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Old Oct 27th 2017, 5:40 pm   #1
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Default Shrinking UAE

Weather was decent today, decided to go for a long-overdue drive to Hatta pools. We took the passports, just in case, as last time we were stopped on the road after the village. This time, there was a big border post set up, letting no one but locals through. So it got me thinking about what's been lost as an escape since I first arrived nearly 20 years ago:
1. Hatta pools
2. Jebel Ali beach (cracking spot for camping once, now just Waterfront graveyard)
3. Dibba beach (also for camping, but now not possible to access without hotel booking)
4. Can't remember now....

What else?

Apologies for the grumpy post
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Old Oct 28th 2017, 7:09 am   #2
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Default Re: Shrinking UAE

I think the Wadi Bih road is no longer open? Used to be a great drive.

Jebel Ali Beach along by the marine reserve was our go to camping place - amazing times there...
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Old Oct 28th 2017, 11:00 am   #3
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Default Re: Shrinking UAE

The Hatta Pools were closed off to non locals two years ago. Has to do with border crossing through small pockets that technically belong to Oman. Used to able to drive straight through these pockets but now they all have individual border crossings Never quite figured out why.

Wadi Bih was closed off maybe four years ago? Apparently the locals in Dibba (Omani) didn't like the hordes of expats going up the wadi and camping and boozing. Bit of a shame. Had great camping trips up there.
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Old Oct 28th 2017, 11:07 am   #4
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Default Re: Shrinking UAE

Makes me want to have a look at the new UAE Offroad Explorer, must be getting thinner by the year!
Those little wadis near Ray and Shuwayhah in Hatta were stunning places to explore with kids and even camp.
We took the new Maliha Rd to Hatta, around the Oman enclave. If you haven't taken it, you should. The view of Fossil Rock and the saddle is stunning from that side.
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Old Oct 28th 2017, 11:56 am   #5
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Default Re: Shrinking UAE

The Maliha road is the one that goes all the way Kalba, south of Fujeirah?

It's a very nice drive because the landscape changes substantially several times. Dry scrublands outside Sharjah to the rolling deserts around Fossil Rock, Fossil Rock, then the mountains itself and there's pretty villages up in the mountains, then a tunnel and you come out to Kalba on the other side.

Kalba is a world away from the UAE. And Fujeirah feels like someone designed it on Sim City circa 1995. Then we go through Khorfakkhan, which has a lovely cove and would be a great site for hotels and weekend destinations if only it wasn't dry, then hit Dibba for Sandy Beach for lunch and a few hours snorkelling around Snoopy Island. Then a long drive back to Dubai.

Great day out. I did it maybe twice a year.

Back in 2008-2010 we camped out around Ray a number of times and walked randomly across the landscape. The mountains were nifty, had a lovely purple sheen to them. I remember picking up random bits of rock and being able to crumble it in my fingers. I had mates that narrowly avoided a flash flood near Ray on a camping trip once. In the hamlets in the area you'd see local women still wearing that gold half-mask that used to be the standard Emirati/Omani dress appendage.

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Old Oct 28th 2017, 7:57 pm   #6
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Default Re: Shrinking UAE

Quote:
Originally Posted by clergy View Post
Weather was decent today, decided to go for a long-overdue drive to Hatta pools. We took the passports, just in case, as last time we were stopped on the road after the village. This time, there was a big border post set up, letting no one but locals through. So it got me thinking about what's been lost as an escape since I first arrived nearly 20 years ago:
1. Hatta pools
2. Jebel Ali beach (cracking spot for camping once, now just Waterfront graveyard)
3. Dibba beach (also for camping, but now not possible to access without hotel booking)
4. Can't remember now....

What else?

Apologies for the grumpy post
What's been lost? Cyclone, Rattlesnake, Waxy's, The Bunker, Chicago Beach.....
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Old Oct 28th 2017, 9:59 pm   #7
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Default Re: Shrinking UAE

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Originally Posted by DXBtoDOH View Post
Kalba is a world away from the UAE. And Fujeirah feels like someone designed it on Sim City circa 1995. Then we go through Khorfakkhan, which has a lovely cove and would be a great site for hotels and weekend destinations if only it wasn't dry, then hit Dibba for Sandy Beach for lunch and a few hours snorkelling around Snoopy Island. Then a long drive back to Dubai.

Great day out. I did it maybe twice a year.
Kalba is still quite a different place - though that said a lot of small towns in that area are... I quite like it when there! There are some mangroves there but hard to get close.

Sandy Beach is still a go to - at least once a year for a night or two.

