Part 1
Hidden gems in UAE? Road trips from Dubai? Road trips? Most beautiful beaches? Off-beat places to see? Got you covered!

Hidden gems in UAE? Road trips from Dubai? Road trips? Most beautiful beaches? Off-beat places to see? Got you covered!

Road Trips in UAE

Shuweihat Island
As we all know, The UAE is blessed with a coastline that stretches over 1,318 kilometers but some people never really go out and explore it! In this storyI will be talking about Shuweihat Island, a place for those who want to admire the beauty of nature, texture and sea! The further you go, the prettier it gets.

Reaching this place is a task in itself but the rewards to anyone who makes this epic journey (from literally anywhere else in the UAE) to this stunning location are innumerable. The low-lying cliffs, caves and turquoise blue water will remind you of Petra and Bali at the same time! (Did I say, it’s the best of both the worlds!) The formations here are difficult to be found anywhere else in the country, so be ready to be amazed.

Ideal for a scrupulously planned, long weekend or a full day camping, Shuweihat is about as far west along the coast as you can get before you’re faced with the Saudi border – not too far past the town of Ruwais. You will need a four-wheel drive vehicle to get across the causeway and over the rocky headland, whereupon it’s best to disembark and scramble down to the water’s edge. You won’t believe your eyes – this place is so beautiful!

Travelling from Dubai
Points you need to keep in mind:
• Expect trucks. (A lot of trucks!)
• Not enough petrol stations. (When I say not enough, I mean hardly any!)
• This road will turn you into a professional truck overtaker.
• Keep track of the speed limits.
• Carry enough water, food, etc.
• Reliable GPS. (Don’t worry, even with the GPS you are bound to be lost!)
• It’s a long drive, make sure you have good company!

Somewhere between 370 to 500kms depending on which route you take.

• 3 h 23 min (369.4 km) via E11 and Abu Dhabi – Ghuweifat International Highway /E11
• 4 h 16 min (455.8 km) via Abu Dhabi – Ghuweifat International Highway /E11
• 4 h 31 min (491.9 km) via Dubai – Al Ain Rd/E66 and Abu Dhabi – Ghuweifat International Highway.

What to carry
• Swimming trunks (Quick dry clothes).
• Jackets/Pullovers
• Extra pair of clothes
• Towels
• Shoes (Climbing the rocks in slippers is strictly a no-no!)

Camping (Day):
• Tent (Recommend but not essential)
• Mat
• Chairs
• Sheets/Blanket (Depends on the weather)
• Other Camping essentials (Be cautious about the fire equipment, etc)
• Lights and torches
• Plenty of food and water(Very Important! There is absolutely nothing in this area.)

• Trash bags (Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but photos!)
• Tissues/Wet tissues
• Speakers (Because music makes everything better!)

What to expect
Reaching this place is not easy (Our car, I assume, cursed us all the while! Got stuck so many times. Lost our way and what not! but once we reached, we forgot everything and were awestruck! So, don’t be scared of embarking this journey. You will forget everything and I can assure you, that you will be looking forward to visiting it again!

Before you reach
• Sand dunes
• Boulders
• Rocks
• Narrow paths that look impossible to be driven on.

After you reach
• Clear blue water
• Magical, mysterious looking rock formation.
• Heaven for photographers.
• Kayaking (Only if you carry your own kayak)
• Beautiful landscape
• Hidden caves (yes!)
• and much more! (Check the pics!)

All in all, come what may, this road trip from UAE, should be on your list!

Written by: Maria Arif
Photos: Maria Arif

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this article was published in OutdoorUAE printed magazine issue #92 December 2018 – January 2019

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