Jebel Hafeet mountain is one of the most spectacular places to see in the United Arab Emirates: located along the border with Oman, it offers a breathtaking view of the Rub’ al-Khali, the largest sand desert in the world, and the city of Al Ain, a wonderful oasis included in the UNESCO World Heritage lists.
Today you can reach the summit of Jebel Hafeet by driving on a scenic winding road, which is particularly popular with road travel enthusiasts, cyclists and motorcyclists.
Jebel Hafeet: Why is this rugged mountain near Al Ain worth visiting?
1. Jebel Hafeet is the second highest mountain in the UAE
The Jebel Hafeet reaches a height of 1249 meters and dominates the city of Al Ain, built in an important oasis in the middle of the desert, located along the ancient caravan routes.
The rugged mountain of Jebel Hafeet marks the border between Oman and the United Arab Emirates, and is considered part of the Hajar Mountains, which also includes Jebel Jais, the highest mountain in the UAE, located in the territory of Ras Al Khaimah.
2. The road up Jebel Hafeet is recognized as one of the most scenic in the region
You can climb to the top of Jebel Hafeet by driving along a steep and winding road that starts from Al Ain and goes up to the Mercure Grand Jebel Hafeet Al Ain Hotel, from where you can enjoy a crazy view!
The road is in excellent condition, it is wide and adventurous, perfect to be traveled at sunrise or sunset. It is very scenic, which is why it is frequently chosen as a film set.
Along the way you will find many viewpoints where you can stop to admire the breathtaking view over the city of Al Ain, with its green oases and the hot spring area called Green Mubazzarah. The view from the top extends to the horizon over the vast Rub’ al-Khali desert.
This road is particularly popular with road travel enthusiasts and cyclists, who come from all over the world to train on the challenging climb.
3. The area around the Jebel Hafeet is included in the UNESCO World Heritage lists
For over 8000 years the area where the Jebel Hafeet stands has been inhabited by prehistoric civilizations and desert tribes. The first traces of civilization date back to the Neolithic period and today the area is the site of an important archaeological excavation. The slopes of Jebel Hafeet can be explored by enthusiasts by off-road vehicle, mountain bike or horseback.
This area, which stretches over 9 kilometers in length, is now a family-friendly attraction, attracting visitors from all over the globe. The excavations began in the mid-1900s and in 2011 their importance was recognized by UNESCO, which included the Jebel Hafit Desert Park and its incredible landscape in the list of World Heritage Sites.
4. At the foot of the Jebel Hafeet you can visit ancient tombs dating back over 5000 years
If you want to feel like a real explorer, then go and visit the remains of ancient tombs dating back to the Neolithic period, between 8000 and 5000 years ago.
The ancient tombs are located in a particularly scenic area, and can be reached with a good off-road vehicle.
Most of the archaeological finds from this area, such as artifacts dating from the Bronze and Iron Ages, can be seen in the museums of Al Ain.
5. The nearby city of Al Ain is one of the UAE’s most hidden gems and you just can’t miss it!
To visit Jebel Hafeet you have to head to Al Ain, a city of over 600,000 inhabitants located in the middle of the desert.
Al Ain is located in a beautiful desert oasis, surrounded by dusty sand dunes and the rugged mountain of Jebel Hafeet. The border between the UAE and Oman runs right along the city center of Al Ain, and this allows us to understand the importance and vitality that this city has had since ancient times.
Al Ain is located along ancient caravan routes, and the Bedouins used to stop here to rest their camels and stock up on water and dates. Even today in Al Ain you can breathe the ancient charm of the old days.
You can visit marvelous fortresses that look like mysterious sand castles in the desert, take long walks in fascinating oases, in the shade of over 150,000 palm trees. Al Ain is the ideal place to enjoy a few days away from the hustle and bustle of Dubai or Abu Dhabi, or even just a day trip to admire its wonderful landscapes.
Staying on top of Jebel Hafeet: the Mercure Grand Jebel Hafeet Hotel
Many travelers choose to stay a few days in Al Ain and its beautiful surroundings, due to the calm and relaxed atmosphere and breathtaking landscape, among the most beautiful you can see in the UAE.
One of the most scenic places to stay in Al Ain is right on the summit of Jebel Hafeet, over 900 meters high. Here, next to palaces belonging to the ruling family of Abu Dhabi (Al Ain is located in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi), is the Mercure Grand Jebel Hafeet Al Ain Hotel, one of the most famous hotels in Al Ain.
This hotel offers stunning views over the entire region, and is particularly popular with couples and families, who can enjoy its swimming pools, spa and enjoy a cocktail while relaxing on the terrace with stunning views of the city of Al Ain.
The Mercure Grand Jebel Hafeet Al Ain Hotel offers spacious, comfortable and well-equipped rooms, three excellent restaurants serving local and international cuisine and free private parking.
A great alternative in the Al Ain area is the Telal Resort Al Ain, an amazing resort located in the middle of the desert, in a breathtaking setting. It is approximately 30km from Al Ain and is perfect for couples and travelers looking for an unforgettable place to stay.
How to get to Jebel Hafeet
To get to Jebel Hafeet from Dubai or Abu Dhabi you have to head to the city of Al Ain, located inland towards the border with Oman.
The most convenient, fun and economical way to reach the Jebel Hafeet is to rent a car and drive through the scenic roads (paved and in excellent condition) that cross the desert and from Dubai and Abu Dhabi lead to Al Ain. From here it is about 50 km, including 11 km of scenic mountain road, to reach the summit of Jebel Hafeet.
Many visitors choose to visit Al Ain and its surroundings on a guided day trip from Dubai or from Abu Dhabi. With local guides you can discover Al Ain’s most interesting places to see, including the Jebel Hafeet, without having to worry about a thing, as round-trip transportation from Dubai and Abu Dhabi hotels and a great, hearty lunch are usually included.
Places to visit near the Jebel Hafeet
At the foot of the Jebel Hafeet is the city of Al Ain, with its ancient fortresses, its fascinating oases, the last authentic camel market, and the famous hot springs. In Al Ain you can also find shops, supermarkets and excellent restaurants.