The Ultimate UAE Road Trip Guide: Fujairah & Masafi

Golden sand dunes that stretch beyond the horizon. Herds of camels. Bedouins. Local food. And not to mention the glorious mountains that stretch as far as the eye could see.  Until you have experienced this, you haven’t seen the best of UAE.

Adventure lovers, outdoor explorers, and campers pack your rucksack and get ready to see and experience the wild side of UAE in a thrilling trip where the road leads to Fujairah and Masafi! Known for its adventurous activities, scenic places, and the never-ending trail of mountains, this is your destination if you are looking to experience one of the best road trips in UAE.

Best Road to Take

To start off, enjoy a long drive in UAE with pretty scenes and an authentic desert experience by taking the Maleha road. This road is surrounded by the never ending orange, colored sea of sand dunes that goes beyond the horizon untouched by man. This stretch of land is so barren and unaltered that you will often see a herd of camels making their way across the desert. So don’t forget to take your cameras and keep a look outside the window!

Maleha road also leads to Fujairah and Masafi, making it one of the best routes to take. This route also has a breath-taking view of where the sand dunes end and the mountains begin. This is the start of the drive between the mountains of Fujairah where roads bend in and around valleys. If you are lucky, you might even catch rain and see the otherwise dried streams filled with water.

Lunch Stop

If you embarked on the journey in the morning and your stomach is grumbling for lunch time, one of the best road trip food stops awaits. On the Maleha road, ‘Rabiee Al Dar’ is a local-inspired restaurant with a small, cozy seating for families and a separate hall for bachelors. This is my usual go to-place for a good lunch when we are en route to the mountains. The restaurant has a family area that comes with a Majlis and is often frequented by travelers and locals.

I’ve had my fair share of tasty biryanis from a lot of restaurants across the country but these guys serve the most delicious one in both Arabic and Indian style with flavorsome ingredients that will have you finishing up the whole plate.

The rice and meat is fresh and the yoghurt helps digest the meal leaving you satisfied in both heart and the gut. Surrounded by the natural desert, this restaurant is located next to a cluster of restaurants but it’s easy to miss if you end up speeding across the road. So slow down and keep steady!

Friday Market

Once the lunch has settled, it’s on towards the mountains! Fujairah first welcomes you with its famed and bustling Fujairah Friday Market. It serves as both a pit stop for travelers and a local open-air market that sells anything from local spices to carpets. This place is great to stretch your legs, walk around and sip some ginger tea.

Try the Local Kebab and Snacks

For a more “UAE” experience, drive a little further and you will find the most authentic street food. Food trucks with dishes and snacks that are made by locals are parked under the towering mountains.

Their lamb and chicken kebabs are what bring most of the road trip lovers and Fujairah’s residents here. Made with natural ingredients and sauce, these meaty treats are ones that won’t be found anywhere else in the country.

They are made on spot behind the parked trucks with grill stands and each stick is as low as 5 Dhs. One bite into these juicy goods and you have experienced the authentic UAE local food. They also serve traditional sweets, local tea and other snacks.

This mini-food truck area is also a great place for camping with families. After all, there are people around, as well as food trucks and shops if you want to buy some necessary items.

To get a little bit of isolation, all one has to do is venture walk or climb further into the mountains and it becomes one of the best camping spots in UAE. But if this isn’t wild enough then carry on because there is a destination with an experience that adventure seekers would love – the Masafi Mountains.  

Hiking & Camping

Driving into the off-roads of Masafi Mountains is a job for four-wheel vehicles. Surrounded by the picturesque setting of earthy brown mountains, clean stones, scattered grass and some wadis (streams) make it one of the perfect camping sites in UAE during the winter days.

The sight of the jagged mountains towering on both sides is majestic.  These valleys and stretches of land can provide the best camping spots in UAE for adventure seekers and barbecue fans.

Also known to be one of the adventure places in UAE, hiking and trekking as well as mountain climbing are also common in these areas. For a wild experience, overnight camping is a must do! Campers can pop up their tents here. With a torch light, a warm blanket and firewood, spending the winter night surrounded by the wilderness of the mountains would be one of the most adventurous experiences a group of youngsters or family could have.

Chowing Hot Dumpling between the Mountains

Masafi is known for its hiking, mountain climbing and trekking spots. But there is also another reason this place can be pretty sweet. And that is the small, local dumpling shop. Surrounded by the high mountains, this small shop is an evening spot for the residents in the Masafi village.

Locals call them Lukheimat and it’s a traditional sweet dumpling glazed with date syrup. If you’ve been in UAE for a while you will find these in global village and other festive areas but it doesn’t get as local and real as the lukehimat this shop sells. For a price as low as 5 Dhs, you will get enough Lukheimat for two people to chow down.

Masafi is also the point where you can turn back to return or go further to Dibba or Khorfukkan. No matter the choice, these places provide the best weekend getaways from Dubai by road!

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