The United Arab Emirates, most people think of Dubai when mentioning the emirates.
But Dubai is just one emirate. There are six more emirates to discover and explore when visiting this fascinating country.
Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates has the best and highest of everything. And is not afraid to break other records. In Dubai you can find anything, with its huge shopping malls. The other emirates are much lesser known, but just as beautiful. We visited 3 of the 7 emirates. One longer than the other. But you always have to leave something in a country to come back for.
We loved the difference and uniqueness of the emirates. It is a very easy country to travel to with your children. Everything is well organized and everything can be found or bought.
- Even though both the UAE and the Sultanate of Oman are both very tolerant countries and welcome visitors, please dress appropriately when visiting mosques, restaurants, on the beach and when swimming in wadi’s.
- There are restaurants outside the resorts in both countries, but they do not serve any alcohol. Only hotels and resorts are able to get an alcohol license. That’s the reason why most good restaurants can be found in the hotels.
- Bring (hamman) towels with you when traveling to Oman. When stopping at the wadi’s you’ll have something to dry yourself, as most of the wadi’s are in the middle of nowhere and only supply basic necessities.
- Arrange all the necessary papers with your car rental agency if you want to take your rental car from the UAE to Oman and back. If you don’t have the permission papers they will not let you cross the Omani border.
- Be sure to get gasoline in time. Distances are long and gasoline stations are not readily available everywhere.
- Rent a 4x4 or you will not be able to enter the Al Hajar mountain range and go to the Alila Al Hajar hotel or any other hotel for that matter. The authorities will not let you enter without a 4x4.
- Try not to drive long distances at night. The park authorities will not let you enter the Al Hajar mountain range when the sun has set.
When to go
Avoid the summer months. It gets extremely hot.
Best time to visit is October – April. We were there around Christmas & NY. A perfect escape from the cold Northern winters.
We rented a car in Dubai to drive around in the UAE and Oman. Both countries have excellent roads with good signage. The only thing we experienced is that the GPS is not working at all. So be aware and take a roadmap with you or print out your route on Google maps.
Something else you have to be keen on is getting the necessary papers from the rental agency to take the car out of UAE and entering Oman. Not all borders are open for rental cars and tourists. At the time we made this trip we were sent away at one border even though we had all the necessary papers. Later we learned that the only possibility to cross the border with a rental car was the Hatta border. So check it out before you plan your route! It saves you a lot of time not having to drive from one border to another border crossing.
Take care when driving because when causing, or getting in, an accident, things can get ugly.
Dubai International Airport to Ras Al Khaimah is 45 minutes.
Ras Al Khaimah to Muscat is about 5 hours.
Muscat to Wadi Bani Khalid will take you 3 hours.
Wadi Bani Khalid to Al Jabar Al Akhdar about 2 hours.
Al Jabar Al Akhdar to Abu Dhabi 5 hours.
Abu Dhabi to Dubai 1 hour.
Of course you can always make more stops on your round trip. Some stops we weren’t able to make but we wanted to make were if we’d had more time we would definitely stayed a night or more in Abu Dhabi. There are beautiful hotels to find just as in Dubai. And there are some nice things to do. Also for the kids.