Some of top hikes in the UAE..

Believe it or not, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is home to not just skyscrapers, but many beautiful and breathtaking landscapes, mountains and wadis (valleys). Some of the people who live here for years might have not heard much about the many hiking trails that we have or that there is any hiking at all.

I have noted down some of the most accessible and popular hiking routes that you can check out over the weekend and don’t need more than a 3-hour drive from Abu Dhabi and a one hour and a half-hour drive from Dubai. I have personally hiked in all these places so if you have any questions, do feel free to comment below or contact me in private.

  1. Hatta

sign of the hiking trail in hatta

Hatta is a region in the emirate of Dubai, about an hour drive from the city centre. There are numerous hiking trails for complete beginners to more advanced. Most of them can also be done by mountain bikes too.  You can find more info here about their trails: https://www.visithatta.com/en/Play/Hiking

  1. Wadi Naqab

car in wadi naqab ras alkhaimah

The hike to Sheri villae in Wadi Naqab is considerably easy/intermediate. The trail is best-suited for beginners who want to push themselves. Also great for overnight camping and best avoided when there is any chance of rain, since it is in a valley.

  1. Wadi Modaynah Dam Loop

camels in wadi modaynah ras alkhaimah showka

It is a beautiful spot in the region of Showka, Ras Al Khaimah. The hike is great for beginners with lots of farms and wildlife to see along the 10km loop. Great spot for camping too, if not too crowded.

  1. Hidden Oasis

hiking in ras alkhaimah mountains views

Jabal Jeis is the highest mountain peak in the UAE. The glorious mountain is the part of Hajar mountains that crosses Oman too. There are many routes around this mountain, one of them is the Hidden Oasis Hike which connects to Wadi Shaha. Definitely, an intermediate one, as there are parts that have some scrambling in them and it is a long hike, you could choose to split this to two days and camp in the farm up high.

  1. Wadi Ghalilah

wadi ghalilah sign

Wadi Ghalilah is a route that takes you to the top of Jabal Jais. The hike is intermediate in difficulty level with an elevation gain of about 1,300 metres. The path is steep throuhout with stone steps in most of the trail.

  1. Reverse stairway to Heaven

hanady alhashmi hiking

Reverse stairway is close to the Wadi Ghalilah route. I find this one a bit easier than the wadi ghalilah one as it is less steep and more scenic, it has an elevation gain of 1,100 metres.

There are many other places still not mentioned here, which I will try to update in time, again if you would like me to write about any specific, do let me know!

Remember, whenever you go on a hike, have the right gear i.e. a pair of comfortable hiking boots, a light-weighted backpack with you, etc and let someone know where you are going.

Hiking in the UAE can be one of your best adventures for this year, as long as you stay safe.

What should I pack when I Backpack – Checklist

Have you recently discovered Backpacking? Or already know everything about backpacking and need a checklist for when you go outdoors next time?

I love Backpacking, as in, going hiking with a backpack and sleeping overnight under the stars.. I have come up with a list I use to cross-check whenever I am packing for a Backpacking Trip. It may seem excessive, you do not necessarily need to take all these items all the time, whatever you don’t need, just don’t take it. Best to keep it light so you can focus on enjoying that hike!

  • Food, Snacks: i.e. bars, sandwiches, fruits, dates, bread, boiled eggs, cucumbers, tuna, cheese, nuts, cucumber, carrots, hummus, noodles, oatmeal, etc.. Condiments for your food i.e. salt, pepper, etc
  • GPS
  • First aid kit and medications
  • Water and Electrolytes
  • Backpack with waist strap
  • Hydration pack i.e. camelbak
  • Tent, mattress and sleeping bag, sleeping bag liner
  • Hiking boots with ankle support
  • Hiking socks (two pairs)
  • Hiking Clothes depending on the weather: long sleeve shirts, shorts or pants, fleece  and/or down jacket, hiking pants, rain jacket, underwear, flip flops
  • Headlamps
  • Toiletries (Toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, etc)
  • Mosquito Repellant
  • A full cap/hat (one that covers your neck), Sunscreen, Sunglasses
  • Buff
  • Warm hat
  • Gloves
  • Wet wipes or tissue
  • Small trash bag
  • Knife, fork spoon, mug, plate/bowl
  • Small pocket tool/ whistle
  • Matches, lighter
  • Micro towel
  • Stove, gas,
  • Cooking pan, spatula, cooking oil.

Anything you like to take with you that is not in here? Let me know..

How to stay safe under the sun

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The Basic Hiking Essentials

So you want to start hiking? Before you head off on a shopping spree and buy needless equipment, I have put down the bare essentials to enjoy your first hike. These are the things you will always need in a hike or backpacking expedition. Of course, depending on circumstances, you might need more.

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