These Are the Best (and Easiest) Hiking Trails in the UAE | Savoir Flair
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These Are the Best (and Easiest) Hiking Trails in the UAE
article @VISIT.HATTA
by Lydia Medeiros 3-minute read November 28, 2023

It's time to swap brunch for boots and hit trails that won't turn you into a '127 Hours' sequel.

Let's be honest; there are about four months of the year when we can actually enjoy being outside in the UAE. We need to take advantage. A whole other side of the country is revealed when the weather cools down from alfresco dining to jam-packed beaches, and of course, hiking, which has become the trendiest weekend activity for the anti-brunch club.

Now is the time to make the most of the beautiful weather, so here are our favorite hiking trails in the UAE beyond the usual Hatta Wadi Hub and Jabal Jais that are easy enough for your Nikes to handle, and just long enough to soak in the views without making you feel like you might end up on the sequel of 127 hours.

Pro tip: download the Wikiloc app. You can download an offline map of virtually any trail to keep you on track even if you lose phone signal during your hike.

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Jabal Jais

No doubt you have heard of Jabal Jais. Not only is it one of the most popular places for hiking in Ras Al Khaimah, but in all of the UAE. The altitude alone makes the views worth every single step. You know what else is worth it? The zipline. Not just any zipline – although they have six – but the world’s longest and fastest zipline, which is a must for every thrill-seeker out there. Pro tip: on the way, check out this valley behind the dam. It’s a little hidden gem surrounded by mountains.

So, to recap: Find the Hidden Gem. Hike. Zipline.

Click here for Google Maps.

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Wadi Naqab and Wadi Kub

Otherwise known as the Grand Canyon of the UAE, Wadi Naqab is the jurassic hike you cannot miss. Alternatively known as the ‘Red Wall Hike’, this Seih al Harf trail in Ras Al Khaimah is illuminated with reds and oranges that take your breath away. The rocks are stunning and give one that Grand Canyon feel of majestic beauty. However, it is a difficult hike, and can take five to six hours to complete, so this one is best for experienced hikers only. As it is a longer hike, best to bring your own trash bag along so as to avoid the urge to litter. Pro tip: Hike the extra trail to Wadi Koob for one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

Click here for Google Maps.

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Wadi Lasal

For an easier hike, make your way to Wadi Lasal. The terrain is flat and simple, and gives you the feeling you are trekking across Mars. One can leisurely take in the sights, snap a few Instagram photos, and even bring along young children, as it only lasts around three hours. But it is three hours of beauty and enjoyment out in the sun. We should probably call this more of a stroll than a hike, but it is outside of civilization, so hike it is. Just beware of mountain bikers.

Click here for Google Maps.

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Sheri Village Hike

This may perhaps be one of the hardest, if not the hardest hikes in the area. However, with the promise of a beautiful village at the top, this hike is well worth the effort. Sheri Village itself is very cool and rare. There is no road access, so if you want to see it, you have to hike. Apparently, the villagers live by the sea in the winter, and then when it gets hotter during the summer months, they move up the mountain.

Click here for Map.

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Al Rabi

You’re in for a slightly longer drive to reach this trail as it’s located in the city of Khor Fakkan, near Fujairah, but it’s so worth it. Al Rabi is one of the most scenic hikes in the country, with a breathtaking panoramic view of Khor Fakkan and the Gulf of Oman once you reach the summit. It’s an easy enough trail to accommodate all fitness levels but be prepared, the first two kilometers are a steep uphill, so you’re going to need to put in some work to get to that stunning view.

Click here for Google Maps.

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Wadi Shawka

This wadi is one of the closest trails to Dubai, so it’s a great choice for a quick weekend getaway, or if you’re really motivated, you could even hit Shawka and make it back before your morning Zoom meeting. It’s one of the easiest trails to navigate and accomplish, and the only challenge is the staircase at the beginning of the trail. (Your glutes will thank you.) After you reach the summit, the rest of the trail is a walk through pools that are filled with water all year long.

Click here for Google Maps.

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Hatta Wadi Hub

Of course, it’s not hiking if we don’t mention Hatta Wadi Hub. With literally every type of hike you can imagine, different options for difficulty levels, and a hub filled with all kinds of activities for the members of your family who would rather go zorbing than hiking, Hatta literally has it all. The green trail probably takes about two hours, but if you go the more difficult route, you get that Instagram shot in front of the Hatta sign. Also, a little tip, we love kayaking the Hatta Dam. When in Hatta, right?

Click here for Google Maps.

article THE ROAD REEL

Showka

Tucked an hour away from Dubai, Wadi Showka (aka Shawka) is the UAE's best-kept secret for novice hikers. Cradled by the lunar-like Hajar Mountains, this trail offers an easy trek with breathtaking vistas, making it a prime initiation into the wild side of the Emirates. Popular among locals, Showka boasts multiple routes, including one leading from the Shawka Dam to year-round pools. Encounter goats, camels, and birds while soaking in striking photo ops.


Click here for Google Maps. 

article ADVENTURATI OUTDOOR

Al Dahir (Al Henna)

Venture into the craggy mountains of Hajar in the Fujairah Emirate, and you'll discover Al Dahir's hidden gem – Wa’eeb Al Henna, Wadi Dahir, affectionately known as the Sulphur hike. Bucking the trend of well-known trails, this hike offers a refreshing alternative, featuring crystal-clear blue pools, salt clusters, and lush flora. Following rain, the landscape transforms, revealing rare water ponds and small pools amidst the UAE mountains. Marked by Fujairah Adventures, this trail stands out as a quieter option compared to its famed neighbors, Rainbow Valley and Wadi Abadillah. Perfect for a relaxed, easy hike with panoramic views, the Sulphur hike invites you to explore its dynamic terrain, including sulfur pools, a hidden man-made dam, elevated views of the Hajar mountain range, green vegetation, and the occasional frog encounter. Covering an 8.4 KM loop, it's a beginner-plus adventure with a moderate pace of 4 hours, though lingering to enjoy the scenery can extend the journey to a delightful 6 hours. 

Click here for Google Maps.

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