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Al Rabi Hike in Khor Fakkan: the Best Beginners’ Trail in the UAE

Written by Ausra Osi

on November 11, 2020

The best UAE hikes: Al Rabi Trail in Khor Fakkan, United Arab Emirates | Overlooking an exclave city of Khor Fakkan on one side and the Gulf of Oman on the other, an earthy and well-marked Al Rabi hike offers exceptional panoramic views. Graded as a beginner level hike, this trail is visited by outdoor lovers of various age groups and fitness levels. It is one of a few UAE hiking trails that is located in the city of Khor Fakkan, near Fujeirah, aproxomatelly one and a half hours away from Dubai. Therefore, this route is very accessible and popular amongst locals as a quick weekend getaway.

Al Rabi hiking trail in Khor Fakkan UAE
Khor Fakkan town and Hajar mountain range views open up from Al Rabi hiking trail

As an off-the-beaten destinations loving person, I was a little bit skeptical about this popular outdoor route. I have seen only a few images of Al Rabi Tower before, therefore I did not know anything about the trail scenery. The only expectation was a chilled-out afternoon on the East Coast of the UAE with light trekking up Al Rabi mountain.

UAE hikes: a guide to Al Rabi Trail. Love it? Pin it!
UAE hiking trail to Al Rabi mountain. Love it? Pin it!

Oh, man! I was so pleasantly surprised when I and my partner got there. A beautiful lush green mountain with a well-laid trail above Khor Fakkan town and the ocean reminded me of many well-developed Hong Kong city trails. No wonder that this UAE hiking trail is one of the most popular easy hikes in the country.

Al Rabi tower hiking trail in khor fakkan uae
Al Rabi mountain dresses up in lush green during the Spring time

Therefore, Al Rabi Hiking Trail is the route I recommend to anyone who wants to go on a hike in the UAE for the first time. It is a safe beginners’ hiking trail that can be comfortably done within a few hours. It can also be a full-day relaxed experience in nature and just steps away from civilization. And, yes, this is by far one of the best UAE hikes for those who want spectacular views at a minimum effort.


Related Reads: I have listed the Top 5 Easy UAE Hiking Trails, please check this post out to discover more wonderful beginner lever UAE hikes. For more experienced and adventurous hikers, I would also suggest the epic Wadi Shah loop near Jebel Jais in Ras Al Khaimah.

Want something a little bit more challenging? Head to my post about the Iconic Wadi Naqab Trail. This incredible hike in the UAE features one of the most unique mountain sceneries in the UAE. You will be trekking through majestic Wadi Naqab, to wadi Koob pools and ancient Al Sanat mountain village. Download FREE Mini-Guide to Wadi Naqab Trail HERE!


Al Rabi trail in Khor Fakkan UAE
Mountains and Chill on a Friday evening in Khor Fakkan at Al Rabi Trail

Continue reading for more information about UAE hike in Al Rabi mountain. I am also sharing a bunch of images, so you get hooked on visiting this awesome place near Fujeirah.

Here is All You Need to Know About Al Rabi Hiking Trail in the UAE

I have put together all the information that I believe might be useful to prepare for Al Rabi hike in the UAE. Let’s get ready for a little adventure. Make sure to pack your camera as this UAE hiking trail is also a photographer’s paradise!

al rabi hiking trail uae

SUMMARY / Al Rabi trail is an easy and well-marked trail with fantastic views of Khor Fakkan town backed by rugged Hajar mountains and blue waters of the Gulf of Oman.

DIFFICULTY / Easy

MAX ELEVATION / 395 Meters

ELEVATION GAIN / ~300 Meters

DISTANCE / ~ 5.3 Km

TIME / ~ 2-3 hours

CELLULAR AND DATA SERVICE / Available at all times

CAMPING: Possible at the designated camping spot at 2200 meters

The best beginner’s hike in the UAE- Al Rabi Tower Trail

Al Rabi hiking trail distance is a sweet 5.3 KM in total with an elevation of 395 meters. This clearly marked trail guarantees fun and mesmerizing experience. Khorfakkan trekking route is one of the safest UAE hiking trails suitable for complete beginners. The total distance of the trail can be covered in a couple of hours of trekking at a medium speed.

Al Rabi Tower trail in khor faakkan uae
Hiking in Khorfakkan offers a well-marked and extremely easy to follow route- you must try hard to get lost on this trek.

Along the way, you will be soaking up breathtaking views of rugged Hajar mountains and Khorfakkan town landmarks. These blend in seamlessly with the horizon of the sea.

