Drive 90 minutes inland from Abu Dhabi metropolis and also you’ll arrive in Al Ain, one of many world’s oldest completely inhabited settlements and a UNESCO World Heritage Website. This oasis metropolis is a pure surprise, with a panorama as numerous as its tradition, the place palm bushes outnumber homes and historic waterways nourish the sand-dune-covered desert. And town has one thing for each kind of traveler, making it effectively price a cease for individuals who wish to lengthen their Abu Dhabi journey by two or three days.
You’ll be able to stroll via the oases alongside pathways shaded by lush greenery. And within the busy metropolis streets, you’ll stumble upon historic forts representing time-honored traditions and telling the important tales of the UAE’s origins—historical past followers can wander the archaeological parks and marvel at historic artifacts. These with an urge for food for tradition shouldn’t miss visiting the realm’s old-world palaces, camel market, and vibrant souks promoting genuine Emirati crafts, spices, carpets, perfumes, and extra. With a lot to do and to find in Al Ain, right here’s profit from just a few days on this enchanting metropolis.
What to do in Al Ain
A go to to Al Ain may be something from a soothing getaway to an exciting journey or a stability between the 2. There are countless actions to select from—listed below are just some of the can’t-miss sights it’s best to add to your itinerary whereas spending time in Al Ain.
Expertise the serenity of a well-known oasis
The expansive, practically 3,000-acre Al Ain Oasis is a cherished UNESCO-recognized vacation spot within the coronary heart of town. It gives a respite from city life, inviting guests to discover shaded paths and making a peaceable retreat amidst the verdant vegetation. This oasis boasts 147,000 date palm bushes, greater than 100 vegetation sorts, and relics of the previous, like the three,000-year-old falaj (or “break up into elements”) irrigation system that makes use of tunnels and channels to move water.
Go to a working camel market
Al Ain’s famend camel market, located lower than 10 miles from downtown Al Ain, is a stark distinction from city life and gives a glimpse into genuine Arab tradition and conventional Emirati heritage. It’s additionally a wonderful alternative for pictures, because the market showcases younger Arabian camels with potential for racing and mature camels for breeding. Households will benefit from the expertise too. Guests are welcome to stand up shut, watch locals arrive in pickups laden with goats and sheep, and attend mock races.
Browse an genuine souk
At Souk Al Zafarana, an genuine Emirati market in a contemporary setting adjoining to Al Jimi Mall, discover conventional apparel, incense, spices, henna, oud, and dallah (Arabian espresso pots). Different souks within the metropolis embody the Al Ain Souk, Souk Al Bawadi, and Souk Al Qaws.
Discover a historic palace
Al Ain Palace Museum holds main historic significance for your entire nation as the previous residence of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founding father and first president of the UAE. This property sheds gentle on the ruling household’s life and seamlessly blends trendy design with Emirati traditions. The property was constructed and restored with sustainability in thoughts, utilizing eco-friendly supplies like clay, adobe, and palm tree parts. Entry is free.
Wander the partitions of a restored fort
With its distinctive sq. structure, nook towers, and grand entrance, the historic fort and palace Qasr Al Muwaiji stays vital to at the present time because the birthplace of the late Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the previous president of the UAE. The restored fort is now a museum and cultural heart, providing insights into the ruling Al Nahyan household and the area’s historical past, heritage, and traditions.
The place to remain in Al Ain
Al Ain is an attractive vacation spot that harmoniously blends luxurious with desert landscapes, and town’s lodge scene provides varied choices that embody that hybrid high quality. Listed below are three centrally positioned lodges that make sure you maximize your time in Al Ain.
Ayla Lodge, positioned in the midst of Al Ain and a part of the fashionable Ayla Industrial Complicated, is right for leisure vacationers as a consequence of its proximity to purchasing facilities and leisure venues. It options snug rooms, a well-equipped well being membership, numerous eating choices, and trendy assembly services.
If you happen to’re on the lookout for a refuge of tranquility positioned within the heart of city and surrounded by majestic gardens, look no additional than Radisson Blu Lodge & Resort Al Ain. It was initially constructed for a royal wedding ceremony and options three inviting swimming swimming pools and modern rooms with views of the UAE’s highest peaks.
For a extra resort-like expertise that’s mere minutes from town heart, Al Ain Rotana is a wonderful alternative with its seven eating places, three swimming pools, a spa, and a health heart. Select amongst well-appointed rooms and suites with views of landscaped gardens, Jebel Hafit Heights, or Mediterranean-style villas.
The place to eat in Al Ain
There’s no scarcity of wonderful eating places in Al Ain. You’ll discover every thing from informal to tremendous eating, serving practically each possible delicacies from around the globe. Tamra Café on the Ayla Bawadi Lodge is a tea lounge with conventional Arabic undertones. This spacious and stylish spot gives a peaceable setting for rest or socializing and an all-day menu that includes breakfast and lunch choices, teas, coffees, smoothies, and desserts.
An alternative choice for lunch is Ayla, the worldwide all-day eating restaurant at Ayla Lodge that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a number of theme nights. From buffet breakfasts to reside BBQ stations and numerous worldwide lunches and dinners, their menu options American, Italian, Center Jap, European, and Indian influences and caters to numerous palates, making it a crowd-pleasing alternative for any meal.
For an unforgettable evening out, head to Tanjore Restaurant, which blends modern creations with an array of genuine Indian dishes ready in conventional tandoori clay ovens. Begin with traditional onion bhajiya after which strive a paneer dish, lamb vindaloo, or signature specialty similar to Murgh Awadhi Korma Aed, after which full the meal with pleasant kulfi ice cream or the rasmalai dessert, selfmade cottage-cheese dumplings poached in sugar syrup and served with decreased saffron-flavored milk spiked with pistachio.
If it’s a relaxed night you’re after, think about Arabesque Restaurant in the identical resort. The menu’s Arabic and North African influences that fuse European kinds and flavors are additionally seen within the trendy and open decor. Every day specials for lunch are themed with dishes from the Arab world and Europe.
Tips on how to get to Al Ain
When touring from Abu Dhabi Worldwide Airport, you’ve got a number of choices for arriving in Al Ain. Taxis are available for a direct journey, however automobile rental providers present extra flexibility. Public transportation consists of buses operated by the Abu Dhabi Division of Transport, and the journey time is round 90 minutes however can fluctuate primarily based on visitors situations. Touring from Dubai Worldwide Airport to Al Ain by taxi, Uber, or automobile rental takes between 90–120 minutes. Personal transfers and a mixture of Dubai Metro and buses are various choices. Al Ain additionally has its personal airport, Al Ain Worldwide Airport, that’s positioned round 10 miles northwest of town heart. It primarily serves home and a few worldwide flights to close by locations.