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A Comprehensive Guide to Hiking in UAE

Hiking In UAE:

We all know what hiking entails, but have you considered really attempting a hike? I am sure you must’ve at some point gone out wondering to explore the surroundings. The concept behind it is to go on a trek and explore, to get away from the city life and head out into the sticks and take on an adventure.

Hikes can vary from multi-day hikes to day hikes, or simply going for walk. Depending on the type of hiking you would like to attempt this will determine how you will need to prepare for your adventure.

The UAE has a lot to offer although primarily day hikes is the most popular for this region.

Here is a list of ten essential things for hiking you should bring on every hike whether you decide to be gone for a couple of hours or several months.

  1. Appropriate Footwear: Happy feet make for pleasant hiking. Think about traction, support, and protection when selecting well-fitting shoes or boots.
  1. Backpack: Think about the type of hiking you will be doing. Hiking in hot temperatures means choosing a well-ventilated backpack. Do your homework, choose your daypack wisely, and shop at an outdoor specialty store. Choose the right size get a feel for it and consider accessories.
  1. Map / Compass: Whilst phones and GPS units are handy, they aren’t always reliable in the backcountry; consider carrying a paper map and compass as a backup and how to use them.
  1. Water / (and a way to purify it): As a guild line, plan for half a liter of water per hour in moderate temperatures/terrain. Carry enough water for your trip and know where of how to treat water whilst you are on the trails. “Cannot stress enough how important hydration is”
  1. Food: Always pack calorie- Dense food, food that helps with fuel your hike, and carry an extra potion in case you are out longer than expected.
  1. Rain Gear and Fast Dry Layers: The weatherman is not always right. Dress in layers to adjust to changing weather and activity level. Wear moisture–wicking items and carry a hat.
  1. Safety Items: (Light, Fire, Whistle): Have means to start an emergency fire signal for help, also a head lamp with back up batteries to help you navigate your way in the dark to see the trail and map if needed.
  1. First Aid Kit: Supplies to treat injuries or illness is only as helpful as your knowledge of how to use them. Attend a training session to gain the skills needed to administer first aid and CPR.
  1. Knife or Multi–Tool: With endless uses, a multi-tool can help with gear repair and first aid
  1. Sun Protection: Sunscreen, Sunglasses, and sun protective attire should be used in every season regardless of temperature or cloud cover.
  1. Shelter: This provides protection from the elements in an event you are injured or stranded is necessary. A lightweight, inexpensive space blanket is a great option.
  1. Bonus: Trash bag pack this 12th essential to make sure the trails you love stay beautiful for generations to come. A Ziplock bag is great option for keeping the trash. Level up by including a pair of disposable gloves for picking up less pleasant litter.

Planning your Hike:

Before Leaving Home… Hiking begins before you reach the trailhead. While it’s natural to want to jump into the car and drive to a favorite hiking trail, doing so is not necessarily the wisest of choices.

Hiking is a lot like painting a house in that the preparation is just as important as the actual activity itself. So, before you head out, follow some of these tips:  

1. Let people know where you’ll be hiking and when you expect to be back.        This is important whether you are going on a day hike at a nearby park or on a multi-day hike. The best insurance is a written reminder with all your information with someone who is not going and who is expecting you back or to check in at a certain time.

2. On a backpacking trip, plan where you’ll be camping each night as well as the section of trail, you’ll be hiking each day, in case you need to be pinpointed for an evacuation.

3. Study your maps before you begin the trip. Have a good idea of which route you will hike. Look for possible emergency exit points as well as places where water refills are likely.

4. Predetermine where you ought to be at certain points of the day using your map. Factor in your walking speed based on the number of people on the hike as well as their fitness level. Also, for every 1000 feet of elevation you gain, add about an additional hour of hiking time.

5. Remember that when traveling as a group, you are only as fast as the slowest person in the group. Highlight the route you will be taking. Mark potential campsites, water stops, and major road intersections.

6. Check the weather and pack, accordingly, keeping in mind that the weather at the base of a mountain and halfway up a mountain can be vastly different. Rain gear (one of the 10 Essentials) should be brought even if no rain is predicted, as wet clothes can cause a person to become hypothermic even with warmer temperatures.

 Locations in UAE for Hiking.

  • Wadi Tayyibah (Dibba Al Fujairah):This one-way hike, perfect for amateurs, boasts beautiful views of traditional irrigation systems, museums and natural pools.
  • Copper Hike: This spectacular circular route is a 7-kilometre stretch that covers two wadis and an open plateau. Located in Ras Al Khaimah, it is another popular hiking spot in the UAE for beginners looking for an adventure.
  • Stairway to Heaven: A challenging course for seasoned hikers, taking on this track includes a steep climb of over 1500 meters, in what is regarded as one of the most treacherous courses in the city. An ancient Shihuh Mountain route, Stairway to Heaven starts in Wadi Galilah and connects a mountain village to the coast.
  • Jebel Jais: The tallest mountain in the UAE is also home to the world’s longest zip line. Located in Ras Al Khaimah, this particular range offers hiking routes for almost all levels which means that every hiker can have a go at this climb. It will take you on an unbelievable journey through breathtaking canyons like Wasat Canyon, Thunder Canyon and Trident Canyon.
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