Al Rabi trail khor fakkan UAE
A goat is chilling with the view

Halfway into the Al Rabi hike, you might want to stop and immerse in the vastness of the waters of the Gulf of Oman. Moreover, be ready to meet the goats. Some of which are peacefully resting on the rocks and are happy to be photographed.

Al Rabi trail khor fakkan UAE
UAE hikes: Al Rabi trail is a perfect place to zone out.

Finally, as the heat cools down, towards the evening, you will find local spectators coming from the nearby towns to enjoy a sunset at Al Rabi trail. From kids to adults, friends, and families- everyone rushes up the mountain, some of them dressed up for this special place.

Al Rabi trail khor fakkan UAE
Little lady in a pretty dress on a Friday evening out at Al Rabi Trail. I felt way underdressed in my casual hiking attire.
al rabi trail khor fakkan uae
Al Rabi hike is a pretty awesome playground

Related Reads: Check this detailed guide to Shawka Dam to Pools loop trail which is the other great scenic easy hike only an hour away from Dubai.


How to get to Khorfakkan hiking trail at Al Rabi Tower, UAE

To get to the starting point of the Khor Fakkan hike takes 1 hour and 45 minutes’ when driving from downtown Dubai. This is the fastest way to reach the East Coast of the United Arab Emirates. Take the new Sharjah – Khor Fakkan highway- the scenery along the way is a joy.

It is very easy to reach the start of Khor Fakkan hiking trail by typing “Al Rabi Tower” on “Al Rabi Hiking Trail” in Google Maps.

UAE hikes: a guide to Al Rabi Trail. Save this for later!

There are a few parking spots in front of the Al Rabi tower available for early starters. Otherwise, you can park at the bottom of the hill and climb up to the tower where the hiking route starts.

al rabi hiking trail khor fakkan uae
Beautiful UAE hikes: can’t get enough of this view, every spot is breathtaking.

Navigating Al Rabi Tower Trail in the UAE

As the name suggests, this UAE hike in Khor Fakkan starts at the historical watchtower. It was built in 1915 AD and used to be a part of the defense network guarding the city of Khor Fakkan. Today Al Rabi tower is a tourist attraction and a historical monument.

al rabi tower hike khor fakkan uae
The hike starts at Al Rabi Tower in Khorfakkan.

You will find it easy to follow the well-developed trail which zigzags all the way up to the UAE flag. It is the highest point of this route and it’s called Al Rabi Peak.

Al Rabi Hiking Trail Map

Below is a rough Khor Fakkan hiking trail at Al Rabi mountain map.

Al Rabi Tower trail is suitable for families with young kids (we saw many of them taking up this beautiful and slightly challenging trail). Elevation gain of around 300 meters is still significant. Therefore, do not underestimate it and treat this trail as a little hiking adventure that requires some effort.  

Al Rabi Khor Fakkan trail sunset
Khorfakkan hike is one of a few trails in the UAE that has incredible sea views.

The Best time to Hike Al Rabi Trail

The Khorfakkan Al Rabi Tower hike can easily be done at any time of the day. With November until March being perfect for day-long hikes, it is advisable to hike during the early hours in the remaining summer months.

For the best views and the most pleasant temperatures on this trail, aim to hike at sunrise or sunset. If you are looking for a solo peaceful trek, go on weekdays. Although less known for tourists, this UAE hiking trail is very popular amongst the residents. Therefore, Friday evenings are the busiest – it almost seems like the whole town has woken up from a long afternoon nap and is heading for the mountain top.

Happy Friday- an official day off in the UAE. Al Rabi trail is the hotspot in town attracting groups to hang out and enjoy the evening.

Our hike was on a Friday afternoon in February. When we started, there were only a few people trekking, but the path became crowded towards the evening. As a result, unlike in the early afternoon, the trail was no longer available for only a few of us.

al rabi mountain trail khor fakkan uae
Dramatic sunset on a cloudy Friday in February when hiking Khor Fakkan trail.

Regardless, it was fun to watch people of various backgrounds and age groups strolling the mountain. Most of them were driven by the same goal – reaching the highest point and taking a selfie with the UAE flag.

al rabi hiking trail
The best UAE hiking trails: Highest point on Al Rabi hiking trail and an iconic must have picture in this spot

Moreover, I was amazed by ladies in abayas and kaftans hiking all dressed up, and Pakistanis in their kurta pajamas and slippers jumping over the rocks – it is clear that this hike is one of a favorite city attractions. That being said, it opened up many great travel photography opportunities that added some local flavor to the overall experience.

al rabi hiking trail uae
UAE hiking trails in Al Rabi mountain. Love it? Pint it!

al rabi hiking trail khor fakkan uae
Take a selfie at one of the best UAE hikes. Love it? Pin it!

