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Want to explore the Emirates on a hike, just a few hours’ drive from Dubai? Check out our selection of hikes and treks in Dubai, Hatta, Fujairah, and Ras Al Khaimah. Whether you’re on vacation in Dubai or just enjoying a weekend getaway, our tips will help you experience the Emirates from a unique perspective: through the beauty of nature. Discover the 9 best hiking trails in UAE!

Hiking and trekking in the Emirates, the prerequisites:

You should know that you can go hiking at any age, and whatever your physical condition. In the Emirates, there are hikes of all levels, from simple outdoor walks – on the flat and with regular stopping points – to more challenging treks with elevation gain. 
It is important to always equip yourself with suitable shoes, and water (count three liters per person) but also something to eat and protect yourself from the sun (cream/glasses/hat). 
Take the necessary information on your itinerary with you (a map or GPS track is always ideal), and let someone know your location before leaving. Finally, before setting off, check whether or not the hike requires a 4×4 to get to its starting point!  

Hatta – Dubai Trail

Driving time from Dubai: 1h20 to 1h40
Accessible to children: yes
Accessible without 4×4: yes
Level: + to ++

Hatta is probably the reference city in the Emirates when it comes to outdoor activities in the mountains: hiking, kayaking, pedal boating, mountain biking, or even camping. Hatta also has the particularity of having facilities (toilets, cafes, etc.), which makes it a very practical base when you have children or are simply looking for a little comfort. 

You have the choice between more than 17 marked trails including four green (“easy trail”) accessible from the lake or the Hatta Mountain Bike Trail Center. You can download a map of all the trails on the website

If you prefer a guided adventureHatta Adventures offers a wide range of hikes, ranging from one to four hours, from a stroll through local farms to pure mountain climbing. 
Prices range from AED 50 to AED 200 for adults and AED 25 to AED 100 for children.

2. Most family-friendly hike: Al Qudra Lake Sanctuary – Dubai

Al Qudra Lake

Driving time from Dubai: 40 minutes
Accessible to children: yes
Accessible without 4×4: yes
Level: +

Known for its cycle path, Al Qudra is home to many artificial lakes, in which swans and flamingos have now taken up residence. You will come across campers and fans of “fat bikes” (bikes with oversized tires).

Located just a 40-minute drive from Dubai, this is a unique outing that can easily be combined with a picnic. You will also find cafes, restaurants, and toilets at “Last Exit Al Qudra“, located right next door. 

📍For a GPS track suggestion, you can look: HERE

3. Nearest trek: Wadi Showka (or Shawka) – Ras al Khaimah

Wadi Showka Trail In Uae

Driving time from Dubai: approximately 1h15
Accessible to children: yes depending on the paths chosen
Accessible without 4×4: yes
Level: + to ++

Less far than Hatta, Wadi Showka is another fairly well-known trekking spot in the region and popular with trail runners. It does not require a 4×4 to get there and also has a car park. All the trails start and join the latter. There is something for everyone: from an hour-long stroll to a more sustained walk of around four to five hours, in the stony mountains or near the gorges for a refreshing dip. 

There are several treks around Wadi Showka: 

– Showka Dam loop: 10.5 km path, accessible to children. Duration 3 hours.
– Showka Gorge: 6 km route, accessible to children over 9 years old. Allow 3 hours with a little “canyoning” time.
– Showca’s Falcon’s Crest: 6 km route reserved for those who are not afraid of heights J! Duration 3 hours.
– Showca Gorge lollipop: the route is a little more complex than the Showka Gorge.

Solo Hiking in Ras Al Khaimah:

• The Showka Dam loop route and its variants are well explained here .  
• The Showka Gorge route is available here .

📍To get there:  Map Link.

Guided hike in Ras al Khaimah:

If you prefer to go on a guided trek, UAE trekkers offers organized day trips for all of the routes listed for AED 250 per person. 

4. For hiking in the Hajar Mountains: Wadi Lasal

Hajar Mountains Trail

Driving time from Dubai: approximately 1h15
Accessible to children: yes 
Accessible without 4×4: yes
Level: + to ++

This is a relatively flat 10km loop, located just next to Wadi Showka. You will find a few farms along the way. The path is clear and open, you will probably come across a few bikes along the way.

