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  • Writer's pictureTom Bushell

Kayaking // Alkhor Kayak is a wonderful kayaking experience // UAE

Alkhor Kayak near Khor Fakkan has everything from stunning landscapes to the perfect terrace cafe...

  • Situated just west of UAE city, Khor Fakkan

  • Only AED30 for a double kayak rental

  • Enjoy lunch at the cafe pre or post kayak

  • Travel through the Middle East's longest road tunnels on the journey to Alkhor Kayak


In the United Arab Emirates, especially away from the coasts, kayaking might not be the first activity that comes to mind as you seek out an adventure. It is the Arabian Desert after all!

But, you'll be surprised at just how many options there are, and I'm going to put my neck on the line straight away and say, Alkhor Kayak is the best kayaking experience in the UAE.

Alkhor Kayak is a special location for kayaking

Alkhor Kayak is located just to the west (in the video I mistakingly say 'east'!) of the east coast city of Khor Fakkan, and as you drive out of Khor Fakkan on the Khor Fakkan road, you will see it, with plenty of parking for you to use.

What makes this kayaking experience so good is the amenities surrounding the lake. You'll find a cafe with a stunning terrace overlooking the lake and the kayakers below - it really is a location not far off the sort of setting you would find in the northern Italian lakes.

There are also restrooms, a shop, playgrounds for kids and a heap of viewing deck areas with gorgeous views across the water and surrounding mountains.

There is even an ice cream shop! Sold? You are now aren't you?

Alkhor Kayak is just over an hour's drive from Dubai, you'll travel on the new S142 road, otherwise known as the Khor Fakkan road (some spellings use 'Khorfakkan Road') which will guide you through the Middle East's longest road tunnels.

You'll eventually come to a roundabout as you enter Khor Fakkan where you will come back on yourself and drive back up the road for a little while before seeing Alkhor Kayak on your right. It's signposted as the 'Al Rafisah Dam rest area'.

Alkhor Kayak is set in gorgeous landscapes on a lake created by Al Rafisah Dam

Kayaking is all possible thanks to the Al Rafisah Dam, built in the 1980's to capture water from the seasonal Wadi Shees waterway.

What it has created is a stunning body of water that is begging to be explored.

As you will see in my video above, the surrounding scenery is stunning, with mountains bordering all sides of the lake and plenty of vegetation on the banks of this body of water. You'll also find a nature reserve in the middle of the lake.

There is plenty of room on the lake not to get congested even when there are lots of people on the water, and even little waterways to venture down and explore.

The advantages of Alkhor Kayak

Another huge plus for Alkhor Kayak is the price. It is only AED30 (you can pay by cash or card) to rent a kayak, and for that price you'll get a double kayak which will seat two adults and as well as room for a child.

The time limit is 30 minutes, although they are not strict on that time frame and AED30 between two is pretty good!

So, why have I stuck my neck out and said Alkhor Kayak is the best kayaking location in the UAE? After all, there is some stunning locations in the country.

Hatta Kayak is of course a brilliant location for kayaking in the UAE, and add in everything else Hatta has to offer it makes it a great destination. Likewise, kayaking the Abu Dhabi Mangroves is marvellous and a real insight into why the Mangroves are vital to the world we live in.

However, in my humble opinion, Alkhor Kayak gets the nod because of its lower price, amenities and location. It's also a hidden gem - somewhere that isn't as widely known as the other kayaking experiences and that in itself gives it charm.

Combine all the above selling points and that's why I'm saying it's the perfect location in the UAE to head out for a water based adventure.

Extra Tips:

  • Head to Alkhor Kayak in late afternoon to get the best light and enjoy the sun dipping in the sky whilst relaxing at the terrace cafe

  • If you are visiting Alkhor Kayak, head to Wadi Shees as well for the perfect trail

  • Have a camera at the ready to get those picture perfect kayaking pictures

  • Alkhor Kayak is open from 7.30am to 5.30pm everyday

How to get to Alkhor Kayak:

  • From Dubai head east on the S142, Khor Fakkan Road

  • Follow signs for Khor Fakkan

  • Drive through the various tunnels before reaching a roundabout just before the city of Khor Fakkan

  • Come back on yourself and drive back up the hill from where you have just come

  • Shortly afterwards you will see the Al Rafisah Dam rest area on your right with ample parking


Face masks are required in public areas but can be taken off when sitting at the terrace cafe and whilst in your kayak


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