Road Trip to Shuweihat Island in the UAE

Are you living in the UAE or simply visit Abu Dhabi or Dubai? If you are an adventurer, go rent a car and hit the road as the United Arab Emirates has beautiful nature and places where you need to travel to by road to discover. One place we would like you to add on your to-do list is the Shuweihat Island.

What is the Shuweihat Island?

Shuweihat Island is full of beautiful natural rock formations with canyon style textures. It has a great beach where most people like to go camp, just beside the beautiful rock formations. This place is quite far from Dubai, even from Abu Dhabi so it is way less crowded than other spots in the UAE. It is best to go there for a good little beach time and rock formations made out of sand. The water is wonderful with a smooth colourful gradient because the water is shallow. Travelling to Shuweihat Island really takes some commitment! Although it is journey worth taking to stargaze and disconnect from the craziness of the city.

Do you need an off road car for Shuweihat Island?

No you don’t! Closer to the island there is no road, but you definitely can drive without a 4WD. Roads are pretty good and you can make it there in a sedan.

Driving to Shuweihat Island from Dubai

Dubai – Abu Dhabi – Ruwais – Shuweihat Island

From Dubai, you will drive towards Abu Dhabi and going past it towards Ruwais, which will take you around 3 hours. Just like when you drive to Fujairah, there will be TONS of trucks so make sure you are quite comfortable to overtake them all the time. Make sure to be quite fuelled up because there are not as many petrol stations along the way the more you reach closer to destination. Note that along the way you will see the Etihad Rail, which is nice to see! There is a mall at Ruwais (Ruwais Mall), where you can do a stop over to grab a bite and again, this place is quite old school just like Fujairah (if you have been). From the mall go back on the road to go past Ruwais town, take the exit to Adnoc petrol station and keep going forward towards a small airport. It will take you around 30 minutes to arrive at the island. Park around once you reach the north coast where the beautiful spot is. You can then walk down to the shore and see the beautiful rocks.

Thanks to Jeh for this map and some insights on locations and photography

What to do at Shuweihat Island

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Travel responsibly at Shuweihat Island (and everywhere basically)

As you know, there are many beautiful places in the UAE that are less popular. We encourage people to travel and discover beautiful places but it is important for us to put strong emphasis on the environment and cleanliness.

Please clean yourself if you go to places like this, either for the day or camping overnight. Don’t leave your fire rubbish, clear it please!
Don’t litter and if you bring your dogs, please pick up their waste. If you smoke, please do us a favour (the non-smokers) and trash cigarette butts you run into and do keep your own to trash it later in a bin.

By being responsible and leaving the least traces, that is how we will be able to keep going to places. Too many places in the UAE gets shut down or forbidden access because of a few irresponsible travellers. Do your own effort so we can all enjoy these places for longer.

Also, be classy man, if you are not alone in the area, don’t blast your speakers and ruin it for the other that drove all the way to be there to enjoy peace.

What you need to expect from Shuweihat Island

Half of the place is actually army territory and there is a lot of private areas. With the rise of social media as a tool to find locations to travel, the place is obviously getting more popular and this national day (2018) people witnessed trash everywhere like diapers and plastic bottles floating on the water. The police came later to the site and was quite angry and asked everybody to leave. Technically you are not allowed to camp there, but you can if you are not a mess. This is an example of how places get shut down, so please travel responsibly.

Can you do some camping on Shuweihat Island

There are no official releases on the internet, but technically, it is illegal to do some camping at the Shuweihat Island because it is army territory. There are ways to find your way there close to the water, but you will have to hope it’s not a crowded day and no one will come to hush you away!

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In a nutshell, this is a perfect weekend road trip. Ideal if it is a long weekend to spend more time relaxing. Make sure to pack enough of everything to be comfortable! Bon voyage.

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Drive safely!

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