Road trip To Jebel Jais With Friends

Road trip To Jebel Jais With Friends

Road trips are one of my ultimate favorite things in the world. The tiny ones and the long ones. My dad used to take us on work trips on the motorway all the time and it was the best just hanging out in the back of the car with my siblings, cracking terrible jokes (I remember being obsessed with the rupa ki banyan wala ad around that time), stopping over for food and just generally being on the road.


Nabeel and I have road-tripped multiple times all over the UAE and Oman, sometimes with friends, sometimes on our own. Even when we travel elsewhere, we always prefer to rent a car and fit tiny trips in, when it’s possible. So you can imagine I was actually pretty pumped to get one on the agenda as soon as the weather turned better.

Faraz and Shehla’s big car that made it all the more fun because we were all together from the beginnning till the end

So last weekend, very spontaneously Nabeel and I made a trip to Jebel Jais in Ras Al Khaimah with friends to catch the sunrise. We got out at 2 am in the night, loaded ourselves in Faraz and Shehla’s car (we camped right in the back with the samaan, it was super fun bros), picked up the rest of the group and drove straight to the mountain.
Jebel Jais is the highest mountain in the UAE, is in Ras Al Khaimah which is about a couple of hours away from Dubai, and feels pretty untouched and raw because it hasn’t commercialized so much yet.

Love how eerie and beautiful the mountain looks

The drive took us through a straight road at first surrounded by giant mountains. There were absolutely no lights so it was the most magically creepy drive ever. Just the headlights and the road. We even turned the lights off for just a second to see what it would be like –  it was terrifying and AMAZING. So dark you couldn’t see the person next to you (I may or may not have played the theme music of Zee Horror Show on my phone for added spice). Nabeel and I were in the back and we could see the road behind us with the big, towering mountains and it was so, so beautiful. 

City lights. Actually, industrial city lights but pretty nonetheless.

We got up to the top around 4 am, found a nice spot right next to the edge of the mountain, and camped out. The weather was just the slightest bit chilly. The sky was full of stars and you could see the silhouettes of the dark mountains. We prayed Fajr right there on the edge of the cliff and it’s undoubtedly going to be one of my most favorite things ever. So peaceful, so surreal. 

Colors.

A sunrise itself is so magical. The colors always blow me away. But when you see it happening right there in front of you, what hits me more is the concept of the sun coming up gloriously everyday and giving us this natural light. No maintenance, no upkeep, no ‘machine failure’. A grand rise and descent every single day. I’ve promised myself to make more time for these miraculous things in life that actually change you just by letting you watch them.

God doing ombre like a boss.
Question: Who can do color better than nature? Answer: Nobaaady.
Nabeel wasn’t letting me sit on this rock because he thought it was loose and then later wanted to hold my foot in case it slipped. He was told no in both scenarios.
Some exploration in my Skechers and mom’s very old shawl.
Friends with benefits, lulz.
Erraybaady minus one.

The chai was delicious. Well done, Shehla.

After some lounging we had doodh patti that Shehla had brought for us, took silly pictures and headed down to the city to get breakfast (all of us signed off on parathas). Sang rubbish (actually awesome) songs in the car, took some more silly pictures on the way back and cried rainbows on seeing a Sher-e-Pakistan restaurant where we got omelettes and parathas and halwa with some Punjabi on the side.

Happy to wear a shawl in Dubai.
Thanks.
Heading back down.
The sunlight through the mountains. So gorgeous.
We hadn’t seen these mountains when we drove up because it was so dark. It was pretty exciting to see them now in the daylight.
Heading to breakfast.
Hi guys.
My favorite picture from the trip because of how chaotic it is. Still undecided about what Shehla was doing here
The super fun ride back down the mountain
Tiny stopover for mandatory pictures on the road
Almost done
Bubye.
How to end a road trip Version 1.0
It was the perfect weekend and a great reminder that the best things in life are actually free.
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Some details for you about Jebel Jais
What: Jebel Jais
Where: Ras Al Khaimah
Distance from Dubai: 2 hours
Status: Pretty untouched and raw. Not crowded at all. I saw very few people on Friday night/Saturday morning. The road is very well-made.
Kid-friendly: Maybe. I saw a couple of bathrooms (I think) but since it doesn’t have enough facilities, a family with kids may prefer a more commercial location like Jebel Hafeet (personally for me it’s very crowded now but with kids I think it’s definitely a better option)
Food: A food-truck was at the top but we didn’t have anything from it because we wanted desi nashta
Watchouts: Plenty of loose rocks near the edges so be careful before sitting on any or getting too close; easy to slip
Tip:
1. If you want to road trip with friends but don’t have a big car, rent one and split the costs. It’s the best to just be in one car together from the beginning till the end.
2. If you don’t have a group of friends, go with your spouse or best friend. It’ll be a different kind of experience but equally fun.
3. If you have no friends, rent a car for yourself, get some good music and a book and take a trip out. It’s perfectly safe and you’ll have a great time.

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+ I made an outdoor plans list if you’d like to see. I’m not following it as a checklist, just keeping it as a reference for ‘what do I feel like doing this weekend’ type.

8 Comments

  1. This looks like SO much fun. I love road trips! Last year amna and I went with a group to Hingol and Kund Malir and it was AWESOME. this year we did Charna Island and snokeled and went cliff diving, it was so ace. Nothing like tea, anda paratha and a long scenic route for bonding.

    1. Author

      Oh man, I road tripped all the way to Hingol too with a few friends about 5 years ago? Kund Malir is so gorgeous, I couldn't believe it for a second. Snorkeling sounds amazing, always wanted to do Charna Island but somehow never happened.

  2. Loved every part of this post, living the adventure 😀
    Can you please mention the cameras you guys used for those amazing pictures and selfies ?

    1. Author

      Thanks 😀 Most of the pictures are from my Samsung NX Mini and the group ones I think are from Samsung S7.

  3. Hahaha I loved the part where your husband suggested holding on to your foot :p

    Recently I have started making lists of things I am thankful for. Getting close to 30 is making me realise that I might have already lived half my life and I have had SO much. I want to not want more. looking at a list of things GOD has given you when you might not have deserved it, makes you want to be a better person for people who are less fortunate.

    1. Author

      Oh man. When I crossed 30 that's exactly what hit me, I've probably lived half my life (if I'm lucky). Such great thoughts, always good to hear <3

  4. Friends with benefits sounded so much better for the first time :p
    Great post
    Loved reading it
    MBS

  5. Ufff the trip.pics are blowing my mind. Too too good. Sooo natural and such fun..wish i had such awesome frds man. Loved the last 2 bullets too much

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