A Full Day of Fun Activities at Atlantis the Palm

Dubai has so much to offer tourists, including incredible architecture, delicious food, luxury beach resorts and an array of fun and exciting activities to keep families, friends and couples alike entertained while on vacation. In this article we are going to look at four activities visitors could enjoy in one day at one of Dubai’s luxury beach resorts, Atlantis the Palm



Get your adrenaline pumping with the record breaking rides and slides Aquadventure has to offer. Brave The Tower of Neptune, filled with dark mysterious tunnels that will catapult you into the Shark Lagoon and take to the water coasters that will push all of your boundaries. At The Tower of Poseidon you can ride the monstrous Aquaconda – the largest water slide in the world – as well as weightlessness on the Zoomerango or the nerves of rising Poseidon’s Revenge. If you would rather relax and let your friends or family conquer the water rides, there is 700 metres of pristine beach with exclusive seating areas for divine relaxation.

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Lost Chambers Aquarium

This unique and magical aquarium showcases the ancient ruins of the lost city of Atlantis that have finally been uncovered after being lost for thousands of years beneath the sea. You can experience the myth of Atlantis through hourly Myth Tours and Aquatheatre shows, as well as Ultimate Snorkel (for those thrill seekers), behind the scenes tours and Aquarium Dives. As you learn about the lost city of Atlantis, its cutlture, technology and ancient citizens, you will gaze at 65 000 marine animals, or you can interact with them by swimming with the sharks – an experience you will never forget. If you would rather watch, there are daily interactive Aquatheatre Shows which include facts about the marine life and scuba diving, as well as a feeding show and some giggles at the comic scuba divers.

ShuiQi Spa

Relax and put your feet up at the ShuiQi spa that will ‘enlighten your senses and your soul’. Offering a wide range of treatments, including Shiseido, ESPA Treatments, Aromatherapy Associates and Bastien Gonzalez, you will leave feeling like a completely different person – renewed and refreshed.

ShuiQi Spa


Best Tourist Locations only in Abu Dhabi, UAE

Due to huge demand, am listing tourist places specifically in Abu Dhabi below:

Note: referring different sources for this collection

Arabian Wildlife Park [Sir Bani Yas Island]


On Sir Bani Yas Island, the Arabian Wildlife Park is home to more than 10,000 free roaming animals and takes up more than half of the island.

Where: Sir Bani Yas Island, Jebel Dhanna
Telephone: +971 2 801 5400
Website: www.desertislands.com

Murjan Splash Park


LOCATION: Khalifa Park, near Falcon Entrance
Opening hours: Weekdays 3 – 7 pm (Tuesday is Ladies day); Weekends (Friday & Saturday) 10am – 7 pm;
Entry fee: AED40 (US$11) for children above 75 centimetres; children below 75 centimetres enter for free
Telephone: +971 50 8781009
Website: www.adm.gov.ae/murjan

Grand Mosque [Sheikh Zayed masjid]


Corniche + Marina Mall


Al Maya Island

Yas Island [just go around by car] + Ferrari World Theme park


Opening Hours: Daily, 11am – 8 pm.
Website: www.ferrariworldabudhabi.com

Yas Waterworld


 Yas Island waterpark spans an area of around 15 football pitches, with 43 rides, slides & attractions
 Opening hours: Daily from 10am until 6pm (winter months) and from 10am until 8pm (summer months)
Location: Yas Island
Website: www.yaswaterworld.com


Entrance to the park is AED 25 (US$ 6.81) for adults and AED 10 (US$ 2.72) for kids under six years old. Kids under two years old enter free.

Opening times:
Sunday – Wedensday: 9am to 8pm
Thursday – Saturday: 9am to 9pm

Location: Al Bahia, north-east of Abu Dhabi city, 35km away from the capital on the way to Dubai
Telephone: +971 2 5633100
Website: www.emiratesparkzoo.com

Al Forsan International Sports Resort

Al Forsan International Sports Resort

Location: Khalifa City A, Abu Dhabi
Telephone: +971 2 556 8555
Website: www.alforsan.com

Emirates National Auto Museum


Its located in 45 KMs south of Abu Dhabi city, this ‘pyramid’ houses around 200 cars belonging to HH Sheikh Hamad Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan.This is a fascinating collection and a great place to stop on the way to or from Liwa. Opening times are 9am to 6pm seven days a week, but are subject to change.

