Mlheia- A Gateway To Adventure & History in Sharjah

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Photo of Mlheia- A Gateway To Adventure & History in Sharjah by Sandy N Vyjay
Photo of Mlheia- A Gateway To Adventure & History in Sharjah 1/1 by Sandy N Vyjay

Sharjah which is one of the seven emirates of the UAE is a complete family destination in its own right. If Dubai is the glittering and shiny body of the UAE, then Sharjah is its heart. In recent times Sharjah has emerged as the cultural capital of the UAE. If the UAE is touted as an alchemy of seven destinations, then Sharjah is definitely an exotic component of this alchemy.

Sharjah is of course home to several museums and heritage monuments which gives it the sobriquet of the cultural capital of the UAE. However, another facet of Sharjah is the manifold opportunities for adventure it offers.

Mlheia, a place that lies deep in the desert some 60 kilometres from Sharjah makes for an ideal day trip. It offers ample opportunities for activities that guarantee an adrenaline rush and also transports one on an intriguing journey back in time across a million years to the early settlement of Man in the region. What is really interesting is that these adventure activities can be combined with visits to the archaeological sites that don’t Mlheia.

Adventure Activities in Mlheia

Dune Bashing

Photo of Mlheia- A Gateway To Adventure & History in Sharjah by Sandy N Vyjay

What you see in front of the windscreen of the 4X4 as you hang on for dear life is a sheer wall of brown sand. “Impossible”, is what you think as the driver presses down on the accelerator and up you go on the sand dune in a near vertical incline. You reach the top of the dune and heave a sigh of relief. But wait! The best is yet to come. The driver grins mischievously as you peer down from the window at the frightening drop below. “Are we….”? Your question hangs in mid sentence as the driver again presses down on the accelerator and you are off hurtling down in a cloud of sand. This is the thrill and rollercoaster experience of a Dune Bashing experience in the deserts sands of Mlheia in Sharjah.

Photo of Mlheia- A Gateway To Adventure & History in Sharjah by Sandy N Vyjay

Along with this sand duning experience you are also taken to a few archaeological sites in the midst of the desert sands of Mlheia. You can also view the iconic Camel Rock which is a massive rock shaped like a camel that stands in solitary splendour in the midst of the deserts. The Fossil Rock is a grand old rock that seems to be as old as time itself. It is estimated that this rock is about 65,000 billion years old! The Fossil Rock is not only a great place for palaeontologists but also great for hunting fossils for the ordinary visitors.

Desert Cycling

Cycling in mountainous terrain is passe. Hop on to a cycle and ride away into the desert sands. The thrill of cycling amidst the never ending expanse of sand is an altogether different level. The desert sands of the Mlheia region make for an excellent arena for cycling. One can combine the thrill of cycling with visits to the archaeological sites. Along the way another added bonus is the sighting of the desert wildlife that includes exotic species of reptiles and birds. The use of cycles with tyres having extra width makes it easier for the cyclists to negotiate the sands of the desert. A cycling tour is also a great opportunity to catch a thrilling sunrise or sunset against amidst the sand dunes.

Trekking

The desert sands of Mlheia offer a unique vista for those looking to trek on virgin sands. Heading off into the desert as the first rays of the sun light up the shimmering and shifting sands of the desert is nothing short of an electrifying experience. The trek takes you on a journey that literally seems to transcend the sands of time. The archaeological sites that trace the history of Man in this region right to the beginning of the Stone Age, more than 2 million years ago are an incredible stops that would dot your trek. The trek is also an opportunity to experience the ecosystem of the desert, the insects like camel spiders and reptiles along with the avian species.

Archaeological Sites in Mlheia

Photo of Mlheia- A Gateway To Adventure & History in Sharjah by Sandy N Vyjay

The epicentre of Mlheia is the Mlheia Archaeological Centre which has a museum with a wealth of information about the settlement in the region and of the ancient Bedouin culture. The centre opens up a fascinating window into the evolution and migration of early Man from the jungles of Africa, spanning the Palaeolithic period, the Neolithic period, the Bronze age, the Iron age, and the late Pre-Islamic period.

The Mlheia Archaeological Centre coordinates the visits to the surrounding live archaeological sites. These visits give an immersive experience of how life must have been in times gone by. Some of the most important sites that one must visit are the Jebel Faya site which has the evidence of settlements dating back to the Stone age, and the Mlheia Fort Site which has the ruins of a fort that dates back to the 3rd Century CE, the fort includes the ruins of what must have been a palace.

Photo of Mlheia- A Gateway To Adventure & History in Sharjah by Sandy N Vyjay

The sands of Mlheia hold the promise of unlimited adventure and the thrill of travelling back in time. A day amidst the sand dunes of the desert of Mleiha is definitely designed to leave indelible imprints on any visitor’s mind for a long, long time.

You can read a detailed post on Mleiha Archaeological Centre, Sharjah here: https://imvoyager.com/mleiha-archaeological-centre-sharjah/

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