• Tom Bushell

The best UAE adventures to do in 2020 // United Arab Emirates

To celebrate the UAE's 49th National Day here are my favourite adventures to do in the country...

  • Discover how to hike to the UAE's highest public point

  • Get on the water with the cheapest kayaking in the country

  • Cycle across 52kms of Hajar Mountain trails

  • And more...

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Happy 49th National Day United Arab Emirates! To celebrate, I'm showcasing my favourite adventures in the country - because a long weekend and a lack of international travel presents quite the opportunity to explore the UAE.


From kayaking to hiking, all of the following UAE adventures are unique in their own way and immensely rewarding. Not to mention, they are perfect to get to know every corner of the United Arab Emirates.


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And whilst much of 2020 has largely been spent inside our homes, the UAE National Day holidays is an ideal time to once again stretch those legs, or arms.


So, have a browse of the below and plan the adventure you want to tackle and celebrate the United Arab Emirates through sport & adventure.


Kayaking

Abu Dhabi Mangroves ****

The Abu Dhabi Mangroves are fundamentally important to the United Arab Emirates capital city of Abu Dhabi.


READ MORE: Why you should kayak the Abu Dhabi Mangroves


As mangroves naturally reduce the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, they are actually helping control rising temperatures. That natural process is very much needed in Abu Dhabi as the city is an island and completely surrounded by the Arabian Gulf.


A tour of the Abu Dhabi mangroves park is as peaceful as you can imagine, and a brilliant way to take a breather from the stresses and strains of 2020.


Alkhor Kayak *****

Alkhor Kayak is perhaps not the most famous kayaking location in the United Arab Emirates but for me, it's the best!


READ MORE: Alkhor Kayak is a wonderful kayaking experience


Set in a wonderful setting just west of the UAE east coast city of Khor Fakkan, and based at the lake created by the Rafisah Dam, Alkhor Kayak has everything you need for a great day out.


That includes a lovely restaurant and terrace overlooking the lake, playgrounds for kids, loads of parking, viewing decks and restrooms.


The icing on the cake, it is only AED30 to rent a double kayak - the cheapest I've found in the United Arab Emirates.


Hiking

Jebel Jais ****

A hike in the UAE that just has to be done. Jebel Jais provides you with the highest public point in the UAE and it is well worth your time, and energy!


READ MORE: How to hike to the UAE's highest public point at Jebel Jais


You'll find Jebel Jais in Ras Al Khaimah, the northern most Emirate in the UAE and in actual fact, the border between the UAE and Oman crosses over the mountain of Jebel Jais just below the summit.


That is why the highest public point in the UAE is not actually at the peak of the mountain. Why though is it only the highest 'public' point, I hear you ask? Find out in the above video...


Al Rabi Mountain *****

Al Rabi Mountain towers above the United Arab Emirates city of Khor Fakkan and offers one of the best summits in the country.


READ MORE: Is Al Rabi Mountain the best summit in the UAE?


The hike itself is hugely rewarding, with excellent laid out trails and beginning at the start point next to the historic Al Rabi Tower, a former watch tower tasked with keeping Khor Fakkan safe from intruders.


Sights you will see on this hike include the region's only natural deep sea container port and the gorgeous 'secret beach'.


The headline of this hike however is the summit, the views down to Khor Fakkan to the north, the Gulf of Oman to the east and south and the Hajar Mountains to west are, to put it mildly, phenomenal.


More of a walk...

Wadi Shees ****

Every once in a while, we feel the need to escape the desert landscape, for those who live in the UAE... but with that maybe not being an option for you this year, Wadi Shees is a perfect escape from sandy dunes and rocky mountains.


READ MORE: This Wadi Shees trail is an amazing oasis in the desert


Wadi Shees is one of very few locations in the United Arab Emirates where fresh water still flows all year round. That is thanks to the 3000-year old Falaj system that was designed to supply the area with rainwater supplies naturally held in under water wells within the mountains.


The result means Wadi Shees is awash with vegetation, bautiful trees and the tantilisaing sound of running water for the duration of this walk.


The Falaj system has also recently been refurbished too, meaning the area is in pristine condition to explore.


Cycling

Hatta Wadi Hub ****

For a couple of hours of adrenaline fuelled adventure, the mountain trails that start and finish at Hatta Wadi Hub are what you need to explore.


READ MORE: Explore exhilarating tracks across the Hajar Mountains


With bike rentals available, routes that suit beginners through to professionals and spectacular views to be found from the upper levels of the mountains, I can highly recommend getting on two wheels and tackling the mountain trails of the Hajar Mountains.

I hope you find the above useful as you plan your UAE National Day holiday adventures whether it is hikimg, kayaking or cycling that takes your fancy.


Don't forget to tag The Sports Explorer on Instagram as you explore the UAE through sport & adventure.


Happy exploring and stay safe.





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