With so much to see and do in Dubai, venturing further afield in your leisure time might seem unnecessary. But what many don’t know is that just beyond the city’s edge lies a wealth of hidden wilderness gems. So we’ve partnered with OnStar Arabia to round up some of the best scenic spots in the UAE. All you have to do is jump in your General Motors car and allow OnStar to guide you there with in-vehicle apps. Remote start your engine and let’s go! OnStar Advisors are riding shotgun with you.
Al Madam Ghost Village
A far cry from the hustle and bustle of Dubai, this abandoned ghost village is a true Arabian mystery. What prompted this mass exodus? No-one knows. But a derelict community, complete with a mosque, becoming slowly submerged in sand is an extraordinary sight to behold. Built in the 1970s, some of the houses are still furnished, adding to the haunted feel. It might be a little off the beaten track, but fear not – OnStar will keep your car safely on route with the help of an Advisor who can send a destination pin to you. VQV7+WFJ – Sharjah
This vast stretch of shimmering water is a man-made lake that looks stunning from both the land and sky. Surrounded by curved walkways, the centrepiece of this tranquil, turquoise spot is a perfectly circular island, also reachable by visitors. So why not pack a picnic and relax among the lush greenery? Time your trip at dawn or dusk, and you could even witness a breathtaking sunrise or sunset. Just say ‘OK Google, take me to Expo Lake’ and use Google Maps, integrated through OnStar on your vehicle in-head screen. Q8P4+QJ3 – Dubai
Al Rafisah Dam
Another impressive body of water to add to the list. And while this one might be man-made, the dramatic backdrop of the magnificent Hajar mountains makes it equally as beautiful. What’s more, there are plenty of activities to enjoy. So whether you want to kayak, hike or simply enjoy relaxing among the lush greenery, you’re guaranteed to have a great time. And access your favourite music and podcasts through integrated Google Play, to keep you entertained on the drive to Sharjah. You can even receive timely social updates with your vehicle’s built in WiFi. 88X6+GFX – Sharjah
The Camel Farm
This remote farm located in the Dubai desert is an animal-lovers paradise. From camel-hugging therapy to camel rides out into the desert, visitors can form long-lasting bonds with these remarkable animals. If you’re planning a family day out, children can enjoy short camel rides within the farm, and get to know the resident goats, rabbits, chicken and deer. 6HH2+R79 – Al Khawaneej
If you’re craving a little slice of history with your adventure, a road trip to Masfout village is just the thing. Located amidst the Hajar mountains, the landscape itself is a spectacle. But if you’re willing to put in the leg work, climb the summit to soak in the astounding vistas of Ajman and tour the 19th century Masfout castle. And don’t worry about cooling off at the end of your hike – with OnStar’s remote key fob on the vehicle mobile app, you can start your car from anywhere and get the AC on ahead of time for a nice cool cabin.
The Hatta Secret Pools
It might be the hardest to reach of our hidden gem destinations, but you won’t regret making the journey for this one. Carving its way elegantly between two parallel rock faces, this crystal clear water just begging to be swum in. But whatever your chosen pastime, this idyllic spot is a heavenly place to while away the hours. It’s worth bearing in mind that you’ll need your passport, Emirates ID or Oman visa as these secret pools are situated in the rocky enclave on the Dubai/Oman border. But you can rest assured that OnStar Advisors will be on hand 24/7 to connect you with help in any situation, from running out of fuel or getting a flat tire.