📍You can find the GPS track of the hike and the coordinates of the starting point: HERE .

Please note that there is a car park. Allow about 3 to 3.5 hours of walking. 

5. Hiking near Fujairah: Masafi hike and Wadi Tayyibah

Masafi Hike Trail

Driving time from Dubai: approximately 1h20
Accessible to children: possible for the Masafi trail
Accessible without 4×4: yes
Level: ++

Not far from Fujairah, Masafi trail is an accessible and less busy path than the places previously mentioned. This is a relatively flat 13 km loop, lasting about 3 to 4 hours and accessible without a 4×4. 

📍The GPS route is available: HERE .

You can also opt for an easier one-hour walk to the heights of the village of Masafi . There you will discover a nice viewpoint over the city below.

📍You will find its route: HERE .

For trail enthusiasts, the Wadi Tayyibah trail, 20 km long, connects Masafi to the town of Dibba in an almost continuous climb . This route will take you through some small villages, more discreet wadis, and pretty landscapes. 

6. Hikes near Khorfakkan: Wadi Shees 

Wadi Shees Trail

Driving time from Dubai: approximately 1h30
Accessible to children: yes
Accessible without 4×4: yes
Level: +

Close to Khorfakkan, it is also possible to visit Wadi Shees (not to be confused with Wadi Shis/chees even closer to Khorfakkan), a very popular place where many families meet for picnics. Take a stroll in the palm grove which is located a few kilometers further (by car) to discover among other things the falaj system. 

📍The start of the walk is: HERE .

Info: the road crosses one of the small enclaves of Oman! Don’t worry, there is no control on this part .

7. On the road to RAK: Leopard Canyon

Leopard Canyon Trail In Uae

Driving time from Dubai: about 1h20 
Accessible to children: from 10 years old
Accessible without 4×4: not recommended. Allow 20 minutes of off-road driving on a road in good condition and simple. 
Level: ++

As its name suggests, Leopard Canyon offers you a walk deep in the mountains, away from the most popular trails.  If you have a 4×4, take the off-road route at the Tea Shop (where you can also taste tea) or continue on foot to get to Leopard Canyon.
However, this will add about 35 minutes of walking (double the distance for the return!).  

📍You can find the entire GPS tracker of the hike: HERE .

8. Hiking in the mountains: Jebel Jais – Ras al Khaimah

Jebel Jais

Driving time from Dubai: about 2 hours to the top of Jebel Jais
Accessible to children: yes – from 7 years old
Accessible without 4×4: yes
Level: + to +++

There are six main marked trails around the mountain: the  Ghaf Summit is a 4.3 km route starting from the summit while the other five, ranging from 700 m to 6 km, start from a little lower down but with some elevation gain.

📍You will find the details as well as the plan: HERE

9. Treks in the mountains: Jebel Hafeet – Abu Dhabi

Jebel Hafeet Trail In Uae

Driving time from Dubai: about 2h20 to Green Mubazzara Park 
Accessible to children: from 10 years old
Accessible without 4×4: yes
Level: +++. We do not recommend it for a first hike.

If you want to climb the second largest mountain in the Emirates – located in Al Ain – expect about 3 to 4 hours of walking. The hike starts from Green Mubazzara Park (at the foot of the mountain) to its telecommunications tower called “Phone Tower”.
Note that the difference in altitude is significant, this hike is not recommended for beginners. 

📍You can find the GPS tracker: HERE .

For hiking further afield in the Emirates

Of course, there are many other possibilities for trekking in the Emirates. Many alternatives and suggestions can be found on the Wikiloc GPS hiking site which lists 5,630 routes across all the Emirates, whether on foot or by bike! The application is very well done and you will also find useful comments from users. The Outdooruae site also offers some GPS routes: HERE

• Accompanied treks in the Emirates

While some hikes are popular and well organized (Hatta, Showka, Lasal, Jebel Jais, etc.), be aware that other trails are rarely marked. It is therefore strongly recommended to go on “day trips” organized by professionals who can give you access to paths normally reserved for “off-road” drivers. 

👉 Subscribe to Facebook groups such as Hiking UAE to get information. The group is open to beginners and experienced hikers.