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A mountain retreat in Al Ain

Since becoming a parent, I have always approached leaving home with trepidation. Being a Dubai expat, our only vacation is going 'home' once a year. But as Little Dude is growing up and becoming more independent, I decided that I may be able to survive a two-hour drive! My husband chose an excellent destination - Jebel Hafeet in Al Ain, which is a part of Abu Dhabi (the capital of UAE).

It takes exactly two hours to reach Jebel Hafeet, a rocky mountain area, driving from Dubai, if you stay in the speed limit, that is (which is 120 kph or 74 mph by the way!). The E66 highway was beautiful. We encountered numerous camel farms and the sand was just so pristine. I could actually make out the subtle differences in the shades of sand. We reached Al Ain city, and it was a surprise! Lined with huge villas (we would call them bungalows) and greenery everywhere. I didn't see a single high-rise like in Dubai, which made the place look magical - like this was a city of kings! Now, Al Ain has a good many tourist spots such as natural oases, wildlife parks and archaeological sites. I must go back and explore those some time.

Then view suddenly changed with our ascent on to Jebel Hafeet.

Jebel Hafeet, Al Ain (Pic: Tarana Khan)
Winding road to Jebel Hafeet

There is only one resort at the top of this mountain - The Mercure Grand Hotel.The hotel was a pretty sight after the drive and more greenery greeted us inside.

Jebel Hafeet, Al Ain (Pic: Tarana Khan)
Inside Mercure Grand
From our balcony on the fourth floor, nothing could have looked more inviting than the pools glistening in the sun, surrounded by the mountains. The pools were as nice as they looked from above - only, Little Dude refused to get in! Oh well, he did enjoy running around the lawn at least.

Jebel Hafeet, Al Ain (Pic: Tarana Khan)
Pool fun!

What I like about the place that it is very child-friendly and that is obviously, my first criteria for choosing a place. There are clean changing facilities for babies. The kids play area outside is nice, along with a fun kids pool that is carefully cut off from the grown-up area. They have an indoor play area as well, a babysitting service and provide travel cots on request.

Jebel Hafeet, Al Ain (Pic: Tarana Khan)
View from near the pools

We had a great weekend getaway and the weather was on our side as well! I would recommend a trip to Jebel Hafeet and Al Ain city for those looking for a staycation in the UAE and for tourists who have enough time to explore.

(Pics: Tarana Khan)

This post has been linked to Country Kids at the Coombe Mill blog.

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12 comments

Cropped Stories said...

Hey there, stopping by from the Blog Hop! Just wanted to let you know I am now following you via Bloglovin'! I also liked your Facebook page! I hope you'll get the chance to visit me :o) You can find me here:

Blog url
http://www.croppedstories.blogspot.com

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http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/3718883

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https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cropped-Stories/615495055132216

Cropped Stories said...

Just wanted to say thanks so much for the follow back on Bloglovin'! I really appreciate it! Hope you had a wonderful Friday :o)

Richa said...

Hi Tarana

The pics look fab. We too went to Al Ain's Green Mubazzarah a couple of weeks ago. Read here (http://clouds-rain-and-sunshine.blogspot.ae/2013/03/a-day-amidst-nature.html). But didnt tek up to Jebel Hafeet. Did you also stay there?

TK said...

Hi Richa, thanks for stopping by! Yes, we stayed overnight and it was worth it!

Yellow Bells said...

Hi always love jebel hafeet its an enchanting place and i dream to sleep in the mountains probably check in at the hotel over there, very nice view. coming from weekend wonderings by sandier pastures

TK said...

Staying overnight is worth it, for sure. Thank you for stopping by!

Kriss MacDonald said...

What amazing scenery and a great destination. Its good to know about as well since some day we hope to visit good friends of ours in Dubai and it looks like a great sidetrip/overnight to do.

Sara Murray said...

This looks beautiful. I'm glad you had a successful family weekend away :) #CountryKids

pinkoddy said...

Jebel looks and sounds such a nice place.

Tarana Khan said...

Yes, it's totally worth it!

Coombe Mill said...

What gorgeous scenery and such a fab place to stay. Thanks for linking up and sharing your staycation with Country Kids.

CARA GREENFIELD said...

Wow what a stunning weekend away. How wonderful to live so close to such a beautiful destination. Xx #countrykids

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