UAE hidden gems: 4 spots Sheikh Mohammed highlighted in coolest winter campaign

Visiting these locations — home to a wide variety of flora and fauna — is sure to be a rejuvenating experience for all



Photo: Supplied photo
Photo: Supplied photo
by

Waheed Abbas

Published: Wed 7 Dec 2022, 12:35 PM

Last updated: Thu 8 Dec 2022, 4:36 PM

There are a number of well-known cool winter destinations in the UAE that most of us have visited. However, there are some nice lesser-known destinations in the country, especially in Ajman, that we can explore this winter.

The northern emirate of Ajman could, in fact, become the entry point for visitors in the winter season, as the federal government looks to promote UAE as the ‘world’s coolest winter’ destination.

Earlier this week, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, chaired the Cabinet meeting in Ajman, and launched the third season of the World’s Coolest Winter campaign. Sheikh Mohammed invited residents to explore the wonderful sights and sounds of Ajman in the winter.

Below are some of the hidden gems that residents can explore this winter in the smallest emirate of the UAE.

1. Al Zohra Natural Reserves

One of the coolest (unspoilt) natural reserves in the UAE, the latest Cabinet meeting was also held here.

Easily accessible from Ittihad Road as well as from Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Road, the natural reserve boasts over one million square metres of natural mangrove forests and is home to around 58 species of birds, including pink flamingos, egrets and herons. It’s also a haven for marine life.

The UAE Cabinet meets at the Al Zohra nature reserve in Ajman on Sunday, December 4. (Supplied photo)
The UAE Cabinet meets at the Al Zohra nature reserve in Ajman on Sunday, December 4. (Supplied photo)

A part of the Al Zohra community, the visitors to the natural reserve will enjoy over seven kilometres of waterfront, two kilometres of beach and a tidal creek. The nature reserve is made for waterborne activities.

Supplied photo
Supplied photo

Visitors can explore the mangroves by kayak. The calm waters and network of channels make it suitable even for novice paddlers.

2) Masfout Mountains

File photo
File photo

Located in the south of the UAE near Hatta, Masfout Mountains is nearly a one-and-half-hour drive from Dubai. It’s definitely one of the must-visit destinations during winter. In addition to its popularity among nature lovers, it’s also an ideal location for walking, mountain biking, picnics and wadi exploration. The government is working to develop the location with parks and hotels to make it an even more attractive destination.

3) Al Manama

The UAE Cabinet meets at the Al Manama Museum in Ajman. (Supplied photo)
The UAE Cabinet meets at the Al Manama Museum in Ajman. (Supplied photo)

Located over an hour's drive from Dubai, this ‘hidden gem’ is an agricultural enclave, offering tourists beautiful views of historic fortresses. Also known for wild honey, it is a paradise for nature lovers to explore Acacia, ghaf, and flowering sidr and simr trees that attract Asiatic honeybees.

4) White sands

File photo
File photo

In a tweet after chairing the Cabinet meeting this week, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed also highlighted the beautiful white sand of the UAE’s smallest emirate. The white sand beaches offer visitors the cool breeze of the sea and the sounds of the birds. Visitors can take a stroll down the white sandy beach — one of the finest beaches in the country — and also enjoy the beautiful sight of the sunset.

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