If your not interested in traveling to far from the concrete jungle of Dubai it self then a short 45 Minute car journey from the city, following the Sharjah/ Kalba road through the desert.. will take you to the Showka region of the Hajar Mountains, drop off the road at the manama turn off and on to gravel area to the left of the roundabout and you have arrived at the start of a maze of single track trail leading you off into the hills.
The shattered rock landscape ahead will test your concentration as you snake your way along the gravel and loose rock trails which will lead you down through gulleys and wadis (dried river beds caused by the water run offs from the mountains )…
The terrain is ever changing in elevation so it keeps you on your toes and the wadis, being made up of rock, boulders and sand, present a challenge in themselves.
Keep following the paths & wadis to the south and you’ll eventually arrive at a Dam, one of the many in the region. Usually situated at the end of a large wadi and most being dry allowing you navigate your way over the boulder walls and down into the sandy base ..from there you can follow other wadis and see where they go or cut through one of the valleys and head off towards the Omani boarder.
The trails themselves can be as long as you want, simple 10 km loops to a 42 km marathon depending on your ability and navigational skills. The longer the route the more supplies and water you will need to carry as you will be out there on your own. You may come across the occasional oasis with a remote camel pen or small farm, or a local camel or goat herder but be prepared not to. During the summer months ( June until September ) the temperatures will be very high during the day ranging between 40-50 degrees C so very early morning starts are recommended and shorter runs of 2-3 hrs max, also be prepared for the humidity to be high.
During the winter months though the weather is amazing, with cold mornings and temps during the day ranging from 20-30 degrees C you can practically run all day…even take a small tent and stay out all weekend and really explore the region.
Equipment wise I would suggest a sturdy pair of trail runners, the shattered rocky terrain will tear your normal road runners apart.
On any run, long or short, I would suggest carrying some sort of hydration backpack or belt, gels & energy bars mainly as you never know how long you might be out there intentional or not, and due to the remoteness of the trails a mobile phone is a must plus some sort of GPS.
I always carry a small first aid kit ..loss of concentration briefly and you could end up face down in a wadi or a gravel path ..either way it wont be pretty.
whether you want to stick to the beaten trails or wander off down a wild wadi, the choices are endless with hundreds of kilometers of arid moon scape terrain to explore … climb a ridge and check out the view or plot other paths and wadis to take you on another adventure either way you wont be disappointed …the trails are challenging and will keep you intrigued and focused on whats to come over the next ridge !!
All I can say is happy running …and keep you eye on the site for further more challeging trails and desert runs !!