For most people the UAE means high-rise buildings, extravagant brands, and luxurious hotels; little do they know that the Persian Gulf country is blessed with stunning natural landscapes that make it worthy of an off-beat traveller’s choice. Eliminating the conventional and curating a list of places which are far beyond the usual, here’s our pick of the best ways to go off the grid when in the Emirates.
Update your music collection: this long drive up the mountains is a great reason to give those classic forgotten tunes another listen. Fujairah is an escape from the scorching summer heat of the other emirates, as the mountains offer higher altitude and a change of scenery. This is the perfect spot for active travellers: the emirate is home to a series of hiking trails and borders the Indian Ocean – perfect for water sports. Off-grid tip: Underwater enthusiasts can enjoy Snorkelling and Scuba Diving at Fujairah’s pristine beaches.
A two-hour drive from the smallest emirate Ajman, Masfout is a long-kept secret for UAE locals. A quick escape into pleasant climate and a picnic-perfect location, it’s a relaxing way for a day out rather than the usual sight-seeing or shopping activity. Masfout is known for its countryside feel and seclusion from fast-paced city life, while the higher altitude is a guarantee of cooler climate and fresh breeze. The location is also home to beautiful flora and fauna. Off-grid tip: It’s safer to travel in large groups as the place hasn’t received much limelight and is visited by only a few.
History books and archaeological channels always captivate their audience by highlighting ruins and fossils, but experiencing fossil formations first-hand is in a league of its own. Jebel Dhanna is a coastal region with scenic cliff and rock formations amid mountains. The site had an ancient river running through it which dried and left back fossils of various vertebrates – one fossil of a crocodile skull dates back a whopping 8 million years. Off-grid tip: The famous Danat Jebel Dhanna Resort can be a good option for guests looking at overnight staying options to appreciate the coastline of Jebel Dhanna.
Al Wathba Wetland Reserves is also known as Flamingo City thanks to its population of these stunning birds and their natural habitat. The wildlife remains undisturbed and therefore visitors can expect to see flamingo flocks from a designated hide-out spot. The place is usually quiet and peaceful as the organisers aim to create a fearless environment for the flamingos to be able to live and breed in the reserve. You can also spot black winged slits, little green bee-eaters, desert hyacinths and other species too. Off-grid tip: The location may be a bit confusing, keep an eye on the map and not miss this off-beat place. Summertime marks the breeding season and therefore research before planning.