Explore the Arabian Gulf

Where to go on short trips from Abu Dhabi? You don’t have to spend a fortune or travel half way around the world to have a great vacation there are plenty of fascinating travel destinations in the gulf region close enough to Abu Dhabi to be make excellent quick trips.

Here are five of the top quick trips from Abu Dhabi to other Gulf countries. Starting a trip from the UAE can be filled with excitement and you will be intrigued at the differences between the cultures in the Gulf.

Side Trips Around the Gulf

Trips from Abu Dhabi to Muscat, Oman

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In the capital of Oman you get to enjoy the traditional fishing village atmosphere, the bustling commercial area and the Old City or walled city. Visit the Al Jalali Fort the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, the Qasr Al Alam Royal Palace and the Bait az-Zubair Museum. Enjoy the natural surroundings of Muscat at the Wadi Shab with its green pools of water and fascinating caves. The city has a number of interesting museums including a Children’s Museum and the Omani French Museum.

Reaching Muscat
You can reach Muscat on Oman Air, British Airways, Lufthansa, Gulf Air GSC or Etihad. A direct flight from Abu Dhabi will take 1 hour and cost approximately $168 to $495.

Where to stay in Muscat
Unlike many of the Gulf countries you will find budget accommodation in Muscat starting at about $40 per night. There are many luxurious hotels in Muscat including the Six Senses Hideaway Zighy Bay with 79 pools and a private reserve. Many of the luxury hotels try to incorporate the traditional Arabic village style with modern amenities.

Trips form Abu Dhabi to Qatar
Qatar juts into sea on a peninsula of land and offers culture and luxury to its visitors. Visit the Museum of Islamic Art, the Arab Museum of Modern Art, the Souq Waqif or the manmade Pearl Island connected to the mainland by a bridge.

In Katara cultural village you can learn about the local culture and enjoy international cuisine. You don’t have to go to Las Vegas to enjoy a Venetian hotel as in Doha you have the Villaggio Mall. This mall has a canal running through it and you can even take a gondola ride. You could also visit the Khor Al Udeid region and enjoy the rolling sand dunes or visit Zubarah to see an ancient desert city.

Reaching Qatar
Fly from Abu Dhabi to Doha, the capital of Qatar on Etihad Airways, Qatar (WLL), Gulf Air, Gulf Air GSC or Qatar Airways. The flight will cost you between $547 and $742. A direct flight would take 22 minutes but it could take you up to several hours with connecting flights.

Where to stay in Qatar
Budget hotels are almost non-existent in Qatar but there are plenty of luxurious places including all the brand name hotels. Among the most pampering of the Qatar hotels is the Ritz Carlton Sharq Village and Spa with 2000 meters of private coast line and individual houses.

Trips from Abu Dhabi to Bahrain
Bahrain is one of the most socially liberal of the Gulf countries (and one of the smallest) and so the capital of Manama offers a few delights that other Gulf countries don’t. See the historic side of Bahrain at the Qula’at al-Bahrain Fort and then party the night away in one of the night clubs or on Al Dar Island.

You can try your hand at pearl diving, follow the heritage trail, visit the Al Fateh Grand Mosque or do some shopping in one of the large malls. Try visiting one of Bahrain’s interesting museums like the Oil Museum or the Currency Museum. Most of all relax on one of Bahrain’s stunning beaches.

Reaching Bahrain
Fly to the capital of Bahrain on Etihad Airways, Gulf Air, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways or Gulf Air GSC. The flight will cost between $145 and $554 and will take about 1 hour although the direct flying time is 45 minutes.

Where to stay in Bahrain
There are endless luxurious hotels lining the Bahrain coastline and you can find cheaper options away from the beach without the sea views. Al Areen Palace and Spa has been named as Bahrain’s most luxurious hotel which is the only all-villa private pool resort in the Gulf.

Trips from Abu Dhabi to Petra, Jordan
This unique UNESCO site is a once in a life time travel experience. The ancient 6th century Nabataean city carved out of the rose colored cliffs in the Wadi Araba include the often photographed Treasury, several churches, temples and other structures.

The city is considered one of the wonders of the world. You enter the city through the narrow suq, a path with towering rock on both sides, then the space opens up to reveal the incredible archeological discovery of Petra. You won’t need more than one or two days to see the City of Petra but you can make the most of the trip and visit Amman, Aqaba, the Dead Sea or the surrounding natural attractions.

Reaching Petra
To reach Petra from Abu Dhabi fly to Jordan’s capital Amman on Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian, Gulf Air GSC or Gulf Air. The flight costs between $285 and $677 depending on the airline and route. The direct flight flying time is 3.15 hours and it could end up being 9.24 hours depending on the route.

From the Amman Mujama al-Janoub bus station the journey to Petra takes about 3.5 hours and costs approximately JD 7:50. Alternatively hire a car and take the well sign posted Desert highway, Dead Sea route or King’s Highway to Petra or join an organized tour. A private taxi from Amman will cost you about 45,000.

From Aqaba it is about 2.5 hours to Petra and you can drive via Wadi Rum. A private taxi will cost you about JD 25,000 from Aqaba.

Where to stay in Petra
You can choose to stay in Amman, Aqaba or Ma’an or in the town at the entrance to Petra, Wadi Musa. Each of these locations has ample accommodation options and you will find something to suit every budget.

Hope you enjoy this small selection of our favorite trips from Abu Dhabi!

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