Rediscovering the Emirati Oasis: Al Ain

When visiting a new place, you could choose to have a typical holiday and visit the most popular, well-known tourist destinations. However, if you’re looking to tread the off-beaten path, then Al Ain is just for you!

The United Arab Emirates is a union of seven political constituents, called emirates, with Abu Dhabi as the capital. The other emirates include Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Umm al-Quwain and Ras al-Kahimah. Considered the fourth largest city in the United Arab Emirates, “Garden City” Al-Ain, is geographically located in the Abu Dhabi emirate.

The Oasis that is Al Ain

First off, the name – Al Ain literally means "the spring" in Arabic and is called the garden city owing to the greenness of this bustling city.

Also known for being the birthplace of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan who was the UAE’s first president, Al Ain is Abu Dhabi’s second largest city.

Al Ain Oasis is the largest of the seven oases in Al Ain, with the smallest one being Al-Jahili. These oases help in the qanāt irrigation system. A Qanāt is an underground channel with a gentle slope and a series of vertical access troughs. It is used as a conveyance of water from an aquifer under a hill.

Aside from the various oases providing for palm trees and water farms of Al Ain, they have their own bottled water, Al Ain Water, which has become the UAE’s leading bottled water brand. The water in Al Ain is known to be very good, so if you ever stay in one of the Hilton Hotels in the UAE or travel by Emirates Airlines, be sure to try it.

The Attractions of Al Ain

The Jebel Hafeet Mountain is a well-known tourist attraction in Al Ain. It rises to 4,098 ft above sea level and boasts of a resplendent view of the city. The mountaintop has a radio station, a tourist centre and a hotel.

The Green Mubazarrah is a major attraction at the foothill. Jacuzzis, hot springs, swimming pools and even a lake greet visitors to this tiny bit of paradise in an otherwise desolate land. Another attraction at the foothills of the Jebel Hafeet Mountain is the Al Ain Zoo. The main attractions are the antelopes, gazelles, and oryxes. The Al Ain Zoo also hosts white lions, which are critically endangered.

The Al Ain Palace Museum is quite extraordinary as it gives us a glimpse into the lives of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan (former UAE President) and his family.

For all the shopaholics there is the Al Ain Mall. On completion, the mall will have more than 400 mid to high-end outlets as well as a five-star hotel attached to it.

In conclusion, Al Ain is a city which holds many surprises. After all, it takes an intrepid traveller to see the oasis for what it is and not just a mirage.

Go on a tour

Our concierge desk at DAMAC Maison, can organise full-day tours for our visitors to the places they wish to visit. Have a wonderful day of travelling through the beautiful scenes of Al Ain by choosing the Al Ain City Tour. The tour covers the Al Ain National Museum, Al Ain’s Camel Market, and Jebel Hafeet, among other places.

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