UAE | Environment

Jebel Hafeet 'must have more attractions'

Highest picnic spot could be more than a parking lot, say some tourist.s

  • By Aftab Kazmi, Bureau Chief
  • Published: 00:44 July 11, 2008
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Supplied Picture
  • The view Jebel Hafeet offers of the surrounding landscape has been attracting thousands of people from all over the UAE particularly during the weekends and national holidays. But tourists find it is not enough.

Al Ain: What a waste of a scenic place this was the remark of a visitor to Jebel Hafeet.

Mariah John, a visitor from Dubai, said she was expecting to see a well-developed tourist spot at the mountain — the so-called highest picnic spot of the country.

Jebel Hafeet is the most westerly mountain of the Hajar mountain range and is located south of Al Ain city. The peak was developed to provide a viewpoint at a height of some 1,240m above the sea level.

The mountain has been attracting thousands of people from all over the UAE particularly during the weekends and national holidays. Mubazzara, a lush green resort, is located in the foothills of Jebel Hafeet.

“I had heard a lot about Jebel Hafeet but coming up the mountain was a disappointment,'' said Mariah. She shared her views with a group of visitors who found nothing worthy to see or enjoy at the top of the mountain.

A restaurant, some temporary toilets, and some steel benches are all that the visitors get to see after a 15km drive up the hill, said a tourist. “It is a prime location that could have been the most attractive tourist point in the emirates,'' said Jehan Aziz, another visitor, adding that the authorities must develop it.

The mountaintop, he said, needs some attractions that could allow people at least to spend a few hours there. Right now it is a huge parking lot. “I have seen people coming all the way up and then making a circle and going back.''

Peter Burgman, a visitor from Dubai, said the place could house an observatory for stargazers, children's play area, and a garden.

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