Experience hidden gems of the UAE desert with Arabian Adventures

Arabian Adventures, one of the UAE’s leading destination management companies, tour and safari operators is re-launching an enhanced edition of its Jeep Adventure Safari on popular demand.

The award-winning operator’s fresh itinerary includes additional stops for residents and tourists to take in the best of the country’s surrounding desert landscape and its attractions, in a single day. Tailor-made to highlight ‘hidden gems’ of the UAE, Arabian Adventures’ itinerary covers six key locations to experience from the comfort of a Jeep, with optional hiking to see more. An expert Safari Guide provides transportation and local knowledge throughout the tour, which takes in the wonders of Buhais Geology Park, Camel Rock, ‘Valley of the Caves’ at Al Faya Mountain, Mleiha Archaeological Centre, Shawka Pools, and Wadi Al Helo.

Ravi Dhakan, Safari Guide at Arabian Adventures, commented: “Our Jeep Adventure Safari is re-launching for the first-time post-pandemic, back by popular demand. Our team is excited to showcase new sides of the UAE, essential to understand its history and take in the best of its iconic desert. Buhais Geology Park offers an ideal starting point, taking visitors on a journey back in time to the origins of Arabia. Picturesque hikes at Wadi Showka and Wadi Al Helo, and a dune drive to the magnificent Al Faya Mountain, are personal highlights. Itineraries can be fully customised to guest preferences.”

Arabian Adventures ‘Jeep Adventure Safari’ Itinerary 2023

Buhais Geology Park

At the foot of Jebel Buhais sits a dramatic new interpretation of a site of geological significance for the UAE. Buhais Geology Park, located on an ancient seabed in the Sharjah desert, consists of a series of interactive exhibits within a visitor centre designed by London-based Hopkins Architects, which reflects the sea urchin fossils found in abundance in the area. Experience these first-hand within the centre, and on an outdoor trail to spot fossils and rocks more than 93 million years old, alongside ancient burial sites from the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages.

 Camel Rock

To uncover another side of the fascinating UAE desert, travel on to the Mleiha Archaeological Site. Here, clearly visible from over 25km away, Fossil Rock – comprised of fossils millions of years in age, towers in the distance. Travel off-road for a ‘dune drive’ across red sands to find the iconic Camel Rock. This unique rock formation rising up from the sand dunes is shaped like a camel resting. Backed by the impressive Al Faya Mountain range, this is a scenic spot popular with photography enthusiasts.

‘Valley of the Caves’ at Al Faya Mountain

Explore the vast Al Faya Mountain range of the Mleiha Archaeological Site. Jebel Al Faya, shaped like a dragon’s back, is an impressive mountain stretching along the Al Faya desert. At its North-Eastern point, Arabian Adventures’ guides take visitors to visit the ‘Valley of the Caves’. Here they can marvel at the impressive limestone mountain landscape or take a footpath on a hike through Neolithic period caves offering a glimpse into prehistoric times.

Mleiha Archaeological Centre

To understand more about the locations that you have just witnessed, and further on this archaeological site and eco-tourism project of national significance, experience the Mleiha Archaeological Centre. Interactive exhibits and ancient artefacts showcase evidence of life in the Sharjah desert several hundred thousand years ago; some of the oldest proof of early human presence in the country.

 Wadi Shawka

Popular with off-road and hiking enthusiasts, nestled in the Hajar Mountains of Ras Al Khaimah is Wadi Shawka comprising the Shawka Pools and Shawka Dam. A true hidden gem of the UAE, a short (15-minute) hike from where the Arabian Adventures team can leave their 4×4, and go on a picturesque trail to the Shawka Pools. Here they will spot local wildlife including the eye-catching blue-headed agama on the way to a secluded, tranquil oasis at the foot of rugged mountains.

Wadi Al Helo

Known for its abundance of underground water, which first attracted settlers to the area, Wadi Al Helo – or ‘sweet valley’ – is home to a significant archaeological site for Sharjah and the UAE. Another off-the-beaten-track location, Arabian Adventures guides direct travellers to explore its restored Islamic watchtower and evidence of 19th century homes, on to its popular hiking trails. An optional walk to the top of a hill offers panoramic views of the Hajar Mountains from an old fort. From here, spot endangered birds, reptiles and other animals which have made this protected area home.

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