Entry fee: AED 50 (US$ 13.6), children under 10 enter for free
Where: South of Abu Dhabi, Hamim Road, Off E11, Al Gharbia
Telephone: +971 50 8102211
Website: www.enam.ae

Big Bus [bigbustours.com]

Famous for its traditional open-top double-decker red buses, The Big Bus Company has carefully designed tours which take visitors to all the major Abu Dhabi landmarks – from the magnificent Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the luxurious Emirates Palace hotel, to the Heritage Village and traditional souks. Personal commentary comes in a choice of eight languages (Arabic, English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Mandarin and Russian) and provides a fascinating insight into Abu Dhabi’s history and culture. The tickets are valid for 24 hours and give access to all the Big Bus Tour routes, with 11 stops throughout the city enabling guests to hop-on and hop-off at their leisure. Tickets are available from individual hotels or the Big Bus sales desk at Marina Mall and can also be bought online.

Hili Fun City


Wednesdays are reserved for ladies only and the park is closed on Sundays (unless a pubic days falls on Sunday).Telephone: +971 3 784 5542
Website: www.hilifuncity.ae

Al Ain Zoo


The Al Ain Zoo is home to over 4,000 animals, with at least 30% of its 180 species considered endangered. Conservation efforts have been strengthened by partnerships with San Diego Zoo, the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden in Miami, and the World Association of Zoos & Aquariums.Giraffe feeding, camel riding and ‘Elezba’ petting zoo are the latest interactive activities. Visitors can enjoy feeding the giraffe treats such as carrots or lettuce five times daily in a special area. Designed in the style of a local farm, the ‘Elezba’ petting zoo lets families feed and play with sheep, goats, camels, llamas, chicken and ducks, enjoy camel riding or picnic in a designated area

Website: www.awpr.ae
Where: near Traffic Police, Jebel Hafeet, Al Ain
Telephone: +971 3 7041500

Jebel Hafeet Mountain, Al Ain


Jebel Hafeet is the emirate’s highest peak, and UAE’s second with  1,240 metres. Its border between Al Ain and Oman.

Abaya Design Collections my List




Excellent artisitic design but it gives real values only if it comes in proper finishing in real cloths as an output

Excellent artisitic design but it gives real values only if it comes in proper finishing in real cloths as an output

Rich gold mixing abaya gives princess style

Rich gold mixing abaya gives princess style

Abaya in pink mixing with rich frills

Abaya in pink mixing with rich frills

Youth style design with gold patch mixing

Youth style design with gold patch mixing

Puffy hand cuffs looks really nice

Feather style and simple style both attracts very well

Elegant design with Slim and double layer abaya with contrast red mixing

Abaya in different color shade

Double color mixing style


Adds more fancy on traditional abaya with rich two colors

First design has two colors in less areas but gives good attraction

Green Tea Benefits For Your Health

What is Green Tea ?

Green tea is made using the leaves of the Chinese Camellia sinensis plant that are then applied to heat quickly after picking, either by steam or by dry cooking in hot pans. These methods minimizes oxidation, which is what is thought to give the green tea benefits we have heard so much about.

The good news is that health professionals agree that a daily dose of green tea benefits your health in a number of ways.
Green Tea: The Natural Secret for a Healthier Life, Nadine Taylor states that green tea has been used as a medicine in China for at least 4,000 years.

Green tea can help beat mouth cancer 

Green tea`s status as a superfood is growing gradually, as a new study has claimed that drinking the beverage could help you fight bad breath and even mouth cancer.

Past studies have suggested that green tea helps prevent cancer and heart disease and lower cholesterol — and even ward off Parkinson`s and Alzheimer`s. In the latest study, the researchers examined the properties of the polyphenol called epigallocatechin 3 gallate (EGCG) in particular.

“EGCG constitute the most interesting components in green tea leaves,” the researchers reported in the journal Archives of Oral Biology. “All together, there is increasing interest in the health benefits of green tea in the field of oral health,” they said

Read more at: http://news24online.com/Green-tea-can-help-beat-mouth-cancer_News24_41587.aspx

Green Tea Benefits

The majority of green tea benefits seem to stem from the powerful antioxidants,called catechins, which scavenge your cells for free radicals that could otherwise damage DNA, and contribute to cancer, blocked arteries and blood clots.

