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United Arab Emirates

Best Day Trips from Dubai

Dubai Marina.. Dubai marina skyline. Dubai Marina is a district in Dubai United Arab Emirates. Dubai Marina is an artificial canal city

One of the 7 “Emirates”, Dubai is a popular tourist destination in the United Arab Emirates. Dubai is known for attractions like the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world and for remarkable religious sites like the Jumeirah Mosque.

The emirate also offers something for culture enthusiasts: one of our top picks are the Jameel Arts Centre, an impressive institution dedicated to contemporary culture, and the Community Theatre & Art Centre that promotes both performing arts, but also creative writing and movement. 

Dubai is also a great hub for shopping, dining and… day tours! In doubt which day trip to book first? Let us guide you through the best Dubai excursions.

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Day trip from Dubai to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a star attraction of Dubai’s neighbouring Emirate, Abu Dhabi. It is the third-largest mosque in the world, and it covers an area of almost 4 football fields (22.412 square meters). The mosque was named after the first president of the United Arab Emirates and the ruler of Abu Dhabi (who ruled for more than 30 years), Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The mosque is now a resting place for his body; he passed in 2004.

The mosque has 3 Guinness World Records: for the largest hand woven carpet and for the largest dome of its kind. It also has the record for the biggest chandelier in a mosque. In total, the mosque has 7, 24-carat, gold-plated Swarovski crystal chandeliers!

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is open daily between 9 AM and 10 PM (except on Fridays; opening hours 4.30 PM to 10 PM) and it is free to visit. You can also sign up for a complimentary guided tour. The tour takes one hour and gives you insight and information about the mosque and the religious traditions. The most popular are the sunset tours, as the mosque gets beautifully illuminated after dark.

Make sure you add the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque to your Abu Dhabi tour or book a direct trip from Dubai with a tour agency!

Day trip from Dubai to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the largest mosque of UAE, located in Abu Dhabi the capital city of the United Arab Emirates

Day trip from Dubai to Dubai Desert Safari 

The Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve (also known as DDCR) is the first national park in the United Arab Emirates. It attracts both local and international visitors with a breathtaking landscape of dunes and desert fauna. (Look out for Arabian gazelles and oryx!) Dubai did not have its own reserve before Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum decided to buy a piece of land that was once a camel farm. Inspired by the national reserves of South Africa, the sheikh turned the land into a national park. The park offers entertainment and attractions like fat-bike riding, camel trekking and sand-boarding. You can even find falcon demonstrations! 

To try a bit of everything, we recommend booking a one-day desert safari tour. On this day trip, you will go through the desert in a safe and comfortable Land Rover. Eventually, you will arrive at a Bedouin-style camp to enjoy some typical Emirati activities like a camel ride in the dunes or henna tattooing. There will also be traditional bread-making and coffee-brewing demonstrations! To crown your desert experience, you will be served a delicious dinner, accompanied by live music and dancing. 

Dubai desert safari tours can be booked online; the online tour agencies make sure that a donation is made to the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve.

Day trip from Dubai to Dubai Desert Safari 

Jeep safari on sand dunes in Dubai desert

Camel Desert Safari day tour from Dubai

If you are looking for a slightly different experience of Dubai Desert Adventures, we recommend booking a Camel Desert Safari tour. For this day trip, you will be picked up by a minivan from your hotel and driven to the desert to meet a camel train. The camel ride will take you to a desert retreat, hidden in the dunes. Except for trying a camel ride for yourself, you will learn a lot about the camels’ lives in the desert and their importance for the Bedouin tribes. 

Around sunset other activities will start; have a look at the informative falconry display and join an Arabic bread-making and coffee-brewing demonstration. After the camel ride, you will also have time to go into the desert on your own if you want to take pictures. Back at the camp, you will have the chance to get a henna tattoo before the exquisite evening meal. 

The Camel Desert Safari day trip includes a 4-course dinner under the stars; you will get the chance to try carefully prepared Arabic dishes and enjoy the dinner in a remarkable setting of the Emirati desert. After dinner, you will be offered to try the Arabic water pipe, commonly known as “shisha”.

Camel Desert Safari day tour from Dubai

DUBAI, UAE - desert safari tourists riding camels - travel concept with people on caravan exploring sand dunes in Dubai desert - adventure in UAE tourism

Day trip from Dubai to Ferrari World

Another great tourist attraction located in Abu Dhabi, yet still easily reachable from Dubai, is the Ferrari World. It is an amusement park on Yas Island. Located mostly indoors, it has the record of the world’s largest indoor theme park. Let your inner child come out and get ready to race champions, break records and first-hand experience some of the most exquisite cars ever made!

Ferrari World is home to “Formula Rossa”, the fastest roller coaster in the world, and there are in total 37 thrilling rides in the amusement park. Except of rides and attractions like “Formula Rossa” or “Bell’ Italia” (a ride “through Italy” in a reproduction of a retro Ferrari model from the late 1950s), this theme park is also a place where you can experience entertaining performance shows, shop till you drop and enjoy high-class Emirati dining.

Ferrari World is open daily from 11 AM – 8 PM with extended opening hours between December 20th – January 4th. Check the website for details, maintenance updates about rides and attractions and to download a digital map of the amusement park. We recommend buying your Ferrari World tickets online; the price in online pre-sale is 295 AED (around 80 USD). Add-ons like “quick pass” (lets you skip the line) or meal combos (recommended for visitors travelling with children) are available online too.

Day trip from Dubai to Ferrari World

ABU DHABI, UAE - The interior of Ferrari World at Yas Island in Abu Dubai in the UAE on December 22, 2011. Ferrari World is the largest indoor amusement park in the world.

