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Al-Hajar Mountains (Arabic: جِبَال ٱلْحَجَر, romanized: Jibāl al-Ḥajar, The Rocky Mountains or The Stone Mountains) in northeastern Oman and also the eastern United Arab Emirates are the highest mountain range in the eastern Arabian peninsula. Also known as “Oman Mountains”, they separate the low coastal plain of Oman from the high desert plateau, and lie 50–100 km (31–62 mi) inland from the Gulf of Oman. Al (اَلْ) means “the”, and Ḥajar (حَجَر) means “stone” or “rock”. So al-Ḥajar (اَلْحَجَر) is named as “the stone” or “the rock”.
Al Hajar Mountains extend for 700 kilometres (430 miles) through the UAE and Oman. They are located on the north-east corner of the Arabian Plate, reaching from the Musandam Peninsula through to the east coast of Oman.
How are Al Hajar mountains formed?
This is why mountains only form at plate boundaries, of which the Al Hajar Mountains in Oman and the United Arab Emirates is thought to be an example of. These mountains have formed near the Arabian – Eurasian convergent plate boundary where continental collision began by 30 Ma at the earliest.
The mountains are rich in plant life compared to most of Arabia, including a number of endemic species. A number of birds are found in the mountains including Egyptian and lappet-faced vultures (Torgos tracheliotus). Mammals include mountain gazelles (Gazella gazella) and the Arabian tahr (Arabitragus jayakari).
Wadi Al Wurayah, in the Hajar mountains, is the first protected mountain area in the UAE, in eastern UAE and northern Oman.
The climate of Wadi Al Wurayah is characteristic of a hot, hyper-arid mountain desert environment, where temperatures can reach close to 50°C in the summer months.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE; Arabic: الإمارات العربية المتحدة al-ʾImārāt al-ʿArabīyah al-Muttaḥidah), sometimes simply called the Emirates (Arabic: الإمارات al-ʾImārāt), is a sovereign state in Western Asia located at the eastern end of the Arabian Peninsula.
The largest of these emirates, Abu Dhabi (Abū Ẓaby), which comprises more than three-fourths of the federation’s total land area, is the centre of its oil industry and borders Saudi Arabia on the federation’s southern and eastern borders. The port city of Dubai, located at the base of the mountainous Musandam Peninsula, is the capital of the emirate of Dubai (Dubayy) and is one of the region’s most vital commercial and financial centres, housing hundreds of multinational corporations in a forest of skyscrapers. The smaller emirates of Sharjah (Al-Shāriqah), ʿAjmān, Umm al-Qaywayn, and Raʾs al-Khaymah also occupy the peninsula, whose protrusion north toward Iran forms the Strait of Hormuz linking the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Oman. The federation’s seventh member, Al-Fujayrah, faces the Gulf of Oman and is the only member of the union with no frontage along the Persian Gulf.
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