Falaj Al Mualla is a quiet oasis town in the Umm Al Quwain desert. The fort is nearly 200 years old and overlooks the sand dunes where more watchtowers stand higher up and offering a clear view for imminent attacks.
The fort itself has the traditional courtyard style with the centre now having a nice green lawn and it’s a lovely place just to sit and enjoy the surroundings and the tranquility.
It now houses a museum with sections depicting Emirati heritage and also an archeological room with exhibits dating back to the first century AD to 6000 BC.
If you are like me and enjoy walking on a natural surface surrounded by nature, or if you enjoy bird-watching, this is a place for you. You can walk, cycle or drive the full length of the mangrove forest (approx. 9 km) And if you go on a weekday morning, you’re unlikely to meet anyone on your way. (Well, you might meet me!)
At either end of the forest, there are small beaches to sit and admire the view, watch out for local or migrating birds or just enjoy the peace away from city life. It’s a stop off point for many migrating birds and birds found living there include Western Reef Heron, Greater Flamingo, Crab Plover, Socotra Cormorant along with sandpipers, plovers, shrikes and many more. You might even be lucky enough to spot a Greater Spotted Eagle or a Kingfisher.
You can also enjoy the mangroves from the other side by renting a kayak or taking a kayak tour. There are tours of different lengths and at different times of day including sunset. You might see crabbers out and you can also join nighttime crabbing tours from the Flamingo Hotel.
Please note that swimming and fishing are strictly prohibited here.
Update: Since this was originally posted, there have been changes as a camping area has been built near the shore with washroom facilities. There seems to be a charge (around 20dhs) to access this specific area but I haven’t been recently to confirmthe details.