Oasis In the Desert

Jabal Hafeet (or Jebel Hafeet) is a lush green mountain range in the city of Al Ain in Abu Dhabi, on the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) eastern border with Oman.

Jebel Hafeet

Rising 1,240 metres, Jebel Hafeet is the emirate’s highest peak, and UAE’s second. This towering rocky height, which stands guard over Al Ain and borders Oman, is forged out of craggy limestone that has been weathered over millions of years. Significant fossil discoveries have been made in the area, which are vital pieces in the jigsaw of the city’s ancient history.

You can drive or, if you have the stamina, cycle to the top via a winding highway. Once you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with magnificent views over Al Ain, where you can take a break at the Mercure Jebel Hafeet hotel near the Jebel’s peak. Regarded by many as the place to go in the UAE if you’ve managed to score a supercar for a day, Jebel Hafeet has even been voted the greatest driving road on the planet by various international magazines and websites.

What else to do while you’re there

Strap in tight: Al Ain Raceway is arguably the finest karting facility in the UAE. It’s fully floodlit and has arrive-and-drive karts, as well as corporate entertainment and conference facilities.
Refresh yourself: At the base of Jebel Hafeet, Green Mubazzarah is a genuine oasis, with hot springs, lake, swimming pools and chalets. Worth a look – and a dip.
Go wild: Al Ain Zoo has more than 4,000 animals that roam in enclosures somewhat resembling their natural habitats. The zoo has also instituted conservation and breeding programmes, which is laudable.
Take a history lesson: Based in the palace of the founding president of the UAE, Al Ain Palace Museum provides a telling insight into the life that was once lived there by Sheikh Zayed and his family.
Settle in: There’s a wide selection of hotels in the area, including Hili Rayhaan by Rotana, Hilton Al Ain and Mercure Grand (at the top of Jebel Hafeet). They range in tariffs and services, so chances are you can find something to suit your tastes and budget.

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