The Weekend Guide: A Road Trip Through the UAE’s Hidden Gems

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Dubai Road Trips
Photo: Courtesy of @mlkdlsz_photoshots

Dubai is like Disneyland for adults (and kids too), but it can be overwhelming and time-consuming to filter through everything our gorgeous city has to offer on the weekends. Let’s be honest, after you’ve worked all week long, the last thing you want to do is waste your precious R&R time sifting through offers and websites. Sometimes, you miss the best events because it takes too long to find them.

Savoir Flair is here to help start your weekend off on the right note by giving you our favorite picks for what you should be doing this weekend in Dubai. So whether it’s a much-needed day at the beach, a well-deserved spa treatment, or a day of adventure, you have never felt more on holiday than you will in Dubai this weekend.

1

Drive Onto this Secret Beach in Ras Al Khaimah

On the very end of the north side of Al Rams in Ras al Khaimah there is a little bridge issuing you a warning to not approach as there is a military base. Cross it anyway. Once over onto the island, turn left and drive through the gate, past the base – don’t go into the base, obviously – and drive straight onto the beaches of Saraya Island. Considered one of the purest beaches in the UAE, the sand and open sea stretch out before you with turquoise waters on your right and a view of the beautiful Hajar Mountain on your left. If you have a 4×4, you can drive straight onto the beach and go as far down the strip as you need to to find that perfect spot right next to the water. Camping, fishing, and crabbing are all allowed, and the water is clear and gentle for swimming, stand-up paddle, or just to forget all your worries and sit and enjoy a picnic in the serenity of a private hidden gem.

Dubai Road Trips
Photo: Courtesy of @dxb.uae.explore
2

Step Into Heaven at Sharjah's New House of Wisdom

Sharjah’s new House of Wisdom, designed by the British architectural team Foster & Partners, is finally open, and is the latest iconic landmark to grace the UAE. Within a sprawling 12,000 square meters, visitors can get lost in their thousands of books both physical and digital. But this is not just a library. This is the House of Wisdom and that extends well past any regular library’s cache of novels. Exhibition spaces, labs and studio space, discussion halls, indoor/outdoor reading areas, a children’s area, a restaurant/cafe, and meeting rooms all make up the offerings for innovation, creativity, exploration, and learning available to persons of any age.

Rising above it all stands the Scroll Monument, a spiraling tower of steel designed by Gerry Judah that soars 36 meters into the sky and represents an ancient Arabic scroll — a beacon of truth that signals to the world the important and unifying quest in the pursuit of knowledge.

Dubai Road Trips
Photo: Courtesy of @sharjahhow
3

Take a Hidden Hike and Visit a New Amphitheater in Khor Fakkan

It’s a little farther than the other emirates, but driving to Khor Fakkan from Dubai is probably one of the most beautiful drives. Go past softly shifting desert sands and through the mountains and rocks that make Fujairah so unique until you come up to the other side facing the Indian Ocean. Combine the road trip with a visit to Wadi Shees – this incredible hidden gem of a place in the Hajar Mountains where there are nature trails that lead you to waterfalls, rock pools, a clear and crisp wadi, and even an old mountain farming village – and a trip to the beach in Khor Fakkan.

Don’t miss the brand new amphitheater that officially opened on December 31, 2020. It’s a behemoth, state-of-the-art outdoor performance space built into the side of the hill overlooking the Gulf of Oman. The best part is that in some magical and technologically advanced way, the amphitheater keeps cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Julius Caesar, anyone?

Dubai Road Trips
Photo: Courtesy of @fille_de_voyagegirl
4

Go to the Other Kite Beach (The One in Umm Al Quwain)

This little local favorite has one of the most gorgeous strips of white, sandy beaches in the UAE and feels like you’ve teleported into Bali. Easily a favorite daycation spot, relax on the wooden sun loungers, check out the kite surfing, paddle-boarding, or canoes that line the beach, swim in the crystal clear waters, try your strength at the Tarzan jungle gym, or take a guided tour of the mangroves.

There’s no need to pack a picnic as there are huts available with food and beverages to help keep your beach bag light. There is a small charge for entrance, but the beach is pristine, well-kept, and it has a limit on how many people are allowed access, so you can be sure it will be a fun day in the sun, with COVID restrictions and without fighting all of the Dubai crowds.

Dubai Road Trips
Photo: Courtesy of @chiarettachestny
5

See the Wild Animals in Al Ain Up-Close

People young and old love to visit the zoo. And the Al Ain zoo boasts so many wild and incredible animals that it’s difficult to see everything in a day. We highly recommend that you pre-book a VIP cart if you think you won’t be able to handle all the walking, because the zoo is massive. There are animals big and small at every turn, so map out your day beforehand to make sure you see all of the big ones you want to see. We also enjoy just wandering and seeing which little cheeky monkeys we can find. The safari trek will give you an even wider experience as it takes you out to see the truly wild and beautiful animals. It is an extra cost, but perhaps you save on not having to do an African Safari because, well, basically you’ve already done it.

Dubai Road Trips
Photo: Courtesy of @pashukkur
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