Eid Al Fitr 2021: 9 UAE getaways for the holidays

Web report

Published on May 11, 2021 at 13.25

Treat yourself to some of the best of the UAE this Eid break.

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1. Hajar Mountains
The rugged mountains of Ras Al Khaimah offer a great option for those looking for a break from city skyscrapers. Perfect for a day trip, the scenic mountains are of great geological interest — as they feature the world’s greatest surface exposure of ophiolites — and show off the desert flora native to the region. Photo: Alamy
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2. Jebel Jais
Part of the Hajar Mountains, this is the UAE’s tallest mountain, standing at 1,934 metres tall. The snaking 20-kilometre road to the top is perfect for road trippers, with landscaped terraces offering spectacular views. The more adventurous can take a ride on the world’s longest zipline, stretching for 2.8 kilometres from the peak zipping down at up to 120 kilometres per hour.
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3. Khatt Springs
Located south-east of Ras Al Khaimah, the area’s mineral-rich naturally-occurring hot pools are known to have therapeutic properties. The area is home to over 170 archaeological sites, including 19th-century mud-brick forts and prehistoric tombs — perfect for explorers.
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4. Shimal
Located around 12 kilometres north of Ras Al Khaimah city, this is the site of several hundred ancient tombs from a settlement that dated from 2000-1300 BC. One of the most important archaeological sites in the UAE, it features a circular tomb from the Umm al-Nar period and the Islamic-era Husn al-Shimal Fort. It is a great choice for a day trip for history lovers.
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5. Ras Al Khaimah beaches
These beaches have long been a go-to destination for sun-seekers. The emirate’s shorelines are strung with luxury resorts offering various services, including day passes for non-guests to use their facilities, making this a good spot for both staycationers and day trippers. The Longbeach Campground is a great alternative for those seeking to go glamping, and many providers offer jet-skis and kayaks for hire.
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6. Masafi
Famous for the eponymous mineral water that comes from the region’s natural springs, the village is located around 33 kilometres north-west of Fujairah. It sits on the border of two emirates, with a smaller section belonging to Ras Al Khaimah. The Friday Market, located on the Dubai-Fujairah Road is a great local market to bargain for produce, local handicrafts and antiques, among others.
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7. Al Aqah Beach
Dominated by the rocky outcrop of Snoopy Island, this beach offers one of the best snorkelling and scuba diving spots in the country. It is located 45 kilometres north of Fujairah city on the Gulf of Oman. Although there are plenty of water sports on offer for staycationers, it is also perfect for an easy-going day trip to simply lounge on the sand.
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8. Fujairah Fort
Built in 1670, the stone fort is considered to be the oldest in the UAE and has been restored to its full glory in the days when it used to serve as both a defensive building and a home for the royal family. Visitors can tour the interior of the fort as well as visit the surrounding Heritage Village, which exhibits traditional Emirati life and displays the ancient Al Yazrah irrigation system used by farmers.
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9. Hatta
A mainstay of the UAE staycation itinerary, the mountain city offers a wide range of activities for every kind of traveller. Adventure-seekers can hike the winding valleys of the Hajar Mountains and water-sports enthusiasts are welcome at the Hatta Lake. Archery, axe-throwing, freefall jumps and downhill carting are also major attractions. The Hatta Heritage Village museum houses relics in 30 buildings that hark back to a simpler time. Barbeque dinners while camping under the night sky are also a common activity.
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