17 Best things to do in Kalba

best things to do in Kalba - photo collage

Exploring Kalba offers a blend of nature, culture, and adventure, making it a must-visit for those seeking authentic experiences. It’s long been one of my favourite places in the UAE and one I visit often.

So you can enjoy it as much as I do, I’ve listed the best things to do in Kalba, including dining with stunning views at Fen Cafe, exploring the biodiversity at Khor Kalba Mangrove Centre, and experiencing the serene beauty of Kingfisher Retreat.

Each spot offers a unique glimpse into the area’s natural beauty and local lifestyle, promising a memorable visit for all. So let’s get started!

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Best things to do in Kalba

1. Visit Kalba Hanging Gardens

Visit the gorgeous new Kalba Hanging Gardens. The mountain park has a beautiful artificial waterfall with a small lake at the bottom and mountainside paths going up either side.

In the lower area are grassy areas to sit, family areas, two children’s play areas, a skate park, a walking track and a Lebanese restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating. They currently serve iftar with a fixed 5-course menu for AED 99.

view looking down to park with lawns, skate park, play areas and restaurant

On the upper section is a brasserie with a terrace with mountain views. Both dining options are closed during the day in Ramadan.

The gardens are on the Sharjah-Kalba Road E102 not far from the Mountain Conservation Centre and are currently free to enter. Parking at the bottom is limited so get there early. Other wise park at the top and down the mountainside.

2. Have lunch at Fen Cafe and Restaurant

Fen cafe always has great food but they also have the best locations! Enjoy a delicious lunch with a view over the mangroves and the gorgeous blue waters of Khor Kalba. Choose a table on the terrace or a comfy seat inside.

Check if there any art exhibitions going on in the old Ice Factory next door once you’re done.

outside terrace at fen cafe khor kalba with mangroves and sea in background

3. Khor Kalba Mangrove Centre

Visit Khor Kalba Mangrove Centre to discover the rich history of the mangroves. Learn about the many types of wildlife in the educational centre’s aquariums. Take a guided tour or take time to read the interactive displays by yourself.

Next, explore the mangroves on foot, listen for birds and look out for turtles and fish from the bridge. After that, children can have fun in the small play park while you enjoy relaxing on the lawn. Make sure to visit the aviary and admire the kingfishers and other fascinating bird species.

Footbridge at Khor Kalba Mangrove Centre across to the mangrove trail, blue water of the creek on either side.

See more at Khor Kalba Mangrove Centre.

4. Al Hefaiyah Lake

Spend a relaxing few hours at Al Hefaiyah Lake walking, kayaking, having lunch, hiking, riding a boat or just sitting and taking in the mountain view.

Spend a free day out with family relaxing on the grass with a picnic or enjoy a meal with friends or coffee and a cake in the restaurant or cafe.

Walk round the lake or take an exhilarating hike over to Al Farish Lake and back.

See more at Al Hefaiyah Lake.

view of reservoir with mosque and mountains in background

5. Kalba Bird of Prey Centre

Visit Kalba Bird of Prey Centre to learn all about the different birds of prey in the UAE, including vultures, falcons and eagles. Time your visit to catch the exciting bird of prey show in the arena.

Along with these birds, you can also see camels, goats and a few other animals. The interactive exhibits are an excellent way for children to learn and the centre staff are on hand to answer any questions.

Climb up the small hill inside the nature reserve to go inside Al Ghayl Fort, visit the small museum and get a great view over Kalba.

exterior of kalba bird of prey centre, Sharjah UAE

See more at Kalba Bird of Prey Centre and Mountain Conservation Centre.

Get your free Kalba Full day itinerary from Exploring the Emirate of Sharjah Walking/cycling tours and itineraries

6. Al Hefaiyah Mountain Conservation Centre

One of my favourite things to do in Kalba is visit Al Hefaiyah Mountain Conservation Centre. It has an indoor and outdoor section, so you can visit any time of year.

My favourite animal is the hyrax, so don’t miss that one! Watch the leopards from inside while they enjoy the outdoors. The centre is part of a conservation effort to revive endangered species native to the region. With plenty of interactive displays, it’s a fun and educational place for kids and adults.

exterior of al hefaiya mountain conservation centre

See more at Kalba Bird of Prey Centre and Mountain Conservation Centre

7. Al Hefaiyah Picnic Park

If you’re looking for things to do in Kalba with children, Al Hefaiyah Picnic Park is a great choice for outdoor play in a sustainable environment. Pack your picnic and sit back, relax and enjoy the mountain view while the young ones have fun.

Tree and sandy play area with wooden play equipment at Hefaiya Picnic park Kalba

8. Stay at Kingfisher Retreat

The Kingfisher Retreat is an idyllic haven on a small island only accessible by boat. The tents offer a luxurious glamping experience in nature with gazelles and plenty of birds on the island.

