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10+ BEST Excursions from Dubai & Day Trips from Dubai!

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Looking for excursions from Dubai to see another side of the UAE and the best day trips from Dubai? Here is a list long enough to keep you busy on your holiday in Dubai, filled with the best day trips in Dubai!

Dubai is a vibrant city that constantly buzzes with activities, ensuring there’s never a shortage of things to do in Dubai. However, Dubai’s charm extends far beyond its bustling city centre. There are plenty of amazing day trips from Dubai to factor into your visit. 

From desert adventures to incredible mosques and hidden gems in nearby Emirates, there are plenty of unforgettable excursions from Dubai, showcasing the variety of day trips from Dubai, to plan into your Dubai itinerary.

Excursions from Dubai

best excursions from Dubai
Keep reading for the best excursions from Dubai!

In this Dubai travel blog, we’re going to give you the best tours to go on from Dubai and the best excursions from Dubai into the Desert, nearby Cities and the rest of the Emirates along with booking links to help you plan and book them easily.

Ellie in Dubai in Pink Abaya, excursion from Dubai
Here are my favourite excursion ideas from Dubai!

Day Trips from Dubai

1. Dubai DesertMost Popular Dubai Excursion!

best excursions from Dubai, Ellie with camel in Dubai desert
Dune Bashing, Meeting Camels and a Dinner in a Camp, this is one of the most popular excursions from Dubai!

Newcomers to Dubai should add an excursion to the Dubai desert to their bucket list, as it’s one of the best day trips in Dubai!

Here, you’ll encounter stretches of golden dunes and witness some of the most breathtaking landscapes Dubai and the UAE has to offer. Whether you choose to explore in a Range Rover, embark on a camel ride, or opt for the thrill of a dune buggy, there’s a wide array of options to cater to your budget and personal preference.

A trip to the desert will give you a taste of authentic Emirati culture and is a must-consider option for one-day sightseeing in Dubai. There are plenty of tour companies offering desert tours that pick you up from your hotel in the city, and take you out for a day of desert exploration, and most follow a pretty similar itinerary.

Depending on where your pick-up point is in the city, it can take around 30-45 minutes to reach the desert and begin your safari. Most tours last around 4-7 hours, beginning in the morning and ending with a sunset barbecue. If you’re travelling in a group, you can also book private tours in a 4×4.

The desert offers more than just adventures in the dunes; it’s also a great place for stargazing, adding to the appeal of day trips from Dubai. Spend a night in a traditional Bedouin camp, where you’ll savour delectable Arabian cuisine and enjoy traditional entertainment under a canopy of stars. Wake up to the mesmerizing sight of the sunrise painting the dunes in shades of gold and pink – a memory that will stay with you forever.

Check out these reasonably priced group tours to the Dubai Desert, one of the most popular Dubai excursions!

2. Hot Air Balloon RideUnique Excursion from Dubai

For a different perspective of the desert and an ideal option for one-day sightseeing in Dubai, take to the skies in a hot air balloon. Embarking on a hot air balloon ride offers an unparalleled opportunity to take in the awe-inspiring sights of Dubai’s magnificent desert.

Here, you’ll encounter camels and Arabian oryx roaming amidst the golden dunes, lush palm oases, and verdant date farms. This experience, while truly one-of-a-kind, is nothing short of extraordinary and makes for one of the best day trips in Dubai.

There are plenty of great hot air balloon day trips from Dubai that depart daily. The Sunrise Balloon ride is a popular trip that guarantees a front-row seat to the sunrise illuminating the desert, followed by a sumptuous Middle Eastern breakfast amidst the dunes. To top it all off, you’ll have the chance to capture a remarkable moment with a Peregrine falcon gracefully perched on your arm.

If you’re looking for a half-day tour from Dubai this option is great as you’ll be up early to have an incredible adventure and be back in Dubai by lunchtime, making it a perfect fit for Dubai day trips.

Grab your spot on this thrilling hot air balloon ride now, and get ready to soar high above the desert, taking in breathtaking views and making memories that will last a lifetime!

3. Abu Dhabi: Sheikh Zayed Grand MosqueCultural Excursion from Dubai

view of sheikh zayed mosque, excursions from Dubai
A visit to Sheikh Zayed Mosque whilst in Dubai is a must!

One of the top day trips from Dubai is to Abu Dhabi. A short drive from Dubai, Abu Dhabi offers a blend of contemporary marvels and rich heritage. Many tourists who visit Dubai choose to combine their trip with a visit to Abu Dhabi’s infamous Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

The mosque is a masterpiece of Islamic architecture, adorned with white marble, intricate mosaics, and shimmering chandeliers, and is one of the most remarkable places to visit in the world. Its remarkable attributes include an impressive array of 82 domes, the world’s largest hand-woven Persian carpet, crafted by a legion of over a thousand skilled weavers, and an array of grand crystal chandeliers.

It also has magnificent glass panels, adorned with thousands of meticulously placed Swarovski crystals. With a trip to this sacred space, you learn about the Islamic faith and its cultural significance, offering a fulfilling experience for those on Dubai day trips.

