DESERT & ADVENTURES
The ever-shifting sands found inland from all the major coastal settlements create an endless variety of landscapes, colours and vegetation. The beautiful desert of Sharjah attracts visitors, who are impressed by the vastness and charm of the desert. There is nothing compared to watching a sunset in the serene dunes of Sharjah’s desert.
Desert driving is an art in its own right. There is plenty of sand to practice on within 15 minutes of the city, but please keep to the tracks. Tour operators will arrange desert safaris including sand skiing and even courses in sand driving. 4-wheel drive vehicles can be hired from most rental companies but make sure you have some experience before venturing into the unknown, and always go with at least one other vehicle.
Perhaps the closest you will get to experience the real Arabia is to take a drive out of the city and into the sands. The impressive hilly outcrop of Fossil Rock is surrounded by rolling red sand dunes and lies not far from Al Dhaid. This is a popular area for dune driving, quad biking (available for hire), fossil hunting and camping.
These noisy but ‘fun on four’ wheel bikes can be hired in the vicinity of Fossil Rock (S116 Meliha Road going toward Kalba – turn right at the Mahafeez roundabout with the mast, turn left after about 5 kilometres and continue along this road until you see the quad bike area on your left). The area is fenced off with sections to suit various ages. Helmets are provided.
The impressive Al Hajar Mountain range offers spectacular drives amid high, rugged scenery. Criss-cross the mountains between Manama, Masafi and the east coast, visit the famous Hatta Pools with their deep canyons, or go further south where green and water filled wadis can be found near Al Ain.
Wadi: The Arabic name for a valley, usually with a dry river bed. In times of heavy rainfall, a wadi is not the place to be as floods do occur. Water builds up in the mountains and is released in a wall of water, which gushes down the valley taking boulders, palm trees and even vehicles with it.