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Although the UAE may be famous for its glittering futuristic cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, many tourists who visit the country don’t explore the UAE’s nature. Besides the desert, there are also ancient fossil beds, natural hot springs, and beautiful oases. Here are 11 of the UAE’s most beautiful natural gems that are totally worth visiting.
A striking red sand dune in the middle of the Al Badayer Desert, just a quick drive from the city of Dubai, Big Red offers some of the best tracks through the desert to hike, bike, or drive through for an exhilarating look at the UAE’s more wild side. This is one of those places that the UAE seems to keep secret, and that only those who truly want to discover the beauty of the desert will uncover!
Known as the “Stairway to Heaven”, Wadi Ghalilah is located in the very north of the UAE, in the middle of the mountains, and is the perfect place to go mountain climbing and hiking. Only discovered 25 years ago by adventurous explorers, Wadi Ghalilah will reward those who make it to the top with spectacular views of the raw beauty of Arabian nature.
A serious of natural lakes, wetlands, salt flats, and fossilized sands and dunes, this wetland 40 km south of Abu Dhabi is a truly magnificent place to go to experience the hidden beauty of UAE nature. With more than 250 species of bird, this is the place for anyone with an interest in Arabian wildlife; the bright pink flamingos are definitely the most popular.
Sir Bani Yas is the perfect getaway to truly feel like you’ve traveled to another world. The enormous and highly popular wildlife park–with giraffes, cheetahs, and gazelles–is only overshadowed by the island’s beautiful thriving coastline and towering salt dome hills in the island’s center.
Al Hayer Forest is another one of the UAE’s secret gems: a forest of ghaf trees in the middle of the desert. It’s also a popular camp site to those seeking shade from the harsh UAE summer sun. Camp out in this oasis for a striking view of lush green trees amid the scorching red desert of Arabia.
A Dubai secret, the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary is a thriving wetland and home to a colorful array of migratory birds and wildlife. With its famous flamingos, cooling waters, and lush green vegetation, this sanctuary is for those who need to re-appreciate the beauty of nature.