Al Ain Palace Museum at Al Ain.

Finally, before you leave, head to Jebel Hafeet. At 1,240 metres, Abu Dhabi’s highest peak — known in Arabic as the “empty mountain - is worth a visit. You can drive the zig-zag road up the mountain and enjoy the breathtaking scenery.

Heading to the peak has the added benefit of getting cooler weather as you go higher.


Khor Fakkan
Image Credit: Shutterstock

Drive to Khor Fakkan this summer for its 3km sandy beach lined with palm trees and spotted with shops and eateries. Relax and see the warm waters of the Gulf of Oman as you ride by, or if you are feeling particularly adventurous, take note – there are plenty of activities to try here. You can play beach football as the sun sets or try one of the seaside swings for that perfect Insta-worthy, breezy shot. If you’re feeling adventurous, try parasailing off the back of a speedboat.

For the ultimate experience and sweeping views, one can kayak or rent a pedal boat to explore the Al Rafisah Dam, which offers visitors unparalleled natural views, in addition to the availability of water sports centres that can organise amazing activities.

A unique way to explore Khorfakkan’s mountains, Al Suhub Rest House is a recently built mountain-side rest stop that lies 580 meters above sea level, offering panoramic views across Khorfakkan.

As you pass through the entrance, you will find facilities including a luxury restaurant. The route to the complex includes viewing points along the way.

Ras Al Khaimah

Arab man enjoying the view at the Jebel Jais desert sandstone mountain in Ras al Khaimah UAE
Image Credit: Shutterstock

Establishing its place as the adventure capital of the UAE, head to Jebel Jais over the weekend. All the adventure activities there are open throughout the summer and discounts are available as well. Temperatures are bound to be lower up on the peak, so that's a bonus.

If you love culture and history, the emirate is home to several archaeological sites and forts. Head to the Flamingo or Mairidh Beach which is one of Ras Al Khaimah's most popular public beaches, and it's known for its two massive flamingo statues.