Are you looking for day trips from Abu Dhabi? While we love the city, sometimes we like to break free and hit the road headed elsewhere.
Luckily Abu Dhabi has loads of great destinations a short hop, skip and jump away to check out.
Here are seven great day trip ideas to enjoy from the UAE capital.
The Garden City is so close to Abu Dhabi yet many residents never make the trip down to Al Ain and it’s their loss because there’s lots to see and do. In fact it’s nearly impossible to see everything in one day, so you’ll have to come back or make a weekend of it.
You can explore the stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site that id Al Ain Oasis, get cultural with Al Ain Palace Museum, Al Jahili Fort and Al Qattara Arts Centre.
Plus they’re all free of charge, too, which is ideal.
If it’s nature you’re after there’s Green Mubazzarah Park and hot springs too. So you’re spoiled for choice really.
Better still, Al Ain is about a 70 minute drive from Abu Dhabi, so it doesn’t take long to get there.
Al Wathba Wetland Reserve
Al Wathba Wetland Reserve is a special place in the UAE. As well being placed on The International Union for Conservation of Nature Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas, was the first area of Abu Dhabi designated for protection by law by Sheikh Zayed.
The reserve is home to a large population of flamingos, hosting 4,000 in Spring and Autumn, as well as more than 250 other species of birds.
There are two self-guided walking trails to check out and a flamingo watching tower is even being planned for the area too, so there will be even more reasons to visit.
Emirates National Auto Museum
This unique museum hosts Sheikh Hamad Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan’s personal collection of vehicles and there are loads of rare and custom vehicles to see.
Before you even go inside there’s plenty to see including a giant Jeep that’s actually an apartment as well as a retired British Caledonian jumbo jet.
After taking your snaps you can head in to the pyramid-shaped building and explore the collection of more than 200 vehicles including off-road vehicles and classic American cars, to the Sheikh's Mercedes rainbow collection and the world's largest truck.
So, if you’re still looking for a unique day trip, put this in your calendar.
Dhs50 adults, Dhs10 kids. Daily 9am-6pm. Abu Dhabi - Liwa Road www.enam.ae.
Jebel Hafeet Desert Park
At the foot of Abu Dhabi’s highest peak, Jebel Hafeet, you can explore the world heritage park at the recently opened Desert Park.
The public attraction allows you the chance to explore historic remains from the Neolithic period and 5,000-year-old Bronze Age tombs.
A host of archaeological attractions scattered across the park give you the chance to understand life in the region thousands of years ago.
Away from the historic attractions you can also set up camp and stay for the night, as well as being able to book guided hiking, cycling and off-road driving tours.
For those who don’t want to pitch their own tent, a Bedouin-style glamping site is open.
Plus there’s the amazing sight of Abu Dhabi’s highest peak which is just as impressive and enjoyable as the rest.
Jebel Hafeet, Al Ain, www.jebelhafitdesertpark.ae.
Jubail Mangrove Park
Ok, this one isn’t exactly a long drive away, in fact, depending on where you live in the city it can be a little as a ten minute drive, but still, it’s a stunning location and we couldn’t overlook it on our list.
Jubail National Park has quickly become one of the most popular attractions in the emirate
Located on Jubail Island, between Saadiyat Island and Yas Island.
There are three pathways to walk, the longest covers a distance of 2km and the shortest is 1km.
The paths allow you to take a stroll through the mangroves, explore the natural landscape and go wildlife spotting.
A floating platform with netting is also on site where you can take a look at the marine life underwater.
In addition rangers are on site around the park to answer questions you have about the local environment and wildlife.
An information centre and viewing platform (for those perfect pictures) is also at the site.
It’s free of charge but the number of visitors are limited if the walkway exceeds capacity. So it’s best, as always, to plan ahead before visiting.
There is also a strict no-food policy at the attraction meaning that litter and packaging taken on to the site will be minimalised to help preserve the natural environment.
For more information check out our video guide on YouTube.
A day trip can easily turn into a weekend trip if you plan on camping under the stars.
But before your head into the dunes without much of a plan, there’s a lot you should bear in mind before taking on a camping trip for the first time.
In fact, we’ve written a whole feature about it to keep you right and keep you safe too.
Once you are prepared and are setting off, there are few better places to explore in this beautiful emirate than the Liwa Desert.
Dunes as far as he eye can see, stunning scenery and peaceful seclusion await but please be responsible and leave nature as your found it, don’t endanger your lives or get stuck in the middle of nowhere – trust us, you’ll feel pretty foolish.
There’s a lot more to see in the desert than massive dunes and a whole lot of sand as far as the eye can see, but, when it comes to epic dunes, there’s one you really need to see.
The Moreeb Dune, also known as the terrifying mountain (we know, epic) is the dune to end all dunes.
With a 300 metre height and a dramatic 50 degree slipface it’s epic in size and scale.
Believe it or not every year people line up to drive up the slop at breakneck speeds at the Liwa International Festival and it really is a sight to see.
The good news is, if you want to check it out, a road winds its way out to it through dramatic desert, which means you don’t even need a 4x4 to experience this majestic, sprawling stretch of sand.