Forget about your Friday night booking at your favorite restaurant; forget about splurging on a trip overseas. It's time to hit the road.
It's that time of the year when we all start to remember why we live in this country: mild winter months, ever-present blue skies and beaches that stretch for days. It's time to burst into the great outdoors.
Here's a guide to great road trip destinations in and around the UAE. Get your playlists ready.
1. Musandam Peninsula, Oman
Musandam isn't in Greece. It's right next door in Oman. Known as the "Norway of Arabia" thanks to its fjords, this is the place to be if you're looking to mentally check out and reconnect with nature.
Most people go for a cruise on a traditional Arabian dhow along the fjords of Musandam. It's a great opportunity to take a dip, snorkel and even do some over-water rock climb.
How to get there? From Dubai, follow Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road through Sharjah, Ajman and Umm Al Quwain. When you reach Ras Al Khaimah, follow the E11 and keep an eye on signs for Shams, and Musandam and Tibat. Once you’ve had your passport stamped, you can follow the coastal road to Musandam.
How long is it going to take you? 3 hours and 20 minutes.
Places to visit? Make sure to see the Oman Fjords, Bimmah Sinkhole, Khasab Castle, Khawr Najd, and Khasab Fort.
Hotel to stay at? Atana Musandam is a picturesque resort that straddles the coast of the peninsula. It's only 7 km away from the city center and affords you many luxuries for excellent prices.
2. Jabal Hafeet, Al Ain
A road trip to Al Ain is a very relaxed one and it's ideal for family. It's best known for the intricately structured Hafeet mountain which overlooks the city of Al Ain and sits on the border with Oman.
Al Ain, an oasis historically known as the Garden City, is well-known as one of the most idyllic spots in the country. It's been inhabited for over 4,000 years, and there are archaeological sites to check out on Jabal Hafeet and the Al-Hilli area.
How to get there? The route to the mountain is quite smooth and simple. Leaving from Dubai you will just have to get onto the E66 Dubai-Al Ain highway.
How long is it going to take you? 90 minutes.
Places to visit? You can go to Al Ain zoo, one of the first in the UAE If you are a thrill-seeker, then you should visit Wadi Adventure which is full of activities like kayaking, surfing, and much more.
Hotels to stay at? there are plenty of options in Al Ain, both luxurious and affordable. Feel like pampering yourself? Check out the Al Ain Rotana . Another relaxing place to stay in is Danat Al Ain Resort, which has two pools and overlooks a palm tree forest.
3. Bu Tinah, Abu Dhabi
Bu Tinah is an archipelago with coral formations. It's protected by a nature reserve because it is a haven for a lot of marine animals, including the green turtle. It's also home to the second-largest dugong population in the world. Bu Tinah lies within the Marawah Marine Biosphere Reserve, the first and world's largest UNESCO-designated marine biosphere reserve.
How to get there? Follow the Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road in the direction of Abu Dhabi. After that you will see signs for Bu Tinah Island.
How long is it going to take you? 60 minutes.
Places to stop by? You can stop at the Last Exit, the food truck park. Keep in mind that entry is FREE! Another great pit stop is Dubai Outlet Village where you can buy luxurious brands with great deals.
Things to do? Book a boat trip fast! You can choose to book a yacht if you feel like splurging; there are cheaper options with speedboats. You can start by sightseeing in the island, deep sea fishing, snorkeling or diving.
Hotels to stay at? Danat Jebel Dhanna Resort is a seaside resort on the coast that Bu Tinah is off of. It's a luxurious and tastefully decorated hotel in the town of Ruwais. Dhafra Beach Hotel is another nearby resort and is a cheaper option, complete with tennis courts, gyms and a private beach.
4. Jabal Al Jais, Ras al Khaimah
Love to camp? Jabal Al Jais is for you. It's the tallest mountain in the UAE at about 1,910 m. The best time to go there is in the afternoon to do a barbecue and catch the sunset. Many people – especially night photographers – camp there because the sky will be full of stars and you're literally and metaphorically above the clouds when you wake up.
How to get there? From Dubai International Airport take the Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road towards Sharjah. Follow the Sharjah road signs until you see Ras Al Khaimah road signs and continue straight ahead after about 45 minutes of driving.
How long is it going to take you? 115 minutes.
Hotels nearby to stay or visit? Wanna trade camping for uber luxury? Banyan Tree Ras Al Khaimah Beach will make you think you died and went to heaven, or at least to the Maldives ... After a boat drops you off to your room (yes, you read that right), you'll have a private pool, a private balcony and access to sublime spa services. This is a great way to treat yourself, or a special someone you might have in your life.
Another unique experience in Ras Al Khaimah is The Cove Rotana Resort, which is reminiscent of a rustic Arab desert settlement. The interiors are lovely and it's got a play area for the kids.