Vacation spots in Dubai

Looking for a Short Staycation in the UAE?

We’ve found just the places.

If the new year’s already got you aching for a quick getaway, you’re in luck. With falling temperatures, pretty blue skies, and pleasant days around the UAE, it’s easy to take a mini vacation without the hassle of planning an international trip.

Here are the UAE’s best hidden gems worth exploring – there’s really no excuse not to go!

The adventurous weekend in Hatta

Bring your adventurous travel buddies and do the two-hour drive from Dubai to get to the mountain town of Hatta, an exclave of Dubai that straddles the border between the UAE and Oman. This laidback town, surrounded by the spectacular landscape of the craggy Hajar mountains, is one of the most exciting adventure destinations in the UAE.

Whatever your adventure of choice, there’s something for everyone here. Kayaking on the calm, turquoise waters of Hatta Dam is an excellent way to spend a morning while being active. There are kayaks, pedal boats, and water bikes available for hire.

If you love the mountains, then you’ll enjoy hiking in the wadis and foothills of the Hatta Mountain Conservation Area. There are 32.6km of trails to be explored on five routes. No less than 50km of marked mountain biking trails (color-coded by difficulty level) wind through the rugged terrain and natural lakes for those who’d rather explore the area on two wheels. Sunrise and sunset horseback rides around Hatta are also available, regardless of whether you’re a novice or expert rider.

The Hatta Wadi Hub is a one-stop destination for fun, active adventures for all ages. For stomach-lurching thrills, try zorbing, where you roll down a hill in a giant plastic ball. Or try your hand at archery or axe throwing. Race with your friends on a three-wheeled mountain cart or bounce around on a trampoline for adults.

Stay at the charming JA Hatta Fort Hotel (discounted rates on Agoda) that offers luxurious, modern, and homey rooms and suites with balconies offering fantastic views. Other facilities include temperature-controlled pools, a spa, an indoor recreation center, mini-golf, wall climbing, ziplining, and five dining venues.

Family-friendly getaway on Saadiyat Island

While part of the emirate of Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island, with its white sand beaches along the azure blue water of the Arabian Sea, nesting hawksbill turtles, indigenous gazelles, and interesting museums and art galleries, feels like a world away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

The star attraction on what is the largest natural island in Abu Dhabi is the Louvre Abu Dhabi. It’s easy to spend half a day in the museum, visiting the exhibition spaces, attending events and workshops, and admiring the work of international artists. If you love art, the Manarat Al Saadiyat, a cultural hub hosting interactive exhibitions, community events, and film screenings is also worth a visit.

If you’re after a bit of sunshine and sand in your toes, the Saadiyat Beach Club offers beautiful poolside cabanas and sunbeds on the 9km long natural beach, and a trendy pool bar. They’ve also got a family-friendly Friday brunch with BBQ grills, live cooking, seafood spread, and cheese bar. Golfers will appreciate the 18-hole beachfront golf course at the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club.

Other attractions such as Yas Waterworld, Ferrari World, and Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi are a short drive away on the neighboring Yas Island.

Book a stay at the beachfront Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas (Agoda offers the best rate), a five-star Arabian-inspired modern resort with tons of activities for families and children. The spacious rooms and suites offer incredible sea views, seven restaurants offer a range of cuisines from Italian to British pub fare, and leisure facilities include an outdoor pool, spa, two tennis courts, mini golf, and a kids club with a cinema, water slide and more.

Budget escape in Al Ain

Al Ain is Abu Dhabi’s second city and with low-rise houses, lush date palm farms, ancient sites, palaces and forts, this quiet city, just a 90-minute drive from Dubai, makes for a relaxing escape, especially if you’re on a budget.

What you might not know is that Al Ain is the birthplace of His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the country’s founding father, who wanted to preserve the area’s culture, heritage, and nature. That explains why Al Ain is so green – it’s also referred to as the Garden City. You’ll find parks and date palms everywhere you look. In fact, the lush Al Ain Oasis, home to around 147 000 date palms, is the first Unesco World Heritage Site in the UAE and is worth a visit. Explore the Hili Archeological Gardens to see monuments and relics dating back to 2500BC.

One of the must-do things to do in Al Ain is to drive on what is one of the UAE’s most impressive roads to get to Jebel Hafeet, which, at 1 240m above sea level, is the country’s second-highest peak. Surrounded by the jagged peaks of the Hajar mountains, you’ll find several viewpoints along the way until you get to the furthest point that you can go to. It’s a good idea to bring a picnic basket and enjoy the sublime orange-red sunset here.

