"Caught between a Rock and a Green Place..." Top 5 Page for this destination Al `Ayn by JessH

Al `Ayn Travel Guide: 48 reviews and 118 photos

Al Ain might just surprise you...


"What did you do last weekend?"
"We went to Al Ain for a day"
"Aaaaaaaaah, that must have been nice...!"

This is the typical response most UAE-residents will give once they hear that you've visited Al Ain. It's known for its peace & quiet, its lush greenery that is soothing to the eye and a relief for the overworked mind. We've been visiting Al Ain for years, and each time we discover something new and endearing about the UAE's "Garden City."


Al Ain belongs to the UAE's emirate of Abu Dhabi. This fertile oasis is located approx. 160 km east of Abu Dhabi city and its name means "the spring" or "the eye", because of its originally plentiful supply of fresh water. It is a green city with only low-rise buildings, pretty roundabouts and a very comprehensive layout. This is also the birthplace of the UAE's former President, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
The surrounding district is a rich agricultural area with many forts & archaeological sites (evidence of human settlements dating back to 3,000 BC) and is also home to the UAE's main university.

Al Ain and Buraimi town are both situated in Buraimi oasis, but Buraimi town belongs to Oman.

Another unique feature of this emirate is the fascinating landmark of "Jebel Hafeet": this limestone rock proudly rises 1,240 metres (4,068 feet) above Al Ain, providing spectacular views across the UAE / Omani border. A modern 3-lane highway snakes up the mountain and has been declared "one of the best driving roads in the world" stretching over 15 kilometres with 60 fantastic curves & twists. (if Jeremy Clarkson of BBC's Top Gear liked this road, it's gotta be good!)
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"Get your kicks, on Route 66..."

From Dubai, turn onto Highway No. 66 (yes, feel free to hum the Nat King Cole song whilst driving along here ;-) and keep following the signs to Al Ain.

The closer you get, the more the desert's dunes seem to be pushed back towards the horizon, making way for lush palm tree plantations and agricultural farms.

The oasis city of Al Ain is the capital of this region and one of the greenest in Arabia.

Multitude of roundabouts offer a unique display of water, landscaping and sculpture. Boulevards are tree lined and there are no high rise buildings.

Whilst taking-in the scenery, don't forget to check your speed as there are plenty of speed cameras along this road!

No noise, no stress, no rush...


"The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man." - Author Unknown.


Al Ain is located inland (so don't ask your hotel for a sea-view room please...) and has plenty of attractions to offer:

> Al Ain Zoo

> Al Ain Aerobatics Show

> Al Ain National Museum: Tel 03 7641595
http://www.aam.gov.ae/

> Hili Fort & Hili Oasis

> Jebel Hafeet

and much, much more...

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Historic sights and modern events: a very interesting destination indeed!
  • Cons:Can't really think of any right now...
  • In a nutshell:Definitely worth a day-visit or a whole weekend here!
  • Last visit to Al `Ayn: Jan 2008
  • Intro Updated Feb 3, 2008
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Reviews (5)

Comments (8)

  • lynnehamman's Profile Photo
    May 12, 2009 at 4:35 PM

    As we will be in UAE , Jordan & Syria in early next year-your tips are being noted.They are very handy. Thanks

  • TheTravelSlut's Profile Photo
    Mar 22, 2009 at 1:21 PM

    Great tips and incredible photos! Thanks, Cheers,. Ann, The TravelSlut :-)

  • fabrice's Profile Photo
    Mar 20, 2009 at 2:22 AM

    never been to UAE , but I would like to discover

  • risse73's Profile Photo
    Jun 10, 2008 at 6:48 AM

    Thanks for all these informative tips!

  • DAO's Profile Photo
    Jun 9, 2008 at 12:26 PM

    Thanks Jess! Nice to have met you as well. Great tips (real info!). I spent a few hours here, but it was before digital cameras.

  • jivanne96's Profile Photo
    Feb 27, 2008 at 1:53 AM

    hi Neighbor, Have plans of visiting Al ain. How many hours do you thin I can roam around the zoo? Need to make my sched

  • MM212's Profile Photo
    Feb 4, 2008 at 11:05 AM

    Looks lovely. Alas, I won't have time on this visit to see al Ain, though the mountain road going up Mt Hafeet (sp?) would probably make me sick anyway! Cheers!!

  • pakistanibrain's Profile Photo
    Jan 29, 2008 at 4:30 AM

    Danke fuer den ausfuehrlichen Al Ain Zoo Tip. Wir werden auf jeden Fall versuchen mal runterzufahren, solange das Wetter noch ertraeglich ist.

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