10 cool UAE getawaysBe the first to comment 21 August 2012
Summer may be behind us (almost), but the humidity still hangs thick in the air. Luckily, there are plenty of great destinations in the region that offer respite from the clammy weather, and cooler temperatures all round – whether it’s due to high altitudes, pleasant sea breezes, an abundance of shaded wadis, or subtropical microclimates. We round up ten places to visit while the UAE weather is still steamy, most of which are just a short drive away.
Jebel Hafeet, Al Ain
The cool factor: Located further inland than most of the UAE’s towns and cities, Al Ain doesn’t suffer from the same levels of humidity. Figures from Abu Dhabi National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology released in 2009 put average humidity at 37.2 percent in August and 44.2 percent in September – around 15 percent less than in Abu Dhabi. If the low humidity isn’t enough to tempt you to pay a visit, keep in mind that the spectacular Jebel Hafeet area is just minutes from the huge Wadi Adventure waterpark, which houses man-made white-water rafting and kayaking facilities, as well as an impressive surf pool.
The lowdown: Al Ain is considered to be one of the most conservative cities in the UAE, but it is better known as the ‘Garden City’ courtesy of its natural abundance of flora (when compared with the rest of the UAE, at least). As well as its water-based attractions, the area is also home to a large zoo – entry is a very reasonable Dhs15.
Where to stay: The Al Ain Rotana has a number of cafés, restaurants and bars (including its own Trader Vic’s). It also features a large swimming pool, a spa, gym, beauty salon and barber shop, with rooms from Dhs450 per night.
Getting there: Head out of Dubai on the Dubai-Al Ain Road (Route 66). Once you’ve taken the turning for Al Ain (about an hour or so later), you’ll need a map handy – Al Ain is known as ‘the city of roundabouts’, and things can get very, very confusing.
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