Because of the minimal processing – leaves are steamed instead of fermented – green tea catechins are unique and contain a more concentrated form of epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which is the active ingredient that many studies have highlighted as the driving force behind green tea benefits.

Green tea’s impact on cancer and heart disease seems very promising, and many people have experienced life changing benefits as a result of taking it daily. Below is a comprehensive list of benefits you will attain with a regular dose of green tea.

Ancient Chinese people knew the benefits of green tea for health. They have always used it for medical purposes. However, in Ancient China, it was used especially against the headaches and depression. Green tea has a great importance in China history. It is produced from the leaves of Camellia Sinensis by some special processes. Unlike black tea, it has little amount of caffeine which causes to insomnia, nausea and frequent urination.

Quick benefits outline listed below:

  1. It is used to treat multiple sclerosis.
  2. It is used for treatment and prevention of cancer.
  3. It is used to stop Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
  4. It is used to raise the metabolism and increase fat oxidation.
  5. It reduces the risk of heart diseases and heart attacks by reducing the risk of trombosis.
  6. It reduces the risk of esophageal cancer.
  7. Drinking green tea inhibits the growth of certain cancer cells, reduces the level of cholesterol in blood, improves the ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol.
  8. It is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and cardiovascular diseases
  9. It is used to treat impaired immune function
  10. Some researches show that, drinking green tea regularly may help prevent tooth decay by killing the bacteria which causes the dental plaque.

Read more: http://healthmad.com/alternative/10-great-benefits-of-drinking-green-tea/#ixzz1pvCoZoIW

