Exploring The Emirates » Absolute Adventures Secret Staircase

Absolute Adventures Secret Staircase

AAsecret staircases DSC 0222 jpgAAsecret staircases DSC 0202 jpgThis Absolute Adventure trip takes us up two secret staircases built into the cliff faces of Wadi Khab Al Shamsi, visiting ancient villages perched high above the wadi bed. 


We assemble at the Adventure Centre in Dibba and start with a 30-minute drive through the picturesque wadi. Arriving at our first destination, we pick our way to the base of the first staircase which ascends to the village of Twaifat. The staircase has been hand-built over many years and a quick glance would miss it completely as it’s built from the surrounding rock.


The view at the top is well worth the climb. The terraced fields and old stone houses are largely abandoned now; in times past, the villagers would have farmed livestock and vegetables seasonally, moving between their mountain-top home and the low-lying areas around Dibba. We explore the terraces and examine several petroglyphs - ancient stone carvings - before returning to the staircase for the descent back into the wadi. 

AA gravestones DSC 0212 jpgTracing our route back down Khab Al Shamsi, we arrive at our second secret staircase and start the climb up the cliff face via a well-built stairway, to reach Yehnadj village. The sole inhabitant of the village now is the friendly goat herd, who offers us tea. It must be a lonely job and no doubt he enjoys the company. We wander around this spectacularly situated settlement with its breathtaking views over top of the Hajar mountain range, discovering the many elaborately decorated gravestones, stone ovens and ancient petroglyphs. After a thorough exploration, we descend the staircase and the 4WD winds its way back through the sunlight and shadows of the wadi,  into Dibba. 


The trip takes 4 hours and is graded level 1 (out of 5) on Absolute Adventure’s scale of difficulty, meaning it is a comfortable trek for everyone, including those less fit, and families with children over 8. Email mike@adventure.ae for info or visit their website at www.adventure.ae.


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