Al Ain UAE -Al Ain is a
large city in the UAE in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the landlocked city is on the
boarder with Oman. The city has many archaeological treasures having been
inhabited for more than 4000 years.We lived here for two years before moving to Abu Dhabi City.
Al Ain has several 19th century forts which were built to keep control of Abu Dhabi. The city's natural surroundings include the Jebel Mountain in the southeast and the rolling red sand dunes of the nearby desert.
However despite the desert Al Ain is known as the Garden City of the Gulf as it has seven natural oases and is blessed with lush parks, gardens and tree lined streets.
There is a lot to see in al Ain, both new and old so here is an idea of what to see on a one day trip to the city and on a two day trip.
Things to do in Al Ain on a 1 day itinerary
Palace Museum (971-3-7517755) – This was the residence of Sheikh Zayed R.I.P., it was constructed in 1937 and now you can see the former palace with 30 furnished rooms as they would have been as well as the courtyards and vehicles. Within the palace is also an art museum. The Palace Museum is close to the….
Al Ain Museum and Sultan's Fortress (971-3-7641595) – Learn about the Bedouin culture and see some of the archaeological findings from 2,500 years ago. There is an ethnography and archaeology section in the museum.
You can see how life was before oil was discovered and learn about traditional dress, culture and life in Al Ain. Nearby is the….
Al Ain Oasis – Of Al Ain's seven oases this is the largest. There is an underground irrigation system here which brings water to the nearby farms.
You can enjoy the shade of the palm trees, see traditional Bedouin homes, have a lunch in the restaurant and wander the paths that wind through the palm trees.
You may choose to visit one of the other oases – Hili, Qatarra, Al Muteredh, Al Jimi, Al Muaiji. From here travel to….
Camel Market – Situated behind the Al Bawadi Mall this is one of the biggest live stock markets in the region. Here you can get snap happy with your camera and enjoy some real local character. To finish off your day….
Jabel Hafeet and Green Mubbazzarah Hot Springs – Towards the end of your day visit the natural hot springs at the foot of Jabel Hafeet, then travel up the mountain to watch the sun set over the desert landscape.
Things to do on a 2nd day in Al Ain
Hili Archaeological Park – The archeological dig here uncovered artifacts from the Bronze Age and early settlements and tombs. The most significant find was the Hili Grand Tomb from the Umm an-Nar culture, it's 12 meter diameter tower has been reconstructed and you can also see an Iron Age Village.
Al Jahili Fort – This summer residence provided Sheikh Zayed a refuge from the coastal humidity and ample access to water as well as protecting the city's inhabitants during attacks.
It is one of the largest forts in the country and was originally built in 1898. The architecture is truly unique and inside you can see an exhibition about Mubarak bin London or Wilfred Thesiger an explorer who crossed the Empty Quarter in the 1940's.
Al Ain Paradise Garden (971-3-7820788)– (will be closed until November 2012) You will not believe the stunning array of color, sculptured bushes and the well planned geometrically laid out of the gardens and landscaped flower beds.
The gardens hold the Guinness Book of Records title for having 2,426 hanging baskets. You'll feel like you are Alice in Wonderland!
Depending on your taste you may wish to use the rest of the day to visit the Al Ain Zoo -where there are some unusual indigenous animals.
Or if you are with kids perhaps the amusement park – Hili Fun City and for those more interested in history and culture take a look at some of the other forts – Murabba Fort, Mazyad Fort, Al Muwaiji Fort, Hili Fort, Al Rumeilah Fort or Mujairib Fort.
What's your favorite thing to do in Al Ain, UAE?