The mountains are calling
When the UAE comes up in a conversation the first thing that usually comes to mind is luxury, shopping, the man-made attractions and things along those lines. If you take the time to explore you will find that there is a lot more to experience in this magnificent desert. Curious yet? No worries, we at Geo Travels are dedicated to providing you with unique experiences to make your next visit to the UAE an adventure.
To all my explorers out there, this blog is dedicated especially to you. Here are four striking spots you may have never heard of that promise to appeal to your inner adventurer.
1. Hatta Mountains
Located between Dubai and Oman, this gorgeous mountain is less than two-hours drive from Dubai and is a part of the Hajar mountains. The most popular thing to do at this site is to journey upwards to view the Hatta Dam, one of the most tranquil regions with clear turquoise water. Watersports such as water biking, boating, kayaking and pedal boat rides can be expected here and come at very affordable prices.
Open from Sundays to Thursdays between 07:30 am – 02:30 pm, the Hatta Mountain Bike Trails (MBT) 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, with the option to hire a bike from there.
Hatta mountains have several excellent hotels to stay including the Hatta Sedr Trailers Resort by Meraas, the Hatta Damani Lodges and JA Hatta Fort Hatta Hotel.
2. Jebel Jais
Part of the Hajar mountain range, this popular Ras Al Khaimah mountain is the highest in the UAE standing at an altitude of 1,934 metres. Existing for over 70 million years, this ridge is perfect for a weekend getaway. With 7 viewing decks and 10 binoculars, you can view the scenic valleys of the mountain that is 1,250 metres above sea level.
Explore the various other attractions like the zip line, hiking track, barbecue and camping site, and restaurants. Thinking about spending a little more time here? Situated 18 miles away, the Mangrove Hotel provides elegantly decorated rooms to ensure you get the dose of luxury you deserve.
3. Jebel Hafeet
Rising 1,240 metres above sea level, this is the second-highest mountain in the UAE and the highest peak in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. The perfect time to visit this wonder which is part of the Hajar mountains and forged from limestone is between November and January when the weather is pleasant.
There are two ways to get to the top. You could either take a chilled drive all the way or opt for the more adventurous means and cycle your way to the peak. No matter the choice, you have to travel through the spectacular Jebel Hafeet Mountain Road, famous for its picture-perfect vistas.
Home to several historical and archaeological remains, the Jebel Hafeet Desert Park, recognized by UNESCO, attests to the rich past of Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. Guests are given the chance to discover fossils up to 5,000 years old which mark the initiation of the Bronze Age in the UAE. The park offers a wealth of other fun activities such as biking, hiking, luxury camping and 4WD tours to explore different sections of the Desert Park and a trip to scenic spots.
The Mercure Jebel Hafeet Hotel is a unique mountain oasis resort at the top of historical Jebel Hafeet. At the lofty height of 3,000 feet, this is the perfect place to kick back and relax after a full day of sightseeing.
4. Jebel Faya
Famous for its rugged terrain, this limestone mountain in Sharjah possesses significant archaeological history. Built around a preserved Umm Al Nar era tomb ((Mother of the Fire) is the name given to a Bronze Age culture), the Mleiha archaeological centre features detailed excavations and discoveries made over 40 years at Mleiha and surrounding areas. These findings point to the spread of humanity from Africa across the Red Sea to the Persian Gulf region, and onward to populate the world through Iran, India, Europe and Asia.
Don’t be so quick to run off, spend the weekend or day at the Jebel Faya Lodge for a tranquil stay from the hustle and bustle of the city.