Seven beautiful mountaintop hotels within driving distance of Dubai

Escape to cooler climes this summer with a lofty stay surrounded by nature

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Breathtaking vistas and breezy afternoons are a winning combination at this time of year — and the mountains surrounding the UAE are the best places to find both.

With several high-altitude getaways located in the emirates or a short road trip away, travellers looking to elevate their next holiday are spoilt for choice.

From luxury castaway vibes at Six Senses Zighy Bay, Dibba, Oman, to a stay in the craggy highlands of Hatta, Dubai, these retreats are all less than a six-hour drive away.

1. Hatta Sedr Trailers Resort, Dubai

Hatta Sedr Trailers Resort. Airstream Outside deck

Nestled high in the Hajar Mountains, Sedr Trailers Resort is one of the most unique glamping resorts in the UAE. Channelling retro vibes, this getaway offers mountain accommodation by way of gleaming silver Airstream-style campers. Inside, the trailers have everything needed for a comfortable escape including flat-screen TVs, kitchenettes and comfortable beds, not to mention private bathrooms. Outside, there’s a terrace to unwind on as you take in unobstructed views of the craggy Hatta peaks and the nearby Hatta Dam.

Stays from Dh1,150 ($313), open seasonally;www.visithatta.com

2. Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort, Oman

Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort in Oman. Photo: Antony Hansen

Drive about five hours from Dubai to Jabal Akhdar, Oman, where Anantara Jabal Akhdar commands the top spot on the mountain. Known as the highest luxury resort in the Middle East, this escape is famed for its epic vistas with guests able to look out over deep channels and ancient villages, as well as catch stunning sunsets from Diana’s Point — a place Princess Diana frequented on a trip to Oman with Prince Charles in 1986.

The resort’s beautifully landscaped gardens are packed with flowers and fruits, while late summer marks the start of pomegranate season when the land is bursting with the bright green and pink fruits. There’s also an infinity pool overlooking the clifftop, open-air yoga with valley views and a site dedicated to stargazing, which easily makes this one of the best mountaintop retreats in this part of the world.

Stays from Dh1,059 ($288);www.anantara.com

3. Six Senses Zighy Bay, Oman

Six Senses Zighy Bay offers a mountain escape just two hours from Dubai. Photo: Six Senses Zighy Bay

Located about a two-hour drive from Dubai, Six Senses Zighy Bay is nestled in the Musandam Peninsula, Oman. The hotel offers guests the chance to make an unforgettable entrance, by paragliding through the air before landing in the luxury resort. The all-villa escape ensures guests are guaranteed sumptuous views, with rooms overlooking the Hajar peaks and the untouched beach. There’s something quite magical about having a mountain backdrop on one side and the beautiful Arabian Gulf on the other — making it easy to see why Six Senses Zighy Bay remains an ever-popular getaway.

Stays from Dh3,302 ($898);www.sixsenses.com

4. Alila Jabal Akhdar, Oman

A view over the edge at Alila Jebel Akhdar. Photo: Hyatt

Spellbinding vistas await at Alila Jabal Akhdar resort on the top of the Green Mountain, Oman. With an infinity pool overlooking deep canyons, an Asian-inspired spa and cliff-side dining, the hotel was the first luxury resort to open on this peak nearly a decade ago. Constructed from rock and stone, its design was inspired by ancient forts and uses traditional Omani design to fit seamlessly with its surroundings. Even better, all of the rooms come with fantastic vistas thanks to the hotel's location 2,000 metres above sea level.

Stays from Dh1,200 ($326);www.alilahotels.com

5. Mercure Grand Jebel Hafeet Al Ain, Abu Dhabi

The Garden City in Al Ain is home to one of the best mountaintop resorts in the country. The Mercure Grand Jebel Hafeet Al Ain has been welcoming guests at the top of Jebel Hafeet for nearly 20 years and promises cooler climes, minigolf and a family-friendly swimming pool 900 metres above the city. While some parts of the resort are a little tired, the newly revamped pool and the sunset views alone make a stay here worthwhile.

Stays from Dh200 ($54);all.accor.com

6. DusitD2 Naseem Resort, Jabal Akhdar, Oman

For a quirky stay on Jebel Akhdar in Oman, DusitD2 Naseem Resort has you covered. Designed for the modern traveller, this hotel embraces its unique location in the mountains. There are 252 rooms and suites to choose from, a modern fitness centre for high-altitude workouts and a sprawling outdoor swimming pool. The family-friendly resort also boasts a spa where travellers can enjoy Thai-inspired therapies and treatments. And, if you prefer to get out and make the most of the mountains, there are running trails, outdoor yoga and open-air guided meditation on offer.

Stays from Dh520 ($141); www.dusit.com

7. The View, Oman

The View in Oman offers mountain views and an infinity swimming pool perched on a cliff. Photo: The View

Another Oman mountaintop resort worth the drive from the UAE is The View, located between Al Hamra and Hail Al Shas. This quaint getaway sits 1,400 metres above sea level, with views over the scenic valley below. You’ll need a four-wheel drive to reach it, but once you get there you can expect traditional Omani hospitality, a stunning infinity pool and excellent dining options. With easy access to Jebel Shams, this is a great spot for anyone keen on trekking or hiking on the Sultanate's highest mountain.

Stays from Dh563 ($153); www.theviewoman.com

Mountaintop hotels opening soon

For those travellers who like to keep their finger on the pulse of new arrivals, the following trio are opening soon.

And, like the magnificent seven mentioned above, they are merely a short drive away from Dubai and deliver plenty of mountaintop magic.

Earth Altitude, Jebel Jais, Ras Al Khaimah

Earth Hotels Altitude will open in Ras Al Khaimah with soaring mountain views. Photo: Earth Hotels

Earth Altitude is an eco-based pop-up hotel set to open permanently on the highest mountain in the UAE before the end of 2022.

The boutique-style resort will offer amazing views over the surrounding landscape and be home to an activity centre where guests will be able to book hiking, trekking, cycling and more. A fitness suite, home-grown food concepts and an infinity swimming pool with views over Jebel Jais will make this the perfect rugged getaway.

Cloud7 Camp AlSawan Ras Al Khaimah

Cloud7 Camp AlSawan aims to put the local community at the core of its operations, while working with a ground-up policy when it comes to being more environmentally aware.

It is the latest from Kerten Hospitality and is scheduled to open in Ras Al Khaimah next year. It will offer glamping with 60 accommodation units, each crafted from sustainable materials. Mountain surroundings will give travellers access to trekking, hiking and amazing Ras Al Khaimah vistas while Arabian falcons, camels and horses can be seen at a nearby farm.

Hotel Indigo Al Jabal Al Akhdar, Oman

Hotel Indigo Al Jabal Al Akhdar is a boutique resort from IHG set to open in Nizwa, Oman. Photo: IHG

Hotel Indigo Jabal Al Akhdar will open its doors in the Hajar Mountains next year. The 176-room hotel is being built in Nizwa, 2,000 metres above sea level, and promises a more affordable option for travellers looking to book a mountaintop stay.

The property draws inspiration from its surroundings to give guests local experiences, blended with modern design. There are also indoor and outdoor swimming pools, plus a wide range of activities including biking, hiking and caving on the cards.

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Updated: August 19, 2022, 2:52 PM
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