The 5 Ultimate Hiking Trails In The UAE


This month we have teamed up with Italian shoe brand GEOX to bring you the best of the outdoors in Dubai. Well-being is the first and foremost inspiration behind the GEOX Fall/Winter collection, as is what we will be getting up to in Dubai now that the weather is cooling. GEOX, known as the breathing shoe due to it’s comfort walking technology, becomes a “Comfort Cool” accessory combining creativity, lightness and flexibility, to make life easier and distinguish every step in its functionality and appearance, quality and style, in all weather conditions and anywhere, from the city streets to outdoor activities.

The GEOX Breathes Outdoor Series: #4 The UAE’s Top Hiking Trails

Check out series one, (the low-down on TruckersDXB) here, two (Dubai’s best outdoor dining options) here and three, (Dubai’s best free beaches) here

1. ‘Secret staircase’ – Musandam mountains

This easy to moderate climb is accessible by road from Dubai but users will need to bring passports to cross the Oman border. It is a three-hour trek where you access secret staircases which were handbuilt by Pakistani goat herders. You will reach Twaifat and Yehnadj, two villages famous for their ancient gravestones and Petroglyphs. To reach this walk head to the back of Dibba beach, and from there it’s a 30-minute drive into the wadi (valley)… you will need a 4X4 to handle the rough terrain.

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‘Secret staircase’ – Musandam mountains

2. Wadi Tayyibah – Dibba Al Fujairah

A popular hike that won’t have you in too much pain the next day is Wadi Tayyibah, an old East Coast road 20km north of Masafi. There are new roads now in place but parts of the old route remain and it’s still used by local farmers and villagers who work at small date farms along the route. It’s a one-way hike in which you’ll view natural pools and traditional irrigation systems, the old village of Tayyibah, and the town’s museum, which gives an insight into the traditional way of life…The route is a great spot for picnics too, so pack a basket and make a day of it. Head to village of Al Hala and park there; take care not to block any residential access and avoid in rainy season as parts of the route may get blocked.

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Wadi Tayyibah – Dibba Al Fujairah

3. Jebel Qihwi – Hajar Mountains

You’ll need to cross just over the border into Oman for this hike but the scenic drive and picturesque views from the summit make it worth the extra effort. It’s one of the highest mountains in the region, (it’s a seven-hour round trip) so although you won’t be doing any technical climbing a good level of fitness is required. The hike itself starts as a path but expect to use your hands for balance as you near the top as the path turns to rocks. The last twenty metres are particularly difficult so if you want to reach the summit, some basic climbing equipment is advised. Best months: October – April.

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Jebel Qihwi – Hajar Mountains

4. The Shawka Dam Loop – Fujairah

The Shawka Dam Loop is a 10km loop located in the Shawka Dam, Fujairah which is about two hours from Dubai. The route here is well used by bikers and walkers so expect good gravel roads or well-trodden tracks. You’ll get a glimpse of desert life and agricultural life (on a good day you’ll catch camels, goats, donkeys and a variety of birdlife). There are hikes for different abilities in the area; If you wish to do something a bit more adventurous it’s best to organise a guide in advance or go with competent people who know the area. If you want to spend the night, there are some popular camping spots here too.

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The Shawka Dam Loop – Fujairah

5. Jebel Hafeet – Al Ain

We saved this one for last because this is one for the more experienced hikers. Located in Al Ain, just under two hours from Dubai this can be done in a day trip. The mountain is the third highest in the UAE (although commonly mistaken as the highest) with a 1,240km peak. This is steep and not suitable for an average walker, some serious terrain must be covered; trekking poles, trekking boots and plenty of water are advised. Because it’s such a steep climb, it’s best to avoid doing this one in the middle of the day; try it at sunrise or sunset… the view once you reach the top will be worth it.

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Jebel Hafeet – Al Ain

The essentials for trekking…

Includes a pair of GEOX shoes, obvs. And because we’re in a sunny part of the world you’ll need to protect your eyes. And so…

We’ve got some good news…

For every AED 1,000 spent at GEOX, customers will receive a free pair of co branded handmade wooden GEOX sunglasses or watch. You’ll find GEOX stores in The Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates, The Galleria Mall, and Marina Mall Abu Dhabi.

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