Sheikh Mohammed unveils new Dubai desert reserve and 100km trekking path

Dubai Ruler reveals plan to unlock more of the city's landscape for visitors

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Dubai has unveiled a 100km trekking path to unlock more of the desert to visitors.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, visited the newly created nature reserve south of the city.

"We have the most beautiful city in the world and our next goal is to make the countryside and wilderness of Dubai among the most enjoyable and beautiful," he wrote on Twitter.

The path and the desert reserve around it take in areas such as Lusaili, Lehbab, Al Marram, Al Faqaa, Al Aweer and others, he said. It includes Saih Al Salam, a man-made collection of lakes.

The area is located close to the Al Qudra cycle path and the much-Instagrammed Love Lakes.

A map shared by Dubai's government showed an expansive camping ground and an expanded cycle path.

A dedicated sports zone will be home to hot air balloon tours, helicopter rides and dune buggy rentals.

"The development of the countryside and wilderness of Dubai includes a 100km tourist path, the first of its kind in the region, natural reserves, stations for desert sports, and development initiatives that serve the people of these areas," he said.

"A different and new tourism experience will be provided in the countryside and wilderness of Dubai."

The plan, spanning 2,216sq km, includes protecting the natural reserves and archaeological sites, supporting farmers and local products, and creating investment opportunities for locals.

It will construct the first dedicated route for desert vehicles, bicycles and electric scooters to link tourist attractions and entertainment areas with the existing 90km cycling track at Al Qudra and Saih Al Salam.

The project will also establish a station for sandboarding and desert driving, and will offer helicopter tours.

The plan for the 100km Saih Al Salam Scenic Route includes offering trips to the ancient sites of Saruq Al-Hadid and Al Marmoom Heritage Village, horse and camel riding, and desert walks.

As part of the project, camps and lodges will be built, as well as open-air lounges that will allow people to enjoy their stay beside the lakes. Kayak boats will also be available for hire.

Souvenir shops and cafes will be located beside the lakes.

The Saih Al Salam Scenic Route project will also include an outdoor cinema and caravan park.

It also includes plans to host sports such as skydiving, hot air balloons and safari trips, and have a club for remote-controlled planes and cars.

Updated: November 29, 2022, 6:55 AM