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Masfoot

Masfoot is one of those places I go back to again and again Lying on plains between rugged mountains, it has beautiful views, lots of fresh, clean air and a relaxed pace of life! It has many parks, several dams, a walkway, camping areas, a fort and museum, hiking and mountain bike trails and more.

Surprisingly it belongs to the emirate of Ajman and borders Oman, the emirate of Sharjah and an enclave of Dubai, Hatta.

Masfoot

If you head towards Masfout Fort, many of the places mentioned here are on that side of town. (That’s the Hatta side so it’s an easy stopover if you’re going to or from there). Let’s start our tour with the fort itself.

Masfout Castle and Museum

Masfout Castle or Fort stands atop a hill and is now open as a museum.  Masfout Museum has been wonderfully done with clear and attractive displays and lots of information about the history, some of which at least will probably be new to you. Don’t miss the great view over the valley. On the hill opposite is Masfout Castle which is a watchtower and has an even better view over both Masfout and to Hatta. Opening times 8am -8pm daily. Entrance fee 3 dhs. See more on Masfout Museum

The town is an enclave of Ajman and a farming area. There are plans to turn it into a tourist resort by 2030 but for now, it’s lovely and quiet. During a rainy winter, visit the lake at Masfut Dam. Note that in dry winters like this year there is no water.

Masfoot Walk is a paved walkway from the dam through the lower part of the town and ends near the fort. A waterway has been created which is partly lake and partly stream in winters with a reasonable amount of rain.

There are lots of benches along the walkway to enjoy the view. One area is sheltered. The upper part of the Walk is lit with street lamps whilst the lower half is lit with lamp garlands.

Our favourite spot!

Halfway down the Walk (and road to the Masfout Castle), you’ll see a watchtower on a mound and a cafe called Prestige. Its a great place to sit and relax, take in the view, listen to the sounds of the birds and enjoy a fresh juice. I have to confess that we have never eaten anywhere else and always go back here because it’s just such a lovely place to sit and my daughter loves the Nutella crepes!

They also have other desserts and lots of fresh drinks and some savoury options too, such as chicken crepes, pasta and burgers. They are very reasonably priced and staff are friendly.

Since these photos were taken, the sheltered area has been enclosed with ac for hot weather and there is new more comfortable furniture.

 

Masfout Oasis 

A detour off Masfoot Walk which takes you through the farming area in Masfout Oasis. One side takes you up to the old mosque, Bin Sultan Mosque.

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Bin Sultan Mosque

Bin Sultan Mosque was built in 1815. It is in the farming area at the foot of the mountains on the opposite side of the fort – see Masfout Oasis above. 

It was built using gypsum, clay and palm fronds as so many buildings were. It has been restored and is still in use today.

 

Parks

Both Al Warqa Park (Monday and Wednesday for ladies only) and Al Muzeera Ladies Park are well kept and have play areas and facilities.

Rocks and Rock Formations

If you have a interest in rock formations like me, you can see many interesting ones. Drive along the main road in the direction of the Oman border and Madam for some limestone formations which are completely different to the main Hajar mountains behind. The last photo shows the contrast between the two. Other rocks like the ones in the middle below are dotted around. The first one is at the entrance to Masfut from the main road from Hatta side.

Masfout Museum has a section all about the different types of rocks in the area and it’s more than you might have thought! It’s definitely worth a visit.

Picnics, hikes and bikes

If you want to sit somewhere remote for a picnic, there are wide open plains at the foot of the mountains near the Oman border (not the border crossing, further south.)

There are also several new mountain bike trails on Jebel Abyad which you might use for hiking if there is no event on and no one around. It has great views over the valleys.

Masfout Camping Huts and Al Jazer Dam Park

The park sits between low rock and next to a dam and has shelters, concrete barbecues, benches, a small play area, toilets and is free of charge. Masfout Camping Huts are just one of several shelters around the town making it easy for families and friends to enjoy the mountain weather more comfortably and at no cost.
 
Another of the hidden gems in the UAE, this park is located next to the Oman border on the road from Al Madam but you can’t pass through that road so you need to drive towards Hatta/Masfout and turn back driving right through towards the park.

Wadi Masfut

There is a road next to Gulfa water plant that takes you up the mountainside. The bridge over the wadi is broken but you can turn off to the left just before for a view over the town, a walk around or an off road drive.

Swir Rest Area

After you take the exit to Masfoot from the E44, take the right turn onto the road that goes along the foot of the rocky hill and further along you’ll come to some camping huts, some private, some not so.

Remember inland is the place to escape the humidity when it starts and these are the other huts dotted around the area are great places for families and friends to enjoy the outdoors late afternoon or evening.
 

Kholaiban Dam

Khulaiban Dam, Masfoot

Kholaiban Dam is another spot with camping huts and sits near the border of Oman. There is also a play area there.

How to get to Masfout

To get to Masfout, GCC nationals can take the road from Al Madam (with national ID or passport), but other passport holders need to take the Maleha/Kalba Rd. There is now a new road towards there and Hatta and it is well signposted. Check also Glimpses of the UAE Map for exact locations of places mentioned above.

If you’re looking for a place that offers tranquility rather than organised activities, this is the place for you.

Is it Masfoot, Masfut or Masfout?

The official spelling from Ajman government seems to be Masfout. I first wrote this post quite a while ago and used Masfoot when it wasn’t so clear. I haven’t changed that as some people may have saved the post and I have multiple links to it but I’ve used all three spellings in this post just so people will be able to find it more easily when searching.

What else can I combine this with?

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This post was first published in March 2020 and last updated on 7 June 2022.

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