Ever been wondering where to go on a weekend off Dubai? Here are some places you don’t want to miss checking out:
This famous mosque in UAE is always being flocked by tourists especially during the Eid season. Different nationalities – may it be locals or foreigners, make sure to visit this place whenever they have a chance.
As elegant it looked on the outside, the interior of the mosque did not fail to amaze us. It is very well kept and there are even guards randomly placed everywhere, to make it sure that visitors do not go to the off-limits areas. Also, note that these guards can be strict – one even called my attention due to my headscarf that seems to be falling out of its place. Therefore, it is mandatory to always keep your headscarf properly in place and double check that it covers all your hair. It is mandatory also for female visitors – regardless of their religion, to wear an abaya when entering the premises with the hair completely covered with a headscarf. You may bring / wear your own, otherwise, for non locals, the mosque offers free rental of abayas – it even comes in different colors: grey, pink and blue. For our case, as this mosque was included in our package itinerary for Abu Dhabi, we were given by our tour guide their own set of abayas to be borrowed temporarily – we just need to buy a headscarf worth AED 5 (in case we did not brought any) from the Abu Dhabi Mall which is included in our list of itineraries. In fact, our borrowed abayas looked regal – mine has gold print in the fastening, wherein some of the visitors and guards even mistook us for a female local!
We also visited Ferrari World (tickets not yet included in the package; we did not manage to get inside as our package included only of visiting and if we buy entrance tickets it will cost us time which will make it impossible for us to visit the rest of the itineraries), carpet museum, and a couple more itineraries. For complete details, you may visit the site of Cobone or Groupon for they usually offer Abu Dhabi sightseeing tour packages (includes roundtrip transportation, guide, entrance plus bottled water and snack) for as low as AED 49.
Just situated within the between border of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, The Last Exit by Meraas holdings located in Jebel Ali comes with an artistic, post-apocalyptic with a mix of graffiti street/garage style food truck concept loved by visitors of all ages.
You can find selection of food trucks to appease your gourmet street food cravings. Seafood, fish & chips, fries, gelato, crepes, waffles, italian pizza, burgers, coffee, fruit shakes/juices, falafel, karak teas, mini pancakes and baked goodies can be ordered by either dine-in or drive thru. There is also a mini-mart, which is a life saver during our visit because we ran out of call and text balance in our phones. As we badly needed to communicate with the RTA hotline for booking a taxi from the vicinity, this mini mart had been a great help for commuters like us, especially as it is very tricky to explain to taxi drivers the location of the area. Like the Ras Al Khor Wildlife and Sanctuary which I have mentioned on my previous blog, this place seems to be accessible only to people with cars since it is within the main express highway and the dry vacant lots near the freezone area. However, I always love to take risks and for some reason, I ended up randomly tagging my office colleague to go to this place by public transportation. For more information on how to reach The Last Exit by public transportation, you may check the Wojhati site. What we did is taking the red line and alighting the DMCC Station (as the Ibn Battuta metro station, as of this date, is still under renovation) . Then, we took the free shuttle bus (FS1) from there to the Ibn Battuta bus station. From the bus station, you may take the bus DPR1 going to Dubai Parks and Resorts and from there you can take a taxi directly to The Last Exit.
The outdoor dine in area is superb – it gives a youthful vibe due to the colorful and creative surroundings. Even the interior of the areas are very detail-oriented; I swear I have just come across the coolest and hippest washroom in my life. Just take a look at the below photo of their washroom:
Just be sure to bring jackets or coats with you if you are visiting this place on winter season. Evenings can be very chilly – and majority of the dining areas are outside since all food can only be bought from the food trucks outside.
Mt. Jebel Jais in Ras Al Khaimah does not really involve mountain climbing or trekking. In fact, the roads have been commercialized too much that the area near summit can be reached via car. We went during the pre-winter season by the evening (we did overnight camping), so it is very important to take thick clothes and heavy jackets with you, because I am telling you, night times in this area can be very cold.
It is said that there is currently a new zipline activity, which is the longest in the world in Mt. Jebel Jais. However, it is not yet available during the time we went there.
This place is perfect for overnight camping (if you do not want to spend the camping overnight in desert safaris which were very mainstreamed). However, the only downcast is that the rocky surface of the ground is very painful at the back while lying inside the tent. So unless you have an extra thick mattress or blankets, you will feel very comfortable lying there. Otherwise, you will end up choosing sleeping inside the car.
We booked the package through Cobone under Travel Wings , a reputable travel agency in Dubai. The all in join in tour package is worth AED 170 per person, which includes roundtrip transportation from pick up point (Pick up and drop off point is in Spinney’s Supermarket, Burjuman), buffet lunch with drinks, banana boat activity, snorkeling / swimming and dhow cruise tour in Musandam, Oman.
Aside from swimming and banana boat, the package also includes boat tour to an underground cave. This spot is also interesting especially as the rocks at the underground cave tour seem to sparkle in the dark.
TIP: It is strongly recommended not to visit this itinerary during public holidays. As we visited Musandam, Oman during the UAE National Day holiday, the influx of tourists were evident. Hence, we experienced so much traffic going to and from the Oman border. Normally, it is said that the travel time to and from the border only takes one (1) hour. But during our case since it was timed during the holidays, just the one – way trip going to the border from Fujairah (not including the travel time from Dubai) took nearly 3 hours. And vice versa it took 6 hours all in all to reach Dubai.
UAE Residence Visa holders do not require an Oman visit visa, however, border rules of Oman updates from time to time, so it is always recommended to check with the Embassy. Ensure also that you have brought with you your original and valid passport with the original valid residence visa stamped for this trip, otherwise, the immigration officials in the Oman border will not allow you an entry. Also, do not forget your Emirates ID as well.
There are so much more places to explore within the emirates of UAE and its neighboring countries. Check out my blog for more adventure updates soon! 🚘✈️
Disclaimer: Depending on the eligibility of passports, Evisas for Oman may be obtained online in the Royal Oman Police website. A visit visa good for 30 days is worth OMR 5.00, and it may be approved for at least 24-48 hours depending on the completeness and accurateness of the documents submitted online.
Royal Oman Police:
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