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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 hikes in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that is located in the city of Khor Fakkan, near Fujeirah. 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 Hike

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 close-up 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.

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Oh, man! I was so pleasantly surprised when I and my partner got there. 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.

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 experience UAE outdoors for the first time. It is a safe beginners’ hike 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: Check Shawka Dam to Pools loop trail which is a great easy hike only an hour away from Dubai. For more experienced and adventurous hikers, I would suggest the epic Wadi Shah loop near Jebel Jais in Ras Al Khaimah.

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 Al Rabi hike. 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

I have put together all the information that I think might be useful to prepare for Al Rabi hike. Let’s get ready for a little adventure and 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.


ELEVATION GAIN / ~300 Meters


TIME / ~ 3 hours

CELLULAR AND DATA SERVICE / Available at all times

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

An elevation of approximately 395 meters and only 3km (one way) of clearly marked trails guarantee a fun and mesmerizing experience. It is one of the newest and safest hiking routes in the UAE suitable for complete beginners.

Al Rabi Tower trail in khor faakkan uae
Al Rabi Trail is marked and extremely easy to follow- 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
City goat chilling too

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
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. 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

How to get to Al Rabi Tower Trail in Khor Fakkan, UAE

Khor Fakkan is a 1 hour and 45 minutes’ drive from downtown Dubai. Driving is the fastest and 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 get to the starting point of the Al Rabi Tower trail by using Google Maps.

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 climbing up to the tower.

al rabi hiking trail khor fakkan uae
Can’t get enough of this view, every corner is breathtaking

Navigating Al Rabi Tower Trail

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

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

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.

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 still requires effort.  

Al Rabi Khor Fakkan trail sunset
One of a few hikes in the UAE that has those 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 hike, go on weekdays. Although less known for tourists, this hike is very popular amongst UAE 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 a few people trekking, but it 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 at Al Rabi 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
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 a favorite city attraction. 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
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al rabi hiking trail khor fakkan uae
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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. Comfortable footwear- ideally hiking shoes- is a must. However, it is possible to hike in sneakers as well as long as you stay on the marked trails and do not wander “off-road”. Besides, comfy breathable sportswear, a small backpack, or CamelBak with a blader of 2-3 liters of waters and some healthy snacks (power bars, nuts, dates) is what you need for a short hike.

knor fakkan al rabi hike uae
When there is a will there is a way

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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More Hikes in the UAE

Make sure to browse my posts and check other awesome hikes in the UAE. I have written about the best UAE trails in detail. Therefore, you will find some other great options for your next trekking adventure in the United Arab Emirates.

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

The best UAE hike for beginners offering stunning Hajar mountain views. Al Rabi trail is well-marked hiking route overlooking Khor Fakkan town.

wadi shah hike ras al khaimah uae
How to Hike Wadi Shah in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE

UAE hikes: A guide to the WADI SHAH trail. | One of the most popular and diverse hiking routes in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) winds through the gorgeous Wadi Shah in Ras Al Khaimah Emirate. The tra…

Leopard Canyon Hike Ras Al Khaimah UAE
Leopard Canyon Hike in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE

Leopard Canyon hike is scenic and moderately challenging. This beautiful trail is located in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE.

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

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

Mico says:

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..

Ausra says:

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.

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