If you’re visiting Al Ain with friends or family, a fun thing to do here is to go whitewater rafting at Wadi Adventure. The rapids gush over manmade wadis and the facilities here are so good that many professional teams come here to practice. But don’t worry if you’re not an expert – there are rapids here for every level.

The Radisson Blu Resort Al Ain offers a budget-friendly stay that’s perfect for a weekend away. The modern rooms offer breathtaking views of the mountains and resort gardens, six in-house restaurants offer plenty of dining options, and leisure offerings include swimming pools, tennis courts, and gym.

Luxury mini-break on Zaya Nurai Island

For a staycation fit for a celebrity, head to one of the UAE’s most luxurious private island resorts at Zaya Nurai Island Resort in Abu Dhabi. You’ll arrive by a 15-minute speedboat ride from Saadiyat Island to find yourself on an island paradise that feels like it could be in the Indian Ocean.

Here you’ll find all the ingredients of a picture-perfect beach holiday: white sandy beaches, gorgeous blue water, palm-fringed gardens, and beach villas that come with private infinity pools overlooking the ocean, outdoor showers, and private dining terraces.

Spend your day on the beach or sign up for a bit of adventure with activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, jet ski, stand up paddle boarding, windsurfing, and wakeboarding. The resort also arranges fishing trips that end with the chef preparing your catch the way you like.

Otherwise enjoy a game of badminton, basketball, or tennis in the outdoor tennis court. Young kids will love the resort’s waterpark with slides and a splash pool.

The resort’s Nurai Spa offers therapeutic massages and treatments in beautiful treatment suites that also offer ocean views. When it comes to dining, choose from five in-house restaurants – from Asian-inspired seafood poolside to Mexican favorites in a vibrant setting.


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Where Can I Find Serenity In Dubai?

Unwind & Unleash Better

Dubai, globally renowned for its tourism appeal, presents a surprising array of hidden picnic spots that seamlessly merge nature’s tranquillity with the city’s vibrant allure. Beyond the iconic skyline and luxurious attractions, Dubai showcases a commitment to preserving culture and heritage. Diverse outdoor spaces have been created to offer a refreshing respite amidst the city’s hustle. There are plenty of places to enjoy a day with friends and family. Let’s explore the best outdoor spots in Dubai, where you can relax, unwind, and create fantastic memories.

Dubai Creek Park

Dubai Creek Park is the second largest park in Dubai. Spread across vast green lawns, the park offers stunning views of Dubai Creek, botanical gardens and an amphitheatre. Dubai Creek Park has many amenities like mini golf, go-karting and a vast playground for kids. It is the very first theme park for children. Children City and Dubai Dolphinarium are the major attractions of this park. You will witness traditional dhow boats gliding through the water. With children’s play areas and a cable car ride, Dubai Creek Park promises an enjoyable time for the entire family.

Jumeirah Beach Park

Jumeirah Beach Park offers stunning views of the Arabian Gulf. Home to a variety of attractions, including a playground, a barbecue area, and a water park, it offers plenty of shady spots to relax and picnic. Offering some beach sports for both children and adults, you come across beautiful tranquil spots as well.

Mushrif Park

A sprawling oasis spanning over 1,300 acres, this is located in the eastern part of the city, near the suburb of Al Khawaneej, about 16 km from the traditional centre of Dubai. This park boasts of lush gardens, vast open spaces, and tranquil lakes. It also has a train ride facility that tours the beauty of the park. Here, you can find designated picnic areas equipped with barbecue facilities, providing the perfect setting for an alfresco feast. For added adventure, you can explore the park’s cycling tracks, and horseback riding trails, and even take a stroll through the botanical gardens in the evenings.

Al Qudra Lake

An expansive Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve built to promote eco-tourism in Dubai, it features multiple artificial lakes, surrounded by dunes and fauna. The attraction gained popularity in 2015 for its authentic desert vibe and seclusion. It is a popular spot for fishing and water sports. The lake is surrounded by desert dunes, which provide a stunning backdrop for a break from the grind.

Zabeel Park

Spreading across an area of 45 football fields, it has three zones, namely, Techno Zone, Communications Zone, and Alternative Energy Zone. Situated in the shadow of Dubai’s iconic Burj Khalifa, across 47.5 hectares, the park offers lush greenery, lakes, and picturesque gardens. With designated barbecue areas, ample seating spaces, and well-maintained lawns, Zabeel Park’s unique features, such as the Dubai Frame and the Dubai Garden Glow, add an extra touch of magic for residents and tourists.

