Kalba has a lot to offer for the nature lover with very diverse habitats for its size – mountains, plains with acacia forests, mangroves, beaches, lakes, marshes and palm groves.
The furthest south of Sharjah’s five Eastern Region enclaves, it boasts three great nature reserves, all of which you can visit – the Al Hafaiya Protected Area and Mountain Conservation Centre and Bird of Prey Centre and Khor Kalba Mangrove Centre
Parks and Beaches
The town also has several parks including Kalba Corniche park and Al Sidra Ladies and Children’s park, both of which have play areas, facilities, etc,. Kalba Corniche park lies between the road and the beach.
On the beach there are amusements for children such as bouncy castles, trampolines and go-karts. The sand on the beach is the similar to that of its neighbour Fujairah, so a darker sand.
You could camp at the beach pre-covid but I believe it’s currently not permitted. You can also fish during certain times of the year.
Corniche Walk is further south still opposite the government buildings and on Kalba Lake. There are plenty grassy areas to sit on with a view of Kalba Lake, mangroves and mountains.
You can walk or cycle from the flag right round to the mangrove centre and if you wanted then continue along to the new corniche. There is also a play area and on the opposite side a public gym.
Pedal boats, doughnuts and kayaks are one of the popular Kalba attractions and are available for hire here at very reasonable prices. There are also several great cafes and food trucks depending on the time of year. Gardenia cafe is near the flagpole. There is also a new branch of Gardenia Cafe in Kalba Clock Tower
Khor Kalba Mangroves
Qurm Mangroves were closed to the public around ten years ago but you can now visit them within the area of Khor Kalba Mangrove Centre.
The centre is a wonderful place to visit and learn. There is an outdoor play area and stunning views over the mangroves, creek and mountains Click here to see more. Al Hosn green pass or negative PCR is currently required.
Mangrove Centre opening times: 9am-6:30, Sat 11-6:30, Fri 2-6:30, Monday closed
Mangrove Centre entrance fee: Adults 15.50, children under 12 free. Senior Citizens 60+ and People of Determination free with one carer.
You may want to treat yourself to a stay at the Kingfisher Retreat, the first eco-retreat in Sharjah. Activities are also available from there. Make a booking at Mysk Kingfisher Retreat.
The bridge to the boats to the Kingfisher Lodge. In the background are the luxury tents.
Kalba Clock Tower
Opened in the spring of 2022, Kalba Clock Tower offers great views over the town, lake, mangroves, the sea and mountains. There is a viewing deck on the 7th floor and Gardenia Cafe on the 5th. In the basement is a gallery of old photos. The clock tower is set in lovely gardens on a roundabout.
Kalba Clock Tower opening times: Daily 7am to midnight. Kalba Clock Tower entrance fee: 5 dhs, free for children under 13, People of Determination and senior citizens 60+ and one carer. Park on the corniche as the entrance is via an underpass/subway from there.
Whilst the area has a rich history, the fort and Bait Sheikh Saaed bin Hammad al Qasimi are currently undergoing restoration but should reopen soon. The fort will house a museum.
Al Ghail Fort is open and situated inside the Bird of Prey Centre.
There are also archeological sites dating back to the Bronze Age around the area which are fenced off but some can be seen easily. A new site was recently discovered in Khor Kalba which is thought to be remains of a Portuguese castle. You can see the larger fort behind which has also recently been restored.
Al Hefaiya Mountain Conservation Centre and Kalba Bird of Prey Centre
For more on Al Hefaiya Mountain Conservation Centre and the Bird of Prey Centre, click here. These two Kalba attractions are very close to each other. In the meantime, here are a few photos. Note that Al Hosn green pass or negative PCR is currently required.
Kalba Ghayl Dam (sometimes known as Kalba Dam) has water all year round although the level fluctuates. Ducks live there permanently and are always happy with anyone who takes them some treats!
There’s not a large area to sit on the dam side but you can walk around to the other side and find a quieter spot overlooking the water.
There is a hiking trail which you can start at the dam or the parking area near the lake. Two high hills sit on either end of the dam and the trail goes up one, back down, along a connecting path and up the other.
You can do part or all, but the whole route is around 8km. This is an excellent choice for a sunrise hike but late afternoon is always pleasant. It’s one you can be with children.
You can access the lake from the Kalba ring road.
There are lots of exciting projects under development bringing new Kalba attractions including a waterpark, family park and an outdoor theatre. It’s definitely a place not to miss!
Finally, here’s a selection of photos including a beautiful new mosque in white and gold, Sharjah government buildings in Arabic architecture styles, fish laid out to dry and the harbour.