If you want to escape the hustle-bustle of Dubai’s atmosphere, hiking Al Rabi Tower Summit in the realms of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) mountains is just right for you! The adventure gives you fresh air, an adrenaline rush, and rejuvenating experience after a week’s stress. And at times like this, it is better to break free from the crowds and mall structures.
UAE’s wintertime is a perfect climate to enjoy the long walks and winding trails amidst the alluring mountains. Our hike was on the second week of January, and I bet you, you’ll love the chills. UAE is known to boast diverse skyscrapers, deserts, water parks, and beaches. But most travelers and immigrants overlook the breathtaking hiking trails that surround the country. Join me as we try to discover some of the bests de-stressing sites around UAE!
About Al Rabi Tower
Al Rabi Tower sits in the coastal city of UAE, Khor Fakkan, a part of the emirate of Sharjah. Built in 1915 during the ruling of Sheikh Said bin Hamad Al Qassimi, it was once a watchtower to inspect any approaching trespassers towards the city. Presently, Al Rabi Tower is now the official starting point towards the Al Rabi Mountain Summit trail, which is 2,600 meters trail and 395 meters elevation.
Climbing the summit gives you a 360° breathtaking view and landscapes. The southeastern part of the trail welcomes you to the spectacular panorama of the Gulf of Oman. The northern part amuses you with the historical town of Khor Fakkan, while the western side introduces you to the epic Hajar Mountains and the emirate of Fujairah.
The Rich Historical View Surrounding Al Rabi Tower
Every side of the trek is a history that tells an extraordinary story. Overlooking the ocean is where a German submarine sank during World War II. Since 1943, the battleship has not been found until 2009. Subsequently, the wreck is now a haven for marine life, and the place has now become one of the prevailing diving sites in the region.
Lying before the Gulf of Oman is the only natural deep-sea port in the UAE called Khor Fakkan Container Terminal. It is also one of the primary container ports in the region, which was inaugurated in 1979.
The glorious town of Khor Fakkan is a share of evidence of its rich culture and history. Once in the history of UAE, the Portuguese Empire led the city during the 16th century. The community was first known as Corfacão during the Portuguese reign before it was titled Khor Fakkan, which means Creek of Two Jaws.
How to Reach Al Rabi Tower
Reaching the Eastern Coast of the UAE takes you around 90 minutes drive from downtown Dubai. You can take the new Sharjah – Khor Fakkan highway and enjoy the scenic view along the way. You can also type “Al Rabi Tower” in Google Maps, and you will be headed straight to the tower.
Once you reach the foot of the mountain, you can either park near the concrete roadway or drive up a minute at the Al Rabi Tower official starting point. However, there are only limited spaces at the starting point. Hence, it is best to drive up when you started early from Dubai, say around three or four in the morning. Else, it is also a great option to park at the bottom of the mountain and hike a few minutes as a warm-up before setting your way off the trails.
Upon reaching the Al Rabi Tower official starting point, you can take a moment to sit at the benches. Take your time to marvel at the beauty of Khor Fakkan town and a glimpse of the Gulf of Oman.
Hiking the Al Rabi Tower Summit is perfect for beginners, including kids. The hike takes you about two to three hours, depending on your pace and goal. Though it’s not technically complicated, you must not underestimate the trails. From the official starting point, you can already notice enough signposts to keep you on track. It even indicates the meters you already passed through.
Trekking Al Rabi’s First Peak
The first set is hiking Al Rabi Tower’s first peak that takes you around an hour or two, depending on your momentum. The trail has numerous resting stones in case you want to catch your breath and drink some water. At the 1500-meter distance mark, there is a right turn going to the campsite. It is a flat trail and a shortcut to reach the midway between the first peak and the summit. But why cheat for a few meters hike and ruin the fun? You can try this route when going back to the official starting point.
Once you reach the first peak, you can marvel at your eyes with the blue-green ocean, Khor Fakkan port, Khor Fakkan town, and the Hajar Mountains. After taking a rest, you can continue the trail down to the campsite. There is a small canopy once you reach the campsite area, where you can munch on some snacks and take stunning photographs before climbing the summit.
While at the campsite, breathe, relax, and sit for a while. Loosen up and admire the sunlight’s reflection on the Gulf of Oman. At this point, you will notice a somewhat isolated and unoccupied beach. It is known as the “secret beach”.
Disappointingly, you are not allowed to set foot near the beach. There are warning signs not to at the surroundings of the campsite. Understandably, the rocky mountain is a risky journey towards the water’s edge. Hence, if you can’t resist its calmness and charm, hit the bench and take plenty of pictures!
Trekking Al Rabi Tower Summit
Finally, be ready to trek the final trail to the summit. The goal is to reach and get hold of the UAE flag standing tall at the peak. The track welcomes you with large rocks, so push a little, and you’ll put your mark on that flag in no time.
It’s challenging to know that you endured 395 meters above sea level mountain. Once you reach the point, sit back and savor the breeze, gaze at the breathtaking views of the mountains and ocean. And of course, don’t forget to take countless Instagrammable shots!
Going back to the mountain base is smoother and more captivating as you are overlooking every side of the mountain. And have I told you that there is a shortcut in between the two peaks? Once you get down the campsite, turn to your left and follow the trail to avoid the steep journey up the first peak. Oh yes, it’s okay to cheat at this point.
Extra Tips on Hiking Al Rabi Tower Summit Trail
It was already post-Covid-19; hence people are excited to immerse themselves into adventures after a long break from the outside world. Hiking Al Rabi Tower Summit Trail is already one of the bucket lists of many. Expect numerous hikers, especially on the weekends, so keep yourself ready and have your face masks plus extras on hand.
Do not underestimate the trails, even if you are an experienced hiker. Wear comfortable rubber or hiking shoes. Don’t forget to bring lots of water, especially when you start to hike after sunrise. Bring a towel and extra tops for changing. Even during winter, it gets doubtlessly sweaty.
Inform your family members or friends of your whereabouts and schedules. Make sure your phone is fully charged. Bring sun protection like sunscreen and a hat. The only shaded area is at the campsite.
Pack on some power snacks. Chocolates, salty crackers, protein bars, eggs, bananas, and Pocari Sweat are just some of the energy boosters to have while hiking.
Lastly, respect the place and keep it clean.
Who would have thought that the watchtower, which was once a guard post against intruders in the nineteen hundred, would become a watchtower for every hiker, locals, and expats alike?
After satisfying your eyes with the dazzling views, you can rest your body at a nearby beach, just a five-minute drive from Al Rabi Tower. Khor Fakkan Beach offers you several snack corners, toilets, parking, boat rides, and even parasailing. The beach is a wonder after a tiresome hike at the Al Rabi Tower Summit Trail.
Do you want to sneak away from civilization and have spectacular views to wash off your stresses? Head down to the city of Khor Fakkan and get ready for a little adventure at the Al Rabi Tower Summit Trail. Let me know your views on the comment section below.