Just over an hour’s drive from Abu Dhabi is the majestic oasis city of Al Ain. Nestled in the foothills of Jebel Hafeet, this desert city is full of delights and surprises. One of the world’s oldest permanently inhabited settlements, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site – and somewhere that everyone should consider visiting.
Nicknamed the Oasis City, it’s not hard to see why once you arrive. It’s a beautiful destination: its fresh, lush greenery stands out amid the orange and gold hues of the desert, a testament to its 3,000-year-old falaj irrigation system. Al Ain’s oasis is a tranquil, peaceful area, with plenty of shady walkways and hidden areas to sit and relax, have a picnic, or simply bask in the splendour of the area.
With buildings dating back to the 1800s, you can discover an entirely different world to the glitz and glamour of Abu Dhabi. Visit Al Jahili Fort and the Al Qattra Fort, where you can experience the beauty of ancient Arabian architecture and art. The Al Ain National Museum is a great place to discover different aspects of life in the UAE, from Bedouin jewellery to traditional musical instruments.
Climb the dominating Jebel Hafeet, where you’ll be rewarded with views over the entire city. However, with its 1,240m high summit, there’s always the option to take a taxi to the top!
Al Ain Zoo is another amazing experience to take in. With a prominent interest in conservation, you’ll be able to learn about the ways the UAE is helping animals both indigenous to its lands as well as those around the world. With over 4,000 animals and the chance to feed a giraffe, it’s an incredible day out.