Jabal Yibir is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1.527m (5,010ft) above the sea level, located in the Hajar Mountains, in the United Arab Emirates.
The road to the summit is asphalted with a concrete barrier. A quick glance at the map at its sheer drops and serpentine twists and turns, confirms that this is no hype. This is an exquisite winding mountain drive with sharp and blind curves and hairpin switchbacks leading the traveler over the mountains. The highest point and the highest named mountain are actually different places. The highest mountain or peak in the UAE is Jebel Yibir. But the highest place you can actually stand on in the UAE is a point on a mountain slope on Jebel Jais. However the true summit of Jebel Jais is in Oman. Jebel Yibir is at 1,527m while Jebel Hafeet is at 1,240m.
The peak is off limits because at the summit there’s a telecommunications tower and a military base, and the access is closed, so private cars can drive up to approx 1.300m above the sea level. The climb up till the military check point is amazing with all those steep and quirky hairpin bends. The drive down hill is even better.
The drive is definitely worth it. There are many excellent photo opportunities. Don’t forget your camera! The temperature at the top is typically about 15 degrees C lower than that in the plains. While the summit of Jebel Yibir is off limits you can still scale to 1,350m by car to breath in the crisp air and savour the spectacular panoramic views. You can enjoy wide wadis, amazing mountains and some of the very best views over Musandam and the Northern Emirates.
The surface of the road is great, but it’s really steep, with sections up to 15%. Starting from Tawiyan, at an elevation of 168m above the sea level, the ascent is 10.66 mi (17.15 km) long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 1359m and the average gradient is 7,94%. The road encompasses miles of stunning views through twisty hair pin corners, high elevations and steep grades.
Pic: Arif Ahsan Shaikh
Road suggested by: Andrew Wheeler