Book yourself a plunge pool and a spa package for the ultimate experience. Go on, you know you deserve it! Book Kingfisher Retreat now.

Long white Jetty  stretching into blue water for Kingfisher Lodge boat

9. Khor Kalba Beach

If you’re looking for free things to do in Kalba with children, they’ll love making sandcastles at Kalba Beach and paddling in the sea. There are a few small play areas to keep them busy too.

No kids? Enjoy a walk along this beautiful long beach along the Indian Ocean. The corniche is being developed, so look out for great new additions along the way.

Kalba beach Sharjah, white sand with hashtag signs in Arabic and a blue sky

Buy The Ultimate Guide to the Emirate of Sharjah now to help plan your trip

sharjah guide book

10. Take a boat trip on Kalba Lake

If you’re looking for things to do in Kalba with family, there’s lots to do at Kalba Lake including taking a boat ride late afternoon. For a cheaper option, look out for the pedal boats further along the corniche.

After your boat ride, enjoy a walk along the corniche, sit in the beautiful gardens or visit one of the cafes or food trucks.

boats at jetty at night for boat ride in kalba

11. Kayak in Khor Kalba Mangroves

Hire a kayak and paddle off to explore the creek. Just look at the amazing view! Look out for kingfishers and turtles. Don’t forget your binoculars and a waterproof cover for your phone.

The new kayaking centre is just before the Mangrove Centre opposite Kalba Mall.

floating jetty at kalba kayaking with lake, mangroves and mountains behind

12. Have breakfast at the top of Kalba Clock Tower

Now, onto our second choice of where to eat in Kalba. Enjoy a tasty breakfast at Gardenia Cafe on the fifth floor of Kalba Clock Tower.

With a view over Khor Kalba, the mountains, the lake, mangroves and over to the ocean, it’s a great way to start your day out in Kalba or maybe satisfy that appetite you worked up on your sunrise hike.

gardenia cafe in kalba clock tower and view over lake, gardens and town

13. Go hiking at Kalba-Ghail Dam

One of the best free things to do in Kalba is enjoy the stunning scenery and get your daily cardio in! The hiking trail starts on the flat, then goes up the hill at one end of the dam, comes back down, crosses the flat and goes up the mountain at the other end.

Don’t worry if you can’t manage inclines. You can keep to the flat and there’s a trail that forks off between the hills. We often walk around the lake when we’re feeling lazy. It’s worth the effort to climb up for the fabulous views, especially at sunrise or sunset.

This hiking trail is now also connected to the trails at Al Hefaiya Lake. On the map there, it is called Al Furaish Lake.

flat graded hiking trail around kalba ghail dam and lake with mountain to the right

Buy Exploring the Emirate of Sharjah – walking, cycling tours and itineraries

exploring sharjah book cover and sample

14. Have dinner outside at Kalba Waterfront

Enjoy the evening air and the sounds of the soft waves rippling on the shore as you enjoy some culinary delights at one of the new Kalba Waterfront restaurants.

It’s also a great spot to get a full view of mountains, lake and mangroves in the daytime and with the flag flying high from the Kalba Flagpole, it makes a perfect photo spot.

Kalba Lake at night from Kalba Waterfront

15. Visit Kalba Heritage Area

To fit a bit of history into your day trip to Kalba, head to the Heritage Area and visit the recently restored Bait Sheikh Saeed Bin Hamad Al Qasimi, the home of the old ruler. Learn about his life and the history of the region as you browse the various galleries.

Next cross the road to Kalba Fort and the new heritage souq for a bit of shopping or a traditional tea and snack.

restored house of bait saeed al qasimi at kalba heritage area

16. Go for a cycle (or run!)

The views will never disappoint whether you go jogging along the coast or cycle off road further inland.
Follow the walking path along Kalba Lake all the way up to Fujairah, stopping off to take in some sites along the way. Extend your cycling route up the coast or go inland towards Wadi Al Helo or Awhala.

kalba walking path with beach and palm trees to the right and road to the left

See the Kalba itineraries in the Ultimate Guide to the Emirate of Sharjah or Exploring Sharjah walking/cycling tours and itineraries.

17. Go deep-sea fishing

Book yourself a half-day or full-day trip with East Coast Fishing and head out to sea to catch the fruits of the Indian Ocean. Your captain can provide you with all you need so all you have to do is book ahead and turn up.

fisher holding fishing rod with reel

Wrap-up on the best things to do in Kalba

Kalba’s charm lies in its diverse attractions, from its rich mangroves to the serene beaches and cultural heritage sites. What’s more, the list of best things to do in Kalba keeps on growing as the drive to develop the region pushes on.

Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a deep dive into local culture, Kalba delivers. Don’t miss the chance to create your own memories in this beautiful and captivating corner of the UAE.

See more of Kalba here and don’t forget to grab your free Kalba Full day itinerary from Exploring the Emirate of Sharjah Walking/cycling tours and itineraries!

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