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Hike Society: the UAE’s best walking tours

It matters how many steps you take. This is not up for argument. Not only is it an excellent, low-impact type of exercise that has been shown to yield a plethora of health advantages, but it also enables us to meditate, listen to podcasts, take lengthy voice notes, or simply, on occasion, daydream. But having a purpose and plan can make your walks far more entertaining. Try taking a walk with a mic drop, a stroll with a goal or a contemplated wander. In the UAE, these are the top do-it-yourself walking tours.

A walk back in time to Dubai’s goneby

Dubai is a futuristic metropolis. Its skyline serves as a visual representation of Tomorrowland on Hollywood canvases. Here, buildings rise out of the sand like wildflowers in the desert; it’s a turbulent place full of constant flare and flux, applied technology, and global firsts that shatter records, all based on the solid principles of a dare-to-dream mindset. However, there are still locations where you can catch a peek of this opulent, ever more computerised city’s former existence. Let us guide you around the streets of historic Dubai while holding your hand. We’ll show you some sights that might astound you.

Our adventure starts at the Creekside recreation area of Al Seef. Take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront starting at the Hilton Canopy. As you stroll past the contemporary eateries and dhow boats, you’ll observe that the buildings’ architectural design gradually shifts from dazzling and new to rustic and vintage. Even though it was just recently constructed, the architectural design purposefully pays homage to the colourful history of Dubai’s original towns. Amidst the imitation mud and stone facades, you’ll spot what appears to be the oldest Starbucks in the world, the culinary guru of Emirati cuisine Al Fanar, and the Museum of Illusions (adult admission Dhs80), which is a worthwhile, mind-boggling, kid-friendly detour.

Then, shrewd travellers explore the souk neighbourhood by taking an abra ride over the Creek (Dhs2). When you first arrive at the Old Souq Marine Station, you are greeted by stalls and shops selling enticing spices, shimmering gold, and various flashing, beeping, and screeching souvenirs. It’s like going on a true sensory safari. Did all that promenading make you hungry? For a suitable locally-inspired curtain close on a day of cultural appreciation, try the beef majboos at Al Bait Al Qadeem, a famous Middle Eastern eatery that’s conveniently located for snacking.

A walk through the rolling hills of Khorfakkan

While Sharjah may not be the first place on everyone’s list of destinations for a weekend getaway, let us explain why it should be. Situated on the emirate’s scenic eastern coast, Khorfakkan presents a plethora of natural and cultural attractions infused with a hint of artisanal farm-to-mouth magnificence. Like many of the outdoor hotspots in the UAE, trail-treading is highly suggested, along with bicycling and horseback riding. However, if you’re on a family adventure and your small ones’ feet get too tired, you can always go to the beach.

As a mild beginner’s hike, the Rabi Trail has three main benefits: a) no need for those sharp ski poles; b) no need for altitude training or sherpas; and, most importantly, c) accessibility for beginners and kids, though most parents will be aware that they’ll be on the shoulders before the second kilometre. This trek starts at Al Rabi Tower, which was constructed in 1914 to keep watch over Khorfakkan. It winds through the harsh terrain of the Hajjar Mountains. With a 300-meter ascent, the 5.3 km defined track should take you two to three hours, assuming you don’t have any tantrums or snack breaks in between. The Al Rabi flag pole is your ultimate objective; it’s ideal for a quick selfie and for making your social media followers regret their own Sunday morning decisions.

A walk that binds together a taste of Asian street food hot spots

It’s crucial to maintain balance in life, and if your metabolism is burning calories like crazy, you should definitely treat yourself to a few treats. It’s possible that the walk will end up more like a waddle, but that’s okay because we’re all in this together. While expensive restaurants abound in Dubai, what we’re really yearning for right now are those reasonably priced, flavorful street foods. Come along with us as we explore the juicier cuts of Satwa through an Asian-flavored tour.

Like all good stories, the Savour Safari starts at a roundabout. The Satwa Roundabout, specifically. And the Ravi Restaurant, a Dubai staple, is the only place to open a street food account in Satwa. Tasty dishes including as real chicken tikka, kebabs, lamb chops, biryani, daal, and mutton kadai are best savoured when viewed from a Karachi tapas perspective. Replace utensils with freshly baked naan and roti.

With a degustation diversion to choose between two of the region’s most intensely loved sweet delights, Baklava and Kunafa, our story comes to an end. And Firas Sweets (next to AlBaik on Al Diyafah Street) is a must-visit location whilst in Satwa. Suck on a fresh smack of that sticky, crunchy, nut-filled goodness and sip Arabian coffee. Then, because you presumably have a long way to go before bed and have some treadmill miles to log the following day, head home.

A walk through the capital’s culture crucible

The thought of taking a cultural tour around the capital of the United Arab Emirates usually conjures up images of Saadiyat island. Even if some sites have a significant historical and cultural impact, when you’re walking, you usually want to make the most of your time and steps. Descend onto the magnificent Saadiyat Island, which takes Abu Dhabi’s cultural legacy into the present and, most likely, the future.

The hub for cultural and community events on Saadiyat Island is Manarat Al Saadiyat, where people congregate to see exhibitions, pick the brains of well-known figures, share ideas, and more. Start your walking tour of these culturally rich streets and explore the location of Abu Dhabi Art, one of the city’s most well-known cultural extravaganzas, as well as a terrace for outdoor events and other amenities like a photographic studio. Manarat Al Saadiyat has been hosting workshops, conferences, seminars, performances, and presentations on a regular basis for the past 15 years. It is considered one of the premier visitor centres in the capital.

The Corniche Walk

The magnificent Founder’s Memorial in Abu Dhabi honours the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the country’s founding father, and his life, legacy, and ideals. Acquire knowledge, take some time to contemplate, and relish the tranquilly and serene allure of its Sanctuary Garden, Heritage Garden, and Elevated Walkway, in addition to the magnificent focal piece of artwork. It costs nothing to visit the Founder’s Memorial, although reservations must be made in advance at Visit us every day from 9 am to 10 pm.

You cannot possibly stroll along the Abu Dhabi corniche, run, or jog, without taking in this stunning architectural achievement. Once you reach Level 74 of the second tower, this opulent location, which consists of five towers with sights as stunning as the cityscapes they provide, provides you with shopping, lifestyle, and dining options. But take your time taking in the architecture from a distance. The famous Conrad at Etihad Towers hotel tower, three residential towers, and a business tower prominently dot the skyline.

A walk into the heart of the UAE’s adventure emirate

If you’re in the adventure emirate of the United Arab Emirates, you immediately think of Jebel Jais, rough terrain, survival camps, and more. You may take a tour of the historic town or attend one of the many activities based around the impressive Jebel Jais. This time, we’ll take you on a walking tour—no, a hiking tour—to explore some of the most popular sights in Ras Al Khaimah, such as the caves. Although physically demanding, we think the hike was well worth it.

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