How to Prepare for Al Rabi Tower Hike?

Although the Al Rabi trail is a fairly easy hike, it is always advisable to be well prepared for all of the hikes in the UAE.

Here is my checklist of what I personally bring to each of my hikes

How much water to take for Al Rabi hike in the UAE?
  • Plenty of water, no compromising on that. For this hike, I would suggest taking at least 4 liters of liquids if it is a hot day. For example 3 liters of water and 1 liter of hydration drinks.

Make your hike easier and plastic-free and get yourself a water reservoir/bladder. It keeps water cool for a long time and has a readily accessible straw, so you can hydrate while walking. It also keeps water evenly distributed inside the backpack as opposed to bulky plastic bottles. I use a 3LT water reservoir by CamelBak on all of my hikes.

  • Power snacks and hydration drinks (electrolyte, sports drink, or hydration tablets helps to keep the energy levels up). From my personal experience, the best are protein bars, some salty crackers, dates, nuts, snickers chocolate, bananas, Pocari Sweat, or Gatorade that works wanders to kill the hunger and give yourself an energy boost.

Pro Tip: freeze your Pocari Sweat (or any hydration drink of choice) a night before you go. Add some ice cubes into your water reservoir. This will help to keep the water cooler for an even longer time.

What to wear for the hike?
  • Hiking shoes with a good grip. It is arguably the most critical part of your hiking attire. The best are mid-ankle boots. It will keep your foot more stable than low-ankle ones and gives more movement flexibility than high-ankle. I have bought a second pair of these Columbia Hiking Shoes that proved themselves on UAE hikes as being comfortable and long-lasting.
  • Comfortable hiking bag with adjustable straps around the waist and chest. Your shoulders and lower back will get tired from carrying lots of water, snacks, a sweater, a camera, a drone, etc. (that is what I have in my backpack). Therefore, you should have a bag that is designed to adjust to your body and sit properly on your back so the weight load is distributed equally. On one day hikes, I only take a medium-sized backpack that also has a compartment for my water blader separated from the main section. The bag I own is similar to Osprey 22L backpack in size and design.
  • Hiking clothes with breathable material will make your hike much more enjoyable. All that quick-dry stuff feels much nicer than a regular cotton t-shirt that gets soaked in sweat in no time and stinks like hell. Consider wearing something with longer sleeves for better sun protection. And do yourself a favor- leave jeans for a city walk. Long hiking pants are advisable. Although, I often go wearing gym leggings.
  • Sunglasses and a cap– there are some shaded areas along the way, but there is a load of sunny ones too. Save yourself from sunstroke by wearing a cap.
  • SPF 50 sun cream- don’t forget your ears- they get burned quite often.
  • Fleece sweater for winter months as it gets really cold in the evenings. I love my lightweight and super warm Columbia Fleece.
  • Slippers for after hike– your feet will thank you.
What are other must have items for a safer hike?
  • Collapsible Trekking Poles are recommended to significantly reduce the load and impact on your hips, knees, and ankles, especially when descending. The best are foldable lightweight (~300-600grams, varies per brand/model) polls that can fit into the hiking bag easily in case you need both of your hands to be free.
  • Torchlight or a head-light in case you hike into the darkness. Choose a good long-lasting torchlight- it can literally save your life.
  • Personal first AID kit (Advil, band-aid, antiseptic, hand sanitizer, wet wipes, etc.)
  • Power bank for your phone
  • GPS devise or a Wikiloc app where you can find an accurate trail recording which will help you navigate.

Last but not least- let someone from your family or friends know that you are heading out for a hike. Give them the location details. Also, inform them when you are starting the hike and when you expect to return.

PLEASE, RESPECT THE NATURE AND KEEP IT CLEAN!

When there is a will there is a way. It is impressive how people are hiking Al Rabi mountain wearing the least comfortable outfits.

Besides hiking, we saw people doing picnics. Although there is no dedicated place for that, everyone finds their way to enjoy the moment.

A side note: the space is very open, and there are no amenities near the trail. Therefore, you might want to make sure you use the bathroom before starting your hike.

