Words By: Ian Ganderton
Snoopy Island is a perfect spot on the UAE’s East Coast to explore by kayak. Easy beach access for vehicles with mountains providing a great back drop to the coast and the island itself is just a couple of hundred metres off the shore providing great snorkelling. It’s a great location away from the big cities.
So named because viewed from the right direction the island closely resembles the famous profile of the cartoon mutt, Snoopy Island lies between Dibba and Khor Fakkan just 200m offshore from the Sandy Beach Hotel and Resort and can be found easily on Google Maps.
There is public sandy beach access (including vehicles) on both sides of the hotel but be careful of extremely soft sand on the northern most access point. One kilometre south of the island there is access to the sea via a stony beach.
Kayaking off the sandy beach access and exploring the circumference of the island is simple fun for all especially if you take your snorkelling gear too. A sit on top kayak makes a perfect snorkelling platform and there are lots to see living around the island.
Now be very careful not to lose contact with your paddle craft when using it as a base for swimming and snorkelling from. The floating craft will be affected by the wind where as the swimmer will not and even in a relatively light breeze this can cause the craft to “blow away” much faster than you will be able to swim. Consider using a leash.
If the island area and its beaches are too busy for your taste (quite likely on weekend afternoons) head to the stonier beach to the south and instead explore the rocky bay formed by the little premonitory and maybe go on a two kilometre mini expedition to the island and back.
Start / Finish
- Snoopy Island 25° 29.536’N56° 21.840’E
- Sandy Beach Vehicle Access 25° 29.770’N56° 21.652’E
Beware of the soft sand here; even 4x4s can easily get stuck.
Look at a map and you will see that the East Coast is exposed to a huge body of water when compared to the Arabian Gulf on our West. This leaves the potential for weather and sea conditions to be very different. Be particularly careful of potential surf conditions.
Bear in mind that the wind always picks up as the day goes on (heat generated weather conditions) so I always recommend an early start as paddling on calm water is quite special. Be extremely cautious when winds are offshore.
Wear a PFD. Respect other water craft. Paddle within your abilities and experience. Paddling in small groups is the safest. Tell someone where you are going and let them know when you are back.