With May comes a severe lack of outdoor activities in Dubai.

But did you know that activities like canyoning or gorge-walking are not only available in the UAE but also quite popular? Last weekend we booked Adventurati Outdoor’s last canyoning trip for the season and may I just ask this; why don’t people do it more often?

I have been wanting to travel since January but just didn’t have the opportunity (read: money) to do so. When Adventurati Outdoor’s Facebook ad popped up on my news feed and my company was encouraging, I decided to go. Bear in mind temperatures in May range between 35-40 degree Celsius during the day.

Wait, Wadi What?

Wadi Showka is a valley in the mountains of Ras al Khaimah (I’m not exactly sure where in Ras al Khaimah because we just followed the guide). After a 1-hour excessively bumpy drive to God knows where from Mleiha Road, we reached the gateway to Wadi Showka. This gateway was a tiny lake, about 2 meters deep, home to maybe 200 frogs.

Now the task was for us to swim across the lake and climb a rock covered in algae. I’m a very adventurous person alright but so much nature was already overwhelming because I had to

a) Swim in a lake with an uneven slippery bottom
b) Swim with multiple frogs chilling in the water
c) Climb a wall covered in algae…with 30 other people watching

But I managed. It was awkward and clumsy, but I did it.

canyoning dubai

After this stunt, the trail was much easier with occasional challenging climbs and water ponds. We swam through multiple ponds (deep and shallow), climbed the gorge to reach the one tree in the entire Wadi to give us some shade.

The best thing about this walk was that whenever you started getting a bit hot, you’ll reach a pond that you need to swim through. So we really never felt the heat even though temperature was clocking 45 degrees. According to people who have done canyoning at Wadi Showka before, this Wadi is 70% water and 30% land in peak season but for us it was the other way round.

canyoning wadi showka

When we reached our destination tree, we got the opportunity to refresh, have lunch and connect with people (I did none). This was also a time when people were sneaking out to pee…in the rocks… I had an urge to pee myself but I wasn’t ready to get that wild yet.

canyoning dubai

On our way back, I had the opportunity to really observe my surroundings. That’s when I realized this country is not just desert. There were mountains (or hills?), ponds with life in them, I saw wild plants growing out of rocks and dried ground, frogs and snakes and red dragonflies and scorpions (well just A scorpion that could have killed me). I also saw the bluest sky after a long time without ruining the moment with a camera.

Why Adventurati Outdoor?

Adventurati Outdoor is probably one of the many tour operators in Dubai but the only one I’ve tried. Honestly, I couldn’t find anything to complain about.

  • Value for money – Ticket cost $60 per person from Adventurati Outdoor’s website,
  • Delicious breakfast (turkey sandwich and juice) and a pack of snacks (chips, juice, muffin, croissant)
  • Free photographer with unlimited photos (you can request for solo shots as well)

If you are even a teeny bit adventurous and are looking for something different to do, I strongly recommend you book canyoning with Adventurati Outdoor. I’m not sure how popular they are in peak season but considering their service my guess is that it gets quite busy. Try it once, I guarantee Dubai will not feel the same after this.

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I’m Siham - a 25-year-old Pakistani, born and raised in the UAE. Currently doing a boring desk job in Dubai - but my passion lies in reading, writing and motivating people.

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