Dubai: Khorfakkan, the popular beach town along the UAE’s eastern coastline, has a new outdoor spot nestled between the Hajar Mountains – the Shees Rest Area. The rest area and the accompanying market was recently inaugurated by His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and is just a few kilometres away from the popular Shees Park and Wadi Shees.
Since the Shees Rest Area is located at a higher altitude due to its location in the Hajar Mountians, there is a steep drop in temperatures, and while you are there, you might also get to experience some rain.
Here is everything else you can expect from the new rest area and how you can get there.
The Shees Rest House is located after the Raugh Tunnel (Al Raugh Tunnel Road) on the Khorfakkan-Sharjah Road (S142). If you are driving in from outside Sharjah, stay on the E89 road (Sheikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum road) and take the exit for S142, which is the road where the Shees area is located. The rest area has three entrances that are accessible via a service road. There is also ample parking in front of the rest area, with over 200 parking lots and six parking spaces for People of Determination.
From Abu Dhabi, it can take around two hours to reach Khorfakkan and if you are travelling from Sharjah City, it will take an hour to reach the emirate’s east coast. If you are coming from Dubai, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, or Ras Al Khaimah, it can take approximately one hour and 30 minutes to get there.
3 top activities at Shees Rest Area
1. Local markets with fresh produce
If you are looking for locally grown fruits, vegetables and plants at an affordable rate, the Shees Rest Area is the place to go. There are over 58 shops, which sell fruits and vegetables, carpets, camping supplies, food and traditional pottery.
2. Free kids play area
There is also a shaded playground, which covers 600 square meters, and it is free to enter.
3. Outdoor theatre
There is also a shaded outdoor theatre in the middle of the Rest Area, which can accommodate up to 80 people, with a projection screen.
The rest area also includes a mosque, which can accommodate up to 300 people, and a petrol station.
Shees Park and Wadi Shees
Near the rest area is Wadi Shees, one of the popular wadis (valleys) in the UAE, which runs through the Hajar Mountains. This area is best tackled with a 4×4 car, as along the way, you will find rocky outcrops, traditional settlements, farmland and date palm plantations. If you are planning to visit Wadi Shees, it is important to check the weather forecast, because driving in mountainous areas should be avoided during rainfall. This is because valleys flood quickly during heavy rains and the strong currents can easily sweep your car away.
Shees Park, located in Wadi Shees, is directly accessible via Khorfakkan Road S142. The park area spans 11,300 square kilometre and includes a children’s play area, dedicated barbecue pits, shaded benches, and a man-made 25-metre-high waterfall.