Always eager to discover the less known and tourist parts of a country. We went on a small 4-day road trip with my parents to explore the backcountry of the United Arab Emirates.
During these 4 days, we crossed all the emirates, the 7 that make up the country. We went through landscapes all different from each other, allowing us to discover more than the usual corners ! One thing is for sure, we were not disappointed with the trip.
Day 1 : Abu Dhabi - Al Ain - Jebel Hafeet
We leave Abu Dhabi in the morning to Al Ain and its oasis which is still in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi (which reminds us, is immense!). Located about 2 hours drive, we arrive quickly to destination. The town itself is not very beautiful, the locals are not very friendly and you see almost no women. We prefer to lose ourselves in the oasis and it is the case to say it because by dint of taking several small paths that attracted us, we ended up getting lost a little! But not for long obviously.
This is not really the idea of an oasis, it is very framed and mostly resembles a palm grove with its many date palms. Although the "wild" and "natural" side is not at the rendezvous, the walk remains friendly.
We decide to visit the fort, but no chance closed on Monday, we will be satisfied with the outside - which seems, it remains the most interesting !
We enjoy a traditional Arabica coffee with local dates (not possible to be wrong on it ! ) before take the road again.
Our journey is interspersed with break for photo and drone before finally arriving in an increasingly rocky landscape until arriving completely in a mountain of rock. The temperature has cooled down! I didn’t expect to enjoy as much my sweater!
This night, we spent it in the Grand Hôtel Mercure on the Jebel Hafeet, the most famous mountain in the country. The hotel seems to have created its own space in the rock. That's wonderful. The interior is just as breathtaking as usual, as are the service, the rooms, and the free activities offered to which you are delighted: mini golf, gym, ping pong ... Before going to all you can eat buffet (yeah again).
Fully satisfied with this first day, we climb to enjoy the comfort of our rooms and a night's sleep.
Mercure Grand Jebel Hafeet Al Ain Hotel
Website : « http://www.mercure.com/ »
Prices : For a Double Deluxe Room : 50€ (without breakfast).
Activities :Swimming pool, restaurants and bars, fitness club, mini golf.
Day 2 : Jebel Hafeet - Sharjah - Ras Al Khaimah - Fujairah
What better way to start the day than an all-you-can-eat breakfast ? Honestly, I think I've never seen and eat so much of my life !
We leave the hotel under a thick fog! Goodbye the photo I wanted so much to take! It will serve as a lesson: we do not postpone the photos until tomorrow by idleness.
Today is a day where we go through many different places. My father and Nils are having fun taking the smallest unknown roads they see on the map to get off the beaten track. We are in "adventurer" mode and it's worth it, because we go through completely isolated places that offer fantastic views where you can drop the drone ! Our route takes us through points like Al Madam, Shawka, Dibba ... Nevertheless, we have already left the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, and crossed that of Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah and finally arrive at that of Fujairah. All this along the Omani border as we follow the coast of the Golf of Oman.
Come the time to find our hotel, the Golden Tulip, but oddly there is misunderstanding on the address since it would be located in Oman ... The GPS takes us to a border post, a little lost, the guards help us and explain that our hotel is located in the United Arab Emirates and gives us the exact address! We turn around via the border post (in a certain way, we can say that we were in Oman, not ?!), under the watchful eye of the guards (well armed). We keep the smile, and we quietly go our way in the right direction this time !
We arrived at night, and for the first time, we were a little disappointed with the hotel, looks like there was a hold up on the buffet, and the staff seemed a bit lost on what to eat. However, the rooms are cool, there is no real reason to complain (We quickly get used to luxury !)
Golden Tulip Khatt Springs Resort & Spa
Website : « http://www.goldentulipkhattsprings.com »
Prices : For a Double Deluxe Room : 45€ (without breakfast).
Activités :Swimming pool, restaurants and bars, spa & wellness, naturals hot springs, fitness club.
Day 3 : Fujairah - Ras Al Khaimah
Last full day before return ! It feels like we've been gone for a lot longer so much we've seen things and we're moving.
We leave the hotel via the mountain and we visit Djebel which is at 2000 meters while taking the direction of Shams which is still on the Omani border but in the north of the country.
Today, the drone suffered its first crash and a good one ! We had a fright: birds didn’t like it and with its sensors, it wanted to dodge them: it stepped back and BIM in the rocks. Frankly, for a while, we thought it was fucked, meters down, but we were lucky in our misfortune since it was to be seen, and easily recoverable. Diagnosis: Broken propellers, the camera a little displaced just like the sensors, but everything is easily repairable (For Nils in any case) Phew, we are relieved, but for the moment, it remains in the bag !
We start slowly the way back along the coast of the Arabic Golf via Rams. We enjoyed the scenery while looking for a place to stay on the last night, and the least we can say is that we (mostly my parents) made it big since we stop at the Hilton Beach Resort 5 * Hotel in Ras Al Khainah (city and emirates of the same name). We are open-mouthed in front of the hotel, and also facing the contrasts of this country, a few hours ago, we were in such arid landscapes, devoid of everything, and here we are in a place so chic that offers everything we can dream: pool, cart to take us where we want on the many acres of the hotel, spa ... It's luxurious but in a sober and classy way, that's why we like it..
As usual, we enjoy everything thoroughly, even from the room that seem to be full of treasures. Nils says we should not sleep to enjoy everything! Ha ha, he’s not wrong. Our room directly overlooks the sea and the sunset. In silence, we let ourselves be caressed by the last rays of the sun, taking advantage of the last lights before leaving our reverie to go eat. This road trip comes to an end, and leaves us soothed. Tomorrow it will be time to return, but for now, we can still play with the bubble bath of the room !
Hilton Ras al Khaimah Resort & Spa
Website : « http://www3.hilton.com »
Prices : For a King Deluxe Room with sea view : 145€ (without breakfast).
Activities :Swimming pool, private beach, spa & wellness, free transport (littles cars like for the golf), restaurants and bars, kids area, fitness club, beach club with water activities (windsurf, diving, ...)
Day 4 : Ras Al Khaimah - Dubai - Abu Dhabi
It seems like obvious now, but ... We take a sumptuous breakfast at will. There is something for every taste: greedy, healthy, vegan ... It may be better that the road trip does not last any longer, we would end up gaining weight! The return continues to take us along the coast of the Arabic Golf this time via Umm al Quwain, Ajman, Sharjah and Dubai which we walk around a bit because we planned to come back later to visit well . We still made a small stop near the Burj Al Arab to enjoy the view and a moment of relaxation under the breeze and the sun before heading towards Abu Dhabi.
This road trip has left us a lot of memories, especially allowing us to see an unknown facet of the United Arab Emirates, it is good to see that there is more than Abu Dhabi and Dubai, that there is still a part of that country which is traditional. We recommended to everyone this adventure, dare to be « dépayser » ! :)