From the desert to the sea and everything in between, the UAE comes alive at the beginning of every January, offering a vibrant tapestry of activities to start the year afresh
January is already in full swing, and this post-holiday period often leaves everyone in low spirits, but not in the UAE. In contrast to many countries located northward, winter in the UAE is a time of excitement and cheer, where the sun is still warm, the breezes are pleasant, and outdoor activities are abundant. From hiking mountains and camping near lakes to serene beaches and thrilling diving adventures, there’s so much to do and experience to help leave the January blues behind. At Katch International, we’re also gearing up for some magnificent musical events taking place in the coming weeks to truly see off the start of the year slump!
Hiking Season is Full Steam Ahead
Beyond its extensive desert landscape, the UAE is also home to some of the most spectacular mountains in the region, with the highest peak soaring to 1,934 meters. Whether you’re seeking an adventurous getaway with friends or want an easier hiking trail to enjoy the journey with your family, there’s the perfect mountain waiting for you to scale. With its moderate temperature, January is the perfect time to navigate the exciting trails and enjoy the UAE’s picturesque skyline.
Beginners can head to Wadi Shawka, an enchanting watercourse that is only one hour’s drive from Dubai. For a family-friendly hike, Hatta is another top choice, boasting numerous trails tailored for professionals and newcomers while offering a glimpse into the rich heritage of Dubai at the same time. Those seeking ultimate escapades and the most stunning panoramas can hike their way up to Jabal Jais, the UAE’s tallest mountain and a hotspot for plenty of other adrenaline-pumping activities.
The diversity of the UAE’s hiking destination doesn’t end there, as trekkers can also journey to plenty of other places, including the serene Jebel Hafeet in Abu Dhabi’s Al Ain, Wadi Abadilah, a stunning valley with scenic vistas in Fujairah, Wadi Al Helo, located near a historical village in the Hajar Mountains of Sharjah, and so much more.
Embark on an Aquatic Adventure
A country deeply connected to sea life, the UAE boasts some of the most exhilarating destinations for aquatic adventures. As winter is now in full swing, the Emirates’ moderate weather makes this month perfect for all types of water activities. Whether seeking relaxing tours on a boat, a thrilling dive into the deep blue sea, or a breathtaking jet ski cruise, there are plenty of things to experience and make the most of January.
Near the tranquil shores of Abu Dhabi, you can set out on a “Pearl Journey” as you embark on a voyage to discover the essence of the pearling industry in the Arabian Gulf. For those who like to be fully immersed in water, there’s a plethora of scuba-diving destinations in the country, spanning Abu Dhabi, Fujairah, and many others. The aquatic adventure in Dubai is also nothing short of exceptional, as the emirate is home to the world’s deepest swimming pool, Deep Dive Dubai, featuring an underwater sunken city with a myriad of activities.
Discover New Glamping and Camping Spots
Sometimes, it takes more than a one-day outdoor activity to shake off the winter gloom, and that’s where the allure of glamping and camping weaves its magic. From the high mountains and the captivating valleys to the serene beaches and idyllic islands, every glamping spot in the UAE has its own distinct charm. Wherever you reside, you will surely find a nearby spot to spend your next weekend and unlock sheer joy.
Near the banks of the Hatta Dam, you can spend a night gazing at the stars at Sedr Trailers or opt for a more family-friendly staycay at The Damani Lodges, dotted throughout the Hatta mountains and overlooking the magnificent vistas of this amazing spot. Free camping spots are also available across the Emirates, including Al Qudra Lake, Liwa Oasis, and Al Wathba Lake Camp.
Be Immersed in Nature at Beaches, Parks, and Oases
From sun-kissed beaches and incredible parks to astounding nature reserves and a plethora of other attractions, the UAE is jam-packed with destinations for taking a stroll, spending the day, or discovering something new to cheer yourself up. Beaches are usually the closest option, easily accessible from most places, with plenty of public beaches such as Kite Beach, Dubai Islands Beach, Corniche Beach, and Buhaira Corniche dotted around the country.
The UAE is also known for its diverse parks and wildlife sanctuaries, boasting vibrant green landscapes and a lively assortment of animals, which add an extra layer of fun and tranquillity to your day. Dubai’s spacious Pond Park and Creek Park can be perfect for a late jog, while Dubai Miracle Garden brings together 150 million flowers to create a fascinating botanical wonderland. For a higher dose of nature, you can venture into Mangrove National Park and Al Ain Zoo in Abu Dhabi or Al Zorah Natural Reserve in Ajman.
If all the above isn’t enough, then maybe taking a retreat away from the city bustles and driving to the serene desert is what’s needed to lift the spirit. A country covered 80% by sand, the UAE is packed to the brim with breathtaking oases, where fascinating palms are gathered around mesmerising lakes to create an enchanting, tranquil ambience. Some of the most stunning green spots in the UAE deserts include the breathtaking Abu Dhabi’s Al Ain and Liwa oases, Al Badayer Oasis in Sharjah, and Bedouin Oasis in Ras Al-Khaimah, along with many other peaceful spaces like Al Qudra Lake in Dubai.
Travel the World in a Single Heartbeat at Global Village
Being in the UAE means you can explore the world without leaving the borders. One of the best examples of this is Global Village, one of Dubai’s most captivating and affordable attractions featuring shopping, dining, and entertainment experiences from around the globe. Open daily from 4 pm until midnight, Global Village brings together cultures from 90 countries, creating a vibrant tapestry of traditions and delights that will surely make you forget all about your January blues.
Revel in Spectacular Musical Shows
As a globally renowned cultural hotspot, the UAE hosts some of the most magnificent musical and cultural concerts in the region, bringing together talented artists from around the map to create a diverse array of captivating performances. Whatever your mood is during the first weeks of January, there’s surely a show to ignite your sense of joy and excitement.
This February, Dubai is kicking into high gear for the upcoming UNTOLD Dubai festival, debuting in the region for the first time outside Europe. Promising to capture the senses of every modern music taste, UNTOLD is uniting a stellar lineup of over 100 artists to deliver an unparalleled musical experience. If next month is too far, just around the corner is Break the Block, a street-food musical party taking place on January 26th in Dubai to celebrate the city’s vibrant youth with the best beats and tunes from renowned DJs.
With so many activities and events spanning the whole month, the start of the year in the UAE is an extension of the season’s cheer and joy. The pleasant weather and diverse nature are the perfect invitation to fend off the January blues and infuse the first weeks of the new year with excitement.
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