Wadi Shees is a favourite with many to get away from the city, including me! Whether it’s the beautiful new park, the pools, the old village and nature trail or a bit of off-roading, you’re sure to feel relaxed after a visit to the scenic Wadi Shees in Khor Fakkan.
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Take the next exit to Wadi Shees and drive carefully as it has lots of steep slopes, bends, blind peaks and corners and it turns into one track. If you are coming from Khor Fakkan, the exit is straight after Al Ghezeer Tunnel.
On your left, you can stop at Shees pools. The first small pool is drinking water but further down there are pools where you can paddle or swim or even dive when the water is deep enough.
You can go through the pool to the back where there is a narrow entrance to the next pools, but you cannot see them from the road. You can picnic at the same area although that spot gets busy at the weekend and on holidays.
A new exciting addition to the area is Shees Park which has play areas, seating areas, a waterfall, Gerard’s coffee shop, barbeque areas and lovely views.
It gets very busy at the weekend and holidays and sometimes they shut the road off so go weekdays, early or have a back-up plan.
Shees Old Residential Area and Shees Nature Trail
Further down from Shees Park is the old residential area of Shees, which is well worth a visit if you can manage the climb up a hundred or so steps. The steps in the photo below are easier ones at the top. See note further down for the easier version.
Once in the old village, follow and read the signs for the Shees Nature Trail.
Walk through the village and notice the intricate underground falaj system for irrigating the farms and the mosque that was earlier the house where Sheikh Sultan used to stay when he visited.
Continue through the farms, enjoy the view over the mountains, learn about farming and the biodiversity in the area from the information signs along the way and look out for trees with interesting shapes and wonderful roots growing down rock faces.
The path will eventually take you back down to the road where you can walk back up to your car. For an easier climb avoiding all the steps up, start here. I’ve added a photo below to help you find it.
Wadi Shees Off-road
Further down the road, pass Shees Health Centre and Sharjah Co-op (preferably on the tourist bypass road) and then you can only be in awe at the deep wadi you’re driving through and at times, the huge rocks jutting out that look like they might fall on you at any moment!
Look out for goats higher up climbing over precarious edges with the greatest of ease.
Entering Madha Oman from Wadi Shees
When you receive a text message from Ooredoo or Omantel, you know you’ve crossed into Omani territory. When you reach the fork, you can turn left up the single track road up the hill or right through the farms. There’s also an option to go straight but that’s very rocky. You can add it to your Wadi Shees hike though.
If you turn left, the road will take you to Al Nahwa, an exclave of Sharjah inside the Omani enclave. The road takes you through mountains, open plains and lush oases. Carrying on further still and eventually you’ll come out in Mirbah, Fujairah, just south of Khor Fakkan. See more on Al Nahwa on my post on Al Nahwa.
A couple of years ago, I’d say you didn’t necessarily need a four wheel drive for the left turn but there has been torrential rain and heavy flooding several times since then and the road is very damaged. If your car is low, you risk hitting the bottom on a rock. This is even the case for earlier parts of the wadi still on the Sharjah side.
If you turn right instead, it will take you through a farming area before you find a paved road. Go straight to reach a quiet valley or go left to go up to the main road. Taking left will take you to Madha town and right will take you to another valley. You can see more on my post on Madha.
Keep in mind that you should have Oman coverage to drive in Oman. Check whether you have that with your motor insurance. Ask for the orange card. (Although it’s no longer orange.)
You will lose signal as you get deeper whichever road you take so make sure you’re prepared for any emergencies and then sit back and enjoy the spectacular scenery.
(Note: Don’t confuse Wadi Shees with Wadi Shie which is further into Khor Fakkan. You will also see it written Chees on the Oman side. There is no border point as it is surrounded by the UAE. )
How to get to Wadi Shees
Take the Khor Fakkan Road and if you’re coming from the west, look out for the large sign at the side of the road marking the entrance to the Khor Fakkan area of Sharjah emirate – you can’t miss it. From Khor Fakkan, after you go through Al Ghezeer Tunnel, exit at the ramp to go under Khor Fakkan Road. Alternatively, you can go via Madha.
What else to do near Wadi Shees?
This page was first published on 17 January 2020 and last updated on 6 October 2023.
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