A holiday in Dubai is not complete without at least one excursion beyond the beach and the city into the desert interior. Wadi and dune ‘bashing' - driving through dry riverbeds and across towering sand dunes in a four-wheel drive vehicle - is a great way to experience the beautiful Arabian sands. Quad biking and camel safaris are other popular desert activities.
Rising up from the desert plateau are the rugged and rural Hajar Mountains, the highest range in Arabia. Bedouin villages, camels farms and picturesque canyons replace the high rises of the city, revealing an altogether different side of the UAE.
Halfway between Dubai and Abu Dhabi is the oasis town of Al-Ain, the United Arab Emirates' so-called ‘Garden City'. It's a swathe of palm plantations, fruit and vegetable farms and green lawns in the middle of the dusty desert. It's been a settlement since the Bronze Age and was, in more recent times, home to the UAE's founder, Sheikh Bin Sultan Al Nahyan.