WADI WURAYAH (currently not accessible)

LATEST UPDATE ON WADI WURAYAH

Fujeirah realized that the Wadi could not sustain the increased amount of irresponsible visitors any longer.

The wadi got plastered with graffiti and litter. Without even basic sanitation, the wadi started smelling bad after each weekend and looking like a landfill.

So now:  the beautiful Wadi Wurrayah is closed and most probably for a long time…

Notice board at entrance

Graffiti in Wadi Wurrayah


BACKGROUND

We have done this hike several times: due to the fact that parts of this route are regularly washed away by water, the track changes constantly and the hiker needs his/her undertaking skills to proceed.In 2009 Wadi Wurayah, in the Emirate of Fujairah, became the first mountain protected area of the UAE. The wadi has a fragile and unique Eco system and huge efforts are being made to protect this National Park.

Due to the presence of water the whole year round, this is also the most popular spot for careless weekend wadi bashes and picnickers: noise and waste pollution are the sad result of this.

This is an unfortunate disturbing acquaintance, but once the signs of civilization are left behind, the persistent hiker will discover the beauty and uniqueness of this refreshing wadi.

AT A GLIMPSE

LEVEL

– Return trip
– Distance: 15 km
– Duration: 7 to 8 hrs including stops
– Activities: uneven terrain, scrambling, wading through water, a bit of climbing


DIRECTIONS AND COORDINATES

Ex Dubai: from Maleha Road or Sharjah-Kalba Road (S116), take the exit to Fujairah (= new Highway). Once at the eastern side, head to Khor Fakkan (road 99).

4.5 km from the Oceanic Hotel roundabout, drive past the “Peace be with you” sign and make a U-turn (Wadi Wurayah is already signposted here). Then take the first tarred road to the right   (waypoint 1).

Follow this road until it ends: you can park your car at waypoint 2.

Sl no Waypoint Latitude Longitude Elevation
1 To the wadi from road 99 N25 24.697 E056 20.988 18m
2 Parking N25 23.850 E056 16.236 220m
3 Waterfalls N25 23.768 E056 16.175 253m
4 Split N25 23.038 E056 15.725 253m
5 N25 23.217 E056 15.500 301m
6 Return point of hike N25 23.107 E056 15.067 344m

DESCRIPTION OF THE HIKE

From the parking spot, walk down into the wadi. This is a relatively steep descent.
You can avoid this descent by driving all the way through the bumpy wadi untill you reach the waterfalls (4×4 required).

As mentioned before, the starting point of the hike, near the waterfalls, is in an appaling state. Especially if you go there in the weekends, or longer holidays.
Having said this, the hiking in the area is still very much enjoyable. The further you wander into the wadi, the less polluted and untouched it is.
You can also hike above the falls, but this specific hike is the one through the wadi itself. It will lead you through the meandering canyon, with high vertical cliffs, and you will have to wade through pools and/or climb up some waterfalls and rocks.

Leave the waterfalls (way point 3) on your right and follow the wide wadi track.
It`s full of uneven boulders but the path is relatively flat. Immediately you will walk between the high, steep walls of the wadi which makes it all very spectacular and scenic.

At a certain point, the wadi narrows down to a gorge, and some parts of it are filled with water.

 

Means you will have to untie your hiking boots and wade through it. It is recommended to carry lightweight foot protection when wading through the pools, as it can be extremely slippery; and with the uneven boulders it`s hard to keep balance! But it`s all very rewarding and refreshing.

 

Don`t forget to check the wildlife in the pools: it is absolutely full of frogs and small fish. Apart from that, you will also notice damselflies, dragonflies, lizards, birds and snakes.
During the last hike we were able to spot a “Omanese Sawscale Viper” (Echis Omanensis).

Jayakar`s Oman Lizard (Omanosaura Jayakari)

Oman Sawscale Viper (Echis Omanensis)

At the split (waypoint 4), take the right side of the wadi.

And from here you can continue exploring as far as you like.
The pools are magnificent but also complicate the hike (because of the wading) resulting in slow progress.
Once you reach waypoint 5, there are no more pools and you can proceed more easily.

For the adventurous hikers, it is surely possible to find a way to the main road in the western direction and reach road 89 (which connects Dibba to Masafi). We haven`t done that yet, but it is certainly on our list!

So far we have walked until waypoint 6 and then hiked the same way back…. a lovely day walk

Impressive Rock Formations

Refreshing pools along the hike