Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) Flag Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates)


The United Arab Emirates has a unique relationship with its waterways. While permanent rivers are not a feature of its predominantly desert terrain, the UAE does have a network of seasonal watercourses known as wadis, which are significant to the country's natural landscape and ecology. These wadis typically flow during periods of rainfall, carving through the rugged mountains and arid plains. They are crucial for recharging underground aquifers and supporting the limited, yet diverse, ecosystems in these areas, providing habitats for various plant and animal species. The table below provides an overview of the major wadis in the United Arab Emirates.

River Name




Wadi Wurayah

9 km (6 mi)

Located in the Emirate of Fujairah, in the Hajar Mountains

N/A (evaporation)

Wadi Shaam

Varies seasonally

Located in the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, in the Hajar Mountains

N/A (evaporation)

Wadi Asimah

Varies seasonally

Located in the Emirate of Sharjah

 N/A (evaporation)

*Sources do not differentiate between the length of river that exists within the country’s borders and the overall length of the river irrespective of national borders.