Jebel Hafeet Beehive Tombs – Al Ain, United Arab Emirates - Atlas Obscura

Jebel Hafeet Beehive Tombs

The cluster of igloo-like domes forms the remains of an ancient burial ground. 


The Jebel Hafeet Beehive Tombs (also spelled Jabel Hafit Tombs) are the remains of an ancient cemetery that dates back to between 3200 to 3000 BC. The cluster of domed structures and has been classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. 

More than 500 of these tombs sit at the foot of Jebel Hafeet mountain. They look like small stone igloos baking in the Sun.

Incredibly, some of the tombs still contain skeletal remains. These tombs and architectural remains are significant, as they are a rare and unique illustration of human development in the Bronze Age and the Iron Age on the Arabian Peninsula. 

The drive alone to get to the tombs is an adventure in itself. Although Jebel Hafeet mountain is accessible on the United Arab Emirates side via an excellently maintained road, the tombs are off-road.

Know Before You Go

Drive toward the Mezyad Oman border post. Exit the first right at the roundabout toward the Oasis International School. The road will become a dirt road. Drive along until you come to some camel farms. At the farms, turn right and then follow the vague tracks in the sand toward the mountain. Eventually, after some rocky terrain, you will see the tombs ahead.

A strong 4x4 vehicle is an essential requirement. The abandoned Mezyad fort is roughly five minutes away.

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August 1, 2019

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