Visitors and non-Muslims are welcome to explore the mosque during specific hours (except on Fridays, when it remains closed to tourists until 4 pm). It is important to observe a modest dress code while visiting.

4. Abu Dhabi: Yas IslandFun Excursion from Dubai

one day sightseeing in Dubai, Dubai day trips
Yas Island, another one of the best excursions from Dubai

Abu Dhabi, a prominent destination for day trips from Dubai, also has other popular attractions that many people choose to visit for the day from Dubai. The second largest city in the UAE, the capital has a somewhat calmer demeanour than Dubai. Located just off the coast of Abu Dhabi, Yas Island is a haven for adventure seekers and families alike.

From the adrenaline-pumping rides of Yas Waterworld to the enchanting encounters at Yas Marina Circuit, there’s something for everyone on this Dubai day trip. For a touch of luxury, unwind at one of the island’s exquisite resorts or indulge in a delectable meal at one of the waterfront restaurants.

Ferrari World, an amusement park for speed enthusiasts, is another popular spot to visit on the island. Here, you can experience the thrill of Formula 1 racing and explore the history of this iconic brand. Yas Beach offers pristine shores and clear waters, perfect for a day of sun-soaked relaxation.

Additionally, Yas Mall provides a haven for shopaholics, housing a diverse range of retail outlets and dining options. With its diverse range of activities, Yas Island promises an unforgettable experience for visitors of all interests and ages.

Don’t miss out! Book your spot on one of these amazing tours and get ready for a day filled with excitement, discovery, and loads of fun!

5. SharjahClosest New Emirate Excursion from Dubai

Sharjah Mosque, excursions from Dubai
Front facade of a beautiful mosque in Sharjah, UAE

A short drive from Dubai, Sharjah is a day trip from Dubai that will take you back in time, offering a glimpse into the UAE’s rich cultural heritage. This destination is perfect for one-day sightseeing in Dubai and stands out among the best day trips in Dubai.

The emirate of Sharjah possesses a distinct character that stands in contrast to the bustling energy of Dubai and you can add visiting another Emirate to your list!

It embraces a more pronounced sense of tradition, emphasizing cultural landmarks and attractions. Picture vibrant markets and mosques with exquisite Islamic architecture, as well as the heritage structures in the Heart of Sharjah’s heritage district. 

There are many things to do in Sharjah, wander through the narrow alleyways of the Al Qasba district on your Dubai day trip, where art and culture thrive. Visit the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization to explore artefacts that trace the history of Islamic culture.

Many tourists in Dubai also choose to embark on a half-day tour from Dubai to Sharjah and uncover treasures such as the grandeur of King Faisal Mosque, the storied Sharjah Fort – a residence steeped in history, dating back to 1820 – and the Heritage Museum. 

Book this fabulous trip from Dubai to the charming Sharjah

6. Aquatic Escapades: Atlantis WaterparkBest Family Excursion from Dubai

one day sightseeing in Dubai, Dubai day trips
Looking for something challenging in Dubai? Don’t miss the ‘Leap of Faith’ ride in Atlantis Waterpark

For a day of aquatic fun, head to the Atlantis Waterpark on the Palm Jumeirah, a prime destination for one-day sightseeing in Dubai and undoubtedly one of the best day trips in Dubai. With thrilling slides, a lazy river, and encounters with marine life, it’s a paradise for water enthusiasts and is fun for the whole family. The park’s stunning setting, nestled amidst the magnificent Atlantis resort, provides an unforgettable backdrop for a day of splashing and laughter.

Technically in Dubai but once there it will feel like a world away from the high-rise buildings and busy roads of Dubai still making it a great excursion from Dubai and a favourite choice for Dubai day trips.

You can reach the park by private car, taxi, or by using the Dubai Metro followed by a short taxi ride. It’s advisable to book your tickets in advance to ensure availability and consider opting for a combo ticket that includes access to the Atlantis Lost Chambers Aquarium for a complete experience. Once inside, you’ll have a plethora of thrilling slides, lazy rivers, and interactive attractions to choose from.

Don’t miss the heart-pounding rides like the Leap of Faith or the Tower of Neptune for an adrenaline rush. For a more relaxed experience, float along the lazy river or soak up the sun on the private beach. The park also offers a range of dining options to keep you energized throughout the day.

Atlantis Water Park is a world-class destination for aquatic enthusiasts and promises a day of non-stop fun and excitement, making it a top choice for those looking for unforgettable day trips from Dubai.

7. Yacht excursion Luxury Excursion from Dubai

Yachts in Dubai Marina, excursions from Dubai
Yachts in Dubai Marina ready to take you out!

For a bit of Dubai luxury, head out to the open ocean for the day on a yacht excursion, an exceptional choice for one-day sightseeing in Dubai and undoubtedly one of the best day trips in Dubai. There are plenty of companies in the city that offer trips to suit all budgets – from shared yacht tours like this to uber-luxury private yacht charters.

With the iconic skyline as your backdrop, relax on the deck and soak in the sun’s warm rays. For an extra touch of luxury, opt for a sunset cruise and witness the city’s transformation as it lights up against the twilight sky.

