The Ajman enclave of Masfout, 120km southeast of Ajman city, provides an easy introduction to hiking in the foothills of the Hajars. The craggy mountain range stretches from northeastern Oman through the eastern United Arab Emirates and down into southern Oman.
While Masfout is a summer retreat for city slickers, thanks to its cooler climes, you should avoid hiking in the hot, humid months from June to September. And although there are no official tourist hiking trails in the UAE, you’ll be able to follow well-worn goat trails and have fun scrambling over scree fields.
It’s recommended that you use a GPS, wear light, loose clothing and pack your sunscreen and hat. Masfout has some well-stocked grocery stores in the town for picking up water and snacks before you head out into the surrounding countryside.
Most of the terrain is heavily eroded, due to the harsh climate, but there are still places where you can walk through shady palm plantations and lush oases. Routes range from short, easy walks to spectacular viewpoints, to all-day treks over difficult terrain, and can include some fairly major mountaineering. Some hikes follow centuries-old Bedouin and Shihuh mountain paths, a few of which are still being used.