Are you ready to put on your hiking boots and explore the amazing trails of the United Arab Emirates (UAE)? Get ready for an exciting journey through nature as we uncover the 5 must-try hiking trails in this fascinating country. From towering mountains to sparkling blue lakes, the UAE has a lot to offer for outdoor enthusiasts like you.
So, grab your backpack, pack some snacks, and let’s embark on an incredible hiking adventure together! Get ready to discover the beauty of the UAE’s natural wonders and create unforgettable memories along the way. Are you excited? Let’s dive right in!
Jebel Hafeet is a tall mountain in a beautiful city called Al Ain, and this is only two hours away from Dubai. It’s the third-highest mountain in the United Arab Emirates, and when you climb to the top, you can see amazing views all around you.
This mountain is special because it has a long history, and there are fossils of tiny sea creatures called plankton inside it. It takes about 3 to 4 hours to climb to the top, and it’s not an easy hike.
Only experienced hikers should try it because the mountain is very steep. The best time to go is either at sunrise or sunset when the colors in the sky are really pretty.
From the top, you can see the golden desert and the green oasis of Al Ain, and it’s a perfect place to take beautiful pictures. It’s one of the best hikes in the UAE, and it takes about 1 hour and 50 minutes to drive there from Dubai.
Hatta Mountain Trails
Hatta is a big national park in Dubai that families and friends love to visit. One of the many reasons why it’s so popular is because of the fun adventure center called Hatta Wadi Hub. But the park is most famous for its beautiful dam. Lately, it has become a really cool place for people who love adventures.
There are many hiking trails in the park where you can explore the Hajar Mountains. There are four different trails you can choose from, depending on how fit you are: Easy, Moderate, Difficult, and Severe.
These trails are spread over 33 kilometers, and along the way, you’ll see farms, an old village, hills that go up and down, wadis (which are like valleys), dams, and you’ll even come across the famous Hatta sign. The great thing about Hatta is that it has toilets, so it’s perfect for families with kids. You can also find spots in the park where you can have a picnic, explore old places that are important to our history, and do many other fun things.
Al Rabi Mountain Trail
Al Rabi Mountain trail is a famous and easy hike in the UAE. It’s located on the east coast, overlooking a town called Khorfakkan and the Gulf of Oman. The path you follow is clearly marked, so you won’t get lost, and the best part is that you get to see a beautiful sunrise while you’re hiking.
Sometimes the trail gets steep, but you’ll have the Hajjar mountains and other landmarks from Khorfakkan to keep you motivated. It usually takes about three hours to complete the 6-kilometer trail if you walk at a moderate speed.
There’s a small parking lot near Al Rabi Tower, but it’s better to park your car down the hill in the long-term parking area.
Jebel Jais, Ras Al Khaimah
Jebel Jais is the tallest mountain in the UAE, and it has two parts for hiking. The mountain is really tall, about 1,300 meters high, and once you reach the top, you can see a beautiful 180-degree view of the whole mountain. The hike itself is about 4 kilometers long and takes around 2 to 3 hours to complete.
There are six hiking trails available, each with a different level of difficulty. First on the lower part which has five trails ranging from 0.7 kilometers to 6 kilometers. But don’t worry they are well-marked, so it is easier for hikers to follow. However the upper trail is more challenging, starting with a steep climb. Still, the path is clearly marked so you won’t get lost.
Ain Al Sheria
Ain Al Sheria in northwest Fujairah is an amazing and unique hiking trail in the UAE. It has stunning rock formations in beautiful reddish-brown colors and even an enormous rock with ancient carvings called petroglyphs. The trail is about 8.8 kilometers long, and it’s well marked, thanks to the efforts of Fujairah Adventures.
However, it’s a challenging hike, and it’s better if you have some hiking experience before attempting it. Along the trail, there are shelters where you can rest and find some shade, but most of the area is exposed to the sun, so don’t forget to wear sunscreen.
It’s also important to carry more water than you think you’ll need because it can get quite hot. The parking space is limited, and you’ll need a 4×4 vehicle to access the trail.
Wadi Shawka is a hiking spot that’s really close to Dubai, only an hour away. It’s a great place for beginners who are new to hiking. There are different routes you can choose from, whether you want to take a quick walk or spend the whole day exploring and even visiting the Shawka pools. No matter which route you choose, you’ll be treated to impressive and wide-ranging views from the hiking spot.
To reach the Shawka Dam, you can either climb the stairs straight to the top or follow one of the clearly visible trails starting from the small parking area. The trails are marked well, so you won’t get lost, which makes it safe for families with children.
You can even bring your dog along, but remember to keep them on a leash so they don’t wander too far.
Tips when visiting the hiking trails in UAE
- Plan ahead: Before going hiking, learn about the trail you want to explore. Find out how long it is, how hard it is, and if you need any special permissions.
- Check the weather: The UAE can get really hot, so check the weather forecast before you go. Avoid hiking on very hot days or during thunderstorms.
- Dress right: Wear comfortable clothes that are good for walking and protect you from the sun. Don’t forget a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to keep your skin safe. Wear sturdy shoes that are good for walking on trails.
- Drink lots of water: It’s important to stay hydrated while hiking. Make sure to bring enough water with you and drink it regularly, even if you’re not feeling thirsty. It keeps you healthy and energized.
- Pack important things: Bring a small backpack with a map, a first aid kit, bug spray, a whistle, and some snacks. Also, carry a fully charged phone in case you need help, but remember that there might not be a good signal in some places.
- Be respectful to nature: Leave nature as you found it, and don’t leave any trash behind. Stay on the marked trails, and don’t disturb animals or their homes. Enjoy looking at them from a distance.
- Hike with a buddy or a group: It’s safer to hike with a friend or family member. Let someone know where you’re going and when you’ll be back. It’s more fun to hike with others too!
- Take breaks: If you feel tired, take breaks along the way. Listen to your body, and don’t push yourself too hard. Enjoy the beautiful views and rest when you need to.
- Be safe: Follow any rules or signs you see on the trail. Watch out for slippery or steep areas, and be careful. Stay close to your hiking group and listen to your adult’s instructions.
- Have fun and enjoy nature: Hiking is a wonderful way to explore nature and have fun outdoors. Take your time, look at the plants and animals around you, and enjoy the adventure!
Remember, hiking is all about having a great time, being safe, and appreciating the beauty of nature in the UAE!
The UAE is a hidden gem for hiking enthusiasts, offering a diverse range of landscapes and trails that cater to all skill levels. From rugged mountains to stunning wadis and coastal cliffs, this Middle Eastern paradise is a hiker’s paradise waiting to be explored. By embarking on these six must-try hiking trails, you will not only witness the breathtaking natural beauty of the UAE but also experience its rich cultural heritage and ancient history.
So, get ready to put on your hiking shoes, grab your backpack, and explore the incredible hiking trails in UAE. It will be an adventure you’ll never forget!