Safa Park

Expanded to around 64 hectares of land, it is home to a variety of attractions, including a playground, a zoo, and a lake. There are also plenty of shady spots to relax and picnic.

Al Barsha Pond Park

If you are planning to escape from the city and spend some time in a peaceful residential area then this would be the right place for you. Al Barsha Pond Park is a small park located in the Al Barsha area of Dubai. It is home to a variety of attractions, including a playground, a pond, and a walking track. There are also plenty of shady spots to relax and picnic.

Al Mamzar Beach Park

Nestled along Dubai’s coastline, this pristine park features five beautiful beaches, extensive green lawns, and palm-fringed pathways. Picnic shelters, barbecue sites, and playgrounds are scattered throughout the park. Swim in the crystal-clear waters, play some beach volleyball, or simply relax on the sandy shores. Al Mamzar Beach Park offers a perfect blend of sun, sand, and picnic bliss.

These are just a few of the many great recreational spots in Dubai. With so many options to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect place to enjoy a day out with friends and family.

When deciding on a spot, consider the weather conditions for the day. If it’s scorching hot outside, opt for a location with ample shade to provide relief from the sun’s intense rays. Pack plenty of food and drinks, ensuring that you include items that will help you stay hydrated and energised in the heat. Bring a first-aid kit just in case. Lastly, remember to be responsible and respectful by cleaning up and leaving the park in the same pristine condition as when you arrived.

Going on a picnic is fun. Our team at Gaggler has some recommendations to make your family time enjoyable and to collect some of the precious moments.

Take a break from your bustling life with an Intention Setting Kit to enhance your productivity. Wear a Labradorite Bracelet to welcome your mind and heart for new ideas and thoughts. Going outdoors in Dubai may cause sweating so use UnderArm Sweat Pads to feel fresh and relaxed. Treat yourself to some Brownie Bossbabe Cookies for a healthy boost of energy. Staying hydrated is essential outdoors so don’t forget to carry a Rose Quartz Crystal Water Bottle for your 2 Litres of daily water intake.

Intention Setting Kit

As you embark on your picnic adventure in Dubai Creek Park, set your intentions for the day with an Intention Setting Kit. This kit includes items like a Patchouli Tealight, a Palo Santo Wood Stick, Frankincense Incense, a White Sage Stick, and a Clear Quartz Crystal. Use the guide provided to perform a DIY ritual and set your intentions for fresh starts and positive energy.


Intention Setting Kit

AED 175.00

Labradorite Bracelet

Incorporate crystals by wearing a Labradorite Bracelet when you decide to connect with nature. It is known for its purifying and enlightening properties. It helps to calm an overactive mind, open up new ideas, strengthen your aura, and rejuvenate your mind. A perfect accessory while taking a stroll in the Jumeirah Beach Park!


Labradorite Bracelet

AED 66.00

No Stain Underarm Sweat Pads

Stay fresh and confident throughout your day out with No Stain Underarm Sweat Pads. These disposable pads are easy to use and prevent sweat stains on your clothing. Simply place them on the inside of your garment to absorb sweat and avoid any embarrassing stains. Enjoy your time at the Mushrif Park without the fear of visible sweat marks.


No Stain Under Arm Sweat Pads

AED 40.00

Brownie Bossbabe

Treat yourself to a delicious and nutritious snack with the Brownie Bossbabe Cookie. This soft-textured cookie is packed with cacao and dark chocolate, providing antioxidants and immune support. Indulge in the rich and powerful flavours perfect for your outdoor adventure at the Al Mamzar Beach Park.


The Brownie Bossbabe

AED 90.00

Crystal-Infused Water Bottle

Rose Quartz Crystal Water Bottle, known for its love, empathy, and healing properties can help nourish your heart, promote self-love and self-awareness, and attract love from others. Sip on crystal-infused water as you relax and enjoy your picnic in Safa Park Dubai.


Rose Quartz Crystal Water Bottle

AED 280.00

Beyond the glitz and glamour, Dubai surprises visitors with spaces that create a harmony and a connect between nature, relaxation, and personal well-being. The positive energy in these parks along with intention-setting recommended products from The Gaggler is a great way to switch up your wellness routine.


Our Newsletter

Our Newsletter

Your Female Email

Gaggler your inbox for a 10% discount on your first order!
By clicking ‘Subscribe’ you agree to receive emails from The Gaggler and accept our privacy policy and terms of use.
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