Saturday 10 November 2012

When you take a wrong turn and end up in another country

We've been in Dubai for three months now and starting to transition from the moving/setting up stage to the exploration stage (as a good friend of mine put it). Yesterday, we decided it was well time we got out of town and started exploring our surroundings.

After getting some advice and pouring over maps, we decided that just a short trip up the coast was what we needed. Not too far and we could get our bearings. We packed for a day out and set off early.
We headed north through Dubai and Sharjah and then we missed our turn off and then we missed our plan B and found ourselves headed in completely the wrong direction. We saw a sigh for Hatta and we remembered that Carly from Confessions of a 30-something Woman had said it was a nice place to visit.

So we turned the steering wheel in that direction and soon we're driving through peachy-red sand dunes, cascading across the horizon. Dotted with campsite and dirt bikes, quad bikes and dune buggies going up and over the dunes.

Before long we arrived at a border checkpoint, we were going into Oman! Thankfully we had our passports, although the yellow-toothed border soldier was happy to just shake the kids' hands. Amazed that we'd taken a wrong turn and ended up in another country, we headed on our way and soon enough we were at another checkpoint and back in the UAE.

The scenery suddenly changed, the soft, silky dunes became rugged mountains and jagged rocked spilled along the side of the road. We arrived in Hatta, the temperature noticeably cooler and lovely breeze blew. The biggest attraction in town – the Heritage Village was shut until afternoon, so we set off for a local resort, where the kids ran and climbed hills. We soaked in the countryside, it was so nice to be away from the traffic and the skyscrapers. We found an old fort tower and Goosey was convinced Rapunzel lived and she yelled out "Let down your hair!" until her voice was hoarse.

Ready for lunch, the only place open was a greasy chicken joint, so we quickly ate and decided to head for home. Back through the mountains, a quick 20kms through Oman, through the sand dunes. The girls shrieked when they saw camels on the side of the road. The got even more excited when we christened our 4WD and took it for a slippy drive on the hot sand.

Soon we could see the towering Burj Khalifa in the distance and we were back on busy Sheik Zayed Rd.

It was so nice to experience something more of this country than just Dubai and has gotten us excited to experience more. As an Australian, it's still so amazing to take a short drive, take a wrong turn and unexpectedly end up in another country!

Lawrence of Arabia-type country

The changing landscape, rocky and sparse.

The sunny view from the top of hill.

The town of Hatta

"Rapunzel! Let down your hair!"


  1. It's surreal to think a wrong turn can do that :) you describe it all so beautifully, I felt like I was along for the ride too! So glad you got this beautiful adventure in x

  2. Wow!!
    I love hearing of your adventures there.
    It's just a different world altogether.
    :-) x

  3. That's so cool! I know what you mean by 'as an Australian', because a wrong turn just gets you... back in Australia, driving forever and ever. I loved driving in Europe because it was something different every 10 minutes, rather than every hour or so! x

  4. Promise me lovely that when you get a chance for a family holiday you will go back to Oman. Its definitely on the list of places to visit. 3 days will be enough but stay at The Chedi and you will all love it!!! The markets are incredible and so is the food and people .... xxx

    1. We were planning to go at Christmas but all booked. We will definitely get to Muscat, I've heard such good things. Who knows we may get to Doha too!

  5. How fantastic, that another country is such a short drive away, hard to believe. Enjoy and I look forward to seeing more pics of your adventures.

  6. WOW Corinne, it is just so far removed from anything I've ever known... given that I have never been out of Australia. Totally fascinating though, no wonder the kids were all excited, it's a pretty amazing experience to be having whilst they're still so young. Love the pics, it's wonderful to see it all through your eyes xo

  7. Thanks for the shout out Corinne and glad you tried Hatta. I have to admit when we first walked up that driveway I turned to Mr O and said "nobody puts baby in a corner". I kept expecting Patrick Swayze to walk out all day.


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