UAE Hikes: Our favourites

UAE Hikes: Our favourites


When you ask Dubai residents what they miss the most here, “nature” will be probably the most common answer. It does take a bit of effort (=2 hours drive) but you can find stunning places in the mountains in other areas. In no specific order, these are our favorite hikes in the UAE.

Jebel Yanas to Hanging Gardens

This hike is special with its stunning views as it is quite high given it starts on the top of Jebel Yanas (you can also walk from the other side – Sal). To get there, you will need a 4×4 as the rocky road is quite steep in places. You will park on a dead-end road (or a bit earlier if there are cars already) where the hike starts. The trail will take you around the mountain top with several viewpoints all the way to hidden hanging gardens where you can see farmers carrying stuff with donkeys and taking care of their little farms.

  • Distance: 6.75km
  • Duration: 3-3.5 hours total
  • Terrain: rocky trail, mainly flat (as you’re already starting high)
  • Elevation: min 865m, max: 965m
  • Difficulty 2/5

Wadi Naqab hike to Baqal village

Right across the Jebel Yanas, you can find another amazing hike. It takes you to the top of the Hajar mountains where you can find one of the few remaining original settlements – Baqal Village. The village was traditionally home to members of the mountain-dwelling Shihuh tribe but it is mainly abandoned nowadays. The hike starts at an unmarked side road from the main road that leads through Wadi Naqab. You will see a steep rocky road up the mountain and that’s where you want to go. As long as you follow the road, even when it gets buried in large rocks, you can’t get lost. You will meet several viewpoints along the way, make sure you turn around as the views over the wadi are stunning. The hike is really steep so make sure you have good boots and to make it down before sunset.


  • Distance: 8.5 km
  • Duration: 3-4 hours total up and down depends on fitness level
  • Terrain: rocky trail, steep in places, little boulders at the top
  • Elevation: min 156m, max: 844m
  • Difficulty: 4/5




Wadi Ghub (Rainbow rocks) hike

Wadi Ghub is one of quite popular hiking places, it’s well known for its rainbow rocks. It’s not a long hike with a few boulders to climb on and it will reward you with beautiful photos thanks to its marble-like rocks. The hike starts from the antenna near the settlements, you can either park there or at nearby parking. From there you just enter the wadi and continue straight North. There is not many chances to get lost since it is a simple back-and-forth hike through the old river bed. In places, the rock towers or painted arrows will signal the best way to get through.

  • Distance: 5.5 km
  • Duration: 2.5 hours total
  • Terrain: rocky trail, little boulders to climb
  • Elevation: min 150m, max: 230m
  • Difficulty: 2/5


Wadi Al Abadilah pools

The nice thing about this hike is that it goes through lots of greenery and leads to pools with fresh water (most of the year). It’s an easy, family-friendly hike through a river bed and with an easy-to-follow trail path. From the parking, you will walk around the local gardens after which you’ll need to take the stairs on the left. After the stairs, you turn right and the path will lead you down to the river bed. You will follow it all the way up until you reach the pools.

  • Distance: 5.5 km
  • Duration: 2.5 hours total
  • Terrain: easy path
  • Elevation: min 210m, max: 290m
  • Difficulty: 2/5


Ain Alshreya Petroglyphs

This hike will take you around Ain Alshreya and it is unique thanks to petroglyphs on one of the rocks you will meet on the way. To get to the Waid Alshreya, you will have to drive on a rocky road (4WD recommended but sedan cars can make it as well), head towards Ain Al Shreia Parking spot. From there, you will walk south-east along the river bed where the hike actually starts. The full loop takes around 4 hours, the terrain is rocky with steep steps up and down. It is pretty safe though. You can also walk to the rock with petroglyphs and back which will take around 1.5 hours total.

  • 3-8 km
  • 2 hrs – 4.5 hrs
  • Difficulty 3/5

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