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Jebel Hafeet (Hafeet Mountain)

Our visit to the city of Al Ain in The United Arab Emirates included a two night stay at the spectacularly located and modern Mercure hotel located not too far from the top of Jebel Hafeet (Hafeet Mountain). Jebel Hafeet is located just south of the Al Ain city straddling the border shared with Oman. Hotel or no hotel, the mountain is an unmissable sight in its own right. The mountain rises 1,249 m (4,098 ft.) and offers an impressive view over Al Ain and beyond. Because it is very well known, Jebel Hafeet is often incorrectly quoted as being U.A.E.'s highest mountain. In fact, this accolade belongs to an unnamed 1,910 m peak just across the border from Jabal Bil Ays in Oman.
A very well constructed road was built in 1986 to 4,000 ft. (1,219 m), stopping just short of the summit. The drive up the majestic rocky mountain on its winding roads (60 turns over 7.3 mi/11.7 km) is certainly worth a visit. It is often cited as one of the most spectacular mountain roads in the World. There are several car parks along the way which provide plenty of viewing opportunities from differing elevations and plenty of photo stops. At the top of the road is a sizeable car/coach park, which makes for a great place to spend a little time simply admiring the views. As with many attractions in U.A.E., there are no charges to park. There is a café where you can have some quick refreshments and also plenty of seating areas, should you take your own packed lunch. Near the top are some buildings that look like something out of a James Bond movie and these are private property. Also nearby is a radar station. (no photography!) The mountain road is popular with cyclists both in training and during competitions which are held there.
Jebel Hafeet was a well-known landmark throughout the area's history. An extensive natural cave system winds through it. The rock formations were eye-catching in places and probably rather interesting to anyone who likes geology. Jebel Hafeet is also a source of fossil finds which provide proof of ancient life-forms. The discovery of calcified corals establishes that the region was once covered by the sea. At the bottom of the hill is Green Mubazarrah, a tourist area where springs, a lake, swimming pools and Jacuzzis are to be found. Jebel Hafeet is also home to a wide range of plants and animals including bats, foxes, birds and snakes.
From the hotel, we made two trips to the not too distant car park at the top of the road; one in the morning and one at night time. Both views were equally stunning and the mountain road with its many twisting corners is all lit up at night.