Al-Qudra — a real oasis in the desert

An oasis in the desert of Dubai Jumeirah Al Qudra

Dillic beaches for relaxing, bustling boulevards for walking and lots of outdoor attractions — there are many ways to enjoy a sunny day in Dubai.  However, those who are looking for more peaceful landscapes will find it on the lakes of Al-Qudra — a real oasis in the desert. This popular ecotourism destination is ideal for wildlife watchers and those who want to reconnect with nature.

These vast artificial lakes, which are part of the Al-Marmum Desert Reserve and are located among the hilly dunes of the Sayh al-Salam Desert, perfectly fit into the environment.  Numerous islands provide habitat for many species of birds that nest here, and low bushes and trees provide food for both birds and insects, although there is little shade for people here.  Lakes may be artificial, but the surrounding area is untouched; we recommend traveling by four—wheel drive, as the trails are off-road, and parking spaces are special.

Al-Qudra Lakes Dubai

 An oasis in the desert of Dubai Jumeirah Al Qudra

 Arrive early and you will find yourself more or less alone when the birds are calling and a light breeze is walking on the water.  Ornithologists will want to take binoculars with them to find the many bird species, native and migratory, that congregate here, and several bird-watching towers offer great places to do so.  It is easiest to spot less exotic swans, lapwings and ducks, as well as a large flock of (imported) flamingos, which create a beautiful picture while resting in shallow water on red thin legs.  You will be rewarded for your patience if you search harder, as a cormorant, a heron and even a kestrel have been spotted here.

Al-Qudra Lakes Dubai Jumeirah Deser

 Flamingos on Al-Qudra Lakes Dubai Jumeirah Desert

 When it comes time to eat, there are no restaurants or cafes in Al-Qudra that could spoil the feeling of remoteness, but this does not prevent visitors from eating on the shore.  On most days, you'll see locals gathered around a barbecue and grilling lunch; this is acceptable if the barbecues are raised and not standing directly on the sand.  Alternatively, take a picnic and a blanket with you and choose a place where you can relax quietly, enjoying the scenery and leisurely while away the day.

 If you prefer an active holiday, take a bike or sneakers with you and take advantage of the smooth track that runs around lakes and through the desert and covers a challenging 86 km.  Be careful as you walk and you may spot some of the larger indigenous people of the region along the way.  If you keep especially quiet, you may see sand gazelles, desert foxes, or even the elusive Arabian chamois grazing or scurrying around.  To add a touch of romance to your day, head to the nearby Lake of Love.  Just a few minutes from the Al-Qudra Lakes, this artificial water landscape resembles two intertwined hearts and a truly atmospheric place where you can spend time and take pictures with your loved one.

 View of the wild desert and landscape of Al Qudra Dubai Jumeirah

 When night falls, the lakes become the backdrop for truly spectacular sunsets.  While the red sky is reflected in the calm waters, the birds are preparing for nesting, as are the more adventurous locals of Dubai, who are tempted by the peaceful atmosphere to spend the night camping.  As soon as the sun sets, don't forget to look up before you leave — the sky here is completely free of traffic or light, which means that you will easily notice twinkling stars and complex constellations.

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