Health Benefits of Green Tea in Detail

  1. Lowers your risk of cancer. Although the studies of how green tea affects cancerous cells are still in their infancy, there have been human trials which indicate that it does inhibit cells from developing cancer. EGCG in green tea regulates and inhibits cancer growth by killing cells that are growing inappropriately. In Japan, a study of 500 women with Stage I and Stage II breast cancer found that increasing their green tea consumption before and after surgery significantly lowered the risk of recurrence. Another analysis of 22 studies of the correlation between green tea and lung cancer concluded that by increasing your intake of green tea by two cups a day may reduce the risk of developing lung cancer by 18%.
  2. Eases the pain of rheumatoid arthritis. Study results reported in theProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that polyphenol antioxidants in green tea benefits suffers of arthritis by reducing the incidence and severity of the disease. EGCG protects cartilage destruction and reduces joint swelling and pain. This leads many scientists and health professionals to recommend green tea as a legitimate remedy for treating arthritis.
  3. Stabilizes your cholesterol levels. Researchers believe that green tea lowers your cholesterol levels by reducing its absorption in your digestive tract and increasing the rate of which it is excreted. However, your body does need cholesterol to build cell membranes, insulate nerve fibres and create hormones. For this, green tea benefits you by preventing the conversion of LDL cholesterol into it’s more dangerous, oxidized form. Oxidized LDL is one of the main factors in the development of atherosclerosis (the build of plaque that blocks your arteries as LDL gets sticky and clings to your artery walls) and increases your risk of heart attack or stroke. The amazing antioxidant effects of green tea protect this, helping to keep your arteries clean.
  4. Prevents cardiovascular disease. A Japanese study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed significant reductions in deaths from cardiovascular disease among green tea drinkers. The study found that over an 11 year test period, individuals who drank more than 5 cups per day had a 16% less chance of mortality and mortality related to cardiovascular disease when compared to individuals who drank less than one cup per day. They also found that green tea was especially beneficially in preventing strokes, due in large part to the antioxidants and how they prevent clogged arteries.
  5. Boosts your immune system. Catechins, the antioxidant polyphenol compounds, have been shown to have a major impact in your immune system. Research conducted by the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in 2003 revealed that theanine, found in green tea, boosted the activity of the gamma delta T cells that form part of our adaptive and innate immunity. The study followed a group of coffee drinkers and a group of tea drinkers who each drank 600ml of their drink daily. Blood samples taken four weeks later quite clearly showed that production of these anti-bacterial proteins were five times higher in those drinking tea.
  6. Promotes weight loss. Both green tea and green tea extract have been shown to fight obesity and lower LDL cholesterol – both of which ultimately lead to a reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes. The polyphenols in green tea are extremely useful for dissolving triglycerides, a substance in the liver and small intestine made up of mostly sugar and fat, and this is thought to be the reason green tea benefits fat loss. EGCG is also known to stimulate your metabolism and accelerate weight loss. When combined with the caffeine in green tea, this causes your central nervous system to release fat into the bloodstream to be used as fuel which burns your body fat off.
  7. Reduces tooth decay. Antibacterial properties found in green tea are also used by your body to kill the bacteria that causes plaque on your teeth. Research by the Journal of Periodontology has also shown that for every cup of green tea you drink, there is a decrease in indicators for gum disease. Fluoride is also found in green tea which helps to protect against cavities.
  8. Effective in the treatment of multiple sclerosis. In 2007, Dr. Orhan Aktas from the Institute of Neuroimmunology conducted a study of how green tea benefits sufferers of multiple sclerosis. While current patients do not have many options to prevent tissue damage and disability, he found that the flavonoid EGCG found in green tea could have a huge impact on multiple sclerosis. He concluded that EGCG is capable of directly protecting against neuronal injury in living brain tissue and that EGCG constituents may open up a new therapeutic avenue for treating MS by combining anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective capacities.
  9. Slows the onset of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. A recent report published in the journal Phytomedicine has found substantial evidence that the enzymes found in green tea protect your brain cells from damage. Another study conducted by the University of South Florida looked at the effects of antioxidant EGCG. It was shown to be a protein blocker which prevented the chemical reactions that can lead to nerve damage that can lead to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
  10. Fights the cause of allergies in your body. Methylated epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) has been shown to block a cells receptor involved in producing an allergic response. By blocking the production of histamine and immunoglobulin E (IgE), two compounds in the body that are chiefly involved in triggering and sustaining allergic reactions, EGCG could very well be the compound which prevents you from having watery eyes, sneezing and coughing.
  11. Helps to fend off infections. Again, as one of the main benefits of green tea, EGCG has been highlighted by a study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology as being able to prevent infections, including the HIV virus. EGCG binds with CD4 immune system T-cell receptors and stops HIV from doing the same to reduce the risk of infection. While it is still way too early to peg green tea as a cure for HIV, an Egyptian study has shown that combining antibiotics with green tea significantly boosts the effectiveness of the antibiotic. In fact, when tested against 28 disease-causing microorganisms, green tea enhanced the bacteria killing power in every single case.
  12. Reduces and prevents acne. Green tea benefits acne in a number of different ways. It’s antibacterial properties attack and kill the acne bacteria while the anti-inflammatory benefits of green tea reduce the swelling and redness. Antioxidants fight against free radicals which damage the skin and make it more susceptible to acne also help to balance hormone levels to help prevent future breakouts from happening.
  13. Slows the aging process to prevent wrinkles. One of the latest benefits of green tea is the effect it has on your skin and the aging process. It is again down to the antioxidants that prevent cell oxidation and damage that can make you look older than you really are. Studies are mixed on this particular green tea benefit as new research has come to light which suggests the full benefits can only be had by applying green tea topically to your skin. However, many people have found that potent green tea extracts do have a positive effect on their skin, leaving it softer, more supply and younger looking.
  14. BONES: Green tea leaves are rich in fluoride content. This helps this tea to keep your bones very strong. Consumption of green tea everyday can help improve and maintain your bones density.
    ref: http://www.nutritionalsupplementshq.com/green-tea-benefits/

    Types of Green Tea: Green tea has four main varieties, prepared in Japan, which depend upon its leaf-length, method of processing, season of harvesting etc. They are as follows;

