Jebel Hafeet – Al Ain – Day Trip

Hello Everyone,

This weekend is a long weekend in the UAE due to a religious holiday so Perry and I decided to make the most of having the extra day and planned a day trip down to Al Ain right on the border with Oman on the Saturday, and go up the second highest peak in the UAE – Jebel Hafeet.

Some brief facts about Jebel Hafeet:

  • Its approx 1300m high
  • Straddles the border with Oman
  • The Jebel Hafeet Mountain Road extends for 7.3 mi (11.7 km) up the mountain, rising 4,000 ft (1,219 m)
  • The Mountain Road has 21 corners and was once called the greatest driving road in the world by Edmunds.com
  • The road climbs to the top of the mountain with just a couple small cafes, a hotel and a palace (belonging to the country’s rulers) at the top
  • The road was built by a German company
  • There is the annual road cycling competition called The Jebel Hafeet Mercure Challenge taking place sometime in January

So we left home early in the morning and stopped to get some coffee and petrol along the way … it didnt take us too long to get there and the drive is pretty boring really … just a straight road and lots of sand with trees lining the edges of the road …

Once we actually got to Al Ain itself we felt like we’d arrived in Milton Keynes … there are no traffic lights and hundreds of roundabouts … even so we managed to navigate our way through the roundabouts and traffic was pretty quiet at that time of the morning … so we got through the city quite quickly.

On Approach to Jebel Hafeet …

As we reached the base of the mountain we pulled over so Perry could attach the Go Pro to the roof of the car for the ride up (film of this to come once hes done editing it) …

At this time it was about 11am and at the base of the mountain it was 42 degrees … I hopped out aswell to get a few pictures and really hoped it would be a bit cooler once we got to the top …

So once everything was setup properly with the camera … which was hard to tell with all the glare from the sun … made it awkward … but soon we were off twisting and turning up the mountain road … this 12km stretch of road was pretty much the main reason we came here today … Perry enjoys driving and it does get quite boring driving up and down a straight motorway most of the time … so he enjoyed taking the car round the hairpins …

Once we made it to the top … there was basically a huge virtually empty car park … a cafe place at one end with a load of old arcade games … and a 360 degree view from the top of the mountain … it was great … although abit hazy we still could make out a fair bit …

Graffiti on the side of the mountain …

I would not want to sit on those metal chairs after they’ve been in the sun for so long …

Old school games and rides …

The car park, the car, the peak and the cafe …

It was about 6 degrees cooler at the top but still really hot … we kept running back to the car to cool down …

One thing that you could see from the top which I thought was quite interesting … was you could see the change in the colour of the sand in the desert … the UAE has two types of sand … the traditional yellow sand and a darker red/orange sand … and this darker colour is caused by the different mineral concentrations …

View from the top … looking out towards North and you can see Al Ain in the distance …

After a couple drinks and a quick nibble of some food we decided to drive back down stopping along the way at a few of the different observation points to take pictures and generally to just enjoy the views …

The Mercure Grand Hotel …

Me getting all “Flappity” cause there was a fly buzzing around my ears …

Perry refusing to get out of the car …

A little bit lower down the mountain we could get clearer views of the road we had come up and some of the twists and turns along the way … I do wish it had been abit clearer that day but it was still alot of fun …

A resort at the bottom of Jebel Hafeet …

Al Ain in the distance …

Yet another looping turn … The car gives the whole thing abit of scale …

We stopped at an observation point about halfway down and sat in the car eating out lunch trying to decide what to do with the rest of our day … we hadnt really thought beyond driving up and down the mountain … and as it happened there wasnt much else to do in Al Ain … in this heat anyways … so we decided to go home and stop by the Dubai Outlet Mall on our way …

Perry Driving …

Back at the bottom of the mountain and things had really heated up …

On the road back to Dubai …

We didnt spend long at the outlet mall in the end … but we were there long enough for me to break my phone 😦 … well its not exactly broken … it still works … but I managed to crack the glass on the back … which is crap but atleast it wasnt the front glass or completely unusable … so I guess it could have always been worse …

Back in Dubai … heading home along Sheikh Zayed Road …

So in the end we were back home around 4pm … just in time for the kittens to wake up from their afternoon naps … so we spent the rest of the afternoon playing with them and lavishing them with attentions … Later in the evening we headed out to a new restaurant that had opened up literally just below our building along the Marina walk … its called Monte Carlo Stars … so we werent really expecting much … although we were pleasently surprised by the place … its basically a sports bar/restaurant … they have themed booths and private tv screens so you can watch the sports with your dinner … its a shame its not a licensed bar otherwise I’d imagine it would be packed …

Dinner was a Chilli Beef Burger … Yummy …

In other news we had a pretty relaxed weekend … we went round to a friends apartment on Thursday night for some dinner and I made brownies for dessert … then Perry made me breakfast in bed Friday morning … it was more like dessert for breakfast though … warmed up leftover brownies, vanilla ice cream and crushed meringues … NOM NOM NOM …

Went down to the Marina Mall for dinner and to the cinema … we saw Prometheus … which was alot more gruesome than either of us anticipated … I wanted to see Madagascar 3 … but no, we had to go see Perry’s movie choice … and I ended up with nightmares …

Other than that its all been relatively quiet around here … We are going to have Pooh come to stay with us for the summer from this week … so will be looking forward to having her with us again … And I’m spending the rest of today doing odd bits and pieces around the flat getting ready for the week … trying to keep it relatively relaxed today …

Hope everyone else is enjoying their weekends … Oh and I just wanted to wish my Dad a happy fathers day back in the UK …

Till next time …

Mina X

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3 thoughts on “Jebel Hafeet – Al Ain – Day Trip

  1. Pingback: Our First Year In Dubai … | Our Adventures In The Middle East

  2. Pingback: Thursday’s Weekly Roundup … Family … Knitting & A Car Accident … | Our Adventures In The Middle East

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