A visit to the hot springs at Green Mubazarrah in Al Ain is a great way to unwind. With the Jebel Hafeet towering in the background, you can rest assured this will be nice outing.
The best time to visit is at dusk. It’s not very hot and seeing you’re in desert country, it’s important the sun ain’t shining and giving you a heat stroke! Dipping your feet in the little streams, pools or hot tubs that carry the water from the source is good. The water is really hot though and the bottom a little slippery. So, sit comfortably on a cushion (which you probably have to carry) and then ease your feet into the water. It feels good after a bit and I thought takes away any aches and pains you may have. I may have imagined it, but it felt so good to sit there, sip on a soda and just mull about life in general.
Jebel Hafeet literally means empty mountain. It’s in Al Ain on the border between UAE and Oman. This mountain is about 26 kms long and 4-5 kms wide. At 4098 feet, it’s the 2nd highest mountain in the UAE and has a great view of Al Ain. After you soak your feet, you can drive right to the top of the mountain. Many caves exist in Jebel Hafeet and some of them have stalagmites (a rock formation that rises from the floor and might touch the top in time) and stalactites (a formation that hangs from the roof of a cave). The caves are home to animals like snakes, bats, rodents, hyraxes (small herbivores like a badger) and foxes. Apparently, there are 117 species of birds, 23 species of beautiful butterflies and 200 species of various insects (not very appealing to me for sure, as I hate creepy crawlies)!!
At the foothills there are numerous tombs some dating back to 2700 BC. Some skeletons found there were adorned with bronze and pearls. It is actually now a world heritage site.
There is a mountain road if you wish to drive up about 11.3 kms. For the hardy, you can cycle up (me, I won’t even think about that strenuous an exercise!). There are 2 lanes going up and 1 coming down. It winds its way up with about 60 turns. There is a hotel at the top where you can quench your thirst and grab a bite. There is an annual road cycling race that happens every January. If you are really interested, go for it!
Apparently, an Arabian leopard was spotted there in the mid 70’s. It was shot and killed. There was a sighting in 1993. But now nothing…so go enjoy. There are no leopards lurking around waiting to pounce on you. Relax with your feet in hot spring water, drive up the mountain, have a meal there. It’s very relaxing!
If you need someone reliable to organize your tour for you, contact www.unitedworld.ae
Mavis Mendonca Smith