"Caught between a Rock and a Green Place..." Top 5 Page for this destination Al `Ayn by JessH
Al `Ayn Travel Guide: 66 reviews and 210 photos
"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!)
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!
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
> Hili Fort & Hili Oasis
> Jebel Hafeet
and much, much more...
- 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!
JEBEL is the Arabic word for "Mount". "Jebel Hafeet" mountain proudly rises 1,240 metres (4,068 feet) above Al Ain,... more travel advice
We used to stay here quite frequently, especially in the summer months where Dubai is unbearably hot and humid, whereas... more travel advice
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