Al Ain

Al Ain: The Garden City 

Known as the Garden City, Al Ain City is an oasis in the Arabian Desert. Al Ain literally means spring in Arabic, is founded with natural springs from the heights of mountains that surrounds it. Al Ain is the second largest city in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. In ancient time, Al Ain was an important stop for caravans passing the deserts as it is a green site in the middle of the desert.

Al Ain is full of heritage and takes pride in its culture. It was named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since it is one of the world’s oldest inhabited settlements. Today, Al Ain is one of the major cities in UAE and has become a major tourist attraction. Al Ain - the Oasis City - is the emirate’s heritage heartland which is located approximately 160 km east of the capital Abu Dhabi and about 120 km south of Dubai. The freeways from Al Ain connecting with Abu Dhabi and Dubai generate a geographic triangle in the center of the country, each city being roughly 130 kilometers away from the other two. Driving around the city you will also find at every road junction fascinating roundabouts, each of which contain themed sculptures, statues, gardens and fountains.

Al Ain has three major malls: Al Ain Mall in the town center, Al-Jimi Mall in the Al-Jimi district, and Bawadi Mall located in the Al-Khrair District. Most commercial activity is centered in and around the town center. There are three 5-star hotels in the city: The Hilton, the Rotana and the Intercontinental, as well as a number of smaller guesthouses.

The Garden City has so much to offer its tourists. Below are just a few places which tourists can visit in Al Ain.

 

1. Jebel Hafeet 

 

This mountain is one of the most known landmarks in the city. It stands grandly at 1249 meters high and has a beautiful eye view of the city. The mountain is also known for its mountain road where it was called as one of the greatest driving road in the world. The road is best for extreme drivers as well as cyclists who up for adventure. Jebel Hafeet is most famous for its wildlife preserves. There is an animal sanctuary that is home to various kinds of exotic animals. Get to see a herd of zebras and be amazed with the indigenous Arabian Oryx. One of the rarest animals in the world can be seen in the sanctuary, the white lions of Sambona.

2. Green Mubazarrah

At the feet of Jebel Hafeet is another beautiful tourist attraction. The Green Mubazarrah is having hotels and resorts all around. There are hot water springs as well as pools and jacuzzis in the Green that perfectly makes this place a good way to be relaxed. 

3. Hili Fun City

A theme park, dubbed as the Disney World of Al Ain, Hili Fun City will surely make every kind of tourists satisfy. The theme park boasts 28 attractions for all ages! It has a family show amphitheater as well as beautiful picturesque views. Accommodations are available for tourists to keep true to Hili Fun City’s theme. 

4. Wadi Adventure

Another attraction for the thrill seekers. This is man-made water for rafting, kayaking and surfing. 

5. Oases

 
Al Ain itself is an oasis, but the city is known for its irrigation system known as falaj which was used in the ancient time and is still being used at this time. Al Ain has seven oases, these are, the Al Ain Oasis, Old Sarooj, Al Jahili Oasis, Qattara, Al Mutaredh, Al Jimi, Al Muaiji, and Hili.
 
 
Other than these wonderful tourist attractions, Al Ain is also known as one of the UAE’s heritage heartland. There are many historical sites in Al Ain.

1. Al Ain National Museum

 
Many discoveries from excavations are displayed in this museum. The remnants are dated back from the Stone and Iron ages.
 
2. Al Jahili Fort
 
Most known as the birthplace of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The fort was built to protect the city. It was built in 1891. This is a must see in Al Ain.
 
3. Al Ain in Palace Museum
 
This is the home of the late Sheikh Zayed and was once the center of the city’s politics. Exploring this magnificent palace is something not to be missed. A collection of materials from the ruling family is displayed all over the museum. Large portraits, the Sheikh’s family tree and different rooms are some of the things that are part of the tour. Explore, discover and get to know the ruling family through their home. 
 
Al Ain also prides itself for the diverse sporting life that exists in their city. This sporty personality of the city is reflected from the many sporting complex and activities that are available for the public and the tourists. 
 

1. Al Ain Sportplex

Looking for sport facilities in Al Ain is easy. Al Ain Sportplex has a variety of facilities from individual to team sports. The Sportplex also houses a 1.4km raceway go-karting track. 
 
2. Al Ain Equestrian
 
Visiting the Palm Sports Resort shouldn’t be missed by people who love horses. Get to see and experience only the most beautiful Arabian horses. 
 
Other sports facilities that are available in Al Ain are a golf course and a shooting club.

There are other interesting places to visit in Al Ain. The Camel Market is one of the most popular places to go; tourists can enjoy camel riding as well as see a real camel race. Tourists can also visit the Souk or market to experience the Arabian market lifestyle. 

 
The Garden City is a spectacular experience. With the right blend of unique culture and traditions, Al Ain, is one of the best places to stay in Abu Dhabi.