    • Gyokurocha: In this case, the tea leaves are plucked from the tip of the branches. When brewed, the colour is clear green. Being picked from the tip, this variety has the best taste and fragrance. This is also considered best in terms of health and is less bitter, as it contains less tannin and caffeine, the leaves being younger and budding. The only drawback it has is that it is very costly. But then, there is price you need to pay for every good thing.
    • Sencha: Sencha Comes from the same plant, but this time, the leaves are from middle of the branch and are bigger, older and less tender than Gyokurocha and gives a clear, light green tea on brewing. Naturally, it is bitter and stronger than the former variety. Being of less noble origin (middle of the branch) and having more caffeine and tannin, it is cheaper and more popular than Gyokurocha.
    • Bancha: Bancha is made from the tender twigs of the tea plant and but obvious, it is very strong and bitter. When brewed, it gives a golden brown tea. This is further cheaper.
    • Matcha: It is the leftover powder of green tea, also called “Dust”. It makes a beautifully green coloured tea and forms a lot of foam (froth) as well, but has a lesser aroma than the leafy varieties. This variety of Green Tea is very popular in the Ceremonies, sometimes also called Ceremonial Green Tea. It is far less bitter than its formers and hence when you sip it, it feels as if it is sweeter than them.
    • Houjicha: Also spelled as “Hojicha”, it is not a pure or absolute green tea. Rather, it is mixture of green tea and powdered roasted cereals such as wheatbarleyrice etc. The quality and price of this variety depends upon the percentage or ratio of green tea to cereals. The better ones, having more tea in them, are costlier and give greener tea; while those, having more grains, yield a golden brown colour and are cheaper.
    • Genmaicha: Like Houjicha, it is not a pure tea either. It is mixture of green tea and roasted brown rice. On steeping, it yields a golden yellow tea, very nice in taste and aroma, due to presence of roasted brownrice in them.
    • Decaffeinated Green Tea: If not a variety, but it is also worth mentioning here. Any of the above varieties can come in decaffeinated form.
    • Other Varieties: The chief varieties mentioned above are blended with different combinations to produce many more varieties with different names, not necessary to mention here.

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    Harmful Effects?

    To date, the only negative side effect reported from drinking green tea is insomnia due to the fact that it contains caffeine. However, green tea contains less caffeine than coffee: there are approximately thirty to sixty mg. of caffeine in six – eight ounces of tea, compared to over one-hundred mg. in eight ounces of coffee.

    ref: http://chinesefood.about.com/library/weekly/aa011400a.htm

    Risks associated with green tea are same as those associated with any other kind of tea (commonblack tea, White Tea etc.) and are primarily due to presence of Caffeine and Tannins in it. The contraindications may vary with the percentage of caffeine and tannins in it. Most of you might be familiar with these adversities, still, let me summarize the components responsible and the associated risks here;

    • Triterpene Saponins: These compounds destroy the Red Blood Corpuscles (Erythrocytes) and thus may aggravate situations of anaemia, cause fatigue etc.
    • Caffeine: Everybody knows that it is an external stimulant and raises blood pressure, actually toxic in nature (it may be fatal for lower animals), addictive and in the long run has adverse effect on liver and internal organs. But then, it is the thing in tea which makes it energizing and refreshing.
    • Tannins: Tannins interfere with the breaking down of complex proteins into simpler proteins and their absorption in the body.
    • Xanthine Alkaloids: There are possibilities that they aggravate formation of uric acid in the body and thereby may trigger off and aid formation of stones in gall-bladder and kidneys, rheumatism etc.
    • Other Risks: Long term consumption and in greater quantities may give rise to problems such as insomnia, restlessness, annoyance, irritability, headaches, hypertension, abnormal heart-beats, loss of appetite, spasms, constipation and acute addiction to it. Many a times it is seen that people who are addicted to it do not feel motion and suffer from acute constipation, irritation and lack of concentration on anything in absence of green tea.
    • http://www.organicfacts.net/organic-beverages/organic-tea/health-benefits-of-green-tea.html

How to Make Green Tea


  1. Determine how many cups of green tea you want to make. The original guideline for brewing is one teaspoon (5 g) of green tea leaves (or pearls) per one cup of water. This will yield one cup of brewed tea.

  2. Measure out the desired amount of green tea leaves (or pearls) and place them in your tea strainer or sieve.

  3. Fill a non-reactive pot or pan (glass or stainless steel) with water and heat it to about 180 °F (80 °C). You can use a candy thermometer to watch the temperature, but if you don’t have one, then keep an eye on the water so that it doesn’t boil.

