Rising 1,240 meters, Jebel Hafeet is the emirate’s highest peak, and UAE’s second. This towering rocky height, which stands guard over Al Ain and borders Oman, is forged out of craggy limestone that has been weathered over millions of years. Significant fossil discoveries have been made in the area, which are vital pieces in the jigsaw of the city’s ancient history.
You can drive or, if you have the stamina, cycle to the top via a winding highway, which edmunds.com (the automotive information online source) describes as “among the world’s greatest driving roads.” Once you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with magnificent views over Al Ain, where you can take a break at the Mercure Jebel Hafeet hotel near the Jebel’s peak.
JEBEL HAFEET TOMBS
Over 500 ancient burial tombs dating back 5,000 years have been found in the Jebel Hafeet foothills.
The 5000-year-old Jebel Hafeet tombs mark the beginning of the Bronze Age in the UAE. Excavations by Danish archaeologists in 1959 found evidence for ceramic vessels and copper artefacts in these tombs. These artefacts indicate the importance of maritime trade across the Arabian Gulf.
The tombs are single-chamber tombs and are made of local unworked or roughly cut stones. These differ from later Umm an-Nar tombs which were made from finely worked blocks that contained the remains of hundreds of people.