Jebel Hafit Desert Park is now operated by Pura Eco Retreats…

Living within the whirling hub of a hyper-modern city — comes with many immediately identifiable benefits. But for a balanced life, we advise every now and then, to seek out opportunities to reconnect with the natural world.

There are many beautiful locations across the UAE where you can heed the call of the wild, but few have quite the pull of Jebel Hafit Desert Park. Part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Jebel Hafit is Abu Dhabi’s tallest peak, located in Al Ain, about 90 minutes’ drive from the capital city. And the park has just reopened for a new winter season.


Now operated by Pura Eco Retreats, the team that brought you those gorgeous glamping bubbles on Jubail Island, the campground offers static high-end tented accommodation as well as pitches for those that wish to bring their own canvas and poles.

For those accepting the BYOT invitation (bring your own tent) there are plenty of plots of varying size, and each of them comes with a rustic fire pit for toasting marshmallows, singing songs, telling tall tales and spirited ghost stories or just staring up at the fiery balls of gas blinking at you from the void. Prices start at around Dhs162 per night.

Prefer something a little more fixed and fancy? There are traditional Bedouin-inspired ‘Heritage Tents’ with AC and a minibar (from around Dhs375); Sky Bubble Tents — equipped with panoramic windows and a telescope making it the perfect fit for awe-chasing sky nomads (limited to two adults, from Dhs765); and Skylight Domes which come with AC, and a TV (sleeps up to two adults and two kids, from around Dhs720).


Holiday-makers come here to hike the heritage trails, mountain bike (rental available), enjoy dune buggy tours, ride camels and breathe in the rare fresh air (and lack of light pollution) that contributes to the perfect conditions for astronomy.

Those with a historical thirst should make the trek to Jebel Hafit’s two archeological sites. One, a neolithic excavation, dates back 8,000 years — whilst the other, a 5,000-year-old tomb was excavated in 1959 on the orders of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

If you’re interested you’ll have to be quick, the season is drawing to a close soon.


Breakfast rates are available on the fixed accommodation, and the website promises ‘exciting gastronomy experiences’ are coming soon. There is, we know, a Hafit Foothills Lounge – which opened at the end of March this year. It currently offers (barbecue) dinner and a show.

For more ideas on where to get your glamp on, check out our guide to the UAE’s camping hot spots.

You can book your stay now at, or by calling: (03) 711 8362 

Images: Pura Eco Retreats