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After you've had your fill of shopping, luxury, 7 star hotels and glitz in Dubai, for an unexpectedly delightful experience take a 2 hour drive north-east from Dubai through the arid Hajjar mountains, to the wonderful East Coast which sits in the sun, nestled by the rocky hills and is lapped by the glorious waves of the Indian Ocean.
It’s a popular spot for locals and expats partaking in some good old-fashioned camping, however you can visit Sandy Beach Motel http://sandybeachhotel.ae/ as a day guest also – not luxurious, but a refreshing take on glorious family fun in the sun. Hire a paddle board, goggle and snorkels and swim out 100 m to Snoopy Island for some (safe) snorkelling – although the small blacktip reef sharks have been known to make an appearance they’re mostly too shy, but you should see some colourful fish, sea cucumbers, sea urchins and cuttlefish amongst the coral reef.
End your day with an ice cold beer from the pool bar and a banana boat ride for the kids – retro but definitely cool.