Day trip from Dubai to Yas Island

Yas Island has much more to offer than the Ferrari Park! The entire island is a centre of leisure, shopping and entertainment. Yas Island is a playground for (younger and older) locals and tourists alike, tempting visitors with attractions like the Yas Waterworld, Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi and, of course, the Ferrari World.

On the island, you will find some of the most luxurious resorts, so if you are tempted to extend your Abu Dhabi day trip, you will find premium accommodation on Yas Island. Available for tourists and locals, Yas Island offers convenient transportation options; there are shuttle buses connecting the island’s attractions and main facilities, and if you want to add some activity to your Yas Island explorations, there is also a bike-sharing service available. Make sure not to miss the Yas Marina and Yas Beach! If you wish to lounge and relax, the beach is the perfect place to go, and at the Marina, you will find the Formula 1 Race Circuit.

Do not worry about getting from Dubai to Yas Island, there are free shuttles to the theme parks that leave from several locations in Dubai like the Mall of the Emirates, Dubai Mall or Deira City Centre. The shuttle services provide comfortable, Wi-Fi-equipped vans; all you have to do is relax and enjoy the ride to Yas Island.

Day trip from Dubai to Yas Island

Abu Dhabi,UAE- Nov Yas Marina view in Yas Island Abu-Dhabi

Day trip from Dubai to the Musandam Peninsula

The Musandam Peninsula belongs to Oman, but it is separated from the rest of the country by the territory of the United Arab Emirates. The Musandam Peninsula is a great spot for a one day trip from Dubai, but you will also find things to do and see if you decide to extend your stay. The peninsula is sometimes referred to as the “Norway of Arabia” due to its khors (pebbled inlets) that remind of the Norwegian fjords.

One of the main attractions of the Musandam Peninsula is the Khasab Fort. Erected by the Portuguese in the 17th century, the fort now houses a museum of ethnography. You will find exhibitions of the local fauna and flora as well as displays highlighting the culture and traditions of local fishermen. Make sure not to miss the Khor Aj Najd Viewpoint! It is located 24.5 km southeast of Khasab, and it is the only “khor” that can be reached by vehicle. The viewpoint at the top gives you the opportunity to look over the surrounding cliffs; make sure to take your camera with you!

We recommend getting to the Musandam Peninsula from Dubai by boat. Tour agencies online offer day cruises. Accompanied by a local guide, the cruise is also a great opportunity to take pictures of the golden beaches and cliffs of the Musandam Peninsula from the boat.

Day trip from Dubai to the Musandam Peninsula

Khasab Fort in Musandam governorate of Oman surrounded by sandstone

Day trip from Dubai to Abu Dhabi

We have already listed quite a few attractions to see in Abu Dhabi, but even if you are not into entertainment parks with roller coasters or Formula 1 Circuits, a one day trip from Dubai to Abu Dhabi is highly recommended. 

Maybe you are curious to learn about the pre-oil era of the Emirati region and get a deeper understanding of the local culture? We recommend a visit to the Heritage Village where you will learn about traditional life in the United Arab Emirates in the past. There is an open museum that hosts events, workshops and demonstrations of traditional crafts like pottery making. 

As a contrast to Dubai’s many malls, if you want to do some shopping in a more traditional setting, visiting the Souk Central Market is one of our top recommendations for your 1 day tour from Dubai to Abu Dhabi. The market mimics a traditional Arabian souk and welcomes vendors who sell traditional crafts, fabrics and spices. 

Last, but not least on our Abu Dhabi tour recommendation list is the Mangroves Marina. The United Arab Emirates are known for the deserts, but Abu Dhabi also has mangroves! Rent a kayak and enjoy a tranquil afternoon away from the daily urban bustle of Abu Dhabi.

Day trip from Dubai to Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Night Layover in Dubai

We know that many travellers arrive in Dubai because of a flight layover which limits the time for explorations and sightseeing. A layover sightseeing tour is a great idea for a Dubai day trip from airport; if you book online, you can request a direct pickup in the airport, both for your own convenience and to make the most of your time in the bustling Emirate. 

From the airport, you will be driven through Dubai and introduced to the major attractions like Dubai’s main place of worship, the Jumeirah Mosque (built in Fatimid style; a construction style that originated in Syria and Egypt). Your guides will also show you Burj Al Arab hotel (one of the world’s most luxurious hotels) and Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. The tour also includes a visit to Dubai’s Gold Souk, the most famous traditional market where you can buy everything from souvenirs to snacks and spices.

The entire tour is accompanied by a local guide who, apart from helping you bargain at the souk, will share with you stories about Dubai and the incredible transformation of the Emirate. Included in this Dubai day trip from airport is your transfer back; when placing your booking, make sure to specify when you need to be back at the airport for your connecting flight!

Night Layover in Dubai

Dubai sunset panoramic view of downtown. Dubai is super modern city of UAE, cosmopolitan megalopolis.

Recommended Day Trips from Dubai

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Best Day Trips from Dubai

Best Day Trips from Dubai

Best Day Trips from Dubai

Article written by:

Hi, my name is Samantha, Finance Managing Guru by day, Travel Blogging Enthusiast by... well... day too! Haha! Travelling King is the destination hotspot for the wannabe traveller! Showcasing affordable, luxurious getaways for the budget conscious! With the combination of my financial knowledge and travelling experiences I aim to show you, with a little planning, the right budget and a realistic goal you can fulfil your travel fantasies and explore the world whatever your budget or desires may be!