Al Qudra Lake in Dubai, which is a man-made lake, is situated at the middle of the Seih Al Salam desert and Bab Al Shams, Dubai. It was created as part of a project to green and enrich that part of the desert of Dubai.It is one of at least six other huge freshwater bodies created by the office of the Engineers of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Al Qudra’s main attraction is its freshwater body covering about 10 hectares where the areas covering it have been planted with fruit trees and trees that give shade to the place.
Al Qudra Lake is now home for more than 130 species of birds and it is a great spot for bird watchers.So don’t forget to bring your binoculars!! Birds sighted in the lake include the Glossy Ibis, Caspian Plover, Sanderling, Ruddy Turnstone, Gull-billed Tern that prefer coastal areas. Also mainland and migratory birds like Eurasian wryneck, Rosy Starling, Common Starling, shrikes, Wheatears, eagles and falcons, are also spotted there. The lake has been stocked with Tilapia fishes whereas parts of its banks are covered with reed-beds, which makes this place more attractive for the birds.
Currently, Al Qudra Lake is the only lake in the neighbourhood of Seih Al Salam open to birdwatchers. Dubai is proving to be attractive not only to migrant workers but to new species of birds as well. Hundreds of migratory birds have taken residence in Al Qudra Lake after improvements were made in the area.
It was the month of December 2015, and we planned a picnic trip to Al Qudra, being a Friday after the Namaj we head off to the lake.
How to reach Al Qudra lake?
The easiest access seem to be to take the road passing Arabian Ranches and Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club. From the Polo Club it is 28 km to the Saih al Salam–Qudra lake. There is Al Qudra cycle track and Al Qudra desert camping area in the way towards the lake.
We planned of doing BBQ over there so we were headed with full preparation, its always better to carry all the BBQ items before hand as sometimes the Food Store situated over there may not have the right items for you. The GPS location is mostly false, the best way is to reach the cycle trek office and ask them for the directions. So after reaching we got a beautiful spot just beside the lake. The place was so clean and tidy and the migratory birds were our friends for the evening. It has been strictly written not to throw waste o the lake and not to make the place dirty, so everyone was conscious about their valuables and the eateries bought. We laid out our BBQ raw foods which included Chicken marinated in red, green and mustard sauce and also we had Vegetable skewers.
Our BBQ was ready in 1 hour and we got to taste some of the smoked delicious chicken and veggies across the lake with the birds watching and the fish playing in the lake. The crowd was huge as it was a weekend and the weather was terrific. We packed all our litters and threw in proper designated waste bins as it is must to keep the place neat and tidy.
We got some of the best shots of the lake and the area nearby, but i will recommend if you are planning for a day trip then before sunset you should pack up and leave the place as it gets very dark over there but for a night stay then we are always in preparation by carrying our own Camping lights.
A day well spent and a must visit place, out of the hustle and bustle of city life!!
If you are looking for more fun at Al Qudra, then the next best thing to do is to go cycling. Near to the lake, you can see world’s largest designated cycle track.Two brand new cycling paths with a total length about 86 km have recently been completed at Al Qudra Road. It is an awesome experience to cycle through the desert without any traffic disturbances, enjoying the tranquility of nature. Cycle Safe organised rides there on Friday mornings for beginners and advanced cyclists.
You can also find camping spots to the Head south, away from the lakes where dozens of perfect desert camping spots accessible to non-4WDs owners.
There is a ZAD Food Store serving coffee, organic smoothies and Arabic snacks.You can also pick up firewood and other camping supplies here.
Refer to the below websites for more details