UAE is famous around the globe for glitzy and glamorous cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi with their skyscrapers, restaurants and other attractions. Similarly, the emirate of Sharjah is known for its culture and heritage, while Ras Al Khaimah is an adventure buff’s paradise. But apart from the contemporary skyscrapers and man-made attractions, UAE is home to several impressive mountain ranges. In this post, we will explore different mountains in the UAE where you can camp or enjoy a day trip away from the city life.
Most of these UAE mountains are a part of the Al Hajar mountain range (also referred to as Hajjar and Hajar mountains), which is spread over a large part of UAE and Oman.
FUN THINGS TO DO IN THE MOUNTAINS IN THE UAE
Some of the most famous mountains in UAE include the highest peak in the country; Jebel Jais located in the stunning Hajjar Mountains, Hatta Mountains, Al Faya in Sharjah, and Jebel Hafeet in Al Ain. Read on to find out more about the various mountain ranges in UAE.
Jebel Jais is a popular Ras Al Khaimah mountain, is part of the spectacular Hajjar Mountain range in UAE. Standing at an altitude of 1,934 metres, it is the highest mountain in UAE. Existing for over 70 million years, the Jebel Jais mountain features some of the most breathtaking views.
VIEWING DECK PARK
Jebel Jais stands out among the other mountains in United Arab Emirates for its grandeur and the various attractions. Considered as a popular tourist attraction, visitors have plenty of things to at Jebel Jais in RAK. Residents in Dubai and Sharjah, in particular, consider a visit to Jebel Jais as one of the best weekend attractions, especially once the temperature cools down.
The Viewing Deck Park in Jebel Jais is an ideal location to explore the mountain. With 7 viewing decks and 10 binoculars, visitors can view the scenic valleys of the mountain that is 1,250 metres above sea level.
HIKING AND ZIP LINING
Apart from the Viewing Deck Park, the Jebel Jais mountain has several other attractions including a zip line, hiking track, barbecue and camping site and restaurants. Visiting and spending a day at Jebel Jais is one of the most popular things to do in Ras Al Khaimah.
The second mountain on our list is the Jebel Hafeet Mountain. Visitors will be delighted to know that there are a plethora of things to do at Jebel Hafeet. Rising 1,240 metres above sea level, Jebel Hafeet is the second largest mountain in the UAE and the highest peak in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. This UAE mountain is also a part of the Hajar mountain range.
This magnificent mountain towers over Al Ain and spreads over the border to Oman. The best time to visit Jebel Hafeet is in November, December and January when the weather is pleasant. The mountains are forged out of limestone that has weathered over millions of years.
FOSSILS AT JEBEL HAFEET
Jebel Hafeet is popular for its unique fossil discoveries. Fossils as old as 5,000 years were discovered in the area. Excavations in the area indicate that the tombs at Jebel Hafeet mark the initiation of the Bronze Age in the UAE. Some of the discoveries include copper artefacts and ceramic vessels.
JEBEL HAFEET MOUNTAIN ROAD
There are two ways to get to the top. The first one is to drive all the way while the second method is for the more adventurous folks where you have to cycle your way to the top.
Either way, you have to travel through the gorgeous Jebel Hafeet Mountain Road, famous for its picture-perfect vistas. Strabag International of Cologne, Germany had built the iconic road that is a challenge for cyclists who frequently visit and train in the area.
JEBEL HAFEET DESERT PARK
The Jebel Hafeet Desert Park is home to several historical and archaeological remains that attests to the rich history of Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. Recognised in 2011 as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Jebel Hafeet Desert Park offers a wealth of fun activities including:
- Individual, serviced and luxury camping
- 4WD tours to explore different sections of the Desert Park and a trip to scenic spots around Jebel Hafeet.
WHERE TO STAY AT JEBEL HAFEET
If you’re planning to visit, you can stay at the Mercure Jebel Hafeet Hotel.
- Opening hours: The Hotel is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Location: Mercure Grand Jebel Hafeet Al Ain Hotel
- Contact: +971-3-704-6888
One of the most popular mountains in Dubai, which is a part of the Hajar range is the Hatta Mountain. This gorgeous mountainous region is a part of the emirate of Dubai. Located about 105 kilometres or an hour and 30-minute drive away this mountain retreat has a lot to offer. It’s a major part of the Hajjar Mountains as the area borders the emirate of Sharjah and Oman.
THE HATTA DAM
One of the best things to do in the Hatta mountains in the UAE is to head to the famous Hatta Dam. People from Dubai and Sharjah frequent the Hatta Dam and nearby areas for a perfect day trip or a long weekend. The Hatta Dam is inarguably one of the most tranquil regions with clear turquoise water.
The perfectly turquoise waters of the Hatta dam are perfect for watersports such as water biking, boating, kayaking and pedal boat rides. Kayaking in Hatta is one of the most popular activity among tourists visiting the area. Refer to the prices below for different water sports at Hatta Dam.
The entry fees for kayaking in Hatta can be paid directly at the venue.
PRICES FOR KAYAK RENTAL IN HATTA – UNLIMITED
- Single Kayaks: AED 60
- Double Kayaks: AED 150
PEDAL BOATS – ONE HOUR
- Blue Pedal Boat: AED 120
- Yellow Boat: AED 150
WATER BIKES – ONE HOUR
- Single Water Bike: AED 60
- Double Water Bike: AED 120
- Triple Water Bike: AED 180
- Donut Boat (One Hour): AED 300
- Tour Boat with a driver (25mins) – AED 600
MOUNTAIN BIKING IN HATTA
The Hatta Mountain Bike trails are worth a visit for adventure buffs. The first of its kind in the Middle East, the Hatta MBT Centre is home to a cross-country route that has trails for all abilities. The Hatta Mountain bike trails are free to ride. You can also hire a bike from there.
- Opening hours: Sunday to Thursday 07:30 am – 02:30 pm
- Showka Bikes rent: AED 75 per hour
- Contact: +971-4-852-1002
WHERE TO STAY AT HATTA MOUNTAINS
Hatta mountains have several excellent hotels and other places to stay including Trailer style hotels in UAE such as the Hatta Sedr Trailers Resort by Meraas. Other places to stay are the Hatta Damani Lodges and JA Hatta Fort Hatta Hotel.
Jebel Faya is a limestone mountain in Sharjah and the area is famous for its rugged terrain. The mountain is also significant archaeological significance to the area. Take a tour of the Mlieha Archaeological Centre to explore different parts of the Jebel Faya and the nearby archaeological and historical sites.
WHERE TO STAY AT JEBEL FAYA
While visiting Jebel Faya, visitors can spend a weekend or day at the Jebel Faya Lodge for a tranquil stay away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Location: Al Batayeh – Al Faya Road Al Modam Rd., Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
That’s all for our list of mountains in the UAE. Another mountain range in the region is Jebel Dhanna in Abu Dhabi. If you wish to visit Jebel Dhanna, you can stay at the Danat resort that offers a wealth of fun and exciting activities including snorkelling, desert safari and much more. So, plan a road trip around the UAE this winter and explore what each emirate has to offer.