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Which is the highest dunes in Dubai?

Dubai is known for having some of the tallest sand dunes in the world. The red sand and sweeping dunes make for an iconic landscape that draws visitors from around the globe. When exploring the deserts in Dubai, many wonder which dunes stand the highest.

Which is the highest dunes in Dubai?

The Majestic Al Moreeb Dune

The tallest sand dune in Dubai is called Al Moreeb, which translates to “scary mountain” in Arabic. Al Moreeb towers at an astounding 300 meters high, making it one of the tallest dunes in the world.

Located in the Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve, Al Moreeb stands watch over the sweeping sea of red and orange hued sand. Its peak offers panoramic views of the desert landscape that seem to go on forever. The imposing dune appears almost martian in photos, given its height and stark red color.

Challenging the Al Moreeb Dune

Climbing the Al Moreeb dune is not for the faint of heart. Trekkers describe the ascent as grueling, requiring scrambling up the steep slope on all fours at some points. The fine sand gives way underfoot, making two steps forward and one step back a frequent reality.

However, reaching the top is extremely rewarding. Being able to stand on the highest peak in Dubai and see the desert unroll for miles is a memory that lasts a lifetime. It offers a glimpse of the raw, natural beauty that initially drew settlers to Dubai before the glitzy high-rises populated the skyline.

The hike down Al Moreeb can be almost as difficult as the climb up. Some dune adventurers choose to sandboard or ski down the dune to save their knees and calves. This high-speed ride down the towering slope adds even more thrill to conquering the highest dune in Dubai.

Impressive Dunes Near Al Moreeb

While Al Moreeb steals the show by being the tallest dune, there are other mammoth dunes that flank it on either side. Two ridges stand around 200 meters high, though they do not have official names or measurements. These help shelter Al Moreeb and create a valley that adds to the drama of the landscape.

When viewed together from afar, this collection of towering dunes is a mind-boggling sight. The smooth, sculpted texture and rich color make it seem almost like a work of art rather than nature. The sea of smaller dunes that ripple out from their bases only enhance the visual spectacle.

Dune Bashing Near Al Moreeb

In addition to climbing, people flock to the majestic dunes around Al Moreeb to go dune bashing. This popular desert activity involves driving SUVs over the sand dunes, racing up and down the slopes at daring speeds. Special desert vehicles outfitted with oversized tires are made to grind over the sand without getting bogged down.

Propelling over the towering dunes is an adrenaline thrill like no other. The landscape whizzes by the window in a blur of red and orange as the vehicle charges onwards and upwards. It then plunges down the dunes at breakneck speeds, suspension bouncing wildly. After getting their fill of intense dune bashing, many tourists end their desert adventures watching the sunset over the sandy sea before Al Moreeb. Its height and position on the western edge of Dubai make it one of the most spectacular vantage points.

Strict Regulations When Visiting Al Moreeb

Due to environmental concerns, there are stringent regulations in place for visiting the Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve where Al Moreeb reigns. Permits must be obtained ahead of time for driving,sandboarding, camping or hiking amongst the dunes.

Officials crack down on any off-road driving that could disturb local wildlife and vegetation. Temporary fencing helps protect certain areas to allow native flora and fauna to regenerate after damage from more careless past visitors. Rangers also strictly enforce littering fines to protect the fragile desert ecosystem.

By following the rules and environmental guidelines, tourists can responsibly enjoy seeing the highest dune in Dubai up close. The permits also help limit crowds so not too many people trek Al Moreeb at one time. This maintains the pristine condition of the sand and prevents excessive erosion on the dune’s slopes.

Key Takeaways on Al Moreeb Dune

  • At 300m high, Al Moreeb Dune is the tallest sand dune in Dubai and one of the highest in the world
  • It’s located in the protected Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve
  • Climbing Al Moreeb offers panoramic desert views but the steep ascent is very strenuous
  • Dune bashing along its base is a popular adrenaline-pumping activity for tourists
  • Strict permit regulations protect local plants and animals from human disruption

Seeing Dubai’s majestic desert landscape is an unforgettable travel experience. While the glittering towers dominate the skyline, the iconic dunes shaped the early history and development of the city long before. Heading out amongst the sandy sea rewards visitors with natural splendor and adrenaline adventure unlike anywhere else on Earth.


Al Moreeb Dune stands supreme as Dubai’s tallest at 300 meters high. Its staggering size coupled with sweeping desert views from the top make it a must-see for any visitor. Though the challenging climb requires endurance, standing on the summit overlooking the golden sand sea is an iconic memory.

Nearby unnamed ridges also soar up to 200 meters high to flank the impressive Al Moreeb. Seeing all three monumental dunes together, it’s easy to imagine how settlers crossing the desert would have used them as waypoints for navigation.