Been hearing the border post otherside of Dibba - as if you were heading towards RAK going via Wadi Bih and Ziggy Bay has been stopping and searching vehicles for alcohol. And arresting people on the spot. Just a heads up....
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Old Oct 29th 2017, 12:48 pm   #8
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Default Re: Shrinking UAE

Quote:
Originally Posted by DXBtoDOH View Post
The Hatta Pools were closed off to non locals two years ago. Has to do with border crossing through small pockets that technically belong to Oman. Used to able to drive straight through these pockets but now they all have individual border crossings Never quite figured out why.

Wadi Bih was closed off maybe four years ago? Apparently the locals in Dibba (Omani) didn't like the hordes of expats going up the wadi and camping and boozing. Bit of a shame. Had great camping trips up there.
The real reason is because of local politics. Oman is very quietly unstable due to the health of the Sultan and lack of heir. Additionally the Arab spring allowed a bunch of UAE disruptors to come in and the rioters were found to be UAE Police....!
The North has always been a sensitive point, and porous borders are not comfortable for National security.
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Old Oct 29th 2017, 1:48 pm   #9
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Default Re: Shrinking UAE

Quote:
Originally Posted by Autonomy View Post
Kalba is still quite a different place - though that said a lot of small towns in that area are... I quite like it when there! There are some mangroves there but hard to get close.

Sandy Beach is still a go to - at least once a year for a night or two.

Been hearing the border post otherside of Dibba - as if you were heading towards RAK going via Wadi Bih and Ziggy Bay has been stopping and searching vehicles for alcohol. And arresting people on the spot. Just a heads up....
Arrested by Omanis or UAE on the return? ANy more info?
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Old Oct 29th 2017, 2:57 pm   #10
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Default Re: Shrinking UAE

I'm over on the East Coast all the time on my tunnel site. Going tomorrow in fact. Watch your speed on the Kalba road as they are doing roadworks along that section and have changed the trigger speed of the cameras and in some cases haven't changed them back in the now 120kmph sections.

Love getting out of Dubai. The change is topography helps to remind you that you are not stuck in a bubble.
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Old Oct 29th 2017, 3:35 pm   #11
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Default Re: Shrinking UAE

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Arrested by Omanis or UAE on the return? ANy more info?
Has to be UAE as all the checkpoints are installed by UAE not Oman. Oman checkpoints are much deeper into Oman. The hardening of the border is very unpopular with the large number of extended local families who straddle the border, especially those marooned on the Oman side (and on Omani wages rather than AD wages). The crossings are increasingly congested, especially those for locals only. My bf used to walk to school in Al Ain from Buraimi in 10 minutes (barefoot on hot sand he claims!). Same journey now requires 45 mins in a car to circumnavigate the "apartheid fence" (like the one in the West Bank) and queue at "Ma'bar Raffah" (nicknamed after the crossing from Egypt to Gaza).
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Old Oct 29th 2017, 4:40 pm   #12
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Default Re: Shrinking UAE

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Has to be UAE as all the checkpoints are installed by UAE not Oman. Oman checkpoints are much deeper into Oman. The hardening of the border is very unpopular with the large number of extended local families who straddle the border, especially those marooned on the Oman side (and on Omani wages rather than AD wages). The crossings are increasingly congested, especially those for locals only. My bf used to walk to school in Al Ain from Buraimi in 10 minutes (barefoot on hot sand he claims!). Same journey now requires 45 mins in a car to circumnavigate the "apartheid fence" (like the one in the West Bank) and queue at "Ma'bar Raffah" (nicknamed after the crossing from Egypt to Gaza).
Thanks! Very informative.
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Old Oct 30th 2017, 7:19 pm   #13
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The change is topography helps to remind you that you are not stuck in a bubble.
Comes out of nowhere too, it's amazing.

We did the Hatta pools years ago and whilst it was cool, the surrounding area was covered in rubbish and broken glass bottles. Such a shame.
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Old Oct 30th 2017, 7:28 pm   #14
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Comes out of nowhere too, it's amazing.

We did the Hatta pools years ago and whilst it was cool, the surrounding area was covered in rubbish and broken glass bottles. Such a shame.
because people are happy to leave their crap everywhere.
I'm no rubbish nazi but KSA is the only country I've been to where I've considered getting a litter picker and putting some black bags in the boot.

Went to a wadi just outside Riyadh, lovely spot, clear flowing water, a big pond, fish swimming, date trees all around. Crap everywhere.

Mrs and her friend clear up some of the shite around us to make it a bit better. Five minutes later two guys come along with their Kabsa, finish it, put all the rubbish into the one plastic bag it came in and....

Throw the whole lot in the pond.

We just looked at each other.
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Old Oct 30th 2017, 7:37 pm   #15
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It baffles me. It's not hard to take a bag for rubbish, you've got a big car and rubbish weighs nothing so it's not hard to carry.

Just sheer laziness and arrogance that someone else should clean up after you.

Helmets, the lot of them.
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