Jebel Hafeet (Al Ain) is a mountain at the border of the United Arab Emirates (UAE)& Oman. It is in the Tawam region. The mountain is a sort of outer part of the Al Hajar Mountains. It is bordered in the north by the UAE city of Al Ain, in the east by the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, and the Omani town of Al Buraimi.
Jebel Hafeet is the only mountain range in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. At over 4,000 feet, it is also the nation’s highest. Very few people know that tJebel Hafeet is the only mountain range in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. At over 4,000 feet, it is also the nation’s highest. Very few people know that this mountain is formed of limestone that is over millions of years old. The mountain range stands like a guard over Al Ain.
Archaeologists have made an important discovery from the site. This place had a thriving civilization in the Stone Ages and also in the subsequent Bronze Ages. It was a civilization characterized by distinctive traits. Archaeologists discovered the remains of an ancient tomb in the northeastern foothills of the mountain. They have estimated that the tomb dates back to more than 5,000 years.
Another interesting discovery was made in the area. More than 500 burial tombs, dating back to the 3rd millennium B.C., were also found here. These tombs are located in the foothills of the Jebel Hafeet (Al Ain) Mountains. These tombs are of the time when the Bronze Age was starting in the UAE.
Danish archaeologists, who discovered these tombs almost 60 years ago, found lots of copper artifacts and ceramic vessels there. Trade was flourishing across the Arabian Gulf in the ancient days. These artifacts bear testimony to this fact.
Another part of living history here is the Al Ain Oases. Even these are more than 3,000 years old. This area is a storehouse of UAE’s civilization and its rich cultural history. These sites are scattered all over Al Qattara, Al Mutaredh, Al Muwaiji, and Al Markazyyah areas. More than 1,33,000 trees are located here
The date palm culture is an integral part of the Arabian heritage. The Falaj – an ancient system of narrow waterways – is still used for irrigating this area. The water comes from mountains almost 30 km away.
Jebel Hafeet lies almost 4000 feet above sea level. As a result, weather conditions are mostly equitable here. The average temperature ranges between 27 to 30 degrees Celsius, though summer temperatures can go up to 42-43 degrees.
Being a desert climate, there is very little rainfall here. The average annual precipitation is not more than 77 mm. However, sometimes in the monsoon, you might clouds all around you at the mountain peak. That is a most pleasant experience.
Best Time to Visit Jebel Hafeet
The best time to visit this natural beauty is between October and April. The weather is equitable to cold, with no precipitation. The sky is clear and you will have a wonderful view from atop the peak. You might also attempt a visit in May but stay away from June to October due to the heat. You will have to remain in the air-conditioned hotel room throughout the day. That won’t be much fun, would it?
Places to Visit in Jebel Hafeet (Al Ain)
An excellent road winds up its way to the top of the mountain. While the road is very well-maintained, it has a steep gradient in several places and hairpin bends as well. That makes it somewhat challenging for the driver. But the superb views that you will enjoy as you go up will make it worth the effort.
For those with higher endurance levels, you always have the option of cycling up. It would be an excellent exercise as well. Take breaks in the middle in the designated areas to relax and recharge yourself.
You can make a day trip to Jebel Hafeet from Dubai, or you might decide to spend a night or two to better soak in the ambiance of the place. In the latter case, you can check into the Mercure Jebel Hafeet resort that is located close by. With spacious rooms, swimming pools, and a choice of different types of cuisines, the resort is the perfect place to chill out.
So, what lies in Jebel Hafeet for you to explore?
This is the greenest location in all of the UAE. It is a kind of a mixture of opposites – where you would see lush green vegetation surrounded by dry mountains without a blade of grass in them. Lots of farmlands are also present amidst all this greenery. This is, indeed, a spectacular feature.
There is also a park here, called the Jebel Hafeet Park. This is a nice picnic spot, where you can also indulge in some barbecuing that’s not allowed atop the mountain. You can check out the hot springs here that bring the water from the Jebel Hafeet Mountains.
It’s among the oldest zoos in the country. The erstwhile ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed, had founded the zoo in 1968. It is spread across a huge area of 400 hectares. More than 4,000 animals from over 200 species grace this garden. Big Cat, Hippos, Desert animals – the zoo is a treat to watch, especially if you come with children.
Al Jahili Fort
Established more than 120 years ago, this fort has been the residence of the ruling family of Abu Dhabi – the Al Nahyan family. The Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage restored it several years back to convert it into a museum for public viewing.
There are different exhibition galleries here that will acquaint you with Emirati history and culture. There is a lush green park outside, so if you are tired of walking all over the fort, you can spend some relaxing time here.
Hili Archaeological Park
There is a children’s play area here so if you have kids with you, you can drop them off here to let them enjoy.
So, there is a range of spectacular sights in and around Jebel Hafeet. Spend some quality time here – and you will gain a wonderful experience of the rich cultural heritage of the UAE.