Thanks to protected conservation efforts, responsible travelers can now marvel at Dubai’s towering dunes without damaging the fragile environment. Permits, fencing and ranger patrols all help preserve these icons of Dubai’s golden desert realm for future generations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How tall is Al Moreeb Dune?
A: Al Moreeb Dune towers 300 meters high, making it the tallest dune in Dubai.

Q: Where is Al Moreeb Dune located?
A: Al Moreeb Dune is located in the Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve in Dubai.

Q: What color is the sand of Al Moreeb Dune?
A: The sand of Al Moreeb Dune is a distinctive red/orange hue.

Q: Is climbing Al Moreeb Dune difficult?
A: Yes, climbing Al Moreeb Dune is quite grueling due to the steep slope and giving sand. Most climbers have to scramble on all fours for parts of the ascent.

Q: Can you sandboard down Al Moreeb Dune?
A: Yes, sandboarding and dune skiing are popular ways to descend Al Moreeb Dune after climbing it.

Q: What is dune bashing?
A. Dune bashing involves driving specialized SUVs over sand dunes, racing up and down the slopes.

Q: Do you need a permit to visit Al Moreeb Dune?
A: Yes, a permit is required to drive, hike, camp, or sandboard around Al Moreeb Dune to protect the desert environment.

Q: Is there wildlife near Al Moreeb Dune?
A: Yes, Al Marmoom Reserve contains a variety of desert wildlife and native vegetation that regulations strive to protect.

Q: What are some key rules for visiting Al Moreeb Dune?
A: Key rules include staying on marked trails, packing out all trash, obeying permit guidelines, and respecting protected areas.

Q: Why was Al Marmoom Reserve established?
A: To conserve fragile desert habitats and species through regulated access and anti-littering/off-road laws.

Q: What makes Al Moreeb Dune so iconic?
A: Its staggering size/height plus sweeping desert views make Al Moreeb Dune an instantly recognizable Dubai landmark.

Q: Are there other tall dunes near Al Moreeb?
A: Yes, two unnamed dunes flanking Al Moreeb also stand around 200 meters high.

Q: Do you need an experienced guide to visit Al Moreeb?
A: No, permits grant access, but inexperienced hikers must research regulations and stay on marked trails.

Q: Where can you get permits to visit Al Moreeb Dune?
A: Permits can be obtained through the official Dubai Tourism website or licensed local tour operators.

Q: How early should you arrive to climb Al Moreeb Dune?
A: Arrive very early to avoid afternoon heat when climbing Al Moreeb and bring plenty of water.

Q: Is camel riding allowed around Al Moreeb Dune?
A: Yes, camel rides are a popular way to tour the conservation reserve with permits.

Q: Can you camp overnight near Al Moreeb Dune?
A: Yes, overnight desert camping trips can be arranged through tour companies with permits.

Q: Does climbing Al Moreeb Dune require special equipment?
A: No special gear, but gloves and hiking shoes help. Avoid climbing Al Moreeb alone.

Q: What is the average temperature of Al Moreeb Dune?
A: The average temperature on Al Moreeb Dune is 35°C (95°F) during summer days. It cools slightly at night but can still remain over 30°C (86°F).

Q: Has anyone ever been injured climbing Al Moreeb Dune?
A: Yes, minor injuries like sprains or abrasions occur if people slip or fall on the steep slope. Heat illness is also a risk if proper hydration isn’t maintained.

Q: What is the terrain like walking on Al Moreeb Dune?
A: The sand is soft and extremely fine almost like walking in flour. It causes feet to sink with each step making climbing very tiring.

Q: Have people ever gotten lost climbing Al Moreeb Dune?
A: It is possible to get disoriented on Al Moreeb Dune, so staying on marked trails is essential, especially with shifting winds erasing footprints.

Q: Do tour companies provide transportation to visit Al Moreeb Dune?
A: Yes, licensed tour operators will arrange 4×4 vehicle transportation to and from Dubai for dune activities.

Q: What footwear works best for climbing Al Moreeb Dune?
A: Light hiking shoes or boots with good traction and support work best to prevent rolling ankles in the soft sinking sand.

Q: Will climbing Al Moreeb Dune worsen allergies?
A: Yes, the windswept fine sand can aggravate respiratory allergies for sensitive visitors as particles get stirred up while climbing.

Q: Do you need climbing experience to climb Al Moreeb Dune?
A: No climbing experience is needed, but decent aerobic fitness and stability in loose terrain helps enormously with the grueling trek.

Q: How steep is the grade when climbing Al Moreeb Dune?
A: The steepest sections of Al Moreeb Dune reach a 30 to 40 degree slope, requiring scrambling on hands and knees at some points.

Q: Are pets allowed to visit Al Moreeb Dune?
A: No pets are allowed within the Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve in order to protect native species.

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