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The best driving roads in the UAE: Dubai road trip out of 1001 nights

Tuesday, 6. October 2020 | Benedikt Lüchinger

New sights, new routes and new experiences are something every car connoisseur dreams of. But what do you do when your home country no longer offers you new roads? Just pack your car shoes and leather gloves and fly to Dubai.

The car enthusiasts could be divided into two main categories. The first are the people who like their cars in mint condition, rarely drive them, and keep them in climate-control garages. The second one is the guys who use every second of their spare time to drive as much as they can, get their cars dirty, and have the time of their life behind the wheel. For people who consider driving one of the ultimate pleasures, the prospect of discovering new roads is an immensely exciting adventure. New sights, new routes, and new experiences are something that every car connoisseur dream about. However, what do you do when you run out of new roads in your area? Simply, pack your driving shoes and leather gloves, and go.

Today, we will present to you the six best driving roads in the UAE, one of the countries with the most amazing sights and sceneries and smoothest pavement in the world. Especially attractive to European car enthusiasts, UAE offers a wide range of desert roads, twisty mountain passes, and incredibly beautiful seaside. Of course, for those seeking even more excitement, there is always a chance to go exploring the desert behind the wheel of a competent 4×4 vehicle. Not to mention constantly sunny weather, unpopulated areas, and numerous luxury desert oasis locations. Yes, the driving in UAE looks like a car enthusiast’s heaven, and here are the top six spots you must visit.

Jebel Hafeet

Hatta, Hajar Mountains

Let’s start with one the best mountain passes in this part of the world – Hatta, and it is a dangerously beautiful road that begins from the desert and climbs to the top of the mountain. Although this might be a short stretch of road about 10 kilometers (6 miles) long, you will encounter numerous sharp curves, elevation changes, blind corners, and challenging conditions. The pavement is smooth, and you can easily get carried away by the sheer excitement of driving there. On the top, there is a roundabout where you can safely turn and do it all again, this time downhill. Of course, if you decided to stay and explore the area, there are numerous exciting sports, a stunning lake, and several classy resorts.

Al Hajar Mountains

Jebel Hafeet in Al Ain

Even if you are not familiar with the region’s driving culture, you know about Jabel Hafeet. Its beautiful scenery was home to many films and TV crews and setting for so many car photoshoots that you will instantly recognize the settings. Located on Jebel Hafeet, UAE’s second-highest mountain (4000 feet – 1200 meters), this mountain pass is pure bliss. Constructed almost four decades ago, the 7.3 miles (11.7 kilometers) long route is paved with smooth asphalt and has over 60 swooping curves, which are delightful to drive. This road is not as dangerous as Hatta mountain pass, for example, and that is why it is one of the most popular in the region. Unfortunately, being so popular means that it is overcrowded, especially during the weekends. So, if you are looking to have Jebel Hafeet all to yourself, avoid Sundays and holidays.

Rub Al Khali – The Empty Quarter

As you would expect, the largest uninterrupted sand mass on the planet is located in UAE and called Rub Al Khali or the Empty Quarter. It is an enormous desert covering almost 1/3 of UAE’s surface and borders with Yemen and Oman in the south. Although no roads are crossing the Rub Al Kahli, it is still one of the top spots for driving – in 4×4 vehicles for rent, of course. In fact, driving on the sand dunes, camping in the desert, and racing through the sand is the prime tourist attraction when you get to the Empty Quarter. Even for experienced off-road drivers, the Rub Al Khali will be a unique experience for its share size and fantastic sights, colors, and atmosphere.

Liwa desert

Liwa Desert

Liwa Desert is located 90 kilometers (60 miles) south of Abu Dhabi. It is one of the top spots for people who want to experience the vast space of the desert but still want to drive on the paved road suitable for passenger vehicles. Even though the roads through the deserts, this one is still quite interesting since you will end up in one of the most beautiful oasis in the region and perfect combination of scenery with sand dunes, overlooking the palm trees and the luxury Qasr al Sarab Desert Resort. When you get to the Liwa area, you might experience a déjà vu moment, and you will not be mistaken. This was the location of several Star Wars movies, and the fans of the series often visit it.

Jebel Al Jais, Ras Al Kaimah

If you want to climb to the top of the UAE, then you should head north to Jebel Al Jais and drive up to the top of the mountain pass located at just over 6000 feet (1.9 km) above the sea level. This is the UAE’s highest mountain top, and the road towards it is one of the most beautiful and stunning in the country. This is a challenging route with numerous bends, blind corners, and sharp turns, so concentration is required. The great thing about Jebel Al Jais is the fact it is just an hour of driving north of Dubai. Since this road is located on the border between UAE and Oman, the area is not developed, and there is not much to do once you get there except the worlds longest zip line: the Jebel Jais zip line. Fortunately, resorts and restaurants are in construction.

Jebel Jais

Khasab, Musandam  

We saved the best driving roads in the UAE for last, and for those who want the ultimate experience of exploring the new frontiers, enjoying spirited driving, and looking at stunning views, must travel a little further up north to the town of Khasab in the province of Musandam. Located about 10 miles (15 kilometers) north of Jebel Al Jais, there is a hidden driving gem of the Middle East in the form of a short mountain road, just above the town, which has one of the most astonishing sceneries you will ever see. On one side, there are rocky mountains, beautiful in their own way, but on the other side, there is a fantastic view of the gorgeous Strait of Hormuz (part of the Persian Gulf) and its mesmerizing turquoise blue waters.

Musandam Road

Would you like to explore the best driving roads in the UAE with a rental car yourself? We look forward to hearing from you, we will be happy to advise you! Edel & Stark offers a wide fleet of luxury sports cars, SUVs and other cars for rent in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

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