Holidays in Al Ain
An oasis town known as the Garden City of the United Arab Emirates, Al Ain offers scenic vistas, historic sights, eclectic cuisines and a whole host of fun, enjoyable activities for locals and visitors alike. Situated about two hours east of Abu Dhabi, Al Ain sits on the border with Oman and is locally famous as a key stop on the caravan trail and the birthplace of Sheikh Zayed, UAE founding father.
Thousands of date palms create a wonderful, cool refuge from the desert heat in the centre of Al Ain. This is the largest of several oases in the region, fed by natural springs and offering a welcoming place to walk and relax, sandwiched between the town’s main street and souq areas. In central Al Ain you will also find the town’s ancient fort – originally built to repel intruders but now a fascinating museum conveying the history and culture of the local people.
The mountain of Jebel Hafeet – the second tallest in the UAE – offers incredible views over the flat plains of the surrounding region, and is a popular place to watch the sunset. The twists and turns of the mountain road offer a fantastic, scenic drive to the summit, from where you can enjoy an amazing 360 degree vista. At the foot of the mountain you will find Green Mubazzara, a delightful park with areas for picnicking and barbecues, along with thermal springs and bath houses.
Nowhere encapsulates the authentic bustle and throng of local Al Ain life more than the Al-Khrair Animal Souq, where you can witness the buying and selling of hundreds of camels and goats every day. For a slightly different kind of animal spectacle, Al Ain is also home to a wonderful zoo and safari park.
Al Ain plays host to a wide range of international cuisines – from Lebanese and Arabic to European, and even Chinese and Indian. From fine dining to takeaways – whether you’re a meat eater or a vegetarian – you’re sure to enjoy some amazing meals during your stay here. For the best of the city’s restaurants, head for Khalifa Street.
Al Ain's outstanding riches include a list of protected UNESCO World Heritage Sites like Hili, Bint Saud, Bidaa, Hafit and the surrounding oases areas. These stand as a testament to human occupation in this part of the world dating back to the Neolithic period with remarkable vestiges that can still be admired today. Visitors can expect to find the remains of ancient civilisations in the form of circular stone tombs, adobe constructions, wells and more. It all stands as an amazing proof of the transition of cultures in the region, including the complex aflaj irrigation system dating back to the Iron Age.
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