  4. Place the filled tea strainer or sieve into an empty mug or cup.

  5. Pour the heated water into the mug, over the tea leaves.

  6. Steep the tea leaves for 2 – 3 minutes but not any longer, or else your tea will become slightly bitter.

  7. Remove the tea strainer from the mug.

  8. Let your tea cool a few moments and enjoy your perfect cup of green tea.


  • Filtered water is especially recommended, especially if your tap water has a distinct taste or smell.
  • Some people shorten their preparation time by heating water in a microwave, however tea connoisseurs do not recommend this.
  • A glass coffee press (if you’re making more than one cup) or a glass mug (if you’re making one cup at a time) will allow the tea to cool quickly, minimizing bitterness.
  • If you drink a lot of green tea, consider installing a hot-water dispenser on your kitchen sink. The temperature is perfect for green tea.
  • To re-use your tea leaves (or pearls) just plunge the tea strainer into a cup of ice water immediately after the steeping process. Depending on the type of tea you’re using, you should be able to get at least one additional use of your leaves or pearls.
  • Add half a teaspoon of sugar if too bitter.
  • If too weak, steep tea leaves until perfect.


When is the best time to drink green tea, before or after meals?


Joyce, if you are just starting to drink green tea, I recommend drinking tea in between meals. This is because green tea can cause stomach problems for some people, and drinking it around mealtimes do not help.

Also avoid drinking green tea before you go to sleep as it will keep you awake.

However, if you want to lose weight and fat, drinking tea around meal times will help block nutrition absorption, increase fat excretion and remove food toxins.

Personally, I drink green tea in between meals. If I want a tea to go with my meals, I would pick a more oxidised tea such as an oolong tea. It has been proven by research that oolong tea increases fat excretion. It is also more gentle on the stomach.


Best Tourist Locations in UAE – Abu Dhabi | Dubai | Al Ain | Fujairah

Grand Mosque [Sheikh Zayed masjid]

Corniche + Marina Mall

Yas Island [just go around by car] +

Ferrari World theme park[fastest roller coaster in world]

Emirates Park Zoo [location: Bahia]

Big Bus [bigbustours.com]

Famous for its traditional open-top double-decker red buses, The Big Bus Company has carefully designed tours which take visitors to all the major Abu Dhabi landmarks – from the magnificent Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the luxurious Emirates Palace hotel, to the Heritage Village and traditional souks. Personal commentary comes in a choice of eight languages (Arabic, English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Mandarin and Russian) and provides a fascinating insight into Abu Dhabi’s history and culture. The tickets are valid for 24 hours and give access to all the Big Bus Tour routes, with 11 stops throughout the city enabling guests to hop-on and hop-off at their leisure. Tickets are available from individual hotels or the Big Bus sales desk at Marina Mall and can also be bought online.

1 day

1 day

    • Burj Khalifa [do online booking before visit]

    • Downtown Dubai [before go to Dubai Mall, just go around Downtown Dubai – its architecture is really good]

    • The Dubai Mall [Don’t miss Fish Aquariam]

    • The Walk [location: Dubai Marina] –Evening @ 5 PM+ [just a walk around]

1 day

    • Ibn Battuta Mall [7 countries architecture]

    • Palm Jumeirah [just go around for wonder construction in water]

    • Dhow cruises [you have to book for this trip in water]

1 day – Water Theme Parks [choose one]

    • Dubai Metro train

    • Al Mumzar Park [don’t miss to get safran tea near to       this park – very famous]

    • Al Safa Park


1      day – Desert Safari [don’t miss it]

1 day – Fujairah [better to start from Dubai] [don’t miss it]

1 day –  Al Ain [don’t miss it]

  1. Al Ain Zoo [if don’t want to visit zoo then you can start at 1:00 PM from Abu Dhabi]

  2. Jabal Hafeet Hill + Park

Off-road adventures around the UAE

By Shiva Kumar Thekkepat, Friday magazine

Ref: Article Link of this phase

There are enough off-roading tracks in the UAE for 4×4 enthusiasts of any standing. For the beginners, there are the popular ones around the Hatta pools where you can dip your off-roading toes without getting into tricky territory – besides, there’ll be plenty of experienced drivers around to help out. For the more adventurous, the desert is literally the limit.

To give you a head start, we suggest a few ideas on the following pages. So gear up, and drive off. Just don’t forget the GPS!

Wadi Al Wurayah

A favourite wadi that I visit very regularly is the Wadi Al Wurayah set among the Hajar mountains beyond Khor Fakkan (around 180km from Dubai). Whenever I have to test an SUV on rocky terrain I head there. This was about the only place where I had to change the setting on the Range Rover Sport to ‘Rock Crawl’ to navigate the huge boulders. Some 2km off Al Bidiya Mosque – the oldest in the UAE, dating back to the 15th century – take a left and drive for another 12-odd km before you reach the ravine where you turn onto the rocks from the road. There’s only one weather-beaten signpost so it’s easy to miss the turn-off. But you can always stop one of the SUVs that keep slipping in and out of the area for directions.

