UAE summer ends: 11 coolest, greenest spots to visit as temperatures drop
The UAE’s summer officially ended over the weekend, with the fall season ushering in cooler temperatures. According to astronomers, temperatures will range between highs of 40°C and 20°C during the season, while in the desert, the mercury will dip to below 20°C.
This can only mean one thing: Road trips! And we have rounded up lakes carved out of the desert, nature reserves and even a rainforest you can vroom off to for some treats that will make you go green with pleasure.
1. Al Ain Oasis
Spread over 1200 hectares, the Al Ain Oasis offers a spectacular experience of being up close with nature and is free to enter. Visitors can get to know the traditional falaj, an ancient irrigation system that today nourishes local grasslands and over 147,000 date palms and fruit trees. Those who choose to drive to Al Ain Oasis can stroll through the sprawling pathways or ride a bicycle underneath the shade of the palm fronds.
2. Mangrove National Park
Situated right next to the city centre of Abu Dhabi, the Mangrove National Park offers its visitors a golden chance to watch different species of birds and relax in its calming environment. The park is a biodiversity hotspot that includes salt marshes, mudflats, and algal communities. It is free to enter but those wishing to explore it further could book a kayak tour from the Anantara Eastern Mangroves Hotel. A two-hour tour would roughly cost Dh160, although the prices may vary according to the season and operator.
3. Kalba mangroves
Home to beautiful landscapes, diverse ecosystems and several activities, the Kalba Conservation Reserve should be a must-visit on the list of every nature lover. Whether you choose to pitch a tent and spend the night gazing at the clear night sky or you choose to visit one of the many activities that the area has to offer, this is a great place to spend time with friends and family. Visitors can also check out The Kalba Bird of Prey Centre, the Al Hefaiyah Mountain Conservation Centre, and the Al Hafiya Picnic Park.
4. Al Qudra/Love/Expo Lakes
A popular long-drive destination, the Al Qudra area is home to many lakes and open desert areas that will appeal to everyone. Visitors can enjoy a beautiful sunset at either the love lake or expo lake and can observe wildlife, including desert foxes, oryx and over 170 species of birds, in its full natural glory. The fitness enthusiasts can head for the long cycling tracks while the food lovers can munch on their favourite snacks at one of the many food trucks in the area.
5. Sharjah Safari
Experience an adrenaline rush at the Sharjah Safari which is host to more than 120 species of animals, ranging from birds, reptiles and mammals. Inaugurated in February this year, the safari hosts 12 different environments that are inspired by all parts of Africa and that represent the life and terrain of the continent. The safari extends over an area of 8 square kilometres and is located within the Al Bardi Reserve in the city of Al Dhaid.
6. Green Mubazzarah
The popular picnic spot at the foot of the Jebel Hafit mountain showcases the rich natural reserves of Al Ain. With its lush green hills, hot springs, and play area for children, this spot is also perfect for an overnight stay. Those visiting can choose from one- and two-bedroom chalets to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
7. The Green Planet
The experience of walking through a tropical rainforest with over 3000 plants and animals right in the heart of the city is truly a unique opportunity. On entering the glass dome at Citywalk, visitors can enjoy looking at exotic animals and birds including flying foxes, the endangered umbrella cockatoo and the bearcat. Spread over various different floors, the Green Planet also offers exclusive encounter opportunities with sloths, birds, reptiles and unique zookeepers and snorkelling with piranhas experiences. If dancing in the rain is your thing, then there is also a chance to enjoy a thunderstorm inside the facility twice a day. Tickets can be booked starting at Dh110 online and Dh140 at the door.
8. The Farm, Barari
Surrounded by lush green gardens, naturally landscaped lakes and waterways, the Farm is a great place to enjoy some food and beverages in a calm and peaceful environment. With a play area for young children and some winding pathways to enjoy a serene walk, this is somewhere to relax, breathe fresh air and rejuvenate yourself.
9. Dubai Butterfly Garden
Be prepared to have your breath taken away by the beauty and wonder of this attraction. Located right next to the Dubai Miracle Garden, Dubai Butterfly Garden consists of ten custom-built domes, each filled with thousands of beautifully winged creatures. The garden features 15,000 butterflies of around 50 varieties in different sizes and colours flying around the visitors. Visitors can also see how butterflies evolve through each stage. Tickets start at Dh55.
10. Al Zorah Nature Reserve
Spread over one million square metres of natural mangrove forest, Al Zorah Nature Reserve is a haven for bird and marine life. Made up of mangroves, blue lagoons and beautiful sandy beaches, the reserve is home to nearly 58 species of bird including pink flamingos, egrets and herons. It also features water activities including kayaking and an 18-hole golf course for the sports enthusiasts at the nearby Al Zorah Golf Club.
Dubai Safari Park
Spread over 100 hectares of land, the Dubai Safari Park is home to 3,000 animals, with 78 species of mammals, 50 types of reptiles, 111 kinds of birds as well as amphibians and invertebrates. Visitors have the chance to learn about the park’s extensive research, conservation, and wildlife protection programs and also experience shows like Amazing Creatures of the World and Birds of Prey at different time slots during the day.