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Destination: Khasab, Oman
Journey time from Dubai: Three hours.
Why do it? A wildly different country, culture and landscape lies just a few hours’ drive away from Dubai. Cross the border and enjoy cultural attractions such as Bukha Fort, fantastic mountain scenery and, once you near Khasab, crystal-clear seas and spectacular fjords that have earned Khasab the nickname ‘The Norway of Arabia’. You’ll also find secluded beaches, boat trips, cliff walks, kayaking and scuba and snorkelling with dolphins and whale sharks.
Best for: The culturally curious and naturally adventurous.
Getting there: Take Sheikh Zayed Road north all the way to Ras Al Khaimah. From here, take the Al Rams Road and follow signs to the cement factory. Otherwise, head to the Omani border crossing, which isn’t a long drive, though the time it takes to cross the border depends very much on the mood of the officials and how many people happen to be crossing the border at the time (expect 15 minutes on a good day; 45 minutes if it’s busy). Once you’ve made it into Oman, there’s a great beach a couple of minutes from the checkpoint where you can pitch a tent and have a swim and a picnic before heading up the coast. From here on, the scenery is spectacular – think S-bends, sheer drops, towering cliffs and great views of the Arabian Gulf to your left. Bond fans will wish they were making the journey in a DB7.
Tip: Those who suffer from car sickness should bring their medication for those turns.
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