The way is very rocky, and even the path hewn by the vehicles can be treacherous so be very careful while driving through. There are long stretches of rocks and more rocks, so expect a fair amount of jostling even with air suspension. The mountain walls that appear to be closing in on you can be intimidating. A few kilometres later when you begin to think you’re driving into nowhere, the tiny waterfall appears suddenly on your right. What a welcome sight! Cold fresh water nestled among the rocks invites you to dive in.

Wadi Al Wurayah is said to be home to more than 100 species of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians as well as more than 300 species of plants. If you’re lucky you can spot the endangered Arabian Tahr in the evenings. But it’s not advisable to stick around in failing light.

Jebel Maleihah

If you want to go off and camp somewhere peaceful, you can just drive off the Sharjah-Dhaid highway onto the desert. Drive down Sharjah Airport Road in the direction of Dhaid and take exit nine. Pick any likely spot and pitch camp. The road is not too far away – just in case of emergencies. You can even drive all the way to Jebel Maleihah or Fossil Rock, which is also easily accessible from Dubai. A small mountain range, you can do more than go off-road in Jebel Maleihah. You can hunt for fossils, some of which are said to be over 80 million years old.

It is about 40km from Dubai and takes about half an hour to reach, depending on the route you chose, as there are few ways to drive there. You can take Sharjah-Kalba highway all the way to Al Maleihah. Or you can take Dubai-Hatta road and at the Madam roundabout turn left, to Al Maleihah.

Hatta pools

“We’re going to Hatta this weekend.” Note there’s no exclamation mark. The reason is that many UAE residents go there almost every other weekend. It’s easily one of the most popular spots for wadi camping and picnics. The reason is its proximity (120km from Dubai, about an hour’s drive), and the scenic beauty – rolling orange dunes that lead into the rugged Hajar mountains.

Convoys of 4x4s are a common sight. You can feel the tensions of the week draining off as you traverse the rocky crevices, and wander around the natural water pools. You can take a plunge in the Hatta pools, browse around the Heritage Village and spend the night under the stars or head for the nearby five-star hotel.

In spite of the regular traffic, some parts of nearby Wadi Ray are still rough and rugged, and demand some off-roading skills. The Range Rover Sport that we went in took us through it all in great style and comfort. Equipped with Land Rover’s Terrain Response system, the Sport allows you to select several off-road modes depending on where you’re heading into. Ruts, sand or rock climbing, Terrain Response has got a mode for you.

But driving along the dirt roads, sands and rocks around Hatta, I didn’t feel much difference between the mud, sand and automatic settings. The reason? The sophisticated air suspension system, which is accessible through a knob on the central console.

To reach the pools you have to take Mahdah 64 from the Hatta highway and turn left on to a gravel track at the Sumaini signpost. Follow the track and you’ll reach the mountains. The pools form the base of a hollow ravine in a rock crevice some 20km south of Hatta. Natural spring water from the mountains feeds the pools. There are even waterfalls after a particularly wet season; a really refreshing dip after exploring the surrounding wadis and mountains.

The Hatta Heritage Village is another stopover for a glimpse into the past. While returning you can visit the Arabian Pottery shop on the highway. The pieces are comparatively cheap, and you can see the artisans working on them.

Stay safe – Dos and don’ts

  • Never drive into the desert without at least another vehicle or two in tow.
  • Get you car checked thoroughly for mechanical faults before leaving.
  • A competent desert driver and a 4X4 equipped with a GPS is a must.
  • Check all fluid levels, tyres and the weather forecast before setting out.
  • Charge your mobile phone and stock up on drinking water.
  • Take a comprehensive tool kit, and a heavy shovel in case you get stuck in the sand.
  • Deflate your tyres to about 20 psi when going into the wadi or the drive will be too bumpy.
  • Take a 4×4 heavy-duty towing rope with hefty hooks, and a metal plate to support your car jack on soft ground.
  • Carry a tyre pump to inflate your tyres after the trip.
  • Don’t drive over fragile desert vegetation – you will destroy it.
  • Take your rubbish away with you when you leave.