Other Things to do in Khorfakkan

Khor Fakkan Town

Khor Fakkan is the second-largest East Coast town in the UAE. Interestingly, it belongs to the Sharjah Emirate despite being surrounded by the Emirate of Fujeirah. 

Khor Fakkan which means “Creek of Two Jaws” is a town that is set on a bay that is backed by rugged and rather halwa-like (Arabic sweet) looking Hajar mountains. 

Khor Fakkan powers the UAE economy with a busy industrial seaport. It is one of the major container terminal ports in the Emirates (Wikipedia). 

khor fakkan sea port uae
Khor Fakkan sea port from Al Rabi trail

Furthermore, the pretty Khor Fakkan beach, which lies to the North of the town, is famous for its stunning natural views, clean water, and football playgrounds. Ultimately, the town makes it a perfect weekend getaway from busy city life.

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Love it? Pin it!

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. I recommend only products and companies I use and the income goes to keeping this site growing.

More Hikes in the UAE

Make sure to browse my posts and check other awesome easy hikes in the UAE. I have written about the best UAE hikes in detail. Therefore, you will find some other great options for your next trekking adventure in the United Arab Emirates. Make sure to also subscribe to receive the latest updates on the best hikes in the UAE straight to your inbox!

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I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU! Leave a comment bellow if you have any questions, suggestion or just wanna say “hi”!

18 Replies to “Al Rabi Hike in Khor Fakkan: the Best Beginners’ Trail in the UAE”

Mico

Hello your webpage is very informative. is there a group that I can join in with my friend? I want to join the hiking trail this coming UAE national holiday..

Reply
Ausra

Hi Mico, thank you for your kind words. I am glad you find some useful tips here. I always go hiking with my partner, never with the groups. Therefore, I am not sure if there is any for this particular hike. There used to be an app called MeetUp where random people can post an event, agree on a day and time and then head out for an outdoor activity together. Never tried it, but I’ve heard it can be a nice experience.
Al Rabi trail is very well marked, you can be confident of doing it on your own, you won’t get lost. Also, you can expect a lot of other hikers doing this trail during the national day.

Reply
Lavanya

Thank you for the very detailed write up, planning to go on Friday.

Reply
Ausra

You will enjoy it. Expect lots of people hiking on Friday, especially evening 🙂

Reply
Sridhar Venkataraman

A very detailed blog and hence very useful. Thank you for that. Is it advisable to go on this trail at wee hour of the morning (in dark) to see the sunrise? Is the path well lit?

Reply

Hi Sridhar,

Thank you for your comment. It is perfect to go in the morning to avoid the crowds but go just before sunrise. The path is not lit so you would have to carry a torch light. Have a nice hike!

Reply

Hi. Thank you for the information. Is this good for solo hiker?
Where did you travel from? How did you travel to get to the starting point?

Reply

Hi, thank you for your comment. Yes Al Rabi trail is absolutely okay to do solo. It is close to the city (as you may see from the images in the blog) and the trail is very clear and well laid. I came from Dubai by car (regular sedan car). This is probably the easiest and fastest way to get there. I am not sure about public transport options though. But there might be buses going to Khor Fakkan town from Dubai too.

Reply
Ling

Your post is so useful! Thanks for sharing.
May I know where is the best spot to see sunrise? Is it at the summit or somewhere in the middle?

Reply

Hi Ling, the best spot would be at the summit somewhere or alone the way where you already get the sea view as the sunrise is from the seaside 🙂

Reply
jagdish y bhandarkar

Your website is very nice and has terrific advise and tips for the users. After seeing the write up here on the Al Rabi Trail we decided to go for it. Thanks for all this.

Reply

Hi Jagdish, I hope you enjoyed your hike at Al Rabi?

Reply
Apna

Thanks for the detailed write up.We knew what exactly to expect ! Enjoyed the view and the trails.

Reply

Hi Apna, thank you for your comment and I am glad you have enjoyed the hike.

Reply
Mjay

Hi your post is very informative but I would like to asky if there is any fees collected? Thanks!

Reply

Hi Mjay, thank you for asking, never thought to include this information as all the hikes I know in the UAE are free, including Al Rabi Trail. Unless, you go on a guided tour, of course.

Reply
Menino

Hi Ausra, do you have a saved trail on Wikiloc for Al Rabi. We used your Al Shawka dam to pool trail on the app and it was a big help.

Reply

Hi Menino,

I haven’t recorded Al Rabi trail yet. But not to worry, you do not need wikiloc for this trail, the path is very clear and there is nowhere to get lost 🙂

Reply

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