Escape the City: Day Trips from Abu Dhabi to Al Ain and Liwa Oasis
Living in a busy city like Abu Dhabi can sometimes become overwhelming and suffocating. Amidst the towering skyscrapers and bustling streets, one often craves a break from the chaotic city life. Fortunately, Abu Dhabi is surrounded by beautiful landscapes and hidden gems that offer the perfect escape from the city. Two such destinations that transport you to a world of serenity and tranquility are Al Ain and Liwa Oasis.
Located just 160 kilometers away from Abu Dhabi, Al Ain is often referred to as the “Garden City” due to its lush greenery and natural beauty. This enchanting oasis is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a vibrant cultural hub. A day trip to Al Ain promises a refreshing change of scenery and a chance to explore some of the city’s most iconic attractions.
One of the must-visit places in Al Ain is the Al Ain Palace Museum. This historic palace was once the residence of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father and first president of the United Arab Emirates. The museum showcases the life and achievements of Sheikh Zayed, offering visitors a glimpse into the rich history and culture of the region.
Another must-see attraction in Al Ain is the Al Ain Oasis. Covering an impressive 1,200 hectares of land, this oasis is home to over 147,000 date palm trees, making it one of the largest oases in the world. Walking through the shaded pathways amidst the swaying palm trees is a truly magical experience.
For those interested in archaeology and history, a visit to the Hili Archaeological Park is a must. The park showcases ancient tombs, historical sites, and artifacts dating back over 4,000 years. Visitors can explore the well-preserved tombs and learn about the region’s fascinating past.
No visit to Al Ain is complete without a trip to Jebel Hafeet, the highest peak in the United Arab Emirates. The drive up the mountain offers breathtaking panoramic views of the city skyline and the surrounding desert. Once at the top, visitors can indulge in a picnic or simply admire the stunning sunset over the vast expanse of the desert.
If you crave a more adventurous day trip, head to the mystical Liwa Oasis. Located approximately 280 kilometers from Abu Dhabi, this hidden gem is known for its towering sand dunes and serene desert landscapes. Liwa is the perfect destination for a thrilling desert safari or a tranquil retreat away from the city.
One of the highlights of Liwa Oasis is the Empty Quarter, also known as Rub’ al Khali. This vast desert is the largest continuous sand desert in the world, covering an area of over 650,000 square kilometers. Here, visitors can embark on an exhilarating dune bashing adventure, sandboarding, or simply soak in the tranquility of the desert.
Liwa Oasis is also home to Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, an exquisite luxury resort nestled in the heart of the desert. Here, guests can indulge in spa treatments, relax by the pool, or take part in various outdoor activities such as camel trekking and falconry.
Whether you choose to explore the cultural wonders of Al Ain or immerse yourself in the beauty of Liwa Oasis, a day trip from Abu Dhabi guarantees an unforgettable experience. These hidden gems near the city offer a much-needed escape from the chaos and provide a chance to reconnect with nature and oneself. So, pack your bags, leave the city behind, and embark on a journey of exploration and serenity.