10 best hiking trails in the UAE

Delna Shobi

June 10, 2024

4 min read

Whether you’re hiking with children or a first-timer, there’s a mountain out there waiting for you to scale…

If you’re on the hunt for an adventurous getaway, pack up the hiking gear and take a drive down to the mountains. The UAE is packed with wilderness and is home to a number of amazing hiking trails. They’re beautiful, they’re all unique, and they get you outside to enjoy the season. They are also free.

Here are 10 hiking trails in the UAE to conquer..

Shawka Swata on Wadi

Wadi Shawka, one of the closest trekking locations to Dubai, is ideal for novices and is only an hour’s drive away. Shawka offers a variety of routes. You might opt for a brief stroll or extend your visit by including a visit to the Shawka pools. Regardless of your choice, you’ll be treated to breathtaking, expansive vistas (also known as several photo ops). Proceed to the Shawka Dam and opt for one of the routes clearly marked from the little parking lot, or climb the stairs directly to the peak. The pathways are safe for families with young children and are designated, making it difficult to get lost. Dogs are welcome, however you should keep them leashed so they don’t get lost.


Hatta, the largest national park in Dubai, is a well-liked destination for friends and family for several reasons, including Hatta Wadi Hub, an exciting adventure facility. Numerous hiking paths in the area allow you to explore the Hajar Mountains. There are four types of trails: Moderate, Hard, Severe, and Easy. Expect undulating, craggy hills and wadis, farms, dams, a heritage hamlet, and paths that ascend to the well-known Hatta sign along the almost 33 kilometres of pathways. As one of the few walks with restrooms, this one is ideal for families with little children. There are locations where you can camp, have a picnic, see historical sites and much more.

Jebel Jais

Trekkers will love the UAE’s highest peak. The Balcony, Wadi Al Far, and Wadi Shah are enormous draws, and the challenging terrain is excellent. Some components present a difficult proposition, so before you go, do some homework. If not, you should expect a rigorous assessment of your hiking proficiency. The five lower section trails span 0.7 to 6 km, while the upper tier of the range’s Ghaf Summit gauntlet covers 4.3 km of testing area. Select your lane.

Showka Dam

This is the perfect place for individuals who would rather travel a less-travelled route. Even though it would require crossing the border again, Ras Al Khaimah is merely an hour’s drive from Dubai and, more crucially, offers routes suitable for most skill levels. The first set of mountains has an artificial stairway that requires strong legs to climb, but once you reach the summit, you can make loops back to base camp, which is, in this case, the car park, for a distance of up to 10km. We assure you that the air up there fills your lungs differently and offers magnificent sights.

Mushrif Park

With its vast network of pathways that instantly take you from busy city streets to peaceful nature paths, Mushrif Park is a hidden gem in Dubai. The park offers a variety of paths, but the 9.7 km hiking trail that winds across the desert is the best. Hikers will see various distinctively changing scenery along the route, in addition to local fauna. Look out for many amiable chipmunks and, with any hope, an unyielding Arabian Gazelle! It’s a fantastic place for beginners because the route has ample signage and public facilities.

Al Qudra lakes

The Al Qudra Lakes, home to several paths and some of the nation’s most remarkable wildlife are about an hour’s drive from Dubai’s downtown. The lakes are home to about 170 different kinds of birds, ranging from often-seen flamingos, geese, and ducks to less common ones like the Asian houbara and steppe eagle.

In Dubai, the Al Qudra Lakes are a well-liked location for desert camping and are home to several paths. The Love Lakes, two interlocking lakes shaped like a heart surrounded by a 7 km trail, are the site of the most well-liked trail. Come stroll the lakes with your significant other and spend the night beneath the stars in the desert.

Fujairah's Hajar Hiking Trail

This Dibba route leads to a lovely 5-kilometre walk in a scenic valley. It’s challenging, but the reward is well worth the wait. Starting at the valley floor and ending at the mountain’s summit, the path is a strenuous ascent with much elevation gain. As you ascend the trail, you will pass by little communities and historic homes. The shimmering lake at the foot of the valley reflects the light, creating a breathtaking vista.

Ras Al Khaimah, Wadi Monay

This 1.5 km hiking trail is suitable for novice hikers. The three—to four-hour walk passes through stunning scenery and the ruins of ancient societies. Along the route, there are interesting plants, rocks, and creatures to see on this kid-friendly walk. Furthermore, it takes just one and a half hours by car from Dubai.

Tayyibah Wadi

This easy walk around natural springs and historic irrigation systems in the Hajar Mountains begins at the Al Tayyibah Heritage Museum in Fujairah. The trail is quite level and easy, so there are many spots to pause along the way for a picnic or just to take in the scenery. This is one of the best places in the United Arab Emirates for a leisurely day trip trekking because of the beautiful weather and lush vegetation that await you if you visit during the winter.


Ghalilah Wadi

The Wadi Ghalilah climb, also called the Stairway to Heaven, is a strenuous ascent along a former shepherd’s path that links Ras Al Khaimah and Oman via a network of stone pathways. This challenging trail should only be attempted by experienced hikers and climbers equipped with the right equipment, as it is full of large loose rocks and demands a high fitness level. This is one of the best hiking trails in the United Arab Emirates, and the magnificent views of clouds and mountains at an elevation of about 2,000 metres make the effort worthwhile despite the long and arduous ascent.

Explore best hiking trails in the UAE with Thrillark

Hiking enthusiasts will find the United Arab Emirates a hidden gem, with various landscapes and paths suitable for all ability levels. Hikers’ dreams come true in this Middle Eastern paradise, which offers breathtaking wadis, coastal cliffs, and steep mountains just waiting to be discovered. You may explore the UAE’s rich cultural legacy and historical history with Thrillark in addition to its spectacular natural beauty by trekking these six must-try hiking trails. Prepare to explore the fantastic hiking trails in the United Arab Emirates by donning your hiking shoes and grabbing your rucksack. You will never forget this fantastic experience!

Delna Shobi

Weaving worlds with words, where imagination blooms and stories take flight.

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    2801, Mazata Business Avenue BB2,
    Plot No: JLTE-PH2-BB2,
    jumeirah Lakes Towers,
    Dubai, UAE


    2801, Mazata Business Avenue BB2,
    Plot No: JLTE-PH2-BB2,
    jumeirah Lakes Towers,
    Dubai, UAE

    Thrillark, Crafted with in Dubai

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