Al Ain – A Garden City in the Midst of a Desert!

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On our way to Al Ain

The highway connecting Dubai and Abu Dhabi is the longest in the country running almost parallel to the coastline along the Persian Gulf. The more than an hour-long journey through the golden sand on both the sides of the road will make your eyes numb. The only exciting moment can be a sudden sight of camels crossing the road or just passing by quietly.

IMG_4418But slowly the views on both the sides start changing. Well decorated roundabouts, lined date palms, and the parks indicated that we have reached Al Ain. It means a ‘spring’. You can soak your eyes in the greenery all around. What a relief!

Al Ain is the one and only date-palm oasis in the United Arab Emirates. Situated in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, on the border of ‘Oman’, Al Ain is often referred to as the ‘Garden City of the Gulf’. Our main destinations here were the top of the Jabel Hafeet Mountains and hot springs at the base.

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Finally some greenery

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Distant view of the Hafeet Montains

Jabel Hafeet Mountains

Although the ranges of Jabel Hafeet overlaps UAE and Oman but the peak is solely situated in UAE and dominates the landscape of Al Ain. The Jabel Hafeet Mountain road which took us to the top (4000 ft) is said to the greatest driving roads in the world. The three lane road (two ascending and one descending) cuts through the barren rocky terrain and it looks like ribbon from the top. The steep twists and turns, sharp hairpin bends and high-speed makes it even more adventurous.

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Meandering roads to the top of the mountain

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Jabel Hafeet with the oasis at the base

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Top of Hafeet Mountain

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View of the Jabel Hafeet Mountain road from the top

The awesome journey on the meandering road ends at a huge parking area and refreshment centre. You can have a magnificent view of the city from the top. The rulers reside right at the top of the Hafeet Mountains. We enjoyed the much-needed break after the ‘tornado ride’ to the top.

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View at night

Green Mubazarrah

At the base, the main tourist attraction is Green Mubazarrah. It is a very special oasis with thermal springs in the middle of the desert. One of the few places in UAE that offers lush green landscape with a rocky terrain at the backdrop.

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At the base of Hafeet Mountains, where you can spend hours

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Sharp contrast

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Green Mubazarrah – Al Ain

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Enjoying the warm water accumulated from the hot springs

Hot springs rise to the facade from the rough and undulating plains, to naturally nourish the greenery around. All the water gets accumulated into narrow streams where you can dip your feet and relax. The hot springs are well-known for its remedial qualities.

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