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During the winter months, hiking and trekking are an integral part of residents' weekend plans in the UAE. Wadi means 'valley' in Arabic. Occupied by intermittent desert streams, wadis dissect and run through the Hajjar Mountains (shared between Oman and the UAE). These wadis, and their ecosystems, offer nature lovers an opportunity to rewind and refresh with a hike. [Wadi Shawka in Ras Al Khaimah]
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Wadi Abadilah: This wadi in Fujairah is known for its beautiful landscape, and the hiking trail goes through a spring valley beside the stunning Masafi mountains.
Image Credit: UGDO
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Wadi Shawka: One of the more popular wadis for tourists and residents travelling as a group, Wadi Shawka offers opportunities for some amazing photos. You can go hiking in the mountains, bike, visit the Shawka Dam and let your kids enjoy a playground. At 120mm, Wadi Shawka receives one of the highest rainfalls in the country.
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Wadi Aasimah: From the village of Al Ghail in Ras Al Khaimah, this route goes through secluded villages, small pools, greenery. You will need a 4WD vehicle to access some of the wadis on this list.
Image Credit: GN Archives
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Wadi Al Bih: Known as the Grand Canyon of the UAE, Wadi Bih is a deep ravine with a distance of 1 kilometre. Bird-watching, the Wadi Bih Run, camel watching and camping are just a few of the activities one can do there. The top of the wadi gives you some of the best views of the UAE.
Image Credit: Supplied
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Wadi Naqab: For the more adventurous, this wadi offers a more challenging route. However, there is a high risk of flash floods in this area, so make sure you plan your trip based on the latest weather updates and government guidelines.
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Wadi Ghalilah: This one is for experienced hikers only, with many visitors recommending going with someone who has extensive hiking knowledge and experience of the area. While it is smaller than Wadi Al Bih, the cliffs here are higher and steeper.
Image Credit: WikiCommons