Guide to Wadis of UAE

During the winter season in UAE, it’s perfect time to go outdoors and explore UAE’s rich natural biodiversity and beauty!
Recently we and our friends with their kids been to a day out in Wadis in Fujairah. Meaning of arabic word ‘Wadi’ ,is valley, sometimes the word is even used for river bed. Most of wadis are situated in rocky mountains near East coast of UAE. During winter Dec-Feb rare raining occurs. This rain water gets collected in these wadis to form water pool know as wadi pool.
We packed our home made meals and started from Dubai early morning. Just before reaching mountains, we found a nice empty space to have our breakfast. It was lovely to have breakfast in early sunlight
under a tree! As soon as we finished our breakfast, herd of camels appeared from somewhere. It was a great photo opportunity! But there was no camel farmer in sight and the camels started approaching us, so we decided to just draw back and started our journey to wadis. On the way we took a quick stop when we saw a lone local farmer selling dates and honey, it was hard to resist so we bought dates.

Wadi Al Asimah and Wadi Al Sidra Sana

Our first break was Wadi Al Asimah. The wadi beds are rocky so after a short drive we decided to explore wadi on foot. That way you get to enjoy more and it’s better for environment instead of going for well known ‘wadi bashing’.

Wadi Pool

We even found wadi pool. The damns are built in wadis to collect rain water. Many farmers use this to water their farms. You get to see thick natural vegetation in wadis, thanks to wad pools.
We spent some time observing unique wadi flora and fauna in wadi and then we left for next wadi. We got to see few dams during wadi hopping. Some dams were old and some dams were properly built. 
There are some things I noticed about wadis, the entrance of wadi there were thick vegetation but as we walked deeper the vegetation became thinner and wadi gets open in larger rocky planes like a dry river bed.
The drive in this area is a bit tricky, sometimes there were few really big rocks and some times steep slopes. But as long as you have some one with off road driving experience it’s safe. The kids enjoyed our wadi outing, there is so much to see, learn. Plus our wadi day was very active, we climbed up many places to see things and even found out some caves. These mountains are very interesting if you see them up close.

View for Picnic Lunch

We got lost once, it was so beautiful outside that keeping eyes on map was very difficult. But then we ended up on a beautiful spot uphill, everyone loved the view so we had our picnic lunch there! When you are in mountains, you find some local people, but rarely. They always help you and are very kind farmers. Thanks to one such kind soul, we could find our route back before the sunset!

Vegetation in Wadi

Of course no Fujaira Trip can be complete without Masafi Friday Market stop over. Our favorite things to do there is having roasted corn and masala chai along with some plant shopping.

Wadis are popular for camping and off-roading in UAE. There are even Wadi Bashing tours in UAE. But unfortunately result of that irresponsible tourism in wadis are now polluted.

I found plastic bottles, plastic bags, cans, BBQ coal etc scattered everywhere in wadis. The natural water of wadi pool was completely ‘unclean’! Cans, bottles, disposable glasses, cigarettes were floating in water. This creates hazard to local fish species in wadi pool water.

Biodiversity in Wadis

Wadis are unique natural systems in UAE, one of the very few fresh water sources. Some wadis have pools and some wadis are spring fed. Wadis have a very rich biodiversity. There are some very unique native species found in those wadis which are very sensitive and vulnerable. For example in Wadi Wurayah the only found native fish is Garra barreimiae. Wadis are also home to some native endangered wildlife like Arabian Tahr.  Read here about species found in Wadi Wurayah and conservation efforts by EWS-WWF.  Fujairah municipality has protected this very popular & beautiful Wadi Wurayah since March 2009.

Wadi Dos and Don’ts

  1. Take only 4 x 4 to go in wadis with spare tire.
  2. Don’t forget to take Explorer Off Road UAE guide for routes.
  3. Check weather before you go there. During rain, there is danger of flash floods.
  4. When in wadis don’t turn on loud music to have fun. You will scare the vulnerable wildlife which you are not aware about.
  5. While driving in wadis be careful. Don’t drive ruthlessly and scramble all small new plants and species in wadis. It can take long time to regrow natural flora and fauna.
  6. Avoid campfire in wadis, you can harm biodiversity.
  7. Don’t contaminate wadi pools.
  8. Don’t leave your unwanted pets in wadis and mountains. Those exotic animals will harm local sensitive biodiversity. Native biodiversity can not withstand in front of aggressive animals from outside.
  9. Don’t litter in wadis and mountains. Take your rubbish with you and dispose in proper garbage bins on petrol pump. There is no cleaning staff in mountains like any malls in Dubai!
  10. Try to take reusable items with you to reduce waste.
Hope this guide will help you in planning your Wadi Trip!
  • Email This Page

You May Like This

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of

Meet Amruta

Hi, I am Amruta, Thank you for visiting my blog!

I am a Sustainability Professional. I have worked on many green building projects in the


Follow us

Click to Start Sustainable Lifestyle

Click to Start Sustainable Lifestyle

Blog archive

Like Us On Facebook

Join Sustainability Tribe Subscribe Now