Most tours depart from Dubai Marina, a prime location for those looking for an incredible day trip from Dubai, and tour companies can be found on the marina front with departures several times a day.

Book one of these yacht tours to make your Dubai tour more memorable

8. Hatta Best Nature Excursion from Dubai

best day trips in Dubai, Sightseeing in Dubai
Challenge yourself with a hike through the awe-inspiring landscapes of the Hajar Mountains.

This is one of the unique excursions from Dubai and will only be recommended to you by locals and people who have lived in Dubai!

Nestled in the Hajar Mountains, Hatta is a serene retreat that offers a short escape from the bustling city and stands out as one of the best day trips in Dubai. The stunning mountain town has plenty to see and do, from adventure sports to hiking and glamping experiences under the stars. Hatta even has its take on the Hollywood sign, and a hike up to the infamous Hatta sign is a great way to break a sweat

Embark on your Hatta adventure from Dubai and begin your day at Hatta Wadi Hub, a perfect starting point for various day trips from Dubai. Here, you’ll find a wealth of resources including access points and detailed information about numerous hiking and mountain biking trails that wind their way through the Hajar mountains. These trails are thoughtfully marked, and you can easily download maps for reference.

Additionally, there are a variety of trails catering to different skill levels. The best part? Access to these trails is entirely complimentary, and at Hatta Wadi Hub, you’ll also discover a cosy café and a selection of food trucks to refuel your energy.

Hatta Wadi Hub offers a host of other exhilarating activities that can be arranged on-site, including horse riding, axe-throwing, archery, zorbing, and paragliding, enriching your experience of Dubai day trips.

Explore the Hatta Heritage Village, a living museum that showcases traditional Emirati life. Take a refreshing dip in the Hatta Rock Pools, surrounded by rugged landscapes and verdant flora, creating an oasis of tranquillity.

For a true highlight of your Hatta day trip from Dubai, head to Hatta Kayak to rent a kayak, water bike, or pedal boat and enjoy the calm turquoise waters of Hatta Dam surrounded by rugged sandstone peaks. 

Elevate your Hatta trip by turning your excursion into an overnight glamping experience, making it one of the most unique and memorable day trips from Dubai. There are plenty of unique accommodation options in Hatta, from luxury tents to repurposed trailers. They have a beautiful view of the Hatta mountain range and are furnished with a TV, BBQ and fire pit. For more info, visit:

9. Old Dubai and Al Seef: A Walk Through HistoryEasiest Excursion from Dubai

tourists on old Dubai street, excursions from Dubai
Old Dubai is one of the easiest excursions from Dubai!

Step back in time with a tour of Old Dubai, a perfect option for one-day sightseeing in Dubai, where the city’s humble beginnings come to life. The area is easily accessible via metro. Upon arrival, wander through the narrow, bustling lanes of the Al Fahidi Historical District, where traditional architecture and charming courtyard houses abound.

Stroll along the Dubai Creek and step into Al Seef, a waterfront promenade that seamlessly blends old-world charm with modern amenities, showcasing the versatility of Dubai day trips.

Here, you’ll find a treasure trove of boutiques, galleries, and eateries, making it an ideal spot for leisurely shopping and indulging in local cuisine, and highlighting why this is one of the best day trips in Dubai. Don’t forget to embark on an enchanting abra ride along the creek, offering picturesque views of both the old and new Dubai, a highlight for any Dubai day trip.

As you stroll along the banks of the Creek during your day trip from Dubai, you’ll find plenty of great food options. One of the must-do cultural experiences in Dubai is trying traditional Emirati food at the Arabian Tea House Restaurant and Cafe.

Here, an Emirati lunch costs between 60 and 70 AED and is the best way to experience local cuisine and immerse yourself in the culture during your one day sightseeing in Dubai.

Get ready for an awesome adventure back in time and book one of these super cool tours to Old Dubai—trust me, you’re going to love exploring all the amazing history and old-world charm it has to offer!

10. Love Lake and Flamingo LakeHidden Gem Excursions from Dubai

best day trips in Dubai, Sightseeing in Dubai
Love Lake is a peaceful day trip just a short drive from Dubai’s hustle and bustle

Love Lake and Flamingo Lake are two hidden gems nestled in the heart of the Al Qudra desert, offering a tranquil escape from the urban bustle of Dubai, and are fantastic options for day trips from Dubai. To reach these natural wonders, it’s best to arrange for a private car or join a guided tour, as public transportation options are limited in this area, highlighting the uniqueness of these Dubai day trips.

Your first stop is the heart-shaped lake, aptly named Love Lake, where swans and ducks create a picturesque scene against the backdrop of the desert, making it one of the best day trips in Dubai. Nearby, Flamingo Lake offers a chance to witness these elegant birds in their natural habitat, a sight that’s sure to leave you in awe.

The tranquil ambience and harmonious coexistence of nature and wildlife make Love Lake and Flamingo Lake a truly enchanting day trip, perfect for nature lovers and those seeking a serene retreat in the heart of Dubai’s desert.

I hope these excursions from Dubai have helped you plan your trip!

For more of my UAE posts and posts from the region see: