An oasis of greenery surrounded by desert, Al Ain is the heritage heartland of Abu Dhabi.
An hour and fifteen minutes down the road from Abu Dhabi you arrive in the green and mountainous oasis that is the 'garden city'.
It is truly beautiful.
Full of tree-lined streets and green fields surrounded by jagged mountains.
The view of the mountains meeting the sky on the horizon, just the beauty of that alone gives your heart a lift.
Change is good you think, we must go and explore more often. We must Abu Dhabi –Do.
Al Ain Zoo - A Fabulous Wildlife Park and Resort
Al Ain Zoo is a must see especially with children. See lions, tigers, gazelles, monkeys and much more. Buy a souvenir in the Kenyan gift shop, sit back with an ice cream and be transported to the African Savannah with giraffes, gazelles and zebra happily grazing in the shadow of Jebel Hafeet. This 400 hectare zoo is cool and calm but to avoid the heat and irritable children it is advisable to go during the early morning (when it's quietest) or late afternoon.
Admission: AED15 for adults, AED5 for children aged 3 to 12.
Strollers: 40 aed to rent
No bikes or scooters allowed.
Travel up the winding road of Jebel Hafeet, all 1250 metres of it. Stop off at the many viewing points to gaze at the patchwork of green fields that stretch out below. The slopes of the mountain are dotted with over 500 burial tombs dating back to 5000 years ago. Close to the summit is the Mercure Grand Hotel. Call in for refreshments and listen to some authentic Arabian music, enjoy shisha and marvel at the glory of this special place.
Mercure Grand Hotel Jebel Hafeet: tel 03 7838888
Wadi Adventure Park
Seriously surfing in the desert does exist! Come and enjoy a day out surfing, kayaking, whitewater rafting, climbing, swinging, swimming. Participate in lessons to learn a new sport, gaze in amazement as people surf by you waving! If you are an energetic sort or have older kids this is a great day out.
Admission: AED 100 for an all-day pass
Hili Fun City
Hili Fun City is not to be missed. It is a fun park with 30 attractions and rides catering for all ages. Young children can enjoy merry-go-rounds while the teenage thrill seekers can try the fast moving rollercoasters. There are plenty of food outlets should you get peckish or you can bring along a picnic and recover and relax in the landscaped garden areas.
Admission: AED 45-50 Admission is free for children 35 inches or below
Hili Archaeological Park
For those interested in the history of the UAE this could be for you. Located 10 km out of the city centre near the Dubai highway, this early Bronze age settlement provides a unique insight into the lives of early inhabitants of the region. Travel back in time and see old houses, towers and stone tombs or learn about the falaj irrigation system.
Admission: AED 1 for adults.
Al Jahilli Fort
Built in 1891 to guard the water supply of Al Ain and later to become the ruling elites summer retreat, this place is packed with history and intrigue. It is fascinating to observe the walls of the fort change from a white gold in the morning to a deep rust by evening.
Inside there is a stunning permanent exhibition about Wilfred Thesiger, the British explorer who photographed and documented his travels around the region during the 1940s.
Admission: AED 1 for adults.
'Al Ain is truly beautiful and not to be missed. An oasis of calm it provides a different view of life in Abu Dhabi